Chicken Alfredo on top of Spaghetti Squash
Gluten Free, gluten free diet, Health, Paleo, paleo diet, Recipes

Chicken Alfredo on top of Spaghetti Squash

Chicken Alfredo on top of Spaghetti Squash

Lately I have been trying to start networking with fellow bloggers and have been finding some new meal ideas in the process.  This is one was inspired by a recipe shared by instagramer @mypaleoishlife.  It looked absolutely delicious and I loved the idea by using spaghetti squash along with chicken alfredo!  I just used a simple alfredo sauce instead of his Better than Alfredo Cauliflower Cashew sauce.  Last night I finally had a chance to try it and it turned out great!

Chicken Alfredo on top of Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

Chicken

1 lb of Chicken Tenderloins
1 tbsp of Olive Oil
Spices to Taste: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Rosemary, Parsley, Oregano, Salt & Pepper

Alfredo Sauce

2 cups of Heavy Cream
1/2 cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup of Shredded Italian Cheese Mix
1/2 tsp of Parsley
1/2 tsp of Oregano
1/4 tsp of Garlic Powder

Spaghetti Squash

1 medium Spaghetti Squash

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Poke holes in spaghetti squash and place in oven for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.  Once spaghetti squash can be cut easily pull out and let cool off.  While the spaghetti squash is baking, place 1 tbsp of olive oil in large skillet and set to medium heat.  Place raw chicken tenderloins in large skillet.  Sprinkle on spices to taste and turn chicken until cooked through.  I like to add a little bit of water while I cook the chicken so it doesn’t dry out.  Place cooked chicken onto plate and save the large skillet for later.

Chicken Tenderloins

Pour heavy cream into sauce pan.  Stir in Parmesan cheese and Italian cheese.  Add spices to taste.  I kept it on a low to medium heat for a couple minutes and constantly stirred until sauce thickened.  Once sauce has thickened remove from heat.

Alfredo Sauce

Now that the spaghetti squash has cooled off, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.  Scoop the squash meat and place in the large skillet.  Stir until the squash meat has been coated with the leftover spices and juices.  You can place the spaghetti squash on a plate or in a bowl and top with the alfredo sauce and chicken.  Yum!

Now that the rain has finally subsided in our area, we have finally been able to start getting back to a normal routine.  It had been over a week since we’ve been able to take a walk so we finally got a chance to do that this weekend.  We even got to take a trip to see my friend’s farm critters, which my son absolutely loves!  As for Baby Girl, she is still doing great!  Only about two and a half more weeks to go!  I can’t wait!  I can’t wait to meet her; I can’t wait to have my body back . . . hahaha!  My wonderful sister-in-law took my maternity pictures for me last week.  They turned out so good!  I’m so excited that I want to show you a sneak peek!

Maternity Pictures

Maternity Pictures

Aren’t they adorable?!?  After I deliver Baby Girl, I would like to share with you some of the ways that I helped this delivery naturally.  When I had my son, his heart rate was in distress during most of my labor so I wasn’t able to do a lot other than lay on the bed since he had a scalp monitor placed on him.  But since my pregnancy with Baby Girl has been a lot less stressful I have been so much more healthy and feel like this delivery will go by much smoother.  Some things that I am doing to help prepare my body for labor is to take walks (as long as we don’t have any more rain), sit and bounce on an exercise ball, and eat a handful of dates every day.  Blogger Evelyn Ojeda quoted a study from the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology stating that eating six dates daily during the last four weeks of pregnancy “significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labor, and produced a more favorable, but non-significant, delivery outcome. ” You can read more about it on her webpage here, it is all quite interesting.  I also plan on getting a pedicure the week I’m due to help start contractions.  For all you moms out there, what other ways did you try to naturally induce labor?

Stuffed Pepper Casserole
Gluten Free, gluten free diet, Health, Paleo, paleo diet, Recipes

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

How to Make Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

So much has been going on in the past couple of weeks.  The end of March was my last day at work.  My cousin who watches my son is returning home after I have Baby Girl, so we decided since I get paid about the same amount of money as it would cost to put two kids in daycare that I could stay home.  And I would much rather stay home and raise my own children.  So this time between now and when I deliver will give me time to rest and stay healthy during the last two months of this pregnancy and to help my son adjust to a new home-life routine.  And as for how Baby Girl is doing . . . we got to see her again last week!

Baby Girl at 33 Weeks

She is doing so well!  Unlike her brother, she is constantly moving and kicking.  During this last ultrasound she would keep putting her hand in her mouth and at one point tried to fit both in!  The doctors were estimating her weight at 4 lbs and 10 oz, which is only one pound away from my son when he was born at 39 weeks!  I’m so happy at her progress, we really want a healthy baby weighing at least 6 lbs or more this time around!

At the end of March we also had the baby shower and were given a lot of food to take home.  I tried to make the most of it for as long as possible so I didn’t need to make a lot of new meals for a while.  Since then I was looking for a new meal to try and this one popped up on my pinterest feed.  It looked really good and I decided to give it a try!  I was looking for something simple and tasty and this turned out very well.

Recipe for Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Ingredients

1 lb of Ground Turkey
2 Peppers chopped
1 Onion chopped
2 Garlic Cloves minced
2 cups of rice cooked
1 jar (24 oz) pasta sauce
2 cups of shredded Italian cheese blend

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown ground turkey and saute the peppers, onion and garlic cloves in a large skillet.  Add rice and pasta sauce to the skillet and mix together.  Sprinkle in about a cup of shredded cheese and mix together.  Pour everything into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.  Sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese on top of mixture.  Place in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

I thought that I would like some sort of bread to go with the casserole so I decided to try the Gluten Free Bisquick Biscuit mix.  You can find the recipe on the Gluten Free Bisquick box.  I didn’t particularly like these biscuits with the casserole myself.  Stand alone with butter (and even some honey, yum!) they seemed alright.  But I still would like to tweak the recipe to improve the flavor a little bit.  It seemed rather bland and had that Bisquick taste to it.  But it was something that I had wanted to try for a while.  I like using the Bisquick mix for my pancakes and pizza dough now.  The pizza dough is especially easier than any of the other gluten free recipes I’ve used in the past.

As for the casserole, the flavor was very good and I will certainly make this again.  Of course, my husband was disappointed that it wasn’t Mexican flavored.  He likes to make our stuffed peppers with Mexican seasoning.  I personally wanted to try something different, and Baby Girl doesn’t seem to like Mexican food nearly as much!  But I’m sure this would make a great Mexican casserole whenever I feel up to it . . . even if it won’t happen until after she arrives!

 

Essential Oils, Health

Essential Oils – How to Survive Sinus Congestion

Essential Oils

Breathe Easy Blend – How to Survive Sinus Congestion

For the last couple of weeks I have been so busy with work and trying to get ready for the baby shower I haven’t really had much time to work on any homemade meals for this blog.  So I decided that I could share about the essential oil blend that I’ve been using to try to help me get through yet another bout with sinus congestion.  I had seemed to be doing better with my cold, my cough has improved and basically gone away.  But then the congestion came back and my sinuses have been draining down the back of my throat causing a sore throat.  Ugh.  It had gotten to the point that when I would walk into my bedroom my nose would immediately close up and I couldn’t breath.  Sleeping is becoming more difficult as the baby is getting bigger so any extra discomfort makes sleeping miserable.  And I need all the rest I can get at this point.  So I decided to try an essential oil blend to help open up my breathing passageways.

What Essential Oils are in my Breathe Easy Blend?

  • Peppermint – 3 drops
  • Eucalyptus – 3 drops
  • Lavender – 2 drops

There wasn’t any real science to the drops count that I used.  That was not the original drop count that I wanted but I’ve been having trouble controlling how fast they come out so that seemed to be the average amount!  Hahaha!

How Has it Worked for Me?

Oh my word!  Every night that I have my diffuser on with this blend I can BREATHE!!!  Sometimes only one nostril will be open, sometimes both.  But nevertheless I can breathe!  And on the nights that I didn’t use it, you betcha, I couldn’t breathe at all.  It is like magic!  So this has been my best friend and constant companion for the last week or so.  Along with doing the nasal rinse every morning, I added another antihistamine to my regimen temporarily and on the mornings that my throat particularly hurts I’ll gargle with salt water.  Thankfully, I think that my congestion is finally starting to clear up.

What about you?  Have you tried a similar blend or do you have a favorite blend that you like to use?  I would love to hear from you!

Bone Broth, Gluten Free, gluten free diet, Health, Paleo, paleo diet, Recipes

How to Make Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

How to Make Loaded Baked Potato Soup

This week my family has been struggling with sore throats, coughs and my toddler has been teething.  No fun at all.  I’ve been busting out the essential oils and teas trying to knock this thing out as naturally as possible.  Here is a link to my facebook page discussion of At-Home Remedies.  Earlier this week, when I had a day off I thought that everyone would really enjoy and benefit from my crockpot loaded baked potato soup.  This is another really good recipe to add some immune boosting ingredients like garlic and Bone Broth if you have any saved.  Unfortunately I didn’t have any bone broth leftover and I didn’t really have any time or energy to make it this time around.  Sometimes I get tired of loaded baked potato soup (this is one of my husband’s absolute favorite meals) but I think a lot of that has to do with when I was pregnant with my son I had to limit my sodium intake to help with the swelling and this soup does NOT taste good without salt!  I love adding garnishes to the dish, it brings out so much more flavor and interest to the dish.  And I was right.  It really hit the spot.  It was so comforting to all the sickies in my house.  And my son was even willing to eat it mixed with his rice.  Another mom-win for me!

Ingredients

2 1/2 lbs of Russet potatoes
1 small yellow onion
5 cloves of garlic
4 cups of bone broth (or chicken stock)
8 oz of cream cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Garnishes: crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped chives

Directions

Chop potatoes, onion, and garlic.  Add to crockpot along with seasoning and bone broth.

Potato Soup2

Cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 10 hours.
Stir in Cream cheese and allow to melt.
Scoop some soup into the blender, puree and add back into soup until desired texture.  (My husband likes to still have some potato chunks in the soup so I don’t completely puree the soup).  This last time around my son was down for a nap when the soup was ready to be pureed so I had it sitting for a couple hours on the “Keep Warm” setting which softened the potatoes even more and made it super easy and super quick to puree.

Potato Soup3

Here is the loaded baked potato soup finished.

Potato Soup4

Top with your choice of garnishes and serve.  Our personal favorites are bacon bits, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped chives.  Yum!

Potato Soup5

It tasted so good and was a very comforting meal since we weren’t feeling well.  This is one of my husband’s all-time favorite meals and he would literally eat this everyday if I made it everyday.  I can never go wrong whenever I decide to make it!  There are so many different ways to make potato soup.  I hope you like this recipe!

Bone Broth, Health

8 Alternative Methods to Medications

Wow!  So much has changed and happened since my last blog post!  According to WordPress, it’s been 8 months!  I changed jobs and life got busy.  It was always my intention to keep up with this blog but it kind of fell to the way side as life happened.  My husband has complained about me keeping pictures of meals and recipes on the iPad; I was hoping to write about them later and I never did!!!  Every time I make a meal I think of this blog and how it would make a great post.  Hahaha!  My other issue has been technology.  Our laptops are both old and I couldn’t find a simple way to use the iPad or my husband’s new computer to write the blog and upload my pictures.  So now with more time (and new technology…or at least new ideas to use the technology) I am starting to write again!  Woohoo!

So, to kind of bring everyone up-to-date, in March I changed jobs to become a cake decorator at a local grocery store.  I was looking for a job just to help us through while I was in between jobs, and it turned out that I really enjoyed what I was doing.  So much so that I wished that I had started cake decorating earlier in life.  It was a less stressful job and it was a great outlet for my creative flare.  We found out we were pregnant with our second child in September and also moved closer to both of our jobs, cutting my husband’s commute to almost half the time and mine down to just a couple minutes.  So many big changes for all of us!

baby-2-ultra
Baby #2 Measuring at 8 Weeks

In December, one by one my whole family got sick with the flu bug and a horrible cough that lasted for weeks.  Even taking plain cough medicine didn’t seem to make much of a difference.  After struggling with this cough for over two weeks, I developed a rash on my neck and decided to visit the urgent care to make sure it wasn’t anything serious.  Strep was going around and I knew some people were getting rashes from it. I was tested for strep and was found negative, they told me it was just blood vessels that had burst in my neck (from coughing so hard) and then sent me home without any help for my cough and what I was sure was a sinus infection as well.  The following day I went to see the nurse practitioner at my OBGYN’s office, who thought everything was viral but could tell I had some sinus issues so gave me a Z-pack to try to help clear that up.  By the end of the week, my cough was still getting worse, my son was throwing up with the flu, and I was running a fever.

jackson-sick
My cousin holding my poor baby sick with the flu

All of this is concerning for anyone, but since I was pregnant, I was really getting worried and was determined to get some more help.  Going on over three weeks now with this cough and being sick, I went to see my PCP.  She was also really concerned about my cough but could hardly give me anything for relief between my allergies and my being pregnant.  So I was given more antibiotics to help clear up my sinus infection and was taken off of work for about a week so I could recover.

Since I have been pregnant I have been unable to use a lot of over-the-counter medications and prescriptions to help me get better.  It has been very difficult trying to recover without any typical medications.  So today I would like to share with you all the alternative methods that I used for getting better:

blog-alternatives
8 Alternative Methods to Medications

1) Antibiotics
I know not everyone likes to use antibiotics. They not only kill the bad bacteria but also all the good bacteria in your gut flora. And it’s pretty much clockwork for me now, when I take antibiotics, I get a yeast infection.  However, I had such a nasty sinus infection that it was draining down causing an upper respiratory infection and irritating my sensitive airways.  My PCP wanted to also give me an inhaler but couldn’t because I was pregnant.  So at this point I felt like I needed all the help I could get.
2) Rest
The main thing that I needed that was really going to help me overcome this was rest.  Which is extremely hard to get when you’re a working mom.  My PCP even took me off of work for a week so I could try to get the rest I needed to get over this.  I had so many absences at work that I was about to lose my job.  Sometimes you also have to make some major decisions as well.  I chose to go down to part-time hours at work because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to recover while pregnant and working full-time. I was exhausted, had uncontrollable coughing fits and had just about lost my voice.
3) Tea
Tea is really great for soothing your throat and depending on the ones you drink, they have great healing properties.  I would always add honey to my tea to help soothe and coat my throat and honey has great immune boosting properties as well.  Cinnamon is good for your throat as well.  I personally drank a lot of chamomile, echinacea and tumeric tea.
4) Vitamin C
We all know that vitamin C helps boosts the body’s immune system.  I try to take extra vitamin C while I’m sick.  While I was trying to read up on the whooping cough (I was convinced that I had it this time around) I read a blog writer that said that even though she could not get a diagnosis for whooping cough her research led her to believe that vitamin C taken in very large doses helped her and her family recover much faster.  (“9 Things You’ll Wish You Knew About Whooping Cough” by Sidetracked Sarah).
5) Nasal Rinse
A lot of people that I have talked to don’t realize that as a pregnant person, you can’t take decongestants.  If I absolutely had to use decongestants, I have to closely watch my blood pressure.  So, as an alternative, I use the neti pot as a saline rinse.  It did not clear up my sinus infection, but I am convinced that if I had not kept my sinuses as clear as I had I would have been much worse much faster.  It is difficult to get used to running water through your nose (and sometimes down the back of your throat).  Some people really don’t like it, but at least I could get some relief that way.
6) Bone Broth & Chicken Noodle Soup
Both of these dishes are soothing for the throat and are filled with nutrients for your body.  Anytime that I or my family is really sick I like to make bone broth and chicken noodle soup to help put vital nutrients back into our bodies, especially after using antibiotics.  Bone broth is known to help improve your gut health after your gut flora has been depleted.
7) Steam
Steam was one of the few ways that helped my cough, but didn’t help control it completely.  Since the house we are in currently has a bad moisture problem, I didn’t want to use our steam vaporizer like I usually do.  So I stuck to just localized steam by covering up my mouth and nose with either a scarf or a blanket.  Steamy showers are also a great expectorant.
8) Essential Oils
Since we could use all the help we could get I also tried to use essential oils to help overcome our illnesses.  Being pregnant, I have to be very careful with topical uses.  Most of the immune boosting blends warn against topical use when pregnant or if you have sensitive skin (like children).  So I like to dilute it and use the diffuser.  The group that I order from has an immune boosting blend called Armor that I like to use when we have an illness going around.

So those are the 8 alternative methods that I used since I can’t take most medications.  After several weeks we are finally starting to feel better and get back to normal.  So now I need to start wiping down the house, lysol spraying everything and washing sheets and blankets.  Oi.  I hope you won’t need to use these 8 methods for your family, but if you do, I hope they help you get some relief and get better as quickly as possible.