Watermelon & Mint "Steak" Salad

Contributed by Pre/Postnatal Health Coach, Nisha Malani

Contributed by Pre/Postnatal Health Coach, Nisha Malani

It’s safe to say we all love to eat. Pregnant or not, it’s important that sitting down at the table is an enjoyable, satisfying experience. Otherwise we leave feeling unfulfilled and find ourselves looking to snack on unhealthy comfort foods (*cough* cheese). During pregnancy, what you eat actually shapes your baby’s preferences and tastes, so it’s important to choose nutrient-dense foods. Instead of using the old adage “eating for two” as an excuse to eat twice as much, use it as a reminder to think twice about what you choose to eat.

In the final days of this heatwave we call summer, it’s good to have nutritious, satisfying, and impressive (hello, unexpected guests!) recipes on-hand. This simple yet beautifully sweet & savory recipe is an absolute stunner – for both the eyes and the palate.

Watermelon & Mint “Steak” Salad  

Serving size: 6-8 for medium-sized watermelon 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Whole Seedless Watermelon (approx. 6-8 rings once sliced with rind on)

  • ½ cup Organic Pasteurized Feta Cheese

  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Mint

  • ½ cup Diced Pistachios

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Olive Oil

Instructions (This is a dish worth presenting individually! Your guest will truly be impressed): 

  1. Slice Watermelon in 1-inch rings (keeping rind on)

  2. Sprinkle Salt & Pepper to taste

  3. Top with Diced Pistachios, roughly chopped Mint & Crumbled Feta

  4. Drizzle with Olive Oil

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Collard Green Burritos

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Contributed by FPC Instructor and Pre/Postnatal Health Coach, Carolyn Tallents

I know what you’re thinking...I can’t have margaritas and now you’re taking away my tortilla too? Just hear me out. If you’re like me and you have a weakness for Mexican food, you know it can be difficult to find a way to indulge on the regular without feeling like you’re having a burrito baby instead of a real one. However, with a few simple swaps you can make homemade burritos that not only taste good but pack a serious nutritious punch for you and your growing baby. Collard greens are high in folate which helps baby’s neural tube develop properly, black beans provide the iron necessary to fight anemia, avocado is a healthy fat that is great for hormone production, tomatoes and red peppers are high in antioxidants to help with cell repair, and brown rice contains fiber to keep your digestive track on track.

Ingredients to make 4 burritos:

  • 8 large Collard green leaves
  • 1 can Black beans
  • 1 Red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 large Tomato (or two small)
  • 2 Chicken breasts or 2 pieces of wild salmon (optional)
  • 2 cups Brown rice or 1 cup quinoa for a vegetarian option
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1 tbs Chili powder
  • 2 tbs Cumin
  • Lime

Instructions:

  1. Begin to prepare brown rice or quinoa according to their packages

  2. Soak collard green leaves in water and lemon juice (optional), dry, cut off thick stems and shave off some of the thickness of the spine to make it easier to fold

  3. Saute onion, garlic and red pepper (and chicken if you’re using it) in coconut oil or olive oil (if you’re using salmon please see notes below)

  4. Add in chili powder, cumin and stir-fry until onion and pepper have softened

  5. Add black beans

  6. Turn off heat and stir add in cooked brown rice or quinoa

To prepare each burrito, lay two collard green leaves on a flat surface end to end with their stems overlapping. Spread ¼ of an avocado in the center, lay slices of tomato down, add ¼ of the mixture from the skillet and squeeze on some lime. For a spicier version, feel free to add spicy salsa, hot sauce or sriracha and if you’re a cheese lover, sprinkle on a bit of full-fat cheddar or pepper jack.

To roll the burrito, fold one of the longer edges of the collard greens over the mixture, then fold in the shorter sides, press down so the leaves will be as tight as possible and roll until the burrito is closed.

 

 

 

FPC Mocktail of the moment

Are you sick of drinking water while you are out in the social scene?  This delicious mocktail recipe is easy enough for even the most amateur bartender to replicate!  

 

Cucumber Lime Spritzer

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Ingredients:

  • Can of club soda
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • A few slices of cucumber

Directions:

Mix and serve over ice. 

Our Top Five Neighborhood Dining Spots

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So you made it to FPC for your evening workout, now where do you go for dinner after? Don’t worry girl, we did all the research for you (with pleasure) and here are our top five picks.

Delicatessen. We recently discovered their vegan Brussels sprouts Caesar salad and now we are obsessed. They also have insane mac’n’cheese options as well as a wonderful selection of mocktails! 54 Prince Street.

Sant Ambroeus SoHo. Not going to lie but we totally come here mostly for the coolness factor. However, do you like real, quality Northern Italian food? Yes? Well, so do we! Last time we ordered the mushroom tagliatelle "Tagliatella Funghi" and a side of sautéed spinach (amazing source of iron and folic acid) and it was heaven on a plate. Reservations are highly recommended. 265 Lafayette Street. 

B&B (Burger & Barrel). We totally understand and respect that not everyone is vegetarian or vegan and if you are a carnivore we highly recommend a date night at Burger & Barrel, just a couple of short blocks from the studio. Come for a post-work class at FPC and then tell your hubby to meet you for a meal at this cozy spot after; he definitely won't mind. 25 W Houston Street

Mercer Kitchen. Great people (celebrity!) watching and Jean-Georges award winning food. 99 Prince Street. 

Antique Garage SoHo. Welcome to the Turkish food Mecca. Incredible ambiance and insanely delicious little mezzes (essentially Turkish tapas) that are ideal for sharing. Bring your best friend to class and then go here for a ladies’ night. Vegetarian and vegan friendly. 41 Mercer Street

Avocado Kale Pesto

Our recipe this week comes from our favorite pre/postnatal certified health coach, Carolyn Tallents of CLT Wellness.  If you missed her "Total Nutrition for Pregnancy" workshop last week, you'll have to use this recipe to hold you over until we get her back into the studio! 


Avocado Kale Pesto

Confession: there are few things I love more than pesto. It started when I was pregnant and I now put it on pretty much anything from noodles and zoodles to sandwiches and salads. However, like most things that taste amazing, a pre-made pesto from a packet, jar or restaurant is often filled with additives, preservatives and other weird things you can’t pronounce. And since pesto is usually heavy on the oil, your daily caloric intake can be surpassed with just one large portion.

In order to be able to eat pesto multiple times per week and still feel like I was doing my body and my baby good, I created a version that is high in healthy fats, folate and iron. The best part is you can add it to other dishes or eat it as a dip with veggies or whole grain crackers. One of my ways to eat it is to saute zoodles with cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, chickpeas and black olives and add in the avocado kale pesto. I usually add in chicken but it’s also great with salmon, tofu or quinoa for a vegetarian option.

 

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Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 1 large avocado or 2 small
  • 1 cup of fresh basil
  • 1.5 cups of kale leaves
  • ¼  cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 or 2 lemons
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • 2-3 tbs of water
  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt (optional for a more creamy texture)

Instructions:

Add the avocado, basil, kale, walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic to a food processor or blender with a pinch of salt and blend until smooth. Add in the water as needed to create the consistency you’re looking for - thicker for a dip, thinner for a sauce.

Make your Own Location Cookies

Lactation cookies are at the top of every new mom's snack list.  Whether your are breastfeeding or not, they are they are great to store for a few days in the fridge and grab when you are starving and feeding a hungry babe in the middle of the night.  Here's a simple recipe to make your own! We also like to mix and match the ingredients depending on what we have on hand.  Feel free to experiment. They are hard to mess up.  

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Lactation Support Cookies

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Cup Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Ground Flax Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Cup of Raw Coconut Flakes (optional)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Butter (softened) 
  • 1 Cup of Natural Sweetener.  We love to do 3/4 Cup Honey + 1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Organic Eggs
  • 2 Cups Dark Chocolate Chips or Cacao Nibs
  • 1 Cup Walnuts 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.  In a large bowl, mix all the wet ingredients.   Combine the dry into the wet ingredients and mix well.  Scoop out heaping spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 10-minutes, or until golden brown.  

5 Tips for "Eating for Two"

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Happy New Year everyone! I am so excited to be guest-posting on the FPC blog today. My name is Carolyn Tallents and I am a pre & postnatal nutrition counselor and personal trainer at CLT Wellness and also first-time mom to 1-year old Charlie!

Having just survived the first year of motherhood, I can completely appreciate physical and emotional roller-coaster that is pregnancy and postpartum life. There are days when you feel like a superhero and days where you’ve cried 3 times before 8am. There are days you’d do literally anything for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and other days when you can’t even stomach saltines. Making healthy choices, especially during pregnancy, can feel nearly impossible but know that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Take it one day at a time and one meal at a time, and forgive yourself. You are growing a human.

The benefits of living a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy are endless – from healthy weight gain for mom and baby, to decreasing unpleasant pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and fatigue, to lowering the risk of complications such as gestational diabetes and preterm birth. Eating a balanced, nutritious diet and staying active are the best things you can do to create a healthy lifestyle. Here are 5 simple tips to get you started:

  1. Keep it clean: focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods that are low in sugar and high in protein, fiber and healthy fats

  2. Eat half as much, twice as often: aim for 5 smaller meals per day to keep your blood sugar balanced which will help alleviate nausea, fatigue and heart burn

  3. Know what’s in your food: make sure to read ingredient lists on packaged items and try and avoid anything you can’t pronounce - especially hydrogenated oils (trans-fat), high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors

  4. Stay hydrated: aim for ½ ounce of water per pound of body weight per day (so if you weigh 150 lbs, try and drink about 75 oz of water)

  5. Get moving: Being active at least 30 minutes per day can help keep unnecessary weight gain at bay, keep your energy levels up and even help with nausea


Want to learn more?  

Sign up HERE for our Total Nutrition for Pregnancy workshop with Carolyn on Wednesday, Jan 24th from 5:30-7pm!  

Creamy Asparagus Soup with Dill

We know we aren't the only one's who love cooking and baking on a cozy snow day.  We whipped up this easy Creamy Asparagus Soup with Dill during the "Bomb Cyclone of 2018".  

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Creamy Asparagus Soup with Dill

The recipe is vegan friendly and uses rolled oats to create the creamy texture!   

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or dill 1 teaspoon dried dill 
  • 1 bunch asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water       
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup rolled oats 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat oil in a 4-quart pot.  Add onion, celery, cumin and dill and sauté until soft.  Cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces.  Add asparagus to mixture and sauté a few more minutes.  Add stock, water, bay leaf, oats and salt and pepper.  Bring to boil.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Let cool.  Transfer to a blender and puree in small batches or use an immersion blender to puree.  

Add some fresh lemon juice to taste.  Vegans can add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for flavor.  Non vegan additions include, a dollop of sour cream or parmesan cheese.  

 

Recipe adapted from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair


Did you know?  Asparagus is high in folic acid.  That makes it a great addition to any pregnancy diet.  And while we're talking nutrition, mark your calendars for our Total Nutrition for Pregnancy Workshop with Carolyn Talents from CLT Wellness coming up on Jan, 24 from 5:30-7pm!

Our Favorite Holiday Mocktails

Does the holiday fun have to stop just because you are pregnant? We think not. Here are some mocktail recipes to get you through the last few weeks of the holiday season. 

 

 SPARKLING BERRY AND POMEGRANATE MOCKTAIL from Casa De Crews

Ingredients

  • 2- 12 oz cans DASANI® Sparkling Berry, chilled
  • 4 oz. pomegranate juice, fresh
  • Cranberries, for garnish
  • Sprig of thyme, for garnish

Instructions

  1. To a highball glass, add ½ serving of DASANI® Sparkling Berry, 1 oz pomegranate juice, and 2-3 cranberries.
  2. Top with 1-2 sprigs of thyme for garnish. Will make four mocktails.
  3. Enjoy!

 

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FRENCH 75 MOCKTAIL from Always Order Dessert

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ice
  • 3 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 4 dashes lemon or orange bitters
  • 2 (6-8oz) bottles premium tonic water (such as Fever Tree or Q Tonic)
  • 2 rock candy swizzle sticks

Instructions

  1. Add fresh lemon juice and bitters to cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until frosty then divide into two champagne flutes or coupe glasses.
  2. Top off with tonic water until it reaches about 3/4 of the way up the glass.
  3. Garnish with the swizzle sticks and serve immediately.

NOTE: Can't find rock candy? Add 1 teaspoon superfine sugar along with the lemon juice and bitters in the shaker.

 

SLOW COOKER GINGERBREAD LATTE from The Rookie Cookie

Ingredients

  • 8 cups whole milk (although FPC suggest switching to plant-based milk like almond or oat)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • pinch cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 3 1/2 cups strongly brewed coffee or espresso
  • whipped cream, graham cracker crumbs, caramel sauce, and gingerbread cookies for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a large slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 3 hours or until heated through. Monitor to make sure it doesn't boil.
  3. Turn slow cooker to warm setting and cook for another 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir again right before serving and taste.
  5. Dip rims of cups in caramel sauce and then in graham cracker crumbs to create the look above (optional). Top with fresh whipped cream and caramel syrup if desired. For extra fun, top with gingerbread cookies.
  6. Enjoy!
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