Best thing I packed this week (February 24, 2012)

Hi! whose excited for the weekend?

I have had a rather long week  (has anyone else had a busy week?) and am pretty excited to relax a little. I am also craving a good beer so I am hoping to make that happen tonight…. Any suggestions?

Before that time comes though, I must be a productive person and go to work and school (I have a Chem test tonight and Chem lab). The key for me to getting through these long days is having fun little things to look forward to (which usually takes the form of meals and snacks). I bought a few things today to keep my spirits up that I am excited about:

I just ate the  Chobani yogurt (SO GOOD) and plan to have the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clif Mojo bar as a snack and to sip on the seltzer throughout the day. I’m a little excited for both (it’s all about the little things, right?). I love fun snacks.

Best Thing I Packed this Week

Anyway, other than talking about my busy day and fun snacks, I though I’d end the week by sharing the best things I packed this week!

The winning day of packed meals was on Wednesday of this week, as I packed a delicious lunch and dinner.

Best Lunch: Tuna Salad with Dijon Honey dressing

I made myself a salad for lunch on Wednesday that contained:

  • spinach/romaine (as the base)
  • carrots
  • cucumber
  • celery
  • 1 slice  colby jack cheese (cut into squares)
  • 1/2 can tuna

Dressing:  Dijon Honey dressing I made with:

  • 3 tbsp (approx) apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tsp (approx) dijon mustard
  • 1 squirt (maybe 1/4-1/2 tsp?) honey

I also ate a whole wheat wrap on the side that I dipped in the extra dressing and scooped up some of the salad with (I love doing this).

I don’t normally eat a lot of tuna (I think I just forget about it), but it is such an easy/delicious protein option to incorporate into lunches. (Side story… in third grade my friend and I decided we would eat tuna for lunch every.single.day… don’t ask me why. It lasted for a few months, and I literally could not look at tuna for years after that. I’m surprised my mom let me do it and that I didn’t get mercury poisoning… don’t judge me). Anyway, I am glad that my aversion has passed because tuna can be quite delicious every once in a while.

This salad was really simple and contained ingredients that I always have in my fridge, but, for some reason, it tasted extra delicious. Sometimes it’s the simplest foods that are the best.

Best Dinner: Strawberry and Goat Cheese Pita Sandwich

I’ve already posted about my half and half pita sandwich idea (in this post), but since I actually have a picture to show this time around, and since I can’t get over the delicious combo of goat cheese and strawberries, I had to share this again.

My first pita half contained hummus, kale, nutritional yeast and black beans (very similar to my wrap from Monday), but I want to focus the attention on my sweeter half that included:

  • spinach
  • goat cheese
  • chopped strawberries
  • strawberry jelly

I can’t explain to you how much I love this combo. There is something about  the creaminess/saltiness of the goat cheese paired with the sweetness of the strawberries that just works. If you can’t tell, I am a big fan. I can’t   get enough.

Have a great weekend!

What was the best thing you packed this week?

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Thursday Waffles

Good morning! How are you doing today? (good news… my Biology test is finished, and I think I did well!)

I am so glad that it’s Thursday. I have Chemistry lecture and lab from 5-10 on Fridays (I am so exciting, I know), so Thursdays kind of feel like my Fridays sometimes. I love just going to work in the morning and knowing I will be home at a reasonable hour to work out, eat dinner (off of a plate), hang out with my boyfriend/friends…, etc.

So while I do love being busy and being challenged, I definitely need the balance of these “lazier” (since I’m still at work by 7/7:30 am), more relaxed days as well. It’s all about the balance, right?

Anyway, to “celebrate” the completion of my Bio test,  I had a delicious breakfast this morning that I must share:

I made myself 2 Kashi Multigrain toaster waffles with 2 different types of toppings (something I seem to be a fan of these days…. I love having variety!):

  • Waffle 1: peanut butter, defrosted peaches (I have a HUGE frozen fruit mixture from Costcos), a sprinkle of ground flax
  • Waffle 2: goat cheese, defrosted strawberries (from same bag), and honey….I am really loving the goat cheese + strawberry combo lately

This was so easy to pull together, and I felt like I was eating such a “special” breakfast for a random Thursday morning. All I did was:

  • put waffles in toaster oven
  • microwave fruit for 1 minute, 30 seconds
  • get out peanut butter, goat cheese, flax and honey
  • spread peanut butter on 1/2, sprinkle goat cheese on other 1/2….. top each with fruit and “toppings”

Total time: 5-6 minutes (I know this because I am super aware of my time in the morning…. I have quite the streamlined schedule).

While I am usually a peanut butter and banana fan in the morning and put the two on EVERYTHING including, oatmeal (regular and overnight), yogurt, toast/waffles, cereal…. it was fun to switch things up and have a different fruit and topping combo. If you haven’t tried goat cheese and strawberries yet… DO IT (it’s so good).

I hope you have a great day!

What did you eat for breakfast this morning?

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 #2 (February 1, 2012)

Hi there! Happy Wednesday! Can someone please explain to me,

  • How the is high for today is 50 degrees? It is so odd (but I am not complaining)….
  • How it is February 1 today (I swear it was just December)?

I always get excited for new months. I like to plan things to accomplish and ways to make the month fun. February already has some fun things built into it…. my boyfriend and I are celebrating our anniversary this month, it is his birthday month…. so I have a few things to look forward to and to plan (which I need to get on quickly, typing this out is making me realize that these things aren’t too far away!).

Anyway, I enjoyed doing this last week, so I thought I’d join the What I Ate Wednesday party again. Thanks Jenn for letting me participate!

Breakfast – 6:15 am

Yesterday for breakfast I had an odd craving for eggs. I usually never want savory things for breakfast (I am all about eating peanut butter and banana in some form), so I was a little surprised. I am not one to ignore a craving, so I just went with it. I had an omelette with:

  • egg whites
  •  peppers
  • mushrooms
  • zucchini
  • goat cheese

I always get a little excited when chopping vegetables, so I had an extra pile of extra omelette filling on the side, as well as a slice of whole wheat toast.

Snack 1: 9:15 am

For my mid-morning snack I had a handful of pistachios and a few pieces of chili dried mango (from Trader Joes). Both were pretty delicious and kept me quite content until lunch.

Lunch: 12:00 pm

For lunch I had a “pasta salad” – heavier on the veggies than the pasta, with some balsamic vinegar + honey on top. My salad contained:

  • spinach/kale (base)
  • peppers
  • zucchini
  • carrot
  • whole grain pasta
  • white beans
  • goat cheese

I also had a Fugi apple on the side as well. I am usually a big Pink Lady/Honeycrisp fan because they have the perfect tart/sweet balance and  the right amount of crunch that is necessary in an apple.  I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I have been liking my Fugi apples this week.  (I have a slight obsession with apples if you can’t tell….).

Snack: 3:30 pm

As my afternoon snack I had a (brand new!) Uber Larabar in the Bananas Foster flavor. I was pretty excited when I spotted these in Whole Foods last Friday, since I have a definite love of  bars (Larabar, Clif Bars, Kind Bars…) and I’ve never seen these (anyone else have one yet?)!

I must say, it was rather delicious. It tastes like the normal banana bread flavor, but has a good amount of crunch and texture from the addition of whole walnuts, almonds, and pecans. I would definitely recommend it. I also tried my sister’s Cherry Cobbler on Sunday, and it was equally as good. There are a few more ingredients in these than the normal Larabar flavors:

but it was soooo good. I am a new fan of the Uber bar. Now I just need to try the Roasted Nut Roll and Apple Turnover flavors…

Dinner: 5:45 pm

I ate dinner before going to the gym, so I tried to keep it rather light. Its weird, I can eat before going to the gym in the morning and have no problem at all, but, for some reason, at night I have issues. Maybe it’s what I’m eating vs. when I’m eating? Who knows. I’m working on finding a good balance.

I had a veggie burger on a piece of whole grain toast with romaine, broccoli sprouts,and hummus and also had some sautéed broccoli and cauliflower on the side.

Snack/Dessert: 9:00 pm

I almost always have to have something sweet at the end of the day. It is like my day is not complete without it. Last night I had some cottage cheese (4% – which is really good, by the way – its so creamy!) with pumpkin, peanut butter and some crushed Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal on top.

I haven’t had pumpkin in a while and was a little “pumpkin-ed” out in the fall, but this was really good. I think I may need to bring it back for a while longer. The pumpkin + peanut butter combo never seems to fail me.

So that concludes WIAW. I kind of love seeing what other people eat (it’s why I became so interested/fascinated by blogs), so I’m glad that this little tradition exists and that I can take part. Thanks again Peas and Crayons!

Have a great day everyone!

What’s the best thing you ate yesterday?

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?