What I Ate Wednesday #6 (February 29, 2012)

Hi there, can you believe it’s already Wednesday? Or that tomorrow is March 1 (where is time going)? Or that the high for today is 60 degrees (in Pittsburgh, at least)? It’s so odd…. annnd I guess I’ll stop asking questions now.

So today is the last day of February and also the last day to celebrate/take part in “Love Your Veggies Month” over at Peas and Crayons for WIAW. To end the month with a bang, I made sure to eat some delicious veggie-inspired meals yesterday. I am also pretty excited for next month’s theme….

Breakfast – 5:30 am

For breakfast yesterday, I had some Bob’s Red Mill 8 Grain Hot Cereal that I made by combining the following in a saucepan and cooking for about 5 minutes:

  • 1/4 c cereal (1 serving)
  • 1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 small banana (mixed in)
  • 1 tbsp ground flax (mixed in at end)

Toppings:

  • 1/2 small banana, chopped
  • small handful golden raisins
  • 1 chopped dried apricot
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts (toasted by microwaving for 2 minutes)

I really like switching up my breakfast grains from time to time, and I love the texture of this cereal (it is more chewy and more “oat bran-esque” than oatmeal). It was a nice change from my normal bowl of oatmeal that I tend to eat in the morning. I also especially liked the addition of the toasted walnuts  (I need to remember to top oatmeal/hot cereal with toasted walnuts more often…).

Snack – 9:00 am

As my mid-morning snack, I had a random trail mix concoction I made that contained:

  • walnuts
  • almonds
  • chopped dried apricots
  • golden raisins
  • dried mango
  • Kashi Heart to Heart cereal

Lunch – 12:30 pm

 My breakfast and snack did a great job of keeping me full for quite a while, and I was able to hold off on lunch until 12:30 (I usually am very ready to eat by 12).For lunch I had a big veggie-packed salad (a great way to squeeze in a lot of vegetable servings!) that contained:

  •  spinach
  • carrots
  • cucumber
  • peas
  • beets (from a can – I never really buy beets but I saw them at the store this week and impulsively bought a can. I used to eat these all the time when I was younger, so they always oddly remind me of my childhood…)
  • chickpeas (approx 1/2 cup)
  • quinoa (approx 1/2 cup)

Dressing: Drew’s Goddess Dressing (I forgot how much I love Goddess dressing…)

I also enjoyed a new to me orange with my lunch: a minnelo. It was so sweet and and so delicious. I may need to start replacing my daily lunch apple with an orange….

Snack: 4:00 pm


I was still busy at work around 4 pm, so I snacked on a Fugi apple and a small handful of Kashi crackers as I worked and finished things up.

Dinner: 5:30 pm

I did my best to make this look appetizing...I think I failed

I had plans to go to the gym at 6:30 yesterday (for a BodyAttack class!), so I had a lighter dinner before I left to fuel me through the class. I had a Boca veggie burger on a piece of toast with some steamed stir fry veggies (a frozen mixture I recently bought) on the side.

One of my favorite ways to prepare frozen veggies is to microwave (aka steam) a small serving for 1-2 minutes (to get them warm), and then stir fry them in a medium-high skillet for 2-3 minutes. This browns the veggies a little and makes them more crunchy and “fresh” tasting rather than mushy and bland as they can sometimes get – which is never fun or tasty. I also like to add fun seasonings to them to spruce them up.

I decided to go with an “Asian theme” for my dinner last night, so I added some ground ginger and gomasio (a seasoned sesame seed) to my veggies. To make my Boca burger fit the “theme,” I used some Trader Joe’s Oriental Sesame dressing as the condiment for my toast and added some romaine, cucumber and gomasio as my burger toppings.

This was such a simple dinner to make and came together in less than 10 minutes. I wasn’t expecting much out of it, but it ended up being a pretty good meal. I especially liked the kick that the ground ginger gave to the veggies and how the TJ’s dressing absorbed into the Boca burger and toast, making everything rather delicious. I love when simple meals happen to taste amazing…

Dessert/Snack – 9:30 pm

To end my day on a sweeter note, I had a container of applesauce with a small handful of raisins and Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal sprinkled on top. I never eat applesauce, but for some reason it sounded appealing last night. I am glad that I had a few containers in my fridge that I haven’t touched in months, because this ended up being quite a delicious and refreshing snack…

I ate this as I read up on some Bio notes and attempted to watch the Biggest Loser (I have issues watching it these days due to the blatant/obvious advertising that seems to happen every 3 minutes on the show… does this bother anyone else?).

Annd that concludes my meals/snacks from yesterday. Now I’m off to check out the delicious things that everybody else has been eating this week! Have a great day everyone.

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Best thing I packed this week (February 17, 2012)

Hi everyone, Happy Friday!

I am pretty excited because I have the day off of work today! I still have chem lecture + lab from 5-10 tonight, but I refuse to let that dampen my day. It’s so nice to have the morning/afternoon free! What should I do with myself? I’m not used to this freedom…..

Anyway, moving on…. Since it is Friday, I have another installment of “the best thing I packed this week.” I hope you guys are fans of eggs because my favorite meals revolved around them this week. For some reason I was craving egg salad last weekend (which is odd because I rarely crave eggs), so I decided to do something about it. I buckled down, decided to be my domestic self, and I made some hard-boiled eggs (I had no idea what I was doing and had to look up directions... it ended up being really easy, by the way).

Me and eggs have a weird relationship. I either love them or hate them (and there is no in between). I was definitely on the “love” side of the spectrum this week so I just went with it and had some egg-inspired meals….

The best thing I packed this week: Hard-boiled egg edition:

Best Lunch: “Cobb”-esque Salad

For lunch on Monday, I made myself a “Cobb-esque” salad (I am calling it that since it contained no bacon, chicken, or tomatoes like a typical cobb salad, but did have the egg and cheese components…). My salad contained:

  • romaine lettuce
  • carrots
  • cucumber
  • celery
  • mushrooms
  • snap peas
  • a slice of cheddar cheese (cut into squares)
  • 1 chopped hard-boiled egg
  • Dressing: homemade honey mustard dressing made with apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey and pepper

I loved all the different textures and tastes in this salad and the cheddar cheese was a fun addition (I have a similar relationship with cheese as I do with eggs…. love it or hate it). I guess I am in a dairy loving mood this week?

I think I was inspired to make this after seeing a Cobb salad on Pinterest the other week… I have been loving getting food inspiration from the site (side note…. I really want to try to make these apple pies in an apple…).

Best Dinner: Healthy Egg Salad Sandwich

Keeping with the egg theme, my favorite pre-class packed dinner this week was a egg salad wrap that I had on Wednesday night. I made the egg salad by combining (enough for 2 sandwiches):

  • 3 eggs (chopped)
  • 1-2 tbsp greek yogurt (I just eyeballed this)
  • a squirt of dijon mustard (maybe 2 tsp?)
  • pepper
  • a sprinkle of paprika

I made my wrap by combining half the egg salad mixture with some romaine lettuce.

This ended up being so good and definitely satisfied my egg salad craving. Not only was it a protein packed wrap with the addition of both eggs and greek yogurt, it was also a bit healthier than the standard mayo-heavy egg salad you would find in most deli’s or supermarkets.

I was a little nervous to use greek yogurt  as a mayo replacement (I usually use it as a sour cream replacement), but it turned out really well! This tasted  spot on to the mayo-heavy egg salad I remember eating as a child, only this version was so much less dense and calorie heavy! I know some people are against using greek yogurt as a substitute for other condiments, but I am a big fan. It’s just so versatile.

Other notable meals/snacks of the week:

Tofu sandwich with Trader Joe's Lentil Masala dip, cucumber and spinach

Snack of cottage cheese and pumpkin topped with craisins, raisins and a sprinkle of cinnamon and raw oats

 What was the best thing you packed this week?

Have a great weekend!

WIAW #3 (February 8, 2012)

Good morning! Can you believe its already Wednesday! This week is going by quickly…. and I am not complaining.

So today is a rather busy day for me  between work, class and lab (I have my first Bio test today ahhhh), but I am going to try to remain as positive as possible. I am feeling a bit sleepy at the moment (never a good sign…) but its nothing that a grande Starbucks coffee can’t fix. Does anyone else ever feel like they are on crack when they drink it (or what I assume crack would feel like)? It makes me so productive/talkative….

Anyway, since it is Wednesday, it  is time, once again, for another installment of WIAW! These are all my meals/snacks  from Tuesday, and since I had the day off from work yesterday (which was SO nice!), my activities were a bit more varied and you may see more photos that were taken other places than my office….

Pre-workout snack: 5:45 am

I planned to take a 6 am BodyPump class yesterday (to incorporate more strength training into my life), so I got up at 5:30ish, ate half a banana with some peanut butter and headed to the gym only to find out the class was cancelled! I was a little disappointed, but I did stick with my weight training goal of the month and did 20 minutes on the elliptical (2 miles) and 35 minutes of strength work + abs (!) that looked like this ( I did each move for 15-20 reps and repeated the sequence 3x):

  • Bicep curls (10lbs, 15 reps)
  • Lateral Raise + shoulder press (10 lbs, 15 reps)
  • Chest press (12 lbs dumbbells, 20 reps)
  • Back rows (12 lbs, 20 reps)
  • Tricep extensions (12 lbs each side, 20 reps)
  • Lunges + lift (15 each side – 1st set), squats (30) + alternating lunges (15 each leg – 2nd set) alternating lunges ( 15 each leg – 3rd set)

Abs: random moves for 5 minutes that included bicycles, reverse crunches, a plank, crunch pulses…. I always just try to stay moving for about 5 minutes

I won’t lie, I was pretty pleased with myself for sticking with the weights. I usually struggle to do 3 consecutive sets (which is why I love BodyPump for pushing me past my usual stopping point) but I pushed through and stuck with it. It felt SO good to have my workout completed by 7:00 am.

Breakfast: 8:00 am

I have been loving yogurt these days so I decided to have a yogurt bowl with some “fun” things added in for breakfast. I had:

  • 1/2 c greek yogurt sweetened with a squirt of honey
  • 1/3 (?) c pumpkin
  • 1/3 c oats
  • 1/2 banana
  • almond butter (1/2-1 tbsp)
  • raisins
  • cinnamon

I am still loving pumpkin and don’t see it ending anytime soon….

Snack(?) 11 am

I went to a baby shower for an old boss and picked at a few different things while I was there. I didn’t take any photos since I didn’t feel comfortable taking photos in the big group (maybe one day….?).

I had:

  • 4-5 bites of chocolate cake (butter and egg-less…. my friend/former co-worker Maggie’s go-to cake recipe)
  • a small scoop of quinoa salad (made with quinoa  and chopped raw veggies)
  • fruit salad
  • a bite of a cake pop… it was too cute not to try

Lunch 1:30 pm

After the shower I headed to the library to study for my Bio test. I packed myself   an “Asian-themed” wrap to eat while I studied. It contained:

  • edamame
  • veggies: spinach, cucumber, mushrooms
  • sesame seeds
  • a little teriakyi sauce.

I also had some carrot sticks and apple on the side.

The wrap was a little overstuffed (I always do this! I need wrap folding help…) so I ended up eating the insides out with a fork and then eating the wrap by itself afterwards (which ended up being pretty good since it soaked up the teriakyi sauce.)

Dinner 5:30

For dinner I tried a new to me veggie protein, TVP (Textured Vegetarian Protein)!  While I try to limit my intake of soy proteins to a couple times a week and don’t like rely on it too much, I do love eating tofu and tempeh from time to time and am always up to trying new things. I have heard of TVP before, but I never really had the urge to try it until I stumbled upon a recipe for BBQ TVP the other day. When I was at the store yesterday and saw it in the bulk bins, I figured it must be fate, and I might as well give it a try. Now or never, right?

Please excuse the unattractive photo. I had issues making this look appetizing... annnd my BBQ sauce exploded out of the container

I followed the recipe exactly, only adding some additional s+p and chili powder to the spice mix. I served it on top of some quinoa and had some sautéed kale (I love sautéed kale) on the side as well.

While it wasn’t bad, I found it to be a little bland… I think I maybe used too much liquid? I was unsure of how much I would like the texture (I usually don’t like “meaty” soy proteins), but it definitely grew on me as I ate it.  I am not going to say I am a huge fan, but I am not giving up on it quite yet. I loved the BBQ idea and it was really easy to make, so maybe I need to try again….Anyone  have some tips for me?

Dessert: 7:3o pm

I was really craving chocolate after dinner yesterday so I warmed a Chocolote Brownie ZBar for 30 seconds in the microwave, added a little almond milk, and ate it out of a mug… It didn’t look too appetizing so I’ll spare you and show you a picture of the wrapper. It ended up being delicious and exactly what I wanted. I love it when that happens.

So there you have it. I feel like my day was rather random yesterday, but I guess that’s what happens when you have a random Tuesday off….

Have a great day everyone!

Lentil Quinoa Soup

Hi! I hope you are having a lovely day so far!

So meant to share a recipe/delicious meal I had with you last week, but somehow I forgot about it until now. I figure there is no time like the present, so I might as well share it with you now….

The thing is, I didn’t make this recipe. It was homemade, but I only took part in the eating of it. You see, my sister and her boyfriend tend to hang out/make dinner together about once a week and sometimes they invite me to join them. While I know I probably shouldn’t intrude on their weekly dinners, you can’t blame me.  Jared is a good cook and they are always making delicious food. Who am I to refuse a good meal? (thanks guys!)

Anyway, so far I have been lucky enough to be the third wheel and join in on the following meals:

1. Grilled ahi tuna with veggie spring rolls and Asian rice noodles

2. Homemade vegetable lasagna with spicy marinara sauce

3. Lentil Quinoa Soup

They made this lentil quinoa soup a couple of weeks ago, and it was so good (so good I felt the need to share)! It was slightly spicy and had so much flavor. I asked where they found the recipe, and it is actually  in the latest edition of Natural Health Magazine. The recipe is featured in an article called “Soup Rx.” After reading the article, I am pretty sure I want to make/eat every one:

  • Roasted Red Pepper Beet
  • Kidney Bean Curry
  • Butternut Apple Honey
  • Chipotle Cinnamon Pumpkin
  • Corn with Basil Oil…

How delicious do all of those sound? I had never even heard of Natural Health Magazine, but, I must say, they seem to know what they are doing.

I thought I’d share the recipe for the Lentil Quinoa soup in case anyone was interested.  While I can’t say much about how the preparation of the soup went… according to my sister, Sami, it was very easy to pull together.I definitely recommend you try it out. It doesn’t require any crazy ingredients and the final product is so good!

Lentil Quinoa Soup

(from Natural Health Magazine)

Ingredients:

1 diced yellow onion

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp minced ginger

2 minced garlic cloves

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp salt

5 c low sodium vegetable broth

3/4 dried red lentils

1 tsp dried thyme

29 oz can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes

2 c chopped carrots

3/4 c cooked quinoa

3/4 c unsalted cashews

juice of 1/2 a lemon

  • Heat olive oil in medium-high skillet, add onion; cook for 4 min
  • Add cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, cayenne, cloves, and salt; heat 1 min
  • Add vegetable broth, lentils, thyme, fire-roasted tomatoes, and carrots; simmer 20 minutes
  • Stir in quinoa, cashews,and  lemon

Do you ever “tag along” or join in on others meals (hopefully its just not me? hopefully….)? What is your favorite kind of soup to make? I’ve made Mama Pea‘s African Peanut Stew (from her cookbook) quite a few times and am always a big fan.

You eat with your eyes first – How to make food look “pretty”

Last week, I shared a few tips on how to make meal packing fast and cheap. Today, I thought I’d share some tips on how I make my packed lunches/meals look “pretty.”

This might seem like a pointless tip or something that isn’t worth your time, but I am a firm believer that you eat with your eyes first. Food that looks better, tastes better… I promise.

Now, I know when lunch packing already seems like a hassle, the last thing you  probably want to think about is, “How can I make this look “pretty?” or “How can I make this sandwich look better?”” I realize it can sound ridiculous, and I know it is definitely easier to throw things in some tinfoil and plastic baggies and call it a day.

I am not saying that it is necessary to spend hours upon hours on food presentation everyday, but with just a few extra seconds each day, it is possible for all of us average joes and Tupperware  packers to have Whole Foods salad bar worthy food(or insert your own “best looking food I can think of here”) .

I find that when I focus more on how my food looks, I focus more when I actually eat it (and don’t just shovel food into my face). Food becomes more important. It tastes better, and I appreciate it more. The simplest foods can taste amazing when you take the time to make them look nice.

So without further ado, here are some of my tried and true ways to make food look appealing. Please come back and tell me when you get asked where you bought your lunch…

1. Focus on color!

Colorful food is more exciting to look at and to eat. When you focus on adding color to meals, you are also guaranteed to be eating more healthy/nutrient dense foods as well (it is an idiot-proof way to incorporate more veggies in your diet!). I always try to include at least a few colors in each meal.

One way way I do this is by trying to add something green in my lunches and dinners (whether it be spinach, kale, broccoli, celery….).

2.Put food in “sections”

I do this all the time, and it is an easy way to make food look more “pulled together.” I always get compliments on my meals when I do this (and sometimes get asked where I bought them!), so this definitely works.

I usually will chop everything I am using at once ,and I then just put each item on the salad/concoction that I made in a different area. It is an easy, instant way to look like you are a meal packing pro.

3.Don’t underestimate the power of mix-ins/additional “fun” items

This is the fun part. A meal automatically looks better and tastes better when fun and/or “themed” items are thrown into the mix. If you make an “Asian-themed meal”, add sesame seeds or sriacha (if you like spicy foods); If you are making a more basic salad with veggies and beans, add some dried fruit and nuts to make it “fancier.” If you have a few extra items on hand you can really make any meal look and taste more exciting with this simple step. Some “extras” I like to have on hand:

  • a variety of nuts
  • seeds (pumpkin, sesame…)
  • dried fruit (apricots, raisins, currants, mango) I love to go to Trader Joes and the bulk bins at Whole Foods for stuff like this
  • additional veggies (my sister and I like to add “fun” veggies to our meals like roasted brussel sprouts, jicama sticks, shredded carrots, chopped peppers, chopped green beans, beets, cubed sweet potato chunks… the options are endless)
  • other (wasabi peas, a small sprinkling of cheese, crackers, condiments…)

4. Invest in simple, well-sized Tupperware containers

Your salad/sandwich only looks as good as the container it is in. It seems silly, but it is true. I used to HATE all my Tupperware and could never find what I was looking for when I was packing my lunches. As soon as I bought a 4-pack of salad-appropriate containers and a 4-pack of dressing containers, meal packing became SO much easier. Plus, it was so much easier to make my food look more appealing. It is hard to make a salad look good in an old yogurt container… trust me.  This applies to plates and dishes too. A simple, white square plate will make your food look better than a cracked, beat up plate any day. I love to go to Target for cheap dish options.

5. When in doubt… layer

I like to think that layering is always a fancy way to make food look nice. I mean, parfaits always look good, so why not apply the concept to other foods? I tend to do this with salads or with dinners. In a salad situation, I will prep all my ingredients and then just place them on the plate one at at time. For example, Ill lay out 1/2 my lettuce base, then add 1/2 of the veggies one at a time, then  1/2 of the beans, then 1/2 of the “extras”… then just do it all again. Its fun to do and always makes a meal look a little more “special.”

So, there you have it, some of my tried and true ways to make food look and taste better. I swear this is an important part of meal packing and in the enjoyment of meals – and it is so easy to do! Let me know if you try any of this out (or have any other tips to add to the list).

Do you focus on how your meals look? Do you think food presentation is important?

Best thing I packed this week (February 3, 2012)

So for a couple of weeks, I was showing and photographing all the meals and snacks I packed for work and school.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

I wanted to do this to:

  • Show how it is possible to pack easy and healthy food  when you are on the go (It is possible to eat plenty of fruits and veggies on a daily basis!)
  • To avoid getting into a food rut and packing the same things all the time

Well, after doing this for a while, I have found that  my current method of showing everything I pack is a  little monotonous and not very useful in helping me brainstorm new meal packing ideas. I find myself taking more time photographing everything than actually focusing on what I care about – making fun/delicious food (This also gives me a whole new respect to the 3x a day bloggers out there…. they are good at what they do)!

Anyway, I think I have come up with an alternative. Instead of showing everything I pack, I plan to showcase or “spotlight”  the most notable or delicious meals that I pack throughout the week. This way, I can focus more on the food and less on documenting my not so beautiful array of Tupperware containers and tinfoil.

So to start things off, here are the “best things I packed this week:”

Best Lunch: Citrus Romaine Salad

This salad was kind of a odd mix of ingredients thrown together that ended up tasting really good.

The star ingredient in this salad concoction was some spaghetti squash that I decided to use last minute.  I usually only think to use this type of squash in Italian-themed dishes because of its “noodle-like” consistency, but the flavor of it is so mild, it worked rather well in this  less “traditional” way. While I am definitely  not one to shy away from weird food combinations, but I swear this was good! The squash soaked up the dressing very well and tasted delicious when paired with the clementine segments that I also added to the mix.

This particular salad contained:

Veggies/Fruit

  • spaghetti squash (it was on the bottom of the container so you can’t really see it)
  • romaine lettuce
  • yellow and orange pepper
  • carrot
  • clementine segments

Protein/Grain:

  • black beans
  • quinoa

Dressing: Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar

Best Dinner: Sweet + Savory Pita Sandwich

I actually forgot to take a photo of this, but lets just say it looked like this (just pretend the chicken is tofu…)

For dinner before class on Wednesday, I packed myself a sandwich using an Arnold’s 8 Grain Pocket Thin (a new product that I heard about from my friend that works for the company!). I saw the Pocket Thins at the store this past weekend and, even though I would probably buy them for myself anyway, I, of course, had to support my friend and pick up a pack.

I packed myself 2 halves (the serving is 100 calories for 1/2…. but I needed a bit more for a meal) with 2 different types of filling; One sweet, one savory.

Half #1 = savory

  • tofu
  • broccoli sprouts
  • cucumber
  • Trader Joe’s lentil masala spread

Half #2 = sweet

  • goat cheese
  • balsamic strawberries (I soaked some chopped strawberries in balsamic vinegar overnight…)
  • spinach

This dinner ended up being so good! The Pocket Thins are so soft and doughy (they have the same sweet/doughy taste that I love so much about sandwich thins), and I loved having two different sandwiches in one.  I ended up eating the savory half first and then the sweet. It was like I had dinner and dessert all in one!  I will most likely be doing this again….

What was the best lunch/dinner/snack you packed (or ate) this week?

WIAW (January 25, 2012)

So normally, I would be posting my  packed meals for the day (I have a long day of work and school today), but I have been reading blogs for a pretty lengthy amount of time – about 2.5 years(?) – so I thought I’d participate in a trend I have seen time and time again (and always thought I’d participate in if I ever started my own blog)…. What I Ate Wednesday!

(these are actually my meals/snacks from Tuesday. I figured it would be more exciting since I didn’t have school and my meals are more “normal” – also everything won’t be in tin foil and tupperware…)

Breakfast

6:00 am

I have been really into the “yogurt bowls” recently. For breakfast I had plain greek yogurt (sweetened with a little stevia), with a raw oat/cereal mixture,1/2 banana, strawberries, a sprinkling of both flax and raisins, and peanut butter about 1 tbsp?). This breakfast is always so good. I love have everything in its own section and picking what to eat for each bite.

Snack 1

9:30 am

For my mid-morning snack I had a cereal/nut/dried fruit mixture that included apricots, raisins, Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal, walnuts, almonds, and cashews. I love having mixtures like these to pick at while I work through the morning.

Lunch

12:15 pm

For lunch I had a big salad with kale/spinach, carrots, peppers, chickpeas and quinoa. I had a spicy hummus dressing on top (that I made with hummus, apple cider vinegar, a little water, and a little sriacha) and also ate a Pink Lady apple.

Snack 2

3:00 pm

As a afternoon snack I had a Clif Z bar in the Honey Graham flavor (my second choice of flavor now that I have discovered Iced Oatmeal Raisin Cookie).

Dinner

6:00 pm

For dinner I made myself a stir fry of bok choy (just bought this for the first time this week and I am a big fan), celery, peppers, mushrooms and snap peas. I sautéed everything with salt, pepper and a little dried ginger. I topped it off with some crispy tofu (sprayed pan, let cubed tofu cook 5 minutes each side – a trick I learned here  – then mixed in some teriakyi sauce), gomasio ( a really good sesame seed replacement), and mixed in some quinoa on the side.

Snack 3/Dessert

I forgot to photograph this one (remembering to do this is HARD), but I had some chopped strawberries with chocolate sauce and a sprinkle of some granola on top.

So that concludes my meals for WIAW. Thank you Peas and Crayons for letting me participate!

Did you eat anything delicious yesterday/plan to eat anything delicious today?

 I hope your have a great Wednesday!

Sweet + Salty Combinations

Hi everyone!

So when I packed my meals for school last Friday, I mentioned that I made myself a goat cheese and jelly sandwich for dinner. I just wanted to share that it was so good! I am thinking it was because:

  • I am a big fan of the sweet/salty combination
  •  It reminded me a lot of my favorite childhood breakfast (cream cheese and jelly on a plain bagel…try it if you never have. so good.).

Since I know I am a big fan of the particular combo of salty/savory + sweet (I love sea salt caramels and sea salt chocolate bars, trail mixes…), I started to brainstorm  more salty/sweet sandwich combinations.

So far I have thought of…

“salty” additions

  • cheese (goat, cream cheese, cheddar, provolone, etc.)
  • tempeh
  • beans
  • peanut butter/almond butter (?)

“sweet” additions

  • jelly
  • fresh fruit
  • honey/agave

Which led me to brainstorm these sandwich ideas:

  • goat cheese and jelly (cream cheese and jelly, etc.)….
  • tempeh/cheese and jelly (I’ve seen this combo on Kath and Meghann‘s blogs before but never tried it myself)
  • goat cheese, honey and strawberries (I may or may not be trying this out this week…)

annnd that’s all I’ve got so far. I know there has to be other options than  the “protein+ jelly” combo, but so far I’ve got nothing.   Beans would be an easy “salty” sandwich addition, but for some reason no “sweet” ingredient seems very fitting (beans + jelly? No thanks). Anyone have any ideas/suggestions?

Anyway, moving on to the food for the day (Meal packing day 3):

Lunch

For lunch I packed a spinach salad topped with carrots, zucchini, brown rice and a baked tofu/sweet potato/green bean mixture that my sister’s boyfriend brought over to our apartment (he is a pretty good cook, and I get to reap the benefits by getting to eat some of the food he brings my sister). I packed some balsamic vinegar to top it off and also plan to have a granny smith apple.

Breakdown:

1. brown rice (grain)

2. tofu (protein)

3. Spinach, carrots, zucchini, green beans, sweet potato (veggies)

Dinner

For dinner I have an “Italian-themed” sandwich that  includes meatless meatballs (from Trader Joes), hummus and spinach with some basil and oregano sprinkled on top. Kind of like a spin on a meatball sandwich/sub I suppose?

On the side I packed some veggies (peppers, carrots, celery) and a few clementines, which are not that great. I bought  “Cuties” at the store the other week and loved them, but my most recent Costco ones just don’t compare. Why are the “Cuties” better (anyone know what I am talking about)? It must be the cheesy commercials that win me over.

Breakdown:

1. whole grain bread (grains)

2. meatless meatballs, hummus (protein)

3. spinach, peppers, carrots, celery (veggies)

Snacks

My snacks of the day include

  • a trail mix that includes: cashews, apricots and Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal (this cereal used to be my favorite study snack in college, but I haven’t had it in so long)
  • an Iced Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Clif Z Bar –If you haven’t tried this flavor yet, DO IT. I just bought an entire box of them at Target yesterday and am pretty excited…
Everything together…

So that concludes my meals for the day! I am excited to try out my sandwich later, so this healthy/exciting meal packing plan is going well so far. Let’s just not take into account that I am excited to eat a sandwich at 8:00 in the morning…

I hope you have a great day!

Do you like the sweet/salty combo? Any sandwich suggestions?


Recipe for a good weekend

1.Delicious food… check

Breakfast on Saturday: yogurt with oatmeal, banana, strawberries and peanut butter

2. A fun outing… check

Jared's lovely work

My sister and I went to an ice festival on Saturday (my sister’s boyfriend, Jared,  is an ice sculptor and does a lot of festivals on the weekends). We showed our support by taking random pictures and trying not to complain about our frozen fingers and toes (which I am pretty sure we failed at… sorry Jared).

Note to self: when you KNOW you will be standing outside in 30 degree weather for 2 hours, wear warm socks.

3. A good workout(s)…check

I took a BodyAttack class this morning. A new release comes out next week… so excited!

4.Eating at a new/fun/delicious restaurant…. check

I went out to dinner at Church Brew Works with this guy last night….

Jon making his debut on the blog...

Drank some of this…
 and ate some delicious food…

Crispy polenta with zucchini, mushrooms, and roasted tomatoes in a goat cheese truffle sauce

So it was a fun and delicious dining experience.
5. A fun outing/night with friends with fun drinks…. check

Mad Mex margarita... always delicious

I went to Mad Mex (one of my favorite Mexican restaurants) last night with Jon, my sister, Sami, and her boyfriend, Jared. We met up with a few friends later in the night,(Hi Erin, Erin, and Allison!) so it was a successful/fun night. Plus, you can never go wrong with margaritas…

6.Productivity… (in progress)

I love when I am productive over the weekend (usually on Sundays) and feel ready to tackle the upcoming week.

So far I have gone grocery shopping,  but I plan to finish a lab report, read in my Bio book, organize my room and do my laundry today as well …. so I will be productive, later.

On that note, I better go work on #6…

I hope you are having a great Sunday/weekend!

What is your “recipe” for a good weekend?

Lunch packing day 2

Happy Friday! Anyone else excited for the weekend?

Although this week was only 4 days, it has felt so long! I am definitely excited to have a couple of days off. This snow that seems to be happening better stop though. I have come to the conclusion that snow is no longer fun when you join the “real world.” All the anticipation and hoping for the school announcement of a snow day is gone (I used to love when my mom would come in my room and tell me to turn my alarm off..). Now it is just an inconvenience  (it might also not help that I am NOT a fan of cold weather… annnd my negativity is probably stemming from the fact that my fingers are all numb from getting the ice off my car). 

Anyway, moving on….

 Before my weekend begins I must first:

1. Get through the work day

2. Go to my first chemistry class…

So with another day of class comes another day of meal packing!  I actually got  lucky today because I am going to a training session for work at noon and lunch is provided.  That means one less meal to pack….

So  meal prep for today was a little easier since I only had to have dinner and snacks prepared:

Dinner:

For dinner tonight, I packed myself a goat cheese, jelly, and spinach sandwich. Typing that out makes it sound a little weird, but I am a big fan of salty/sweet so I think it should be rather delicious. I also packed some veggies on the side (carrots, snap peas, celery) and an apple.

(1) whole wheat bread (grains)

(2) goat cheese (protein)

(3) spinach, carrots, snap peas, celery (veggies)

Snacks:

My snacks options of the day:

  • cashew cookie larabar
  • some clementines
  • a trail mix combo I made

I usually go in snack “phases,” and right now I am definitely in a trail mix phase. It is fun, yet filling (the combination of nuts and dried fruit always keeps me full for a while), and I love mixing and matching ingredients.

It is probably one of my favorite snacks, and I am a big fan of making my own. I like to keep a bunch of different types dried fruit and nuts at my apartment, as well as a few different cereal options(I typically buy HUGE bags of almonds, walnuts and pecans at Costco and get my dried fruit from Trader Joes).  Pre-made trail mix tends to be pretty expensive,  but making them yourself is fun and cheap. Plus, you can switch up the combination whenever you want!  This combo has:

  • banana chips
  • dried apricots
  • golden raisins
  • walnuts
  • almonds
  • Cheerios

So that concludes my meal packing for the day. Still going strong!

I hope everyone has a great Friday!

Anyone pack anything exciting to eat today?