Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WIAW: Missing California

This is my first attempt at a "What I Ate Wednesday Post."  I love the idea of sharing one full day's worth of eats.  It's a great way to get new recipe ideas and to snoop into other people's everyday lives...something I obviously love, just take one look at my reality television-laden DVR list.

I wait to eat breakfast until I get to work, I keep cereal and oats in my desk drawer and usually decide on my walk from the metro which choice I am craving.  On the weekend I like to cook a eggs or pancakes, but I don't have that luxury at the office.  This morning, oats were calling my name.  I usually top them with almond milk to make them slightly soup-y and today I swirled a little peanut butter over top.

For lunch I had my usual turkey wrap (only half is pictured is so hard to remember to take a picture BEFORE you start eating!)  filled with laughing cow creamy Swiss cheese, honey mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion and avo.  With an apple to keep me full - which typically still only lasts until about 4PM.

For an afternoon pick-me-up I turned to a bowl of puffins mixed with vanilla yogurt and peanut butter.  One munchy is never enough, so I also had a handful (or two) of Pirates Booty that I keep stashed in my desk.  So cheesy and addictive!

Dinner was special.  I love it when Travis gets pumped up to help me cook (this is rare unless he gets to man the grill).  The weather wasn't cooperating well so we used out little electric indoor grill, which was a GREAT East coast purchase.  In Califorina, when you picture grill outs and BBQs, you assume the menu will consist of carne asada tacos.  Here, it is hard to even find carne asada in your local grocery store.  Luckily Trader Joes came through for us last weekend.  It was quite the feast!

And special thanks to my dad for sending us this awesome new beer to try.  The Lost Abbey Devotion Ale, produced in California, was a perfect compliment to the meal.  It's a hoppy but light beer - robust, flavorful, and PERFECT for our grill-"in"! 


Monday, July 29, 2013

Portobello Mushroom Burgers

My mom makes the most juicy, flavorful burgers there are.  She uses lean ground sirloin, marinates them overnight in soy sauce, and tops them with provolone cheese.  These "burgers" taste so similar, are just as filling, but are completely vegetarian!  I saw this recipe and its reviews on on of my favorite blogs and had to try it.

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp olive or vegetable oil
sprinkle of salt
2 portobella mushroom caps, gills removed
2 slices of provolone cheese
burger buns and fixins

Poke holes in the mushroom caps and marinate in the liquid mixture overnight in a sealed container in the fridge.  Grill or pan sear the mushrooms for 5 minutes per side twice, meaning flip them three times (20 minutes total).  Top with cheese during the last 2 minutes.
*Recipe courtesy of Chocolate Covered Katie

You will LOVE, promise :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013


For the past few years I have relied on the same favorite go-to lunch.  A turkey sandwich on toasted bread with lots of avocado and a big heap of honey mustard.  Followed by a Fugi apple.  It really HAS to be Fuji, they are the perfect amount of sweet and crunch - the ideal fiber-y finish to any meal.  It is so good and I never get tired of it.  But I am starting to worry that all that processed turkey is going to give me cancer...if the microwave popcorn I eat everyday hasn't already.  And people at work giggle when they see me carefully assembling my same turkey sandwich every single day.

Another thing I like about my turkey sandwich is that I have complete control over what is in it.  But in an effort to start steering away from that obsession - I am going to start branching out a little.  Please don't be grossed out by the mid-bite pic.

So this weekend I drove allllll the way to Virgina to go to Trader Joes, I actually made Travis drive me because I am afraid to drive through the city. It is the only place I know I can find some fresh new lunch ideas - making salads and utilizing leftovers is too overwhelming for me.  I think I was successful with these, but I will have to let you know how it goes:

Does anyone else have control issues when it comes to food?  A little obsessive about what goes in your sandwiches, on top of your salads, rolled in your sushi?  I have realized that I get anxious when others prepare my food, or when I don't know what ingredients are used.  I know this isn't good - so I am taking small steps to just "let go" and "branch out."  Wish me luck!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tired of Pretending

Today I decided I am tired of pretending that I don't like chocolate ice cream laced with brownies and peanut butter as much as like the trendy "fro-yo" everyone's supposedly into.  And I am sick of saying "no" to burritos at Chipotle because the salads just taste "so much more fresh."  I am tired of acting like I think white meat chicken is better than the dark meat with the skin on.  I hate how my reduced fat cheese doesn't get as bubbly and oily when its grilled between two slices of bread doused with "I Can't Believe its Not Butter - Light." Can anyone else relate?

Finding a healthy balance is hard.  I find that I often act like these swaps are satisfying my cravings, but the truth is, they don't even come close.  Maybe instead of living this dull, "healthy" version of a life, we can let ourselves enjoy what we love more often.  I know, I know, in moderation is fine they say.  But I want cookie dough EVERY night after dinner. And I want MORE fatty cheese goddammit.

So for dinner tonight I made a warm chicken salad, one of my go-to favorites when I am cooking for one.  I saute' chicken and whatever veggies I have on hand with a little balsamic and soy sauce.  Then I toss it all on a bed of fresh chilled baby spinach.  I also make homemade dressing with a combo of nonfat plain Greek yogurt, teriyaki sauce, apple cider vinegar, a splash of water or chicken stock and some honey.

OH IT DOESN'T END you think I am a rabbit or something?  A girl needs sustenance!

Then, on the side, I had a cheesy, gooey, bubbly quesadilla with REAL cheese and sweet mango salsa!  Sorry - I ate the quesadilla so fast and in such a euphoric state, I forgot to take a photo.  And of course a chunk of cookie dough for dessert. 

I feel pretty satisfied with this dinner.  It covered all the bases. And I think I may even have room for a late night salty snack...we shall see :)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Build Your Own Pita Pizzas!

For a fun, stress-free dinner, try making pita pizzas with your friends!  All it takes is a few pieces of pita bread, fresh sliced mozzarella, store bought pizza sauce and any other toppings that sounds good to you.  We also added sauteed spinach, caramelized onions, mushrooms and cooked chicken sausages.  Just load your pita up with toppings of your choice and grill or bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Skinny Cherry Muffins

I like to work out in the morning, but I can't do it on an empty stomach.  Sick of store-bought granola bars, I wanted to make something healthy and delicious that I could grab on the go.  After a fair amount of trial and error, I came up with this low-fat recipe for fluffy muffins using the massive amounts of cherries I have in my fridge.  Also had to throw in some chocolate chips for added sweetness.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup instant oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
5 stevia packets
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
2/3 c chopped fresh cherries
1/4 c semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately.  Fold both sets of ingredients together, be careful not to over mix.  Pour into greased muffin tin.  Put in the oven and after five minutes, turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 12 minutes.  (makes 6 muffins).