Planning ahead, London and I knew we wanted to make a slightly elevated camp breakfast (especially following our camp pizza).  After searching for inspiration, egg-in-a-hole kind of just popped into our heads.  Just a few ingredients made an easy spin on the classic egg and toast breakfast.  This breakfast ended up being very substantial, keeping us full until well after our hike!  But I’m not gunna lie, we did kind of kill an entire package of bacon between the two of us… 😛

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Egg-In-A-Hole
INGREDIENTS:
1 slice of bread
1 egg
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut a hole from the center of the slice of bread.
  2. Turn on camp stove and heat pan over medium-low heat with olive oil.
  3. Place the piece of bread in the pan.  Crack the egg directly into the center of the hole, and cook until the egg sets on the bottom, around 1 minute.
  4. Flip it over and cook until the yolk feels soft.
  5. Remove from heat and serve with bacon and ketchup :)

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Who brings micro-greens camping? In our attempts to make our Malibu camping trip as gourmet as possible, London and I sought out to make our favorite Pandora’s Pizza (the Jupiter from Pandora’s Pizza in Leucadia) camp style. After doing some research and using this REI blog for inspiration, with some trial and error (and a lot of fire play), we ended up with the most delicious and well deserved pizza!

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Camp Pizza
INGREDIENTS:
Pre-made pizza dough
1/2 fresh mozzarella ball
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 fresh basil leaves
1 pinch microgreens
1/2 avocado
Olive oil
What you’ll also need:
Cast iron skillet
Lid
Wood burning fire

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Start fire.
  2. Prep ingredients (slice mozzarella into rounds, halve cherry tomatoes, chop basil, cube avocado).
  3. Preheat pan and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Layout pizza crust in pan and top with cheese, cherry tomatoes and basil.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes, then cover with lid and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and top with microgreens and avocado, then serve.

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So far the deck is getting some good use on these Taco Tuesdays!

Last week my mom came over and brought with her some goodies from the Mexican Market I used to visit all the time (but live too far from now). Similar to the Ahi Tacos London and I made a couple weeks ago, we threw together these super simple ceviche tacos. I’d have to say, the pre-made ceviche filling makes this the easiest dinner ever.

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Ceviche Tacos
INGREDIENTS:
1 spinach tortilla
Handful of shredded green cabbage
Spoonful/helping of ceviche
Toppings: avocado, salsa fresca, etc.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Warm up tortilla and top with cabbage, ceviche and any desired toppings.

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When life gives you cold days in San Diego, make chicken noodle soup!  Last weekend I was fortunate to be soaking up the PERFECT weather in San Francisco while it was pouring rain in San Diego.  I came home on Sunday to cold temps and dark skies, so I decided to make soup for the very first time.  I found a delicious looking recipe, and it turned out just so.

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Flu Fighter Chicken Noodle Soup
Slightly modified via Baker by Nature
INGREDIENTS:
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon organic taco seasoning
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 very large onion, finely diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
Big pinch of salt
(1) 32 oz containers chicken stock
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
16 oz noodles (I used organic fusilli)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Place chicken tenders in a large baking dish lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with spices. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, flipping the chicken at the half-way point. Once cooked, pull into small chunks using two forks.
  2. While the chicken is roasting, make the soup.
  3. Heat remaining oil in a large, heavy bottomed soup pan over a medium flame. Add carrots, celery, and onion, and cook – stirring occasionally – for 8-9 minutes. Add garlic and salt and cook for another minute before adding the bay leaf, water and chicken stock. Increase heat to high, bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, stir in noodles, and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and the pasta al dente. Stir in cooked chicken, dill, and lemon juice. Taste soup to adjust seasonings, then serve at once.

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When I don’t bring my own lunch to work, I don’t run into the issue of making unhealthy options. I run into the issue of making healthy options and paying a fortune for them (#wholepaycheck).

I am definitely not as good as I used to be about meal prep, and basically make everything on a day-to-day basis, usually the morning-of.  I also run into the issue of not cooking as much as I used to, so I don’t like to buy groceries that will eventually just go to waste.

So, I’m starting to find things that are easy to throw together that are healthy and taste great. I used to not be into sandwiches, but now they’re one of my go-to lunch options. Paired with a simple spinach salad (dressed in blood orange EVOO – yum!), it’s always a great combo.

Here’s a recipe I’ve recently added to my arsenal. A healthy tuna fish salad sandwich using greek yogurt (yay) instead of mayo (ew).

Simple Tuna Fish Sandwich
via The Healthy Foodie
INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup 0% fat greek plain yogurt
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Old Style whole grain mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Italian parsley
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1 can chunk light tuna fish, in water
2 slices whole grain bread of your choice
a handful of spinach
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add all the ingredients except tuna in a small mixing bowl and mix until well blended. Stir in drained tuna and mix well.
  2. Spread mixture onto one slice of bread. Garnish with spinach and top with second slice of bread.
  3. Serve immediately.

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With the first warm days of fall settling in, London and I decided to pack up a seasonal picnic for this week’s Happy Hour Made Healthy. Hitting the park just before sunset, we stumbled upon the perfect lighting (oh hey, natural sun flares!) for the most unintentionally romantic picnic. Cue John Mayer’s cover of “XO”.

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Inspired by London’s bursting ripe pomegranate tree, we kept the menu simple with a touch of special- pomegranate seeds are like nature’s bling! With the blanket spread and basket opened, only a few minutes of easy prep made this healthy picnic so relaxing.

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We popped a bottle of Rose I brought back from Napa, topped each glass with a splash of sparkling blood orange San Pellegrino, and floated a handful of fresh pom seeds! For snacks, an assortment of cheese (look for smaller cuts of “leftover” cheese, perfect for picnics) paired with sliced pears, and crackers spread with almond butter, all sprinkled with ruby red pom seeds.

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Sprawled out on the grass on the first day of fall, enjoying the fresh air and toasting to friendship, it was another successful Happy Hour Made Healthy. Skip your traditional happy hour this week and take some time to unwind outside before the darkness (daylight savings) arrives!

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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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London and I are at it again!

Last week Kelli offered up her own beach bungalow to host a little DIY Happy Hour Made Healthy. We’re not quite sure she realized just what she was getting herself into, or that we were going to take over her kitchen and hijack her Friday night. Muahaha.

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Planning the menu, we wanted to highlight peak summer herbs and fresh ingredients without being totally #basic. Along with hefty handfuls of fresh basil and cilantro, our drinks featured Bon Affair, a lighter calorie and unique wine spritzer filled with health benefits thanks to electrolytes and grape seed extract. To compliment the light cocktails, we took the party to the grill for simple skewers and a fresh summer panzanella salad.

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Refreshing cocktails, goofing off with the girls in the kitchen, and a warm summer breeze…the recipe for a perfect al fresco happy hour! Stick with us for our inspired menu and four new summer recipes.

On the menu –

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Peach Basil Fizz
Serves 3-4
INGREDIENTS:
2 white peaches, pitted
3 basil leaves
1 bottle Bon Affair Sauvignon Blanc
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Blend peaches and basil until you reach a nice and smooth consistency.
  2. Pour in the bottom of a glass. Top with Bon Affair.
  3. Serve with straw and garnish with basil leaf.

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Cilantro Cucumber Boozy Lemonade
Serves 3-4
INGREDIENTS:
½ cucumber, sliced
1 handful cilantro
2 lemons, halved
1 bottle Bon Affair Sauvignon Blanc
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Divide cucumber slices and cilantro leaves equally into glasses.
  2. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into each glass.
  3. Top with Bon Affair.

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Summer Panzanella
INGREDIENTS:
Arugula
Rosemary olive oil bread loaf
Pearl-size mozzarella balls
Cherry tomatoes
Zucchini
Yellow zucchini
Avocado
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut bread into crouton-sized chunks; slice zucchini and yellow zucchini; halve tomatoes; dice avocado.
  2. Brush bread with olive oil and place on the grill until toasted. Repeat for zucchinis.
  3. Assemble all ingredients into a large bowl and toss.

Pineapple Shrimp Skewers
INGREDIENTS:
Pineapple chunks
Shrimp
Grill pan
Skewers
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Wash and clean shrimp. Assemble the skewers alternating between pineapple and shrimp.
  2. Place on the grill until grill marks begin to form and the shrimp starts to cook.
  3. Flip and repeat.
  4. Cook until the shrimp is fully cooked.
  5. Remove and serve.

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Don’t forget the: lemon juice. Add it to anything and everything to brighten and bring out the flavors.

Take away tip: Grill summer ingredients for a unique flavor that’s very seasonal.

Stay tuned for the next Happy Hour Made Healthy!

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In collaboration with my fellow healthy living blogger London, from London, Like The City, I’m excited to introduce you to our brand new blog series- Happy Hour Made Healthy!

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We created Happy Hour Made Healthy to inspire you with ways to get more out of your happy hour than say, just vodka sodas. Whether it’s hunting down the freshest cocktails and healthy bites or switching it up with alternative after-work activities, we hope to show that enjoying happy hour can fit into every healthy lifestyle!

Today we’re highlighting a local San Diego favorite, Fig Tree Cafe, with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. They’re truly committed to quality and even grow their own rosemary (you’ll definitely see this sprinkled throughout our experience!). We sat out on the rustic patio (chatting like young professionals!) as another gorgeous summer evening unfolded.

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Drinks –

Rosy Watermelon – Chunky watermelon with vodka, lemonade and a sprig of fresh rosemary. This is the type of drink you’d want to sip all day, say, out on your nice wide-open front porch. It was soooo refreshing; the main highlight was definitely the watermelon. The rosemary brought out more flavor from the watermelon (which can sometimes be subdued/watery -just in general) and the splash of lemonade provided that zest and “hydration” factor.

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Blackberry Bliss – Bursting ripe blackberries mingle with mint, vodka and a splash of champagne for an ultra-refreshing (and gorgeous!) cocktail. Stronger than our first round with just a hint of sweetness and a touch of bubbly, this is a drink London can’t wait to recreate at home!

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Small Bites –

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Portobello Fries – a light, panko battered veggie “fry” provides more substance than just regular French fries. These were super meaty with a smooth bite, and we loved how you could taste the fresh rosemary in the dipping aioli.

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Vegan Napoleon – Another great showcase of fresh and seasonal summertime veggies. The layers of eggplant, bell pepper, portabella mushroom and asparagus were substantial enough to withstand the balsamic glaze, but sliced thinly enough to really enjoy.

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Roasted Tomato Bruschetta – if you’re going to get a bruschetta, make sure it’s the best. And this one definitely had us. The cherry tomatoes were blistered and bursting with juice, the basil intoxicatingly aromatic, and all topped with Manchego cheese – a London favorite. But really, let’s talk about the bread. Homemade, thick yet fluffy, and just the right amount of crunch/toast to support the weight of the fresh vegetables on top.

Baby Kale Salad – Ashleigh’s had this one before and has even made a copycat recipe. The curls of kale were brightened up with citrusy vinaigrette and complimented by the sweet slices of green apple and the saltiness of the “man candy” bacon (we love the name! Lol).

Entree –

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And if you find yourself lingering after happy hour (as tends to happen with great atmosphere and even better company)…. the catch of the day is sure to be the freshest in the restaurant. We shared the yellowfin tuna, which was light and clean, yet rustic paired with the bursting cherry tomatoes and hearty herbed mashed potatoes.

Fig Tree Cafe Liberty Station
2400 Historic Decatur Road Suite 103
San Diego, California 92106
(619) 821- 2044

Happy Hours:
7 days a week, 4-6pm

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Don’t miss the: dishes with homegrown rosemary! We recommend the summery Rosy Watermelon. Cheers!

Take-away tip: “indulge”/celebrate the healthy way with fresh, local ingredients.

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I never thought I’d be saying this, but I need more frozen food in my life.  Because while I’ve gotten really good at buying exactly what I need for the week (nothing more), I’ve also gotten really bad at having things on-hand for times when I don’t have a meal planned.  My Monday-through-Friday- morning-through-afternoon meals are easy, but when I don’t plan for a night, we’re screwed.  Or eating oatmeal…

So I’ve given up my qualms about frozen food and have submitted — but not just to Lean Cuisines or frozen pizzas.  I’ve purchased things like turkey burgers, whole wheat vegan pizzas, and random veggies that I can use to create something or doctor up.

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Here’s what’s on the menu for Monday through Friday, AM to afternoon-PM.  I’ll make sure to share some of my TBD-dinner options along the way.

Breakfast – Green smoothie + iced coffee 
Snack 1 – Cantaloupe with cottage cheese
Lunch – Cucumber Basil Egg-Salad Salad with chicken
Snack 2 – Greek yogurt with frozen berries
Dinner – TBD

Green Smoothie – simplified
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 large handfuls of spinach
1 cup frozen tropical fruit
1 handful ice cubes
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place everything in a blender and blend until you reach a nice and smooth consistency.
  2. Optional: top off with a sprinkle of granola (as pictured).

Cantaloupe with cottage cheese
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cantaloupe
1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Remove seeds from the cantaloupe.  Add in a scoop of cottage cheese.

Cucumber Basil Egg-Salad Salad
INGREDIENTS:
For the egg-salad:
12 hard-boiled eggs (cooked using this recipe)
1 cup 0% Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tsp. Dijon mustard
1 cucumber, chopped
6 Tbsp. basil, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
For the salad:
1/2 cup grain (quinoa, barley, farro, etc. — I used Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend)
1 heart of romaine, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar.
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Remove shells from eggs.  Then, in a large bowl, mash the hard-boiled eggs.
  2. Add Greek yogurt, lemon juice and Dijon mustard, and mix until well incorporated.
  3. Stir in the cucumber and basil.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Set aside.
  4. Cook grains according to directions.  Add 1/2 cup to the bottom of your container.
  5. Top with romaine lettuce and cherry tomatoes.
  6. Dress with olive oil and balsamic.*
  7. Add 1/2 cup of egg salad mixture to top.*
  8. Optional: add additional protein such as chicken.

*Fresh tip: To keep this salad fresh, I add the dressing (olive oil and balsamic vinegar) and egg salad the night before, or morning-of.

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