Sunday, September 30, 2012

Baby Night Night Giveaway

This first maternity leave giveaway is from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Baby Night Night.  The winner will receive their choice of one ruffle onesie or one tie onesie, size/color of their choice, complements of Tricia.

Boy Tie Onesie Grey Houndstooth CONVO ME for SIZES
Ruffle Oneise Grey onesie 3 mo up to 18 mo READY TO SHIPYellow ruffle onesie

How cute are these?

By the way she also makes these:
Ruffle bottom Bloomers in Dark Pink  READY TO SHIP convo me for sizes

Not sure if the chubby little legs come with them or not..... doesn't hurt to ask!

To enter the giveaway please post a comment with 1) your email address AND 2) one short & sweet piece of new mommy advice.  Winner will be chosen randomly!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Eat 8020 Maternity Leave

If you are reading this, our little lovey has entered the world.

I am actually listening to my homegirls when they say that the next few weeks will be all-consuming in things baby.  Therefore I am not getting my expectations up for being able to cook and blog as often as I typically do.


There will be weekly giveaways!!


Some posts with links to some of my all-time favorite recipes that you may have missed!

I love my followers and I thank you for sticking with me as I spend some time with my new babe!

Stay tuned........

Monday, September 24, 2012

80(ish)--- Apple Chicken Quesadillas with Arugula

I saw this on a restaurant menu once and I was intrigued, but didn't order it.  And then of course I was obsessing about how I should have ordered it.  I have never used brie in a quesadilla before-- it was amazing.  I do not typically go for "light" cheeses because they usually lack in flavor and do not melt well.  But I tried a light brie with these and it was spectacular-- no difference that I could tell.

Apples are in season, and therefore, they have a really high nutrient value (especially if you can find them locally). Don't forget about the skin!  That's where many of the nutrients and the majority of the fiber is.

Apple Chicken Quesadillas with Arugula
Serves 2

2 - 8" flour tortillas (bonus points for wheat)
3 oz light brie cheese, cut into thin slices (I kept the rind on)
1/2 Granny Smith apple, sliced thin
3 oz shredded chicken breast (use leftovers!)
1 cup baby arugula leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Place one tortilla in skillet then layer 1/2 with ~1 oz cheese, apple slices, chicken, and arugula.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Top with additional ~1/2 oz cheese and fold remaining tortilla half over ingredients.  Allow to cook until bottom tortilla is crisp, ~ 3 minutes, then flip over.  Repeat cooking until bottom tortilla is crisp and cheese is melted.

Remove from heat and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before slicing into wedges and serving.

Nutrition Info per 1 quesadilla: 258 calories, 9 g fat, 22 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber

Friday, September 21, 2012

80--- Quick and Green Veggie Curry

I hear spicy food is supposed to induce labor, and right now I wouldn't be opposed.  We shall see!

This quick curry will get in every single serving of veggies for your day.  Add some chicken, pork, shrimp, or tofu if you wish!

Quick and Green Veggie Curry
Serves 4-5

2 tsp sesame oil
1 small white onion, sliced into 1/2" strips
1 1/2 cups carrot coins
1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1" strips
1 medium zucchini, sliced into rounds (or chunks)
2 cups chopped asparagus spears
1 cup baby corn (from a can, drained and rinsed)
4 oz green curry paste of your choice
14 oz canned lite coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Dash red pepper flakes
2 cups cooked short grain rice (per package instructions)
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro

In a wok heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onions and red pepper and saute until slightly softened, ~ 5 minutes.  Add curry paste and coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Add zucchini, asparagus, and baby corn, then season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for ~ 4 minutes, until vegetables soften and sauce thickens.

Serve over sticky (short grain) rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Nutrition Info per 1 serving: 290 calories, 9 g fat, 5.5 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

20(ish)--- Pumpkin Oatmeal Whoopie Pies with Chai Cream Cheese Filling

It's that time of year when I go to a coffee shop and have a serious debate, "Skinny decaf pumpkin spice latte or a chai tea?".  This cookie combo gives you the best of both worlds.  

These get the little "ish" disclaimer because I substituted out a little fat for some pumpkin and added some healthy walnuts, then reduced the sugar content.  Still a 20, but they could be worse.  Yes, I do make the rules around here. 

PS: I'm going to go ahead and give myself a little pat on the back for, at 38 weeks pregnant, making something that requires more than two steps and four ingredients.  And it was totally worth it.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Whoopie Pies with Chai Cream Cheese Filling
Makes 12 

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

3 oz light cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp butter, softened
3 Tbsp milk
1 black tea bag
1 2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Use a mixer to whip together pumpkin, butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.  When combined add in maple syrup, vanilla, and eggs.  Mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine oats, baking soda, flour, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.  Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix well.  Fold in chopped walnuts.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Spoon 2 Tbsp batter into mounds on sheets, separating each by  ~1 1/2".  Bake one sheet at a time, on the lower rack, for ~10 minutes or until cookies are set and slightly brown around edges.  Remove from oven and allow to cool ~3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.


Heat milk in a mug in the microwave for ~30 seconds.  Add black tea bag and allow to seep for 5 minutes.  Remove bag (squeeze into milk to remove liquid) and add milk to a medium mixing bowl.  

Add cream cheese, softened butter, and spices to bowl.  Use a mixer to beat until smooth.  Add powdered sugar, 2/3 cup at a time, and continue to beat until consistency is smooth.

Place filling in a plastic bag and seal.  Cut off 1/2" wide corner of the bag (to form a piping bag).


Make sure that cookies have cooled completely before filling.  Squeeze ~2 Tbsp filling onto the bottom side of a cookie, then sandwich another cookie onto filling.  Repeat until all cookies are used. 

Refrigerate cookies (covered) for at least 15 minutes prior to serving.  Store cookies in refrigerator.

Monday, September 17, 2012

80--- Roasted Dilly Green Beans

I have a hunch where my dislike of green beans originated.  I think it was in elementary school when we were served canned, heated green beans.  They took on a drab olive green color and were always overly mushy and tasted like plaster.  Yep, that's probably where it started.

Now that I have a wee one on the way I am following the advice that I often give to patients and clients with children: Be a model.  If I expect my babe to eat green beans, I must find a way to tolerate them.

This is the way.

Roasting any vegetable will bring out the sweetness.  And they don't get mushy.

Roasted Dilly Green Beans
Serves 4-5

4 cups fresh green beans, washed and ends trimmed
Olive oil spray
1 1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 420 degrees.  Lay green beans on a baking sheet and spray generously with olive oil spray.  Sprinkle beans with dill, salt and pepper and toss beans to coat. 

Place beans into the oven on the lower rack and cook for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.

Serve warm!

Nutrition Info per ~1 cup: 61 calories, 1.5 g fat, 2 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber

Friday, September 14, 2012

80--- Curried Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup

Is it too early in the season to eat pumpkin? Nah.  The stores are already filled with Halloween garb.

This vegetarian soup is high in fiber and antioxidants.  The pumpkin adds a creaminess that leads you to believe that you are eating something much more highly caloric than you really are.  I love mind games.

Curried Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup
Serves ~ 8

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
32 oz canned pumpkin puree
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp yellow curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup milk (optional for extra creaminess)

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat.  Add onions and saute until tender, ~ 8 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and heat to a boil, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for ~ 15 minutes.

Serve garnished with chopped chives.

Nutrition Info per ~1 1/2 cups: 146 calories, 2.4 g fat, 9 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 7.5 g fiber

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

80--- Tomatillo Chili Bisque

A nice creamy bisque with all of the flavors of a fantastic tomatillo chili.

Tomatillo Chili Bisque
Serves ~6

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed and minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
7 oz canned green chiles
1 can low sodium canned diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
2 lb fresh tomatillos, husked and chopped
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves.
2 cups light sour cream

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat.  Add garlic and chopped onions and saute until fragrant, ~5 minutes.  Add green chiles, tomatoes, spices, and tomatillos.  Continue to saute ~ 5 minutes.  Add vegetable broth, beans and cilantro and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes, until all vegetables are very soft.  Use an immersion blender to puree all ingredients (alternately, you can transfer amounts of ingredients into a blender and puree).  Whisk in sour cream.  Allow to heat through over low heat, ~ 5 minutes, then serve.

Garnish with roasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds).

Nutrition Info per 1 1/2 cups:  319 calories, 9 g fat, 16 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 9.5 g fiber

Monday, September 10, 2012

Frozen Meals
This is what I am doing today.  I am heeding my friends' advice and not planning on doing much cooking in the first few weeks after our little babe arrives.  (What will happen to Eighty Twenty? You will see! -- Hint: GIVEAWAYS).  So this weekend I am making and freezing a few new soups (stay tuned this week) and a few other meals that I can store in the freezer and pull out at a moment's notice.

Here's a few ideas from my 80s that you too can make ahead of time, freeze, and have instant, healthful, preservative-free meals.

Frozen Burritos (make a double batch- you will be happy that you did!)

Friday, September 7, 2012

20--- Chocolate Russian Cream

Russian Cream may be Eighty Twenty's most famous recipe.  I'm kind of bummed that it's a 20 and not an 80.


Let's make it chocolate flavored.

Chocolate Russian Cream
Serves 8

1 cup sugar
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup water
2 cups whipping cream
3 cups sour cream
4 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
10 chocolate wafer cookies (I like the Famous brand), crushed
Whipped cream (if desired)

In a medium saucepan, blend sugar and gelatin, then stir in water.  Let stand for 5 minutes, then heat to a low boil, stirring constantly.

Remove pan from heat, then whisk in whipping cream and chocolate.  Add sour cream to a large spouted mixing bowl, then whisk in chocolate mixture until smooth.

Pour mixture into 8 oz ramekins or serving glasses (3/4 full).  Place in refrigerator for 3 hours or up to overnight until solid.

Just prior to serving, sprinkle each Russian Cream with chocolate cookie crumbs then top with whipped cream, if desired.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

80--- The Greener Waldorf Salad

There's something about a waldorf salad that says "fall is here"!  Maybe it's the apples and the walnuts from the harvest.

A typical waldorf salad is creamy, and loaded with mayonnaise.  And there's often not a green in sight (unless you count the celery). 

This lightened up version makes a lovely side dish to any fall meal.  Roasting the fruits brings out even more sweetness.

The Greener Waldorf Salad
Serves 4

4 cups mixed greens
1 cup red seedless grapes
1 apple (I used a nice firm Fuji), cored and sliced into 1/2" slices
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp minced onion (dried)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss sliced apples, walnuts, and grapes in a bowl with lemon juice and olive oil.  Spread mixture evenly onto a baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.  Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.

When apple mixture is at room temperature, toss mixture with salad greens, feta cheese, and dressing.

Nutrition Info per 1 serving: 219 calories, 16 g fat (6 g monounsaturated, 6.5 g polyunsaturated), 5 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber

Monday, September 3, 2012

80(ish)--- Green Julius

In this last month of my pregnancy I am kind of sick of food.  I'm hungry but nothing really sounds good and I'm tired of thinking of healthy food to put into my body.  And no, not even junk food sounds appetizing.  It seems like I am traveling back in time in my pregnancy (isn't this supposed to happen in the first trimester?)...........Enter smoothies.

Your typical orange julius smoothie may be a refreshing treat, but not so nutritious.  Add some greens and chia seeds and it is quite an improvement!

Green Julius
Makes two 8 oz smoothies

1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 frozen banana (~1 cup sliced frozen bananas)
1 cup baby spinach leaves (or kale)
1 tsp chia seeds

Mix all ingredients in a blender until pureed.  Add additional almond milk to adjust for consistency if needed.

Nutrition Info per 1 smoothie:  257 calories, 3.5 g fat, 6 g protein, 51 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber

Saturday, September 1, 2012

20(ish)--- Black Bean Berry Brownies

Black beans are a great way to lighten up your traditional brownie recipe, and add some fiber!  And then you top with berries? Perfect and almost healthful. 

These brownies have a fantastic texture.  The combination of fudgey and cakey is perfect!  PS: Tell your kids that these are made with black beans!! I'm not into that secretive thing.  When they enjoy these brownies with black beans then maybe, just maybe, they will try black beans on their own!

Black Bean Berry Brownies
Serves 12

1 1/2 -15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 oz dark chocolate (chips or squares), melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large food processor, combine black beans and oil until a smooth puree is formed.  Add eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and melted chocolate and mix thoroughly.  While mixing add flour and baking powder and combine until just mixed.

Spray a 9x12" baking dish with baking spray.  Pour in batter. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and top evenly with raspberries.  Return to the oven to bake for an additional 20 minutes.  Remove from oven when center of brownies set (test with a toothpick).  Be careful to not overcook.  The center should be slightly moist.

Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes prior to cutting and serving.