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From our meal prep last week, London and I both felt and recognized we needed to tweak the system and add more protein. We both felt like we should be incredibly skinny based on our hunger levels. So, to feel satiated we have added more protein to breakfast and some grains to lunch.  We both felt uninspired for dinner and it’s always hard to plan ahead for what will happen during the week.  So we have left dinner to be determined (but if at home, probably something along the lines of a veggie saute topped with a fried egg).

This week’s menu:
Breakfast – Overnight Oat Parfait
Lunch – Pea and little gem salad with farro
Snack 2 – Fig Bars
Dinner – TBD

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Overnight Oat Parfait
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup strawberries, chopped
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine almond milk, oats and chia seeds in a mason jar.
  2. Cover and shake.
  3. After 12 hours (or once the overnight oats have set), layer with yogurt.
  4. Top with strawberries and serve.

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Pea and little gem salad with farro (+ some)
Inspired by Bon Appetit
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup farro
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cups little gem lettuce
1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 kumato tomato, diced
1/2 avocado, cubed
2 pinches of walnuts
1 pinch microgreens

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook farro according to directions (I use the 10 minute farro from Trader Joe’s).
  2. Whisk oil and lemon juice in a small bowl to combine; season dressing with salt and pepper.
  3. In a separate bowl or container, add farro, lettuce, peas, tomatoes and avocado. Toss with dressing.
  4. Top with walnuts and microgreens.
  5. Serve with your choice of protein.

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Last Tuesday my boyfriend and I had the best date night ever! By far the best week night combo — dinner and a show. We started the night at West Coast Tavern, an urban tavern set in a historic theater that also houses the Observatory North Park.

This was my second time going to a show at the Observatory (see Jungle for previous visit). It’s a cool, old venue that has really good shows for not too much $$. We were excited to be going to Tame Impala, a show that sold out within the first hour couple of minutes of ticket sales!

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Since it was a “school night” we kept it safe with a couple of beers. I got the rotating handle, which was the Stone Delicious IPA. We began our dinner with the Charred Bacon Brussels Sprouts—balsamic oil, bacon, chili flakes, shaved parmesan reggiano. The sprouts were perfectly charred and crisp, complimented by bits of bacon (because bacon compliments everything!). You could taste the acidity of the balsamic, which made it seem like there was a hint of citrus. The cheese added a bit of saltiness and rounded out the dish nicely.

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Keeping it southern, we went for the Pork Belly and Waffles and Shrimp and Grits. The Pork Belly and Waffles—bourbon smoked syrup, garlic butter, bacon— seriously made me smile ear to ear. The pork belly was so soft, rich and buttery, the combo on the waffle literally sent good feelings everywhere.

The Shrimp and Grits — sautéed shrimp, jalapeño, red onion, chorizo soft grits, cilantro, lime — had a bit of spice and a little kick with the incorporation of chorizo in the grits. However, the shrimp were plump and large, and cut down some of the spiciness.

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Tame Impala is an alternative, psychedelic-pop band from Australia.  The show started at 10pm and lasted a good hour and a half.  It was nice to see them at a local venue because it was one of the bands we wish we could’ve gone to Outside Lands to see.  Overall, if you’ve looking for the perfect date night, I highly recommend dinner at West Coast Tavern followed by a show at the Observatory North Park!  You can check out the full schedule and line-up here.

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West Coast Tavern / Observatory North Park
2895/2891 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92104

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Thanks to West Coast Tavern and Observatory North Park for hosting us!

For the past couple weeks I’ve been putting together meal plans for my run group BFF, Gary.  He was looking to shed some lb’s before his first full Ironman in November and so far he’s been really successful in doing so!  This is one of the dishes I had him make for a dinner, and I finally got around to making it myself.  Luckily, it was good :-)

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Soba Noodle Salad with Spinach, Sesame Seeds, Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Shrimp
Serves 2
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 package soba noodles, cooked
4 cups spinach
2 cup shaved Brussels sprouts
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
24 medium shrimp
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Clean and devein shrimp. Cook over stove-top until cooked through.
  2. In the meantime, follow the instructions for the soba noodles. Drain and rinse with cool water. Refrigerate until chilled.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the noodles with the spinach, Brussels sprouts, sesame oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds and kale.
  4. Top with shrimp and serve.

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If you know me, you know, I am not a morning person.  As hard as I try, and as much as I want to be, it’s nearly impossible.

I will try anything to get me going in the morning.  That includes adding a new (to me) supplement into my daily routine, Sol Raiz Organics Maca.  Maca is a Peruvian superfood that comes from a root (that looks similar to a radish) and has a slightly earthy yet nutty flavor.

Because maca provides a good source of natural energy, I’ve been playing around adding it to anything I might encounter in the morning.  So far, it’s been a great addition to oatmeal, iced coffee, and smoothies.

I think this shake is perfect for breakfast or whenever you might need a little boost of energy.  Plus, the flavors are mild and complimentary so it’s a subtle way to introduce maca into your diet!

Have you ever tried maca before?
My first experience was a Whole Foods “Mighty Maca Malt” from their smoothie bar.

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Naturally Nutty Maca Shake
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 banana, frozen
1 Tbsp. natural crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp. Sol Raiz Organics Maca powder
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place everything in a blender and blend until you reach a nice and smooth consistency.

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Seriously, last week I was on a unique-dinners kick. And this dish was seriously addictive.  Like, take-one-bite-and-can’t-stop-eating addictive.  I don’t know what it was, the texture of the noodles, the subtle asian-flavor of the dish, the saltiness of the salmon balanced with the toasted sesame oil…whatever it was, it just worked!  This chilled noodle salad is perfect for summer, make-ahead for lunch, dinners, etc.  You’ll never want to stop eating it.

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Smoked Salmon and Soba Noodle Salad
Adapted from Wholesome Cook
INGREDIENTS:
3 cups cooked soba noodles
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds + extra for garnish
1/2 hot house cucumber, sliced
1 medium hass avocado, cubed
Smoked salmon, to taste
Spinach, optional

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook soba noodles according to directions. Drain and rinse with cool water. Refrigerate overnight (or until chilled)
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the noodles with sesame oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds.
  3. Cut the cucumber into half moons and cube the avocado. Toss with the noodles.
  4. Over a bed of spinach (optional), plate 1-2 cups of the soba noodle mixture. Top with desired amount of smoked salmon.

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Happy Friday!  What says Fall more than pumpkin and squash? NOTHING.  Maybe vibrant, colorful leaves, but you’re not going to eat those unless you’re Piper…are you?

Here are a couple of recipes I would love to make.  And probably will make in the near future.  But as of now I’m in the same position as you, cleaning up some keyboard drool.

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  1. For my running group we sometimes have to play name games.  The last one was your name and your favorite food. Answer: Kabocha Squash. I finally had a brainchild and decided  to look up some recipes other than just roasting it!  Sake-Steamed Kabocha Squash with Miso – The Year in Food
  2. Donuts. And Pumpkin.  That is all. Pumpkin Spice Donuts with Maple Almond Butter Glaze – Taylor Made It Paleo
  3. There’s nothing I love more than cornbread.  Seriously, I ate it so much last year, eventually I had to stop because I started to gain weight.  This looks like a pretty good option; flavorful and still healthy.  Put anything like honey and sage in my butter and I’ll eat it.  Pumpkin Corn Muffins With Honey Sage Butter – Running to the Kitchen 
  4. This needs to be a on a restaurant menu somewhere so I can go out and get it NOW.  Paleo Butternut Squash, Kale & Ground Beef Breakfast Bowl – The Healthy Foodie

A couple weeks ago, after a run, my boyfriend and I did a walk through of the Encinitas Farmer’s Market.  We didn’t see too much that caught our fancy, but caught the scent of the most amazing rosemary potatoes and chicken.  Not really sure what we wanted for dinner, we decided “next time.”  So last Wednesday, after our run (the one where I was crippled from my blister), we finally set our taste buds on the Rolls-Royce of chickens…ROLLSWISSERIE.  The owner of this gourmet rotisserie food truck is a cute Swiss man named Daniel, with the most amazing chickens.  They’re free range and slow roasted all day, releasing the fat, but ensuring that the flavor stays in tact.  There are no brines, injections, etc., just “Daniel’s Secret Spice.”

Well last week we were a little too late for the ribs.  So last night we made a serious effort to get there in time.  We ran the fastest the two of us have run together in a while, or maybe ever.  5 miles in 40:48 for an 8:09 min pace.  At first I started trailing behind at our pace of 8:30 min/mile.  But then, around mile 1 1/2, I decided to actually pick up my legs…and what do you know?  They actually worked.  We got down to a 7:30 pace, as my boyfriend was hoping we were running around an 8:20, but was more overjoyed when he heard it was faster and realized he wasn’t completely “out of shape.”  We stopped for water at 2.5 and quickly made our way back…we had a deadline!

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 (not the best picture, but it was damn good)

Moral of the story is, we got our chicken. Our ribs.  The rosemary potatoes (that are like fluffy pillows with a buttery taste – without the butter).  We boiled up some corn for one of the easiest, tastiest, comfort-foodie meals.

We even got a “Chicken Card.”  Buy 10 chickens get, one free…oh, and we will 😉

Rollswisserie can be found at local San Diego Farmer’s Markets, specifically Encinitas, Vista and Escondido, Wednesday, Saturday, and Monday, respectively.

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Here’s a “What I Ate Wednesday,” but of yesterday.  It was a delicious day that started out with these pancakes that I CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF!  I jazzed them up with some banana slices and almond butter in addition to some honey.
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Then after work I was feeling a bit lethargic, but thought I would still feel better after a run.  I ran, sans watch, influenced by Olive to Run’s May Challenge.  It was only 3 miles, but it was just one of those days when you can’t get your legs to move.  I kept turning my wrist in to look at my time…but there was no time!  It was actually quite refreshing and it allowed me to focus on my latest obsession — The Great Gatsby soundtrack.

photoFor dinner I made spaghetti squash hash browns.  Did you know there was even such a thing?  Or that this could be done?  They tasted almost identical and I think this is even easier to make.

Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns
Adapted from Empowered Sustenance
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 medium-sized spaghetti squash (about 2 cups prepared)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare the spaghetti squash.  The easiest way to do this is poke holes all over it and microwave for 8-10 minutes depending on the size.  Remove from microwave, cut off the ends, and slice in half.  Remove the seeds.  With a fork, string out the squash.
  2. Take half of the spaghetti-ed squash and remove all excess water.  Option to wring using a clean kitchen towel, or I pressed it between a few paper towels, several times until it was dry.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the dried spaghetti squash in an even layer and press down with a spatula.
  4. When you see the edges begin to brown, wait a couple minutes and then flip.
  5. Sautee the other side until golden brown.
  6. Remove from heat and serve as a side with your favorite dish, any time of the day.

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This has been a great weekend for running.  I didn’t have training Saturday so I was able to run 8 miles even though I was kind of stiff and sore.  The weather was absolutely perfect.  Afterwards I treated myself to an acai bowl and a great view at Swami’s.  I kind of wish every Saturday could be like this one!

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Today I ran the same route as Sat, but added an additional mile out, resulting in a 10 mile run.  It was a little gloomier, but pretty humid.  I could have used a little more breeze.  Coincidentally my newfound parking spot makes it oh so convenient to frequent my favorite little hippie/health shack.  Today I went for double trouble with a Lina Spiralina smoothie (apple juice, peaches, strawberries, raspberries and spiralina) and an iced coffee.  Overall, I was satisfied with my ability to run 2 longer runs in one weekend.  This might be a trend for upcoming weekends, as I’m thinking I should start increasing my weekly mileage.

And finally, it’s Cinco de Mayo.  After a day sans-margaritas, mexican beers and tortilla chips, I felt the need to do something holiday-spirited.  So for dinner we made these beauties I spotted on Fed and Fit.  I served them over a simple salad of arugula dressed with lemon and olive oil, some diced tomatoes and oven-roasted orange and yellow bell peppers.  It made for a very festive and healthy iCinco de Mayo!

photoPaleo Stuffed Avocados with Cilantro Cream Sauce
From Fed and Fit
INGREDIENTS:
1 lb chicken breast, cut up into tenders
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 container low sodium chicken broth
3 Hass avocados
1 can {14 fl oz) full-fat coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
½ cup cilantro, chopped
4 limes, juiced
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Preheat olive oil over medium heat.  Add chicken breasts and cook until you start to see white edges around the meat (about 2 minutes).  Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Then add the chicken broth to cover the meat.  Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the meat from the pan and shred with two forks.
  5. Add the cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to the chicken.  Mix together.
  6. Cut the avocados in half and remove the seeds.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Stuff the avocados with shredded chicken and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
  8. To make the coconut cream sauce, mix together the coconut milk, lime juice and chopped cilantro.
  9. Remove the avocados from the oven and drizzle with the cream sauce.

I’ve been looking for a way to incorporate more leafy greens into my diet, to compliment my increasingly meat-centric meals.  This stir-fry is the perfect thing for when you want a warm and healthy meal.  I feel like the secret ingredient (which might be completely normal and not a secret at all) is the sugar snap peas.  They add a nice bit of crunch and work nicely with all of the other ingredients.  Option to start off with your favorite protein and work in the vegetables, or to pair with (my favorite), baked chicken wings!

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Vegetable Stir-Fry
This recipe is Whole30 and Paleo-approved
INGREDIENTS:
1 crookneck squash
1/2 eggplant
5 baby bok choy
2 cups crimini mushroom
2 cups sugar snap peas
2 cups kale, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS:

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  1. Cut the squash and eggplant into half-moon pieces.  Separate the bok choy stems from the leaves.  Cut the stems at a diagonal and cut the leaves horizontally.  Keep the stems and leaves separated.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium heat.
  3. Sautee squash, eggplant and bok choy stems over medium heat, for 10 minutes (or until stems start to become translucent) while intermittently stirring.
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  4. Add mushrooms and sugar snap peas and sautee for 5 minutes.photo
  5. Finally, mix in the bok choy leaves and kale and cook for 3-4 minutes.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the Body Love Apparel Giveaway!

 
 
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