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Filtering by Category: lunch

merry merry!


Merry Christmas Everybody!!!  I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday with family and friends, full of good cheer, good food and good company!  :) I've been debating how to handle my posts these next couple of days because there is going to be so much good food consumption happening.  My stepfather is an AMAZING cook and we always have so much fun eating the fantastic meals he prepares.  My mom, my hubb and I help too... :)  So I think what I will do is post my food journal entries with meal images, but then do some extra separate posts for specific recipes that deserve their own space.  The recipe posts will be sporadic and will trickle in over the next week. Let me start with our Christmas Eve...  I got up and went for a run!!! had been nearly a week.  Yikes.  I've got lots of mileage to make up and I plan on taking full advantage of the lovely warm weather we are having. Breakfast:  The hubb and I met my best friend / college roommate and her fiance for breakfast at a restaurant on Cocoa Beach called The Omelet Station.  I had pancakes and a fruit salad on the side...the food was ok, but the highlight of the meal was definitely catching up with my best bud.  Sadly, I got NO PICTURES!  I don't even care about the food pictures, I didn't get any pictures of me and Jackie!!!  So so so sad.  She's off in Jamaica now, lucky girl, so I totally missed my opportunity.  :( Lunch:  My momma put together a salad for us, it was just what I needed!  It had ham, pickles, green olives, a little cheese and balsamic dressing. 081224-l1 Dinner:  We were with my stepfamily in Daytona for their Christmas Eve tradition.  This was the first time that the hubb and I participated because we typically spend Christmas Eve with my dad and other stepfamily (the hubb and I have 4 families total...).  There were all kinds of goodies coming out of the kitchen that I munched on throughout the evening.  We don't have a set meal, people just graze...its lovely.  :)  Here's a small sampling, I wasn't on top of the food pictures for the evening: antipasti tray 1 crescent roll wrapped sausage 2 homemade chicken tenders (unbelievably good...I had several!) 3 cream puffs (also amazing...) 4 And the family in front of hiding my grandmother's Christmas tree! 51 It was a lovely evening, and we were exhausted by the time we got home.  I wrapped up a few last presents and then crashed! Christmas morning was supposed to start with another run, but I just could not drag my bootie out of bed and when I thought I hit snooze I actually turned my alarm off.  :(  Oh well.  We'll go later...or tomorrow... Breakfast:  The tradition in our family is to have panettone french toast [recipe to come]. I'm sure you've all seen the boxed panettone loaves in the supermarkets, they've become very popular.  When we first started making our Christmas breakfast my stepfather had to search the state to find a loaf, and now they are everywhere!  I guess we're trendsetters...  :) Panettone is a fluffy Italian bread that contains candied orange, citron and lemon zest. 11 I think this may be my all-time favorite breakfast.  I look forward to it every year.  We spent last Christmas with the hubb's family and we had to introduce them to the tradition because there was just no way I could go a year without it.  I realize I could make it on other days around the Christmas holidays, but its just not the same for me if I don't have it Christmas morning!  This morning I also had two slices of bacon and some orange and tangerine slices. After breakfast we opened presents!  So much fun to be with my hubb, momma, stepfather, stepbrother and sister-in-law.  I received some wonderful, thoughtful gifts, but I think my favorite is my new KitchenAid Mixer!!!!!!!!!!!!!  My current KitchenAid is a 28-year old hand-me-down from my Momma.  Its almond-colored...oh yeah.  It only has 3 of its original 10 speeds and puts off an interesting electrical smell whenever I use it.  It almost died while I was making marshmallows last week and I was nearly in tears.  So, needless to say, I am SOOOOOO EXCITED!!! 21 My hubb gave me some fantastic new bread baking tools that I opened while we were still in Virginia so I don't have any pictures to share now, but I will because they will go so well with the new mixer! Lunch:  Our second Christmas food tradition (we have lots of food traditions...I told you, my family is ultra food-oriented!) is to make Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo [recipe to come].  My family has a very strong love for New Orleans (the hubb and I even got married there!), which I will write more about when I post the recipe for the gumbo. 41 Christmas food (or drink) tradition #3 is MOJITOS!!!!  My family does live in Florida, and when you have 80* Christmas' mojitos are completely appropriate.  Trust me.  :) 31 5 There are so many wonderful smells coming from the kitchen right now...we are going to have a fabulous afternoon meal here in a couple of hours that I will post later tonight.  For now, I'm going to fulfill Christmas tradition #4, which is the afternoon nap!  :)
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happy christmas eve!!!


  Happy Christmas Eve everyone!!!  The hubb and I made it safely to Florida late last night after a grueling 14-1/2 hour drive...blech.  We’re happy to be home with family and are getting ready to head out to some Christmas Eve festivities, so this will be a quick recap post. Thank you all for the lovely compliments about our holiday gift boxes!  They were such fun to make, and relatively easy! I have to post this adorable picture of Hank...he just has to keep his head between our seats so that he feels like he's in the front with us.  Such a cutie! 081223-hank Eats recap... Breakfast Tuesday:  Whole wheat everything bagel with egg beaters and a slice of muenster.   081223-b1 Lunch Tuesday:  6” Subway veggie sub on whole wheat with ranch dressing along with a bag of baked Lays. 081223-l1 Snacks Tuesday:  Dried apple slices, a few corn nuts (a favorite of the hubb’s!) and a Norman Love Truffle from Bri’s family.  I also had a bean burrito from Taco Bell for an evening snack because we didn’t get in until 10pm but my parents were holding dinner for us. 081223-s1 081223-s2 081223-s3 Dinner Tuesday:  My stepfather’s amazing meatloaf (I’ll post a recipe sometime soon), my momma’s macaroni and cheese, and homemade mango ice cream.  I love being home for the holidays!!! 081223-d1 081223-d2 081223-d3 081223-d4 Oh!  And I got up early this morning and went for a lovely run...I'm loving this 75* Florida weather!!! Gotta go!  Have a fabulous Christmas everybody!!!  :)
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Last night as I was setting my alarm before bed I told the hubb I'd be getting up early to practice some yoga.  He laughed and told me that no, it was far more likely that when my alarm sounded he'd roll over to cuddle me and convince me to turn it off.  Well, he was right.  No yoga for me this morning...but it sure felt good to sleep in a little!  I hit snooze every 10 minutes for a full hour.  Do any of you do that?  I like to wake up slowly so I always set my alarm for 20-30 minutes earlier than I actually need to get up so that I can hit snooze a couple of times.  Is that strange? I've done it since high school.  Its gotten worse now because I will literally hit snooze for a full hour (like I did this morning).  Each time it goes off I wake up a little bit more.  I'm just not a jump right out of bed when the alarm sounds kinda girl... Anyway, I made up for my lack of yoga this morning with 50 minutes of yoga this evening.   It felt great, and now I feel good and stretched out for my 3-1/2 mile training run tomorrow morning!  :) Today's eats: Breakfast:  Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin muffin with 1-1/2 tbsp almond butter, sliced apple and cranberry ketchup!  Oh my...this was delicious!  I love the Ezekiel Muffin/nut butter/fruit keeps me so satisfied! 081219-b1 081219-b2 Several of you have asked for the cranberry ketchup recipe, which I got from Erin at Care To Eat. I've asked her permission to post, so if she says yes I will hopefully have it up tomorrow!  If you can't wait though, just send her an email and I'm sure she'll give it to you, she's a sweetie! Morning Snack:  I didn't need a snack because my super-hearty breakfast kept me happy through the morning.  But when my hubb brought me a donut from his office, I just couldn't resist!  Actually, it was a spudnut...even better.  Have you ever heard of a Spudnuts?  I hadn't before moving to Charlottesville. Apparently Spudnuts used to be all over the country but I thought that ours was the last in existence, until finding the above website that states there are still 35 locations spread across the USA. Here's ours... spuddies (image from here) A spudnut is a donut made with potato flour, and they are heavenly.  Better than a Krispy Kreme any day of the week...  I chose a glazed spudnut with shredded coconut on top.  YUM.  It had been so long that  I forgot how good they are.  Indulgent.  :) Lunch:  Whole wheat pita stuffed with TJ's edamame hummus, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli slaw and red bell pepper, along with TJ's split pea soup.  I didn't eat the second 1/2 of my pita...perhaps because I was full of spudnut?!?!?  The TJ's split pea soup was pretty good.  I honestly have nothing to compare it too....I'm pretty sure this was my first split pea soup experience ever! Surprising for a girl who loves her soup... 081219-l1 Snack:  I'm in fridge/freezer/pantry clean-out mode, and it was driving me crazy this morning that I had just a little Kashi H2H left in the pantry but didn't want cereal for breakfast.  So, I added it to the trail mix that the hubb made me last week and brought the tub to the office to live. 081219-s1 It contains: Kashi H2H, mixed nuts, dried cherries, pineapple and pears, and crystalized ginger.  I had about 1/2 a cup of the small stuff and one dried pear. Dinner:  Veggie Bean Chili a la my hubb...he's the best!  We had it over brown rice pasta, with a little sprinkling of cheddar on top.  I also had a glass of Meridian Cabernet...this is one of our favorite wines for every day. 081219-d1 081219-d2 Well, I officially have 3 full days left before leaving for Florida Tuesday morning!!!  Soooooo excited, but this weekend is going to be ridiculously busy so my posting may be minimal...  Here are a few To Do's:
  • training run (3-1/2 miles!)
  • haircut
  • finish knitting
  • finish last minute shopping
  • make christmas gift boxes for c'ville friends (bark, marshmallows and hot cocoa mix)
  • finish wrapping presents
  • laundry and packing
  • yoga sunday afternoon
  • make dessert for company party
  • my company party sunday night
  • the hubb's company party monday night (hence all the packing happening this weekend)
I know you're all really busy too and I hope that you all accomplish the enormous lists that you've made yourselves!!!  What's on your agenda this weekend? PS:  All of you Google Readers out there...let me know if you still can't read my full post.  Thanks!  :) PSS:  The vote was summary posts!  Thank you all for the great feedback, I just didn't want you annoyed by slow page loading but it doesn't sound like thats a problem, so I won't change a thing!
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slower than slow?


Hello bloggies!  Yay for tomorrow being Friday!  :) Questions for you all: Are you having trouble with my blog being slow to upload?  If it is too slow and annoying, I was thinking of having my blog only show the first bit of each post on the front page, which means you'd have to click "continue reading" at the bottom of the post to see the whole thing. Would that be annoying for you?  I want to make sure you all are happy and excited to read so any feedback you can give is greatly appreciated! This morning the hubb and I got up for another lovely morning run.  I just love getting up and running in the morning, especially since it has been slightly warmer lately.  The temperature has been around 40* when we wake up which is totally bearable, and running first thing gets me so energized for the day!  We did a 2-mile ultra hilly route that I love because even though its short, I feel like I still get a killer workout in.  The Charlottesville 10-Miler is one of the hilliest races in the country, so we have to be prepared for it! On to eats... Breakfast:  1 cup of Kashi Heart 2 Heart, 1 sliced banana, 1 cup of Silk plain soy milk and some dribbles of cranberry ketchup...YUM!  I love tart fruit in my cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, bread, so it just made sense to add the CK to my bowl of cereal this morning.  I loved it!  It looks kinda scary though... 081218-b1 Morning Snack:  My breakfast was yummy, but it definitely didn't stick with me as long as oats or an ezekiel muffin do...probably because I don't put nut butter in my cereal.  So at about 10:30 I broke into my Clif Mojo Mountain Mix bar and ate 1/2.  This was my first time trying this flavor and it was really good, but I still prefer the Peanut Butter Pretzel flavor. 081218-s2 Lunch:  I continued my CK love with a giant spinach salad topped with alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, black beans, broccoli slaw and glops of cranberry ketchup for dressing. Again, YUM!  Erin's right, it really is good on everything! 081218-l1 Afternoon Snack:  The other 1/2 of my Clif Mojo and a glorious navel got me so excited to go to Florida!  I want to come home with bags full of citrus!  :-)  After I ate my orange I realized how good the cranberry ketchup would be drizzled on time! 081218-s1 Evening Snack:   Before dinner, while wrapping presents, I finished off a box of Annie's Honey Bunnies.  They were gone so fast I didn't even have time for a picture...apparently I was starving. Dinner:  Leftovers!  Perfect for this busy night.  Veggie tofu korma with broccoli on the side.  The korma was even better the second time around!  And, a glass of Charles Shaw Coastal so good for only $4.99!!!  I love Trader Joes!!! 081218-d15 I have some more Christmas prep to finish...I can't believe how I've waited 'till the last minute this year!  Not next year, I'm already planning our gifts for Xmas 2009.  I loved hearing about what you all are making for Christmas presents this year!  Its totally inspiring...I had planned to make a lot more gifts but time just got away from me.  I have done a little knitting, a little baking, and the hubb and I made a couple of photo albums.  Maybe next year we'll have an "all hand-made" or "all local" theme...that would be fun! Have a great night!
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quick eats and cranberry ketchup!


Hello fellow bloggies!  Can you believe we're so close to Christmas!?!  Yikes!  Another quick recap...  Breakfast:  1/2 cup plain Oikos with 1/2 cup TJ's pumpkin spice granola and one sliced banana. 081217-b1 Morning Snack:  Breakfast didn't stick with me 'till lunch time, so I dug a chocolate chip Clif ZBar out of my drawer at the office and ate 1/2. Lunch:  Whole wheat pita stuffed with TJ's edamame hummus, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, alfalfa sprouts and broccoli slaw, along with a cup of TJ's Veggie Lentil soup. 081217-l1 Afternoon Snack:  The other 1/2 of my ZBar and a Minneola Tangelo...yummy.  :) 081217-s21 Dinner:  Veggies and tofu simmered in TJ's Korma Sauce on top of jasmine rice with a side of steamed broccoli. 081217-d4 This sauce was really good.  The hubb and I love Indian cuisine so I was excited to find this sauce at Trader Joe's last week... 081217-d1 We pan-fried the tofu similarly to this method, but cut into smaller pieces and without the glaze at the end.  Once the tofu is brown on both sides, we added chopped onion and carrot and let it all saute together for 5-7 minutes. 081217-d2 When the onion and carrots were soft, we added a can of drained chickpeas and the jar of Korma sauce. 081217-d31 On top of jasmine rice it was sooooooo tasty.  :) Dessert:  One beautiful peanut butter filled date. 081217-d5 And I worked on some Christmas gifts!!!  I finally made the Cranberry Ketchup that Erin has been raving about...she sent me the recipe a few weeks ago and tonight I finally had a chance to make it up! Let me tell you all....It. Is. Awesome.  I plan to eat it on everything for the next few weeks.  I was planning to actually can the ketchup to preserve it for months, but started reading up on canning and became worried that I might give my loved ones botulism by incorrectly preserving their Christmas gift.  So, instead, the ketchup will be given to a select few of our Charlottesville friends with a friendly tag reminding them to keep it refrigerated and use it within 3 weeks...  :) cran-1 081217-cran-2 Are any of you making Christmas gifts this year?  
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simple eats


What a day.  My brain is completely fried after an exhausting + frustrating 9 hours in the office.  I'm so glad that the hubb and I got up and ran this morning, there is no way I would have felt up to it tonight!  We ran a lovely 2 miles, with 1/4 mile warm-up and cool-down, for a total of 2-1/2 miles.  We're finally sticking with the weekly mileage in the training program so there will be a bigger difference between our long Saturday runs and our mid-week training runs.  We are bumping to 4 days of running per week too, up from 3, which I'm excited about!  I did pop my favorite power yoga dvd in the player for 45 minutes of strength training after work, followed by 15 minutes of crunches.   Here's a quick daily eats recap: Breakfast:  An Ezekiel cinnamon raisin muffin with 1 tbsp almond butter and a banana. 081216-b1 Lunch:  A whole wheat pita stuffed with 2 tbsp TJ's edamame hummus (YUM!), broccoli slaw, yellow bell pepper and cucumber, along with an Oikos blueberry yogurt.  This was my first blueberry Oikos experience...I literally got THE LAST OIKOS on the shelf at Harris Teeter.  Below the empty shelf was a sign that explained that they wouldn't be stocking Oikos for a short period due to a manufacturing problem.  I guess I owe my Whole Foods a blog apology for ranting about them last week...   :P  Anyway, the blueberry was pretty tasty but I really miss my honey flavor!!! 081216-l1 081216-l2 Snack:  A 12oz skim latte from my favorite coffee shop downtown and 1/2 a honeycrisp apple.  This apple was really disappointing as all my store-bought apples have been lately, I guess the season is finally over...  :( 081216-s1 Dinner:  Baked chicken, roasted veggies  (brussels, potatoes + golden beets) and Near East Whole Grain Blends (chicken + garlic). 081216-d1 081216-d2 Dessert:  Definitely breaking back into the chocolate covered strawberries in a little bit... I'm off to do more Christmas prep...we'll be in Florida in 1 week!!!  Yay!!!
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butternut squash potage


Good evening!  As promised...a semi-quick post. Breakfast:  Two Kashi Go Lean blueberry waffles with 1 tbsp almond butter and a sliced banana, all sandwiched together.  Yum.  :) 081215-b2 081215-b1 Morning Snack:  Dark chocolate covered strawberry!!!  They were delivered to us this morning from a dear friend in North Carolina.  Of course I dug right in while my lunch was heating! 081215-s2 081215-s1 Lunch:  Spinach salad and TJ's Veggie Lentil Soup.  My salad consisted of spinach, hearts of palm, orange bell pepper, alfalfa sprouts, dried cranberries and light ranch dressing (I know you've seen a lot of the light ranch lately...I'm trying to use up the bottle!). 081215-l1 081215-l2 Afternoon Snack:  Peppermint Eggnog Scone and a cup of Sugar Cookie Sleighride. This is the last of the scones, I sent the others to the office with Brian.  They were way too tempting (as evidenced by my last few posts...)!!! 081215-s31 Dinner:  Butternut Squash Potage (recipe follows) and a spinach salad with yellow bell pepper, black beans, fresh currants and light ranch. 081215-d4 081215-d6 081215-d5 This soup is so easy and perfectly creamy, without any cream!   I made a variation a few weeks ago here.  I've been thinking about using the potage method to make a butternut squash soup for awhile now, and am so glad I did!  I have an old favorite squash soup recipe that uses 1 cup of cream, and I couldn't even tell that the recipe I made tonight didn't have any cream!  Healthy and yummy...perfect. Butternut Squash Potage makes 4 servings calories: 267  fat: 3.2g  sat fat: 1.9g  carbs: 54.8g  fiber: 5.9g  protein 8.5g Ingredients:
  • one small butternut squash (1-1.5 pounds), peeled and diced into 1" pieces
  • one medium-large onion, diced
  • 4 medium russet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and diced into 1" pieces
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 5 cups chicken or veggie broth (I use Better Than Bouillon no chicken it!)
  • salt + pepper
  1. Melt butter in large saucepan on medium heat.  Add chopped onion and saute until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add diced potato, squash and broth.  Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes until potatoes and squash are soft.
  3. Strain veggies from soup and reserve broth.  Puree the veggies in a food processor or blender using some of the reserved broth as needed.
  4. Add all broth and pureed veggies back to saucepan and heat through.  Season to taste.
081215-d1 I love the Better Than Bouillon line.  We keep the no-chicken base in our fridge at all times...its so much better than having cans and boxes taking up room in our teeny pantry! 081215-d2 Alrighty...I'm off to continue with Christmas holiday/travel/baking/gift prep.  Have a fabulous evening and Tuesday!
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weekend eats recap + awards!


Its Monday already?!?!?  Its amazing how quickly the weekends go by when you have so much to accomplish before the holidays.  :(  I have a weekend eats recap for you, and also a couple of exciting news tidibits! A big THANK YOU!!! to Ashley over at Sweet + Natural for liking my BSI recipe enough to proclaim it winner of BSI: PEPPERMINT!!!  I'm so excited, and thrilled at the great response I've had to the recipe!  I hope you all try the scones and let me know what you think.  Its easy to un-holiday them by replacing the eggnog with buttermilk and the peppermint with any toppings of your choice.  Some of my faves are dried cranberry + dark chocolate and orange zest, orange extract + cranberry...yum! Another big THANK YOU to Maggie over at Say Yes To Salad for the "I Love Your Blog" Award!  I'm completely touched, she is so sweet!!! iloveyourblog I've just recently discovered Maggie's blog and am enjoying getting to know it.  She has some fabulous recipes...go check her out!  I'd like to pass the award on to Jennifer at Running With Food.  Jenn also has some fabulous recipes to share, along with beautiful pictures, great stories and a HILARIOUS sense of humor!!!  Her posts always have me giggling...  I love your blog Jenn!!!  :) And last, thank you for all of the sweet comments regarding my new header look!  It was a lot of fun to design my own and tweak the css code, but time consuming!  So I'm glad that you've noticed and that you like the design, it makes it feel worth the effort!  :) Ok, weekend eats recap: Saturday Breakfast:  Red Currant Pancakes with 1/2  of a sliced honeycrisp apple. 081213-b10 Saturday Lunch / Snack:  Medjool Date with PB, 3/4 cup plain Oikos with 1/4 cup TJ's Pumpkin Spice Granola and a sprinkling of currants.  Breakfast was late so I just kinda snacked my way through the afternoon.  I also had a handful of TJ's multigrain tortilla chips... Several of you comment that you've never had currants before!  Just a warning, they are tart so if you're not a fan of tang you may want to try them before you add them to anything. 081213-l1 081213-l2 Saturday Dinner:  Take-out Thai...yum!  I ordered Pad Thai with Tofu and veggie spring rolls with spicy pineapple sauce. 081213-d2 081213-d1 Saturday Dessert:  1/2 a Peppermint Eggnog Scone. bsi-132 Sunday Breakfast:  Scrambled egg whites with sauteed pepper and onion, and two leftover Red Currant Pancakes.  This didn't turn out to be what I wanted so I just picked through about 1/2 the scrambled eggs...I ate both of my pancakes though!  :) 081214-b1 Sunday Lunch #1:  Leftover Pad Thai 081214-l1 The hubb and I were on different lunch schedules, and somehow we got out of the house to run errands without him eating anything.  A couple of hours in he was starving, and I was craving veggies since I hadn't had many over the previous 24 hours.  So we stopped at a little pizza place for his first lunch (calzone) and my second... Sunday Lunch #2:  Garden Salad with Bean Salad on top. Sunday Dinner:  So not healthy in any way...  Mexican Dip with Multigrain Tortilla Chips. 081214-d1 081214-d32 This is a classic favorite of ours.  The tradition started with my college roommate and I, we'd pile refried beans, salsa and shredded cheese together in a casserole dish and bake it for 20 minutes before dipping tortilla chips in while watching movies.  The hubb and I have experimented some and never have the same dip twice.  This one consisted of refried black beans, taco seasoning, sour cream, salsa, onion, orange bell pepper, corn, and cheddar cheese.  Sooooo good, yet so bad...  The good news is that this is the first time in the six weeks since I've been writing this blog that you have seen this dish.  We used to eat is once a week...seriously. Sunday Dessert:  A Peppermint Eggnog Scone. bsi-91 We went to the grocery store today, but I won't bore you with all the details.  We did get this fabulous treat though... 081214-brussels-1 Brussels Sprouts on their stalk!!!  I've never seen them in the store like this before. We tried growing them in our garden this year but because we don't spray, the bugs got to them before they could mature.  Aren't they fabulous!?!?! 081214-brussels-3 081214-brussels-2 Sadly I missed yoga yesterday because we were running errands.  I hate missing yoga, but will have to try to make up for it this week.  I'm going to try to keep my posts short and sweet because our evenings are jam-packed with Christmas prep, so this will probably be the last long post for awhile...I'm sure you won't mind because we're ALL busy!  :)
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holiday bootie buster challenge


I'M SO GLAD ITS FRIDAY!!!!!!!  Is it just me or was this the longest week ever?!?  So I just discovered Run To The Finish's Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge and am super-excited to participate! I'm a few days late, but luckily I have a blog so I've got a good record of my exercise so far this week (although it doesn't amount to much yet...).  Here's my count so far...
  • 12.10.2008: run 2.7 miles = 2.7 points
  • 12.10.2008: abs for 15 minutes = .5 points
  • 12:11.2008: yoga for 50 minutes = 1.7 points
Total HBBC Points = 4.9  Its a bit of a slow start, but I'm hoping this challenge is just what I need to kick my exercise up a notch! This morning the hubb and I continued our new Friday morning breakfast tradition, meeting our friend Amy at our favorite breakfast spot, The Bluegrass Grill.  This morning I felt like something salty instead of sweet, so I decided to go with a veggie omelet. Breakfast:  Veggie Egg White Omelet with green pepper, green onion, tomatoes and black olives (no cheese), topped with salsa.  Hashbrowns and the AMAZING honey wheat bisucuit on the side.  I only ate 1/2 the potatoes and 1/2 the biscuit with a packet of strawberry jam on top.  And a cup of coffee, of course! 081212-b1 Lunch:  Leftover Butternut Squash, Kale + White Bean Soup and a handful of Kashi crackers. 081212-l2 081212-l1 Snack:  A banana and 1/4 cup of Melissa's Trail Mix, plus a chocolate covered pretzel...I just couldn't leave him out!  :) 081212-s1 Dinner tonight was quick and easy.  Grocery day is tomorrow which means we are LOW on in we don't have any.  We briefly thought about take-out but then I remembered that I picked up some pre-made ravioli at Trader Joe's on Tuesday...perfect dinner in a pinch!  I also found some frozen spinach in the freezer...I've never cooked frozen spinach on its own, just put it in sauces etc, so this was a new experience.  I just steamed it for 8 minutes, then sauteed some garlic in Earth Balance and added the spinach to the pot.  It was just...ok. Dinner:  TJ's Portobello Mushroom Ravioli with TJ's Vodka Sauce and steamed spinach on the side.  Also, a GIANT glass of TJ's was a TJ's kind of night! 081212-d2 081212-d1 I told ya...BIG glass of wine.  It was a frustrating day at work, what can I say?!? Dessert:  I made a sweet snack bowl with Annie's Honey Bunnies, TJ's pumpkin spice granola and 3 gingersnaps.  It was a little dry (obviously) so I added a few spoonfuls of unsweetened applesauce after I snapped the pic. 081212-d3 Tomorrow ends Training Week #7 with a 3 mile run!!!  I can't believe we've already finished 7 weeks!!!  Crazy.  I think the weather will be decent so the hubb and I are planning to meet the group at the UVA track. However, if group one is still run/walking on the track we're going out on the road on our own for several reasons.  #1) We are planning to run the full 3 miles after our fabulous 2.7 mile run Wednesday.  #2) Running 3 miles on the track sounds like the most boring thing EVER, except for maybe running 3 miles on a treadmill...!   What are your weekend plans?  I'm hoping to finish my Christmas shopping/making!!!
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rainy day = comfort food


What a dreary day we've had.  I tried to stay inside as much as possible but had to run a couple of errands at lunch time...yuck.  I did come home to a fabulous surprise in my mailbox BSI Prize Trail Mix from Melissa!!! 081211-trail-mix 081211-trail-mix-2 Melissa had the great idea of giving the winner of BSI: Sweet Potatoes a custom-made trail mix...she sent me a list of mixin's to choose from and this is what I decided on:
  • PB-filled pretzels
  • chocolate-covered pretzels
  • almonds
  • cashews
  • caramel bits
  • yogurt-covered raisins
  • dried cranberries
  • chocolate-covered banana chips
  • dried raspberries
  • raisins
It is soooooooooo good!  Thanks Melissa!!!  :)  I had a big handful as soon as I opened the box!!! I had high hopes for another wonderful run this evening but just didn't feel like going out in the nasty weather.  So instead I pulled out my favorite power yoga dvd...not the same as going to class but I went with it.  50 minutes later I was a bendy, stretchy, happy girl...I do love my yoga.  :) Backtrack a little to my day's eats...another post full of comfort food.  What is it about winter-time and the need for warm, filling all of you lucky Floridians with your 80* winters have the same cravings? I am so-in-love with the TJ's Pumpkin Spice Granola...I was craving it as soon as I got up this morning and thought it was a perfect opportunity to test out the new Siggi's yogurt that Whole Foods gave me as a consolation prize for eliminating my Oikos from their shelves. Breakfast:  One 6oz container of Siggi's Icelandic Skyr, plain, with 1/2 cup TJ's Pumpkin Spice Granola and one sliced banana. 081211-b1 081211-b2 081211-b3 I must say...I am VERY impressed with the Siggi's.  It is very thick but oh so creamy...Julz was right when she commented on my post awhile back that Skyr is like Greek yogurt on steroids!  I LOVED it...too bad it is WAY out of my price range.  $2.69 for 6oz?!?!?!?  I don't think so. Morning Snack:  3 ginger snaps while there anything better on a rainy, cold day?!?  I went home around noon to let the pups out and realized that my lunch was actually at work (I didn't anticipate being able to leave the office today).  So, I decided to actually take my full lunch hour and just hang out on the couch for 30 minutes and work on a Christmas present...I was happy and so were the pups.  :) 081211-s2 Lunch:  Leftover Chicken Veggie Soup and a handful of Kashi crackers (I actually took these photos this morning before going to work...poured the soup out of its gladware into the nice bowl, then back into the gladware after the picture.  Yes, I'm becoming that obsessed with my food photography...). 081211-l1 081211-l21 Afternoon Snack:  Another glorious pear. 081211-s1 Dinner:  Homemade Veggie Pizza!  Woohoo!  We loaded a TJ's whole wheat pizza crust with:
  • TJ's pizza sauce
  • fresh spinach
  • onion
  • yellow bell pepper
  • broccoli
  • black olives
  • 1/3 cup part-skim mozzarella on my 1/2, LOTS of cheese on the hubb's 1/2
081211-d1 081211-d2 081211-d3 Mmmmmm...yum.  The crust needed a little longer in the oven, we typically bake it for 5-7 minutes before topping it but the TJ's instructions didn't say to do that so we stuck it in the oven raw with toppings.  It was still a little doughy, but yummy all the same.  :)  I had another piece 1/2 the size of the piece above...which would mean about 3 of 8 slices of a 12" pizza. Dessert:  A small cup of eggnog with a sprinkling of cinnamon on holiday guilty pleasure! 081211-d5 I hope you all have a glorious night and Happy Friday!!!
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quiche + chicken veggie soup + veggie broth oh my!!!


Good evening!  I hope you all have had a fabulous day!  Mine was good...I played lots of catch-up in the office after being out all day yesterday.  After work my hubb and I went for a fabulous run...YAY!!!  I was worried after my not-so-great run on Saturday when we didn't run the full 2.5 miles that were scheduled in our training.  We decided that tonight we would try to make up for it, especially since we hadn't been able to do anything the last two days with my overworking. I mapped out a 2.7 mile stretch for us close to our house that involves a looooong hill at the 1/2 mile mark all the way to the 1-1/4 mile mark and again at the 2-1/2 mile mark.    I just discovered the elevation tool on at that hill!!! 081210-map We made it though!  My hubb was great, he probably could have gone a lot further.  I was a very satisfied level of tired at the end....not feeling good enough for another mile but not completely dead either.  I'm so pleased!!!  :) I have some eats to tell you about, along with some recipes to share as promised.  I hope you can hang in there for one more long post from me... Breakfast:  3/4 cup Stoneyfield fat free french vanilla yogurt with one sliced banana and 1/4 cup of TJ's Spiced Pumpkin Granola. 081210-b1 Now I know what you've all been raving about!  The granola is AWESOME!  :) Lunch:  I pulled some black bean soup out of the freezer and added a dollop of sour cream to it along with an 8" sprouted wheat tortilla. 081210-l2 My office desk doesn't make nearly as nice of a background as my dining table at home... Snack:  I ate about 3 bites of this gala apple before tossing it because it was COMPLETELY devoid of flavor.  We finally finished all 13 pounds of hand-picked pink ladies...sigh.  :( 081210-s1 So instead I ate the other 1/2 of the Clif Builder's Bar I snacked on the other night. 081210-s2 Dinner:  Butternut Squash and Kale soup, modified from Kath's original recipe, along with a piece of my homemade whole wheat bread.  My soup had
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 32oz box of creamy carrot soup
  • 1 cup of diced ham
  • 1 15oz can of white kidney beans
  • 6 cups of fresh chopped kale
  • salt + pepper to taste
081210-d1 081210-d2 081210-d3 The soup was really good, but a little thick for our tastes.  I actually had a different soup plan for the butternut squash, but when I realized that I had kale wilting in my fridge it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out Kath's recipe.  I do think I'll try my original plan next week...the hubb and I discussed it tonight and I think its going to be good! Recipe Recap:  As promised, here are the recipes for the amazing dinners my Hubb made Sunday and Monday nights.  They are both pretty simple, but full of so much home-cooked comfort food yumminess...! 081207-d71 Chicken Vegetable Soup with Homemade Veggie Broth Ingredients:
  • one gallon-size ziplock of frozen veggie parts*
  • 2 frozen cheese rinds**
  • 8 cups commercial veggie broth ONLY if you don't want to make your own
  • 2/3 pound of ground chicken, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 4 medium russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen lima beans
  • 1 cup frozen okra
  • 2 15oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • salt + pepper to taste
* We put all raw veggie "waste" into a gallon-size ziplock bag we keep in the freezer.  "Waste" includes the ends of onions, asparagus, carrots, green beans, etc., basically anything that won't break down quiclkly (don't throw potato, squash, mushrooms etc. in need to be able to strain everything out after simmering for awhile) * We keep the rinds of any hard cheese we use in a small ziplock in the freezer to use for soups etc.  Parmesan, parano and gouda are our most common. Steps (starting with veggie broth):
  1. Put all frozen veggie parts and 2 cheese rinds into large saucepan or stock pot.  Fill pot with water until veggies are covered.
  2. Bring to a boil, lower heat and let simmer uncovered for one hour.  If you simmer longer you will have more intense flavor, less time will yield a milder taste.
  3. Strain liquid through a fine colander or china cap (pictured below), collecting the broth in a bowl.
  4. Put your broth back in the soup pot, add the tomatoes, onion, celery, carrots and potatoes and bring all to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered until the potatoes are starting to soften.
  5. Once the potatoes are slightly soft, but still about 10 minutes from being soft enough to bite easily, add the frozen veggies and the chicken.  
  6. When the potatoes are soft and the frozen veggies are heated through you soup is ready!
081207-d1 081207-d2 081207-d3 081207-d4 081207-d81 I LOVE my hubb's homemade soups....they are so incredible.  We typically make the version above completely veggie and add in some barley or israeli cous-cous, but we had leftover ground chicken after making the potstickers a few nights before so decided to throw it in.  That's the beautiful thing about these soups...anything and everything can go in!  And I also love that the homemade broths provide a way for us to use our veggie waste when the compost bin is out of commission during the winter. Monday night's dinner was another favorite of ours...QUICHE!  We always try to keep a frozen pie crust in the freezer so that if we have veggies that need to be used up we can throw together a quiche.  Its a quick, easy, nutritious dinner (as long as you are smart about the crust...!) and so good on a cold night.  I like to add in more egg whites and reduce some of the yolks, but we had exactly 5 eggs so had to use them completely (don't worry, egg yolks never go to waste around here...our dogs love them!) 081208-d1 Ham + Veggie Quiche Ingredients:
  • one frozen whole wheat pie crust
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound cooked ham, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 5 eggs
  1. Pull pie crust from freezer and allow to thaw for 10 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400*.
  2. Poke holes in the bottom of the crust, cover with foil, add pie weights (or dry beans) and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk eggs and add salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  4. Put fillings into crust.  Pour egg on top.  Add more egg if needed, the crust should be about 2/3's full.
  5. Bake @ 400* for 60 minutes on the BOTTOM rack of oven.
081208-d21 081209-d21 Whew!  Another long post complete.  Thanks again for hanging in there...I hope to get some feedback on these recipes as you all try them!  I'm off to bed...
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trader joe's and daily eats recap


Hello!!!  So so so sorry I've been m.i.a. the last couple of days...  Monday night I was at work late trying to prepare for my project meeting in Raleigh on Tuesday, and Tuesday I drove 4 hours each way to Raleigh and back so was completely exhausted by the time I got home at 9pm.  I have LOTS of catch-up to do, but before I get into my eats I wanted to report about My First Trader Joe's Experience!!! I stopped at a brand new store in Richmond on my way home from Raleigh.  I'm excited because this store is right next to a huge shopping area that we visit every now and then only about 50 minutes from our house, so I think we'll be able to make Trader Joe's stops every couple of months at least!  The store was a lot smaller than I expected, and I didn't realize that they carry mostly Trader Joe's brand, which explains the smaller store. You all gave me such GREAT suggestions and I was able to get most of them!  I didn't get any frozen stuff because I had a bit of a drive ahead of me and knew it would probably thaw, but I did stock up on wine and non-perishables, and a couple of cold things 'cause I bought a TJ's cold bag!  Here's my loot... tj-1
  • brown rice pasta
  • canned beans
  • canned soup (organic split pea, veggie chili and lentil veggie)
  • cranberry apple butter
  • pumpking butter (!!!)
  • edamame hummus (!!!)
  • fat free balsamic dressing
  • multigrain tortilla chips
  • dark chocolate covered candy cane joe joe's (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • soyaki sauce
  • sweet chile sauce
  • twigs, flakes and clusters cereal
  • pomegranate and blueberry flakes and clusters cereal (!!!)
  • soy sauce
  • crunchy peanut butter
  • harvest grains mix
  • pumpkin spice granola (!!!)
  • korma simmer sauce
  • masala simmer sauce
tj-21 Not pictured:
  • pizza sauce
  • vodka sauce
  • active dry yeast
  • cranberries
  • hearts of palm
  • vino!!!
I'm so excited to try out all of these new products!  Especially since I've been reading about most of them on your blogs for months now!  I broke into the dark chocolate covered candy cane joe joe's on my way home from Richmond...oh. my. goodness.  Those beauties are little pieces of heaven in cookie form.  I don't have a picture since I was driving and it was dark, but I'm sure I'll be featuring them in the next week!  :) Now to back track a little, all the way to Sunday night.  My hubb was kind enough to make an AWESOME meal while I was working on my BSI: GINGER round-up post. Sunday Dinner:  Homemade Chicken Veggie Soup with Homemade Veggie Broth...YUM!!!  I'll post the recipe in a separate post later today, this post will get way too long if I include all my recipes too!  I also made whole wheat bread for the very first time without a bread machine!!!  I'm quite proud because the loaves turned out beautifully. 081207-d7 081207-d8 081207-d6 I made two loaves, so I sliced one and put it in the freezer for later. 081207-d9 Sunday Dessert:  Becca's award-winning Ancho Ginger Applesauce!  :) 081207-d10 Snacks:  I of course snacked on some of the baked goods I made throughout the day. I think I wound up eating two of VeggieGirl's Pear Pistachio Ginger Blondies and one of Jessica's Chocolate Gingerbread Bars.  No pics...sorry!  I need to get better about my baked good / snack consumption...I've been going a little overboard.  :( Monday Breakfast:  Toasted Ezekiel Cinn Raisin Muffin w/ 1 tbsp almond butter and sliced banana, the rest of the banana on the side. 081208-b1 Monday Lunch:  1/2 a leftover enchi-rito and a spinach salad with yellow bell pepper, cucumber and lite ranch dressing. 081208-l2 081208-l1 Snacks Monday:  My lunch calories were a little light (surprising I know, but the enchirito really isn't bad for you!) so I was hungry for this beautiful pear a couple of hours later.  I also grabbed one of the chocolate gingerbread bars that I brought into the office to share with my co-workers. 081208-s1 081208-s3 And because I was in the office until about 8:30, I ate 1/2 of this Clif Builder's Bar at 6:30 to keep myself from eating more choco. gingerbread bars... (iphone pic, sorry!) 081208-s2 Monday Dinner:  My hubb came to the rescue again with a fabulous quiche!!! I'll post this recipe later was SO YUMMY!  And I was starving by the time I got home so I had 1/4 of it, along with a glass of chardonnay (no pic...). 081208-d2 And for dessert a molasses clove cookie (see what I mean about the sweets!?!?!?) 081208-d3 We're almost there!!!  Thanks for hangin' in there for this LONG post!  :) Tuesday Breakfast:  Toasted Ezekiel Cinn Raisin Muffin with 2 tbsp PB...I wanted to make sure I wouldn't get hungry on my drive and be tempted by a Starbucks baked goodie!  Also, a banana.   081209-b1 I managed to get PB all over myself while driving.  It was dark and I had no idea until the sun came up...pathetic.  :P Tuesday Morning Snack:  I stopped at Starbucks for a grande non-fat chai latte about halfway through my morning drive. 081209-s1 Tuesday Lunch:  We all went out to a fantastic Vietnamese restaurant where I ordered grilled tofu on lemongrass vermicelli noodles.  It was AMAZING but I have no pictures because it was definitely not appropriate to pull out my iphone with the entire team of architects and engineers present.  It was sooooo good though... Tuesday Afternoon Snack:  My hubb was so sweet and made me a very special trail mix to snack on during my long drive...he even took the pictures for me so that the note stayed a surprise.  He's the best!!!  :)  I had a handful of the mix on my way home. 081209-s2 Tuesday Evening Snack:  One glorious dark chocolate covered joe joe... 081209-s3 Tuesday Dinner:  Leftover quiche and a spinach salad with hearts of palm, red bell pepper, cucumber and lite ranch dressing.  And a much-needed glass of cabernet after my long day. 081209-d1 081209-d2 Whew!!!  Thanks for sticking with me!  I'll be back later tonight to post today's eats and the two dinner recipes I promised.  I feel so out of the blog loop because I haven't read any since Sunday!!!  I hope to get caught up tonight...  Have a great day!  :)
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trader joe's request!!


I hope everybody is having a fabulous Sunday!!!  I've been having fun in my kitchen whipping up a few of the BSI entries submitted to me this week!  Don't forget to send me your recipe by 8pm tonight, and even if I didn't get a chance to actually make it you are of course still in the running to win!!! Before I forget, last night I had a little snack while watching Sex + The City reruns... 081206-s1 An unsweetened apple sauce cup with Annie's Honey Bunny Grahams on top.  Not pictured are the two additional handfuls of bunnies I had after this...I had such a sweet tooth yesterday!!! Breakfast:  Bowl of cereal, boring I know but it was just what I wanted. I combined 1/2 cup Kashi H2H, 1/2 cup Nature's Path Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch, 1 cup Silk plain soymilk and 1 sliced banana. 081207-b12 Workout:  Vinyasa Yoga at Studio 206.  Mmmmmmmm.  :) Lunch:  Leftover Healthified Enchi-rito and a HUGE pear...yum! 081207-l1 I'll be back later to post the BSI:GINGER results!!! (probably after 10pm est...) IMPORTANT ::: Trader Joe's Request On Tuesday I have to drive to Raleigh for a project meeting.  Because we don't have Trader Joe's in Charlottesville, I am planning on stopping at TJ's in either Raleigh or Richmond on the way home.  This will be my FIRST TJ'S EXPERIENCE EVER!!!  I would love some advice from all of you lucky readers who get to shop at TJ's weekly...What should I get?!?  I want to try out some of your favorite TJ's items, so please tell me the items you buy at TJ's that you can't live without!  Thank you!!!  :)
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bluegrass grill + tofu two ways


Brian and I park about 1/3 of a mile from our offices every morning.  The walk to work is short and pleasant, but forces us to pass our favorite C'ville breakfast spot, The Bluegrass Grill.  The restaurant serves down-home breakfasts and is famous for their house-made baked goods, especially the honey wheat biscuits.  I dream about their biscuits.  Its impossible to get a table on the weekends without waiting an hour, so we don't get to go very often, but every morning as we walk by we say "we need to get up early one day and go before work".  After 6 months of talking about it, today was finally "one day".  We invited our good friend Amy to join us so it was the perfect start to a Friday morning, good food + good company. Breakfast:  Short stack of Honey Wheat Pancakes with fresh strawberries, real maple syrup and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.  It was AMAZING.  I ate almost the whole plate.  :)  Surprisingly these puppies stuck with me from 8am until 1:30pm!!!  I thought for sure that I would be starving by 10. 081205-b1 Lunch:  Because I knew I'd be having a large, not-so-healthy breakfast I decided to keep lunch simple and satisfying.  I had a baked sweet potato in the fridge so tossed it in a bowl with 1/2 cup edamame and sea salt sprinkled on top.  Perfect. 081205-l1 And two more of the Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies from my co-worker... 081204-l41 Snack:  Nothing!  My lunch was so late that I didn't need one. Dinner:  Miso soup and pan-glazed tofu.   I wanted to use some of this guy in the spirit of this week's BSI... 081205-d1 I used my favorite recipe from Moosewood for Miso Soup with Tofu and Shitake Mushroom Broth. 081205-d3 And pan-glazed my tofu using this method, but with the following glaze.
  • 1/4 cup water (usually this would be veggie broth, but i'm out)
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
081205-d4 081205-d5 081205-d6 And a lovely glass of cabernet. 081205-d2 Dessert: 1/2 cup fat free french vanilla Stoneyfield yogurt, 1 small pink lady apple and a handful of Annie's Honey Bunny Grahams. 081205-d7 Does anybody have any big weekend plans?  I am going to be a knitting goal is to start and finish a scarf this weekend that will be a Christmas gift.  I went to the yarn shop today during lunch to pick up a blend that I'm really excited about!  I finished a scarf last night that is also a Christmas gift, but I can't show it because I don't want to ruin the surprise for the recipient!  :) Have a great night! PS:  Kelly over at groundedfitness is giving away a danskin vest...check out her blog to see how you can win it!
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Good Evening!  First of all, another exciting announcement.  Don't know if any of you read Design*Sponge, (if you don't, you should check it out!!!), but they've released their 2008 Gift Guides!!!  I've been waiting for this for about a month now, and just checked in today.  I'm super-excited because they find the coolest stuff...!!!  If you're not familiar with the site, make sure to check out all of their guides...the City Guides are especially useful when searching for fabulous design while traveling, which the hubby and I typically are. We're design dorks.  :) On to food... Breakfast:  I found a use for my No-Bakes!!!  Last night I decided to stick them in the fridge to see if they would firm up...they didn't.  So instead of eating a cold cookie as I was hoping, I crumbled (or more accurately pulled and pinched) one "cookie" into my oats bowl.  YUM!!!!!!!!  This was a standard bowl with 1 cup prepared rolled oats, one mashed banana, 1 tsp ground flax seeds and a failed No-Bake.  The "cookie" melted into the oats and added the perfect amount of chocolate-y peanut-y goodness.  Now granted, I could have had the same affect by adding a regular spoonful of PB and a sprinkling of cocoa but I felt much better knowing that I had not wasted at least one cookie.  At 120 calories it wasn't a horrible add-in, but it didn't stick with me as well as my standard tbsp of almond butter does. 081204-b1 081204-b2 Lunch: A little boring today, but still really tasty.  I never got around to making my lentil salad as planned, so lunch groceries are getting a little low...  I made a spinach salad with the last of my mashed chickpeas, some orange bell pepper, frozen corn, frozen broccoli shrapnel and light ranch dressing.  All mashed together it was divine!!! 081204-l2 And an Amy's Low Fat Black Bean Veggie soup. 081204-l3 081204-l1 It was a very filling + satisfying lunch.  For dessert I had two of these beauties: 081204-l4 Mini Pumpkin Walnut Chocolate Chip cookies from my co-worker's wife.  They were sooooooo good.  :) Snack:  My lunch + dessert really filled me up today, so I managed to hold off 'till 4:30 to eat my Pink Lady apple.  I skipped the ZBar all together... 081204-s1 Dinner:  Chicken Black Bean Enchi-ritos!  This is a recipe that I found on awhile ago and have modified quite a bit since then.  I made my hubb my classic comfort food version and  made myself an even further modified version.  So modified that it can't even really be called the same thing, so I think I'll post both recipes... Chicken Black Bean Enchiritos 081204-d61 Hehe...can you tell which side is mine and which side is the hubb's? Brian's Enchirito Filling Ingredients:
  • 3 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce (more for topping)
  • 1 cup shredded monterrey jack/cheddar cheese (more for topping)
  • 2 small chicken breasts, baked and shredded
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup black beans (canned)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • salt + pepper
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. In a medium bowl cream together the cream cheese and the sour cream.  Stir in the salsa , enchilada sauce and shredded cheese.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the shredded chicken, corn, black beans, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper and scallions.
  3. Add the chicken mixture to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.
081204-d11 Andrea's Enchirito Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 chicken breast, baked and shredded
  • 3/4 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • sprinkle of shredded cheese (plus a little for topping)
  • enchilada sauce for topping
  1. In a medium bowl mix the chicken, corn, black beans, corn, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne.
  2. Add the salsa, bell pepper and scallions.
  3. Last, stir in the spinach leaves.
081204-d21 My hubb found these tortillas in the freezer section at Whole Foods awhile ago and knew I would like them. 081214-d31 The enchiritos can be made in any kind of tortilla...I think they'd be really good in the 6" corn tortillas too.  These are burrito size, so the mixtures above resulted in 5 total burritos. 2 of Brian's... 081204-d41 2 of mine... 081204-d51 And one that mixed the two fillings. Assembly:
  1. Pour 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of large, glass baking dish.  
  2. Place filling in tortillas, roll up and place seam-side down in pan.
  3. Cover enchiritos with enchilada sauce and cheese.
  4. Bake at 350* for 25 minutes until hot and bubbly.
081204-d7 081204-d81 Both of these recipes are soooooooooo good.  Brian's is definitely better, that cheesy mixture is amazing.  But, I was really happy with my version too.   I had one enchirito topped with salsa, and steamed broccoli on the side.  It was a very filling, satisfying meal. 081204-d111 081204-d12 Whew!  That was a long post!  I hope everybody had a fabulous day...I'm off to bed to read.  Goodnight!
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leftovers and no-bakes!


Happy Wednesday!  Can you believe Thanksgiving was already one week ago?!?  Crazy.  I hope you have all had a fabulous day.  Thank you all for the great comments today and for being so supportive of my blog and decision to try one post a day...I think it will be better to keep the food diary consolidated into a summary each night.  I'll give it a trial period and see how it goes!  :)  I'm sorry I haven't been responding to comments...I need to play catch-up!!! My day was pretty busy, but not as busy as it really needed to be.  I've got a big meeting on Tuesday in Raleigh for my project, and just 2 weeks until a big big big deadline.  I'm not feeling the pressure yet which scares me...I'm afraid its going to mean some REALLY late nights at the end of this two weeks.  :(  I did have a fabulous run after work though! Brian and I went to UVA campus for a lovely 2 mile run.  It felt SO GOOD!!!  Brian's legs are much longer than mine so he gets ahead of me but is sweet enough to slow down and let me catch up.  We don't talk much, which I'm actually starting to like because it gives me time to get lost in my own thoughts.  I'm just so excited that running is becoming enjoyable for me again and that so far I seem to be steering clear of injury!  WooHoo!  I can't wait to keep increasing my mileage and run the New Year's Day 5k, it'll be here before I know it! On to food... Breakfast: Slice of Maple Banana Cornbread (still moist after 4 days!!!) with 1 tbsp almond butter, 1 cup of vanilla Oikos and my persimmon. 081203-b1 081203-b2 081203-b3 This was my first persimmon, and I was surprised at how sweet/mild the flavor was. I was expecting it to be much more tart. The flesh is very similar to a mango, and the skin (in my opinion) is inedible. I enjoyed it, but wound up picking it out of the yogurt to eat on its own. The yogurt overpowered the mild taste of the fruit. Lunch: I made a quick lima bean and corn salad (inspired from a Self recipe this summer...) and tossed it on a bed of spinach.
  • 3/4 cup frozen lima beans, thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
This was such a yummy combo, the dressing from the salad coated the spinach leaves perfectly. 081203-l1 081203-l2 Snack:  Pink Lady Apple (of course!) and the other 1/2 of my Cinnamon Roll Larabar. 081203-s2 Dinner:  Leftover Healthified Baked Ziti and a spinach salad.  Look at that monster piece Brian cut me!  Its actually only 1.5 servings, and I managed to eat most of it...! 081203-d1 My salad tonight had fresh spinach, hearts of palm, red bell pepper, celery, almonds and light ranch dressing.  Yum! 081203-d2 Dessert:  I made cookies!!!  I've been in such a baking mood lately...  This is another of Brian's favorite recipes from his grandmother.  I did make a few modifications...I just can't help myself!!!  These cookies are so great and simple because they require NO BAKING!!!  They are completely similar to Gina's breakfast cookies but not quite as healthy...  I thought about adding banana to these but I just don't know that they would hold up well enough to actually be little bite-size cookies.  Plus, I didn't want to derail Brian too much...  :)  Anyway, they are still hardening (but seem to be taking awhile...hopefully my modifications didn't screw them up!!!) so I will snap some pictures tonight and post the recipe tomorrow if they turn out ok.  And if not, I'll post Brian's grandmothers original recipe because I KNOW they are delicious!!! Here they are hardening... 081203-d3 Oh little chocolate-y, peanut butter-y, oatmeal-y bites of goodness I could eat all of you!!!! What is your favorite family recipe?
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Good morning!  Man, yesterday was a whirlwind!!!  I had so many fun things to blog about that I completely forgot to mention my evening run, or the fact that yesterday was my one-month blogiversary!  I can't believe its been a whole month since I signed up for Bella Eats one Friday afternoon...completely on a whim.  It has been an amazing experience for me so far, and I can't wait to see how the blog grows and changes over time.  Thank you all for being so supportive and fun to get to know, I appreciate each and every one of you and encourage you all to speak up if you have any comments or suggestions! Not only has the blog been creatively and emotionally fulfilling for me, but it has also done wonders for me physically!  I feel like I have been able to apply all of the great tips and techniques that I've been learning from other food bloggers out there, and can honestly say that my body feels and looks better than it did one month ago!  I can say this because today I am wearing a pair of dress pants to work that I haven't been able to wear in 6+ months...and they fit perfectly!  Woohoo!!!  :)  I am excited to see my body continue to grow stronger and leaner, especially as I continue to increase my running mileage and gain even more flexibility through my yoga classes. On to food... Breakfast:  One of my favorite combos...Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin with 1 tbsp almond butter and 1/2 chopped apple.  The rest of the apple on the side. 081202-b1 081202-b2 Lunch:  Leftover smoked turkey soup, mashed chickpeas with cucumber and yellow bell pepper. 081202-l1 Snack:  Pink Lady Apple.  I've eaten one of these every day for I think 4 weeks now and haven't tired of them good!  :) 081202-s1 What food do you eat on a near-daily basis that you never get tired of?
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oh the weather outside is frightful...


What a dreary, rainy day we had. Yuck. I made the best of it with a fabulous Vinyasa Yoga class, a little baking, some Christmas decorating and an awesome turkey noodle soup made by my dear hubby. All in all, it was a great way to end a lovely four day weekend. Breakfast: A cookie! (I know, slap my hand!!!) along with a banana and almond butter. 081130-b1 I had a quick snack before yoga because I was STARVING. Apparently cookies for breakfast aren't the most filling of choices. Lesson learned. Snack: Blueberry Clif ZBar. 081130-s1 Yoga was amazing as always, my muscles and joints felt all squishy afterwards.  Love it! Lunch:  Leftover roasted veggies, a handful of Kashi crackers and about 1 oz of aged gouda. 081130-l1 I caught up on some blogs, then decided it was time to finally make the maple banana cornbread recipe from Sweet and Natural.  I've been dying to try this!!! 081130-bread-3 081130-bread-4 081130-bread-2 Soooooooo good!  I had two slices for my afternoon "snack" while decorating our Christmas tree.  Both hubby and I were very impressed.  I think I overcooked it a bit, it didn't seem done at 30 minutes so I left it in for an extra 5 and it turned out a bit drier than I expected.  Totally my fault for not trusting the recipe.  :( But still so yummy...I can't wait to share it with the co-workers! Dinner:  Brian made turkey noodle soup with fresh stock made from our smoked Thanksgiving turkey carcass.  I can't even describe how good it was.  The stock was perfectly smokey, and he added the leftover turkey meat, celery, onion, carrot, potato, fresh sage and my favorite brown rice curly-cue pasta.  YUMMMMMM!!!!!!  I had this bowl, plus another about 1/2 its size.  And a small glass of wine. 081130-d1 081130-d2 After dinner we finished decorating the Christmas tree.  I <3 <3 <3 our tree.  A few years ago we decided to stop cutting down live trees 'cause we felt bad, and thought it was time to find ourselves a good artificial tree.  We thought "hey, if its fake...lets make it REALLY fake" and decided on a fabulous silver tree.  Very retro, and I adore it.  :) We have mostly white and silver ornaments (which we had long before the silver tree...just coincidence). 081130-xmas-1 081130-xmas-2 But we also have the obligatory ornaments that you collect from childhood.  You can learn a lot about young Andrea from these ornaments... 081130-xmas-3 Like...I played soccer.  I loved Winnie the Pooh.  I wanted to be a magician.  I played the saxophone.  I liked penguins.  I am a Florida Gator.  You get the idea... All Finished! 081130-xmas-4 And look, my hubby sneaked something under the tree!  Presents for moi!!!  :) 081130-xmas-5 Anyway, sorry for getting a bit off-subject.  But it does help to explain my current mood and why I am now craving an after-dinner snack of eggnog... What is your holiday must-have treat??? 
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training week #5 + groceries


Happy Saturday!  I hope that everybody is enjoying their post-Thanksgiving weekend with family, friends, relaxation etc.   Brian and I started the morning right with a run with the 10-Miler training group.  We ran 2 full miles on the track (boring!!!) but it went really well and felt great.  This morning was especially important for me because I was trying out a loaner pair of shoes that my running coach gave me out of his shop to see if they would help to correct the foot pain I've been experiencing.  Verdict is....success!!!  I ran the full 2 miles pain-free.  YAY!!!!  He says that I have a very unusual foot and that this is their least-selling shoe because it combines the soft, cushioned sole with added support for pronation.  They are still Brooks, which I've been running in off and on for about 9 months, just a different style.  I love them so far...aren't they pretty?!?!?  Not that that is the point... shoesies Breakfast:  I had 1/2 a banana before my run, then came home for a bowl of oats.  This yummy bowl contained
  • 1 cup prepared rolled oats
  • 1 apple sprinkled with 1 tsp turbinado sugar and a dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp ground flax seeds
  • sprinkling of pom seeds
081129-b1 I spent some time catching up on blogs this morning, then made our grocery list for the week.  I took a thorough inventory of the fridge, pantry and freezer and was able to keep the trip pretty light.  But first, we stopped at the running shop so I could buy my shoes.  I also picked up a wind/rain breaker from the sale rack and a pair of gloves.  Anything to keep me motivated to run through the winter... shoesies-3 Its not really day-glow pink...more of a bright raspberry.  I figure I won't be missed when running on the road!  Brian also got a new pair of shoes, and since we spent so much money (eek!!!) I got a free t-shirt (yeah!). shoesies-2 After that spending spree we stopped at Hot Cakes for lunch.  They have an awesome selection of salads, sandwiches, soups, quiches, lasagnas etc.  I selected the Salad Sampler which had
  • Spicy Lentil Salad (sooooooooooo good, has me craving lentils now)
  • Tomato/Onion/Feta Salad
  • Roasted Cauliflower w/ Dried Cherries and Capers (such an unusual combo but really tasty!)
I skipped the piece of bread that came with it. 081129-l1 Next was Whole Foods.  I was shooting for $50, but was thrown off after my amazing lentil salad from lunch (I just had to buy bulk lentils to try and replicate it), a sale on Amy's soups (who can resist?) and a persimmon!  So the total wound up at $63, which is still good for us considering we typically spend at least twice that (scary...I know).  I paid for detergent and dish soap separately to help us to get an idea of our actual food cost for December.  We're trying to cut our grocery shopping in 1/2...   Here's our loot: groceries-12
  • brown rice pasta
  • corn meal
  • walnuts (BSI!!!)
  • dried lentils
  • bars!!!  (we're taking full advantage of the coupons in the Whole Deal and stocking up every week)
  • canned beans
  • enchilada sauce
  • Amy's Soups (in hearty bean flavors for added protein for me)
  • organic Stonyfield French Vanilla yogurt (no Oikos for me this week...)
  • eggs
  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • spinach
  • potatoes
  • bananas
  • sweet potatoes
  • persimmon
I also picked up these flavors of Clif Nectar bars yesterday when we were shopping at our local sporting goods store...they don't carry these at our Whole Foods so I had to get a few. groceries-22 After getting home, unloading and photographing groceries I was ready for a snack.  I decided to try out the infamous PB-filled medjool date for the first time. 081129-s1 FANTASTIC!!!  Now I know what you all have been raving about!!!  I also had a couple of tortilla chips with some salsa that Brian was munching on... Now we are going to spend the evening decorating our Christmas tree while I bake up a few treats in the kitchen!!!  I should have a BSI post tonight or tomorrow morning, and I'm going to try another of Sweet + Natural's recipes!  Woohoo!!!
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turkey day review


I hope everybody had a simply fabulous Thanksgiving!  Ours was full of amazing company, fantastic food, lots of wine and tons of laughter.  We had a fabulous time hosting and are so grateful for our wonderful friends who helped us to have an amazing day.   I started the morning with a 3-1/2 mile run/walk with Lucy to try and get the energy out of her in preparation for our company.  She has a tendency to get pretty hyper when we have people over, so I wanted her to be as mellow as possible.  We ran about 1-3/4 miles of the total distance, which was great for both of us.  I haven't run much with her, especially since her surgeries this summer, so it took awhile to get our pace right but then she was a champ. When we got back I had a big bowl of cereal with 1/2 cup Kashi H2H, 1/2 cup Back to Nature Maple Nut Medley, 1 banana, sprinkle of pom seeds and 1 cup Silk soymilk. 081127-b1 Then, I jumped in to help Brian prep our big T-Day dinner!  In this case, I feel that pictures are definitely worth more than words, so here's a recap of our day... Morning Preparation dinner rolls b22 b31 b41 nana's apple crisp (recipe coming soon!) a33 a62 veggies to roast v11 country bread and sage dressing s31 s21 s41 turkey!!! t21 t31 Our guests arrived while the turkey was smoking and the veggies were roasting. We worked on munchies for a couple of hours... Munchies white sangria with mango and star fruit m22 cheese, fig spread, crackers, olives, etc. m11 And finally, the feast!!! feast11 feast21 feast31 Our guests with Brian... feast41 Our guests with me... feast51 Such an amazing day we had!!!  I haven't had a chance to read all of your Thanksgiving posts...but I can't wait!  I'm hoping to play catch-up tonight and this weekend.   Ok, quick recap of today's eats. Breakfast:  We got up this morning to shop, luckily the stores we wanted to go to didn't open 'till 8am anyway so we were able to sleep 'till 7:30.  I grabbed 1/2 a Clif Mojo PB Pretzel bar and a banana to chow on in the car ( pics).  After shopping for a few hours and finding some incredible deals, we went to Bodo's Bagels for a real breakfast.  I had eggbeaters, muenster and tomato on a whole wheat everything bagel. 081128-b21 I also went to the running shop this morning to report my test runs to my coach.  I'm still having some foot and knee pain with the inserts we put in my shoes so he actually gave me a pair of shoes out of the store to try out with the training group tomorrow, no charge!!!  He says if they work I can come back in and pay for them tomorrow, and if they don't we will try something different.  How great is that?!?!?  Late lunch/dinner:  Leftovers!!!  I decided I'm not counting my calories for yesterday or today, its just too hard and I'll get back on track tomorrow.  No biggie.  We munched on some cheese and crackers and fig spread while our t-day eats heated in the oven.  Not all of this though, don't worry!!!  :) 081128-l11 081128-l21 My leftovers plate. 081128-l61 One of my lovely dinner rolls. 081128-l51 And a winterbock from Star Hill, a local brewery. 081128-l41 Turns out I wasn't as hungry as I thought. Here's what was left when I was totally stuffed. 081128-l71 But an hour later I was ready for apple crisp... a101 Whew!!! That was quite the recap. I hope that everybody has a lovely Friday night...we are laying low and recovering from yesterday's festivities. Stay tuned for Nana's Apple Crisp recipe!
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