Monday, October 8, 2018

Weeknight Taco Pizza

#TacoTuesday is a recurring theme dinner in our house. I mean, who doesn’t love tacos, right? They’re super easy to make, can easily be switched up with different fillings and toppings, and require zero utensils, meaning there’s fewer dishes to clean! 🙂 Plus, it’s reallllllly hard to mess them up. Let’s just say, I’ve never met a taco that I didn’t love!

Tacos (and taco salads and taco skillets) are definitely some of our favorite go-to foods for busy nights when we want something easy and filling – along with homemade pizza! In fact, just the other day, Mal and I were debating over what to make for dinner – he was Team Pizza, I was Team Tacos! Quinn was happily playing with Magna-Tiles and totally uninterested in the outcome, and Murphy had no opinion as long as some sort of food had the potential of being dropped on the floor during dinner.

Well, they say marriage is all about compromise, so we compromised! 🙂
I had all the ingredients on hand for tacos since I knew we would probably be making them at some point during the week – ground beef, shredded cheddar, salsa (I used one with black beans and corn for extra fiber and staying power), and taco seasoning. Plus, we almost always have pizza crust in the freezer ready to go.

So this is basically what dinner prep looked like:

  • Step 1: Cook ground beef
  • Step 2: Throw all ingredients on top of pizza crust
  • Step 3: Bake for 10 minutes

Literally, it was a super delicious meal with minimal prep and clean-up. Plus, it’s packed with a TON of flavor (seriously, why does taco seasoning make everything taste better?!), and it was gobbled up so fast. Mal was lucky enough to get the leftover the next day, and he said they were even better reheated!

I seriously love it when recipes are easy and delicious like this one. Taco Pizza is definitely going to be your go-to the next time you need an easy and yummy main dish – or even quickie appetizer for game day or happy hour! And, hey, the next time you have two cravings at once? Two words: Taco Pizza! I hope you love this recipe as much as our family does!

 

 

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Weeknight Taco Pizza

Ingredients

10-inch pizza crust of choice

3/4 cup salsa with black beans and corn

3/4 cup lean ground beef

1/2 tbsp taco seasoning

3/4 cup shredded cheddar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cook ground beef in a large skillet; breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once ground beef is fully cooked, combine it with salsa and taco seasoning (either in the pan or separate bowl). Spread beef mixture on top of the pizza crust and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until cheesy is fully melted and lightly browned. Slice into 6 pieces and serve immediately!

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What My Toddler Eats In A Day…

Feeding my daughter Harley real organic food has been one of my highlights as a Mom. From the very start, I had so much fun introducing as many vegetables as possible to Harley and to teach her about where her food comes from. We started a large vegetable garden when she was first born and now picking the vegetables is one of her favorite activities. We love to visit farms in the spring and fall to pick fresh produce and see farm animals. She definitely takes after my Mother and my husband – who both love to garden! And the obsession is serious – she bangs on the front windows of our home screaming to go outside and “pick matos!” from the large above ground wooden planters we have. Mato is her name for tomato at the moment 🙂 

I exclusively breastfed Harley for 6.5 months before introducing solid food (and still breastfeeding as she turns 21 months). Avocado was her first food and I continued with various vegetables before I exhausted the options and then introduced all the fruits, some meats, eggs, oats and quinoa. At the moment, she does not tolerate dairy too well but loves almond butter – so I plan to make her fresh almond milk one day soon. 

Here’s what a typical day in the life looks like in terms of what Harley eats. Please note – she doesn’t always finish her plate, but this is what she starts with and what I offer her. Also – I usually serve the meal in courses, unless we are in a hurry to get somewhere or running late. And keep in mind, she still breastfeeds first thing in the morning, several times throughout the day, and before bed. I serve all of her meals with water.

Breakfast is always what we are eating, plus a few of her favorites. I love making steel cut oats in a crockpot overnight on low so it’s ready to roll first thing in the morning. She loves them and I love them.

We always pair it with some ground flaxseeds, cinnamon and fruit – her favorite is pomegranate seeds and blueberries. For her egg muffins, I follow this recipe but leave out the cheese. I also bake them in mini silicone cups (which prevents sticking and makes them easy to store in the freezer). I thaw them out in our toaster oven at 300 degrees for 6 minutes.

Pictured: Steal cut oats with pomegranate seeds, 1/4 of a banana, and an egg muffin made with red peppers and onions.

Snack #1 is usually left over breakfast. A lot of days, Harley is so full from nursing first thing in the morning, she will just eat a little of her breakfast. Instead of throwing away her food, we’ll offer it to her again as a snack and then usually thaw out one buckwheat pancake – I make a bunch and freeze them separated by parchment paper. I use this store-bought mix, but add an extra egg and add one mashed banana to the mixture instead of honey. 

Lunch on this day was one steamed vegetable, some type of bean and her favorite pasta and some fruit. If she is still hungry, she’ll dig out of my salad bowl till she’s satisfied (I almost always have a salad for lunch these days, or I’ll offer her some avocado or almond butter (she eats it by the spoonful!) 

Pictured: Steamed yellow squash and lima beans with grass-fed butter, and Tolerant elbow macaroni with Yellow Barn pasta sauce, and a side of grapes.

Snack 2# happens after she wakes up from her nap. She likes to nurse and then have a mini zucchini muffin plus some fruit (watermelon balls are the current favorite). Harley also started eating rice crackers recently, and likes to dip those in almond butter. She loves organic dried fruit like goji berries and golden berries and will ask for most snacks by name and knows what she wants!

For Dinner we always almost eat the exact same meal as Harley. On this day, I made wild salmon, quinoa, sautéed purple cabbage and sautéed kale in olive oil and she had some frozen peas, raspberries and pomegranate seeds for dessert.

Pictured: Wild salmon, quinoa, kale and purple cabbage

Here are some of the feeding tools I love:

What does your toddler eat?

I’d love to know! Please share a typical day in the comments below, not only am I always looking for more ideas, I know other parents would love to see what you do as well!

Xo,

Vani 

 

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Nesting + Resting

Friday night date night at Mas! We’re trying to fit in “one last visit” to all of our favorite dining spots. I said on Friday night I just wanted some “damn good food” and so Mas Tapas it was. We sat at the bar so we could chat with Thomas’s SIL who works there. The smoked tomatoes with gray salt….the giant shrimp with garlic aioli – everything is sooooo good!

So about last week…. You know you’re in nesting mode when you……vacuum out the freezer!!

Here are some of the things I did last week in preparation for baby’s arrival:

VIDEOS

  • Wrapped up all of my client-related blog projects for the YEAR! (Except anything new that might come in…) I’ve been working ahead all summer in order to have everything created, approved, and scheduled for the fall (much easier said than done :mrgreen: )  Stay tuned for some fun recipes and posts!
  • Got my car inspected, tires rotated, inside vacuumed, and oil changed
  • Cleaned the rest of the car myself (consoles, seats, etc)
  • Installed the car seat (the Mesa was a breeze to install! Already love it.)
  • Cleaned and organized the main fridge and freezer
  • Cleaned and organized the downstairs spare fridge (which mostly stores party libations)
  • Finished organizing the pantry, including labeling and sorting all of our spices (something I haven’t done in years) and moved our supplements from the pantry to the old spice cabinet.
  • Absentee voted!!
  • Got a prenatal massage, went to chiropractic appt and had my 37 week OB appointment…
  • …which included getting a flu shot
  • Took maternity photos with Cramer Photo <3 <3
  • Had the heating and air service people do our fall tune-up
  • Decorated the front porch for fall
  • Took Mazen to Target and stocked up on household goods (and bought a new shower curtain 🙂 )
  • Baked an apple crisp

When I wasn’t nesting, I was resting. Gussie didn’t eat his food one day, which was totally odd, and then he was extra snuggly on me, so I thought maybe labor was coming soon, but alas it was not.

LOVE the new pantry!! All these jars were shoved in the back of our upper kitchen cabinet for the longest time. Now I can actually see them all at once.

{Spice jars // Chalk labels}

This downstairs fridge looked like a fraternity before I got to it. Now she sparkles! My latest Winc shipment is ready for a party.

Every vote counts. Absentee voting took all of 5 minutes.

I’ve had a white tufted shower curtain in our main floor bathroo for ages, but something told me to bring in some color. I think it was the Target whisperers that haunt us while we shop. I just loved the texture and muted colors of this one, and it was on sale. Loving the color it adds to the bathroom! The rug is Nate Berkus for Target that I’ve had for a while. Much cuter than a boring old bath mat.

On the food front, I made an apple crisp! I asked Instagram for recs and got a ton of recipe options. I wanted something on the small side that was super simple, so I ended up trying Tina’s mom’s recipe. I tweaked it with 1/2 a cup of rolled oats and 1/2 a cup of regular flour, 4 apples, and only 2/3 a stick of butter because that’s all I had. It was delish!! Thomas said it needed “more crisp and less apples” – lol! Yes, 100% crisp would be pretty yummy!

I had it for breakfast the next day topped with a big scoop of greek yogurt : )

Lunches have been random this week – tuna salad with chips and grapes, leftover soup, and salads packed with all the leftovers.

The dinner highlight of the week was the Crockpot Queso Chicken Chili from Pinch of Yum!

He looks enthusiastic, but he would not eat it. I made him a quesadilla with the soup ingredients instead.

I had some regular, strong, period-like Braxton Hicks contractions on Friday night that seemed to be coming every 7-8 minutes for an hour while we watched This Is Us on the couch. Usually I get them when I move – change position, get up, sit down, go to the bathroom, etc. but these were coming while I was seated and still. They had me getting my hopes up that something might be starting, but alas, they faded away when I went up to bed.

Crazy Braxton Hicks shape:

I am officially in low power mode. 38 weeks today! I have some fun posts coming this week, and after that I’m going to live blog sporadically if baby is not here yet. I’m trying to savor these last few days (weeks?) of being pregnant and get my mind in as calm of a state as possible. I’ve stopped going to the gym (for the most part) and am focusing on yoga, walking, and other calming activities. I don’t want my body think I’m being chased by a dragon in intense workout classes anymore! I actually kind of feel like a senior in college who just finished her last exam. Remember that feeling of having all the time ahead of you? Baby, we are ready for you when you are <3



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