Another Week, Another Meal(s)

As I mentioned before, I’ve been experimenting more with cooking and sometimes this works out well, while other times it’s a great big mess. That’s all part of the charm of cooking- what others might call disastrous.

I was especially adventurous with my breakfasts this week. My first breakfast was pancakes that contained a secret ingredient, cottage cheese! I followed a recipe that looked good but it didn’t quite come out the way I intended. If I were to try it again, which I will, I think I’ll include both baking soda and baking powder, as I’ve found that creates the best result. These pancakes were very flat and thin and I don’t think it was that my stove wasn’t hot enough. No worries because I improvised and stacked them on top of each other so that instead of six flat pancakes, I had three fluffy ones, stuffed and topped with…peanut butter!

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This baked oatmeal concoction is a beauty. It includes oats, pumpkin, mashed banana, dates, raisins, apple, and walnuts. So full of fall flavors!

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These eggs were the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had and all it included were two eggs, a quarter cup of cottage cheese, and a dash of salt and pepper. Served with toast and a big bowl of fruit and my stomach was full and content!

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Another bit of a breakfast baking fail, but it was still tasty. I haven’t made homemade waffles in awhile, but I was craving one and pulled out the maker. I included whole wheat flour, oats, applesauce, egg whites, baking powder and soda, and cinnamon. My biggest problem was that I poured too much into the waffle maker at once. My other complaint was that the waffle was a bit mushy. I’ve heard that tossing in some cornstarch will help, so I am going to give that a whirl next time! Oh, look what I topped it with…peanut butter and jelly!

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The next day, I made some delicious pumpkin French toast, mostly because we were out of bananas and couldn’t make much else that was sweet. So delicious!

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Saturday morning, I woke with a hankering for eggs, so I fried two up and served with toast and fruit.

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Finally reunited with some banana, I made some of my peanut butter oats. These are so warm and filling.

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Leftover pizza and a fresh chopped salad was on the menu for lunch on Monday. I think all the healthy, crunchy veggies make up for the toasty, cheesy pizza! Regardless, it’s a delightful combination.

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I had a battle of my mind and taste buds one day when I had some grilled tilapia all ready to go, but I was craving grilled cheese. Once again, I improvised, eating a serving of fish and toasting some cheese on no piece of toast with carrots and celery on the side.

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I went into Boston one day, so I stopped at a Mediterranean place for a quick salad and I was not disappointed! This included lettuce and a cucumber, pepper, and tomato concoction that was very flavorful. Unfortunately, you can only see all the delicious chicken on top, but underneath, there are a ton of veggies. Half of a warm pita came with it.

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I paired a piece of grilled salmon with leftover Parmesan baked veggies, sautéed spinach, and brown rice.

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Using leftover grilled chicken, I grilled up some veggies for a stir fry including some black beans and tossed with barbecue sauce, which has become a bit of an obsession of mine lately. I enjoyed this with a handful of tostitos on the side.

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I had some curry sauce leftover from dinner the night before, so I stewed some chickpeas and a variety of vegetables and served it over coconut basmati rice. So good, but kind of heavy to eat before a run.

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Sunday, I went to a family party and forgot to snap a picture of my lunch. I enjoyed some chicken Caesar salad, a piece of ham, and a slice of cake!

Monday’s dinner was an assortment of things, including tilapia, a baked sweet potato with butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon, baked Parmesan veggies, and the last of the black bean soup.

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Steak with barbecue sauce with spinach brown rice, Brussels sprouts, and turnip came the next night and it was very good.

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This was a whole wheat spaghetti dinner with half of a chicken sausage, peppers, leftover veggies, and a slice of toast. It’s unfortunate that toast pairs so well with pasta because it’s so many carbs and it’s hard to control myself!

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To go with teriyaki chicken, I found a recipe for baked sweet potato fries that were so good! I also had some asparagus and a bite of some Chinese food items my dad picked up on the way home.

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I am loving the chicken curry sauce I found at the grocery store that has only fresh ingredients, no preservatives. It’s so simple, but a tad spicy. I stewed it up with chicken and veggies and enjoyed it over coconut basmati rice.

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Saturday night, I babysat and made myself this very cheesy and toasty grilled cheese that hit the spot! To go with it, I had chopped up some carrots, celery, cucumber, and peppers and for sweetness, I enjoyed an assortment of berries.

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Sunday night, after wedding dress shopping with my sister, we came home with a pizza and I made a quick salad. My favorite pizza topping is roasted red peppers and though this one was green, it was still tasty.

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Here’s to another great week of food!

A Week In Review

And here we are at Monday once again. I’m not quite sure how time is flying by, but that just reinforces how much we have to enjoy the time we do have!

This past week started off the right way with these delicious pancakes.

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Next came two eggs over easy and buttered toast with jelly. Fruit always comes on the side, this time with pineapple raspberries, and blueberries.

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My oatmeal looks quite foamy, but it is probably because I had a lot of problems with the milk that morning. It kept boiling over! Nonetheless, third time was the charm and I finally got to dig into these peanut butter oats with fruit.

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I showcased these bad boys last week with the recipe I developed my own self! Apple cinnamon cakes stuffed with apples and cinnamon, dish, and topped with maple peanut butter!

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I was in the mood for eggs this I guess because here are two more over easy with toast and fruit. I had already started eating when I realized I needed to snap a picture!

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A quick breakfast was needed on Saturday morning because I had a lot to do! My mom and I headed out to the grocery store early to prepare for the party later that night. After, I headed back to my alma mater to sponsor my cousin Erin during her Junior Ring and Tassle Ceremony. Proud cousin moment!

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Toast and peanut butter and jelly with fruit was the perfect remedy.

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To end my week of breakfasts, I had more eggs, this time poached over toast with a dash of spinach and fruit that wasn’t pictured. Divine!

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On Monday afternoon, the whole family came together to celebrate my dad’s birthday! We had an amazing chicken dinner with roasted potatoes, stuffing, squash, green beans, and Brussels sprouts. To end the night we has the best homemade ice cream cake. I was full the rest of the night so this counted as lunch and dinner.

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After this, lunch gets pretty boring because it’s all black bean soup. I made a batch of this copy cat Panera black bean soup Tuesday afternoon and devoured it all week long. In my version, I took the liberty of stocking it with tons of veggies!

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I wasn’t lying! This one was served with brown rice and cheese!

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And here we have more soup, this time jazzed up a bit with leftover steak tip and broccoli. Instead of rice, I went with a piece of grilled pumpkin bread.

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Oh look, more soup. Simply served with cheese and a side of tostitos. It was very good and filling.

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Oh good, not soup! This was a lunch out after the Ring and Tassle Ceremlny. I went with the shrimp and chicken stir fry in a sesame sauce with snap peas, peppers, portabella mushrooms, and jasmine rice. So tasty! I ate it all up!

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Finally, we visited my brother on Sunday afternoon and stopped for lunch. I am not a huge roast beef fan, so I chose a chicken patty with barbecue sauce and cheese. When I first ordered it, I thought “sauce” meant marinara, but despite being surprised, it was excellent. It does not however, look very appetizing.

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To start of dinners, I had a crockpot beef short rib dish served with squash, mashed potatoes, and leftover Brussels sprouts and green beans. I am newly a huge fan of short ribs! This one was really on topped with barbecue sauce. The angle of the picture looks like I went a little hand heavy with the mashed potatoes, but sometimes a girl can’t help it.

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This stir fry was comprised of grilled chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, and peppers in a red Thai curry sauce over coconut basmati rice. I didn’t love the curry, but the flavor wasn’t too overwhelming so it sufficed.

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Shrimp over whole wheat bow tie pasta, spinach and peppers, and a Caesar salad was an excellent dinner on a rainy night! The shrimp marinated in lime and butter and had huge flavor!

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To start off the weekend, I spent a night babysitting. The fridge was empty from a week’s worth of meals, so I went for a salad out. This was a Greek salad with grilled buffalo chicken which made me so super excited! Unfortunately, the only issue was that the restaurant gave me Blue Cheese dressing instead of Greek. Yuck! I do not like Blue Cheese! Luckily, the salad contained a ton of flavor without it, so I only drizzled a little on top.

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Saturday night at the party, we had appetizers and pizza. I tried to fill up with veggies from the veggie plate I made and had two pieces of red pepper pizza. I also had a taste of artichoke dip, some crabbies- crab and cheese on top of chopped up. toasted English muffins, a cookie, and some amazing autumn sangria. I didn’t snap any pictures. Whoops.

To end the week, I chopped up some veggies and leftover shrimp to go over a salad, with real Greek dressing, and leftover pizza. Divine!

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This week, I’m really trying to focus on cleaning up my diet. With the holidays coming, starting with Halloween- which comes earlier and earlier- all the way through New Years, it can be a difficult time to maintain a clean diet. As I mentioned, I will be coming up with a post featuring a lot of tips during this time. Not one says to deprive yourself, by the way! Winter and the cold weather is difficult in itself because we crave warmth, comfort, and solace and food is a great source. It’s all about making healthier choices for these dishes! More to come!

Insert Funny Title About Food Here

Baked pumpkin oatmeal was a great way to start off the week. This included pumpkin purée, maple peanut butter, pecans, banana, and blueberries and it was excellent even after a night in the fridge. Oatmeal is a quick, healthy, easy meal in any of its varieties, particularly if you make it a night in advanced. Whether you prefer cold with over-night or hot with baked, it takes just a few minutes of prep and then it’s ready to go when you need it in the morning.

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My peanut butter pancakes were on the menu the next day, enjoyed as they usually are with peanut butter, jelly, shredded coconut, and an assortment of fresh fruit. I can’t ever get sick of these!

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Another one of my favorites is poached eggs over toast. I tried putting jelly on one of the slices of toast because I’ve heard the sweetness pairs well with the saltiness of the yolk. Not bad, but this dish is just as good in its classic form. I also had some fruit, but I don’t like my fruit stewing in egg.

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Some more oatmeal, this time the stove top variety with some peanut butter, jelly, banana, strawberries, and blueberries. Toasted shredded coconut on top completed this deliciousness.

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This next breakfast was a bit of a fail. One thing I am working on is trying new dishes without a recipe. I had the brilliant idea to make some coconut crusted French toast and all was going well until the coconut burned in the pan without fully cooking the bread. It was good, especially dolled up with the usual concoction of peanut butter and jelly, but indefinitely has room for improvement. Experimenting in the kitchen is what makes cooking fun! My friend Andrea suggested next time I try baking it in the oven.

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As you can see, it’s not very pretty.

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Now it’s very pretty.

This is actually a different pancake recipe I tried to devise. I just threw together some Greek yogurt, whole wheat flour, oats, and an egg and topped nitwits peanut butter and jelly. Predictable, I know. They were excellent though a bit more indulgent than my other protein pancakes, particularly because I went with coconut yogurt.

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Breakfast on Sunday came much earlier than usual these days because I knew I had a busy day ahead and limited time to fit in my workout. I had a quick, light, and healthy peanut butter on toast and fruit meal to fuel heat ended up being a pretty good workout, despite still being a bit sore from my previous two workouts.

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My first lunch was enjoyed at a Barnes and Noble cafe as I was waiting for a meeting. While browsing, I was appalled at the calories of some of the dishes, including the veggie quiche that I had been eyeing and ended up being over 600 calories for not a lot of food. Instead, I opted for the more friendly egg, cheese, and spinach on non English muffin for 300 calories along with my brought from home veggie sticks. To be honest, I can make it far better.

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I jazzed up some pasta leftovers by tossing it with peppers, broccoli, asparagus, cheese, and black beans. All very good!

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A salad and yogurt was on the lunch menu the next day. I was so excited to find pumpkin chobani at Target and couldn’t wait to try it when I got home. I included a half of a whole wheat pita to go with my salad.

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Nouha came over to try an online Yoga class that had good intentions, but was not what we expected. I suppose it was a good stretch, but I’m glad that it was my rest day from the gym. After, I made stir fries using chicken, zucchini, peppers, carrots, and mushrooms on top of quinoa and mixed with a Thai peanut sauce I found at Target. It was very good! For dessert, Nouha brought some frozen yogurt that made everything a little sweeter.

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After a long workout that kicked my butt and has still left me sore, I was craving carbs. I threw together some more pasta and black beans, a couple of meatballs, cheese, and an assortment of vegetables. This left me so nice and full, I wasn’t hungry for dinner until way later in the night.

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To start off the weekend, my cousin Michael, my grandma, and I had a wonderful lunch out together at Bertuccis. Along with the best company and conversation, I enjoyed some Bertuccis rolls (the best kind), salad, and the pasta abruzzi in which I had some of the pasta and all of the peppers and sausage. I forwent most of the carbs in the meal because I couldn’t resist having two rolls! Pick and choose!

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My final lunch of the week was actually brunch out with my friends Lauren and Andrea. There was a bit of a wait to be seated so we sipped on mimosas and snacked on some homemade biscuits. For my meal, I went with eggs over easy, I had two yolks and most of the egg whites, but did not need the third yolk they offered. The eggs were so fluffy and buttery, I need to improve my egg technique. I loved the sour dough toast and slice of watermelon that came with it. Finally, I chose French fries over home fries and shared the huge plate with my friends and we didn’t come close to finishing them. All very good!

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Dinners this week included quite a bit of pasta, including this first dish. This is a chicken cacciatore that was served with whole wheat fussili, peppers, and asparagus. I couldn’t resist also having a side of toast, though this is something I am trying to cut out!

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Teriyaki chicken with spinach, a huge baked potato blanketed in a bit of butter and cheese, and the most delicious roasted squash dish ever was another dinner this past week. Seriously,the squash (and everything else), was so good!

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More pasta this week, this time whole wheat spaghetti with meatballs, peppers, mushrooms, and kale along with a salad I didn’t snap a picture of. I had to demolish this fairly quickly because my kickball game was on the earlier side and I wasn’t hungry until it was close to kick-off.

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I have been on the lookout for an easy, healthy curry recipe I could make myself and though I’m still searching, I found a substitute at Target that worked nicely. This is a Taste of India brand that was easy to put together, just toss in the paste (no artificial ingredients or preservatives, just a brief list of spices and things I’ve heard of!), water, and chicken and veggies of choice and heat on the stove top. It was spicy and delicious and reminded me a lot of the Indian food I’ve eaten at restaurants. I was quite pleased and enjoyed it over coconut basmati rice also found at Target- I’m loving their brands!

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After a long run, I threw together a quick salad with leftover teriyaki chicken and a pumpkin spice English muffin with a couple of teaspoons of peanut butter. Simple, quick, and filling, perfect for after a workout!

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My final meal of the week was enjoyed with some family at my aunt and uncle’s house. After snacking on a few appetizers, though I tried to keep it light, we ordered in some Mexican. I went with steak tacos, but put aside the tortillas in exchange for some of the chips. I also only had a couple of bites of the rice, but I ate all the beans because they were so good and fluffy. To get more of a veggie fix, I cut up some pepper and carrots when I got home to try and end the week on a healthy note!

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Though I seem to be starting the week off with a bit of a cold and it’s still warm outside, I’m feeling good and excited that it will soon chill off so I can wear layers and boots again!

Eat any good meals this week you want to share?

Food Made Delicious

This week’s meals kick off with a bowl of stove top oats. It has been quite cold inside now, though outside it may still be warm. I’m definitely ready for the chilly weather and my warm meals and affinity for wearing sweatshirts and sweaters proves this. This bowl of oats included a tablespoon of maple peanut butter, cinnamon pecans, and blueberries among the usual ingredients. Not too sweet and very satisfying.

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I was craving eggs of the scrambled variety, so I whipped up two with a dollop of milk and then topped it with cheese. This was enjoyed with a dark picture of assorted fruits and a grilled slice of my homemade zucchini bread! Instead of oil, I used apple sauce and subbed whole wheat flour for the white kind. It was so moist and yummy.

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Up next came my favorite, go-to pancake recipe. These are topped with peanut butter (of course), jelly, and toasted coconut and served with fresh, beautiful berries.

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Another oatmeal day included chocolate peanut butter, blueberries, strawberries, and banana. Again topped with a swirl of jelly and toasted coconut. I can’t get enough!

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Peanut butter toast was on the menu one day, the usual served with a healing bowl of fresh fruit. Simple, yet delightful.

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When my college roommate came to visit this weekend, I knew what I needed to serve, pumpkin anything. I decided on the French toast recipe I developed last week. For my bread, I chose one piece of whole wheat sour dough and another cinnamon raisin. Unpictured are the strawberries, raspberries, and grapes I devoured on the side. Obviously these were enjoyed with my usual topping.

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I ended my breakfasts for the week with two eggs over easy, with a little cheese, buttered toast with jam, and a side of fruit.

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My first lunch was a bit of a stir fry fail. I get too over enthusiastic about vegetables so I couldn’t finish it all, and the salmon and chickpeas I used were past their freshness and I had tone at around them! The whole wheat bow tie pasta was the best part!

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Since I had eaten eggs for breakfast, I was missing my peanut butter fix, so for lunch I decided on a peanut buttered English muffin and veggie sticks with hummus. Light, filling, and so good!

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Leftovers always make for am easy, great lunch. This includes whole wheat spaghetti, shrimp, and a variety of veggies mixed with homemade marinara sauced and topped with cheese.

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Leftover pizza in general is the best gift. I quickly chopped up a healthy salad to accompany my slices and loved my meal.

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Oh, this is awkward. Another day, another pizza lunch. Again served with salad and again enjoyed with immense fervor.

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Okay, this is getting embarrassing. At the very least, this version is homemade and much healthier. And I served it with carrots, celery, and cherry tomatoes so that’s not quite a salad. Don’t judge me.

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Phew, my last lunch was a chicken kebab salad enjoyed out with my siblings. I saved face there. For now at least.

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My first dinner this week was some steak tossed with peppers and mushrooms and topped with cheese. I opted for some tortilla chips instead of a flour tortilla, threw on some sour cream, and enjoyed a side of spinach and cabbage.

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Whole wheat spaghetti, shrimp, and veggies came next with a Caesar salad, which I had been craving for some reason. I love this colorful, delicious dish!

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The next night, my sister and her fiancé came over for dinner so we ordered pizza and I made a huge salad. This week we got suckered into the Roosevelt special on PBS, which was excellent, but it’s hard to watch something on a weeknight that’s two hours long with no commercial breaks! Conversation was limited that night.

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To offset all that pizza floating about, we had grilled chicken over a salad the next night. I had to eat this quickly in order to get to kickball, but it was light and yummy fuel for the game. Of course it was enjoyed with a side of toast.

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I went out on Friday with my friends Stephanie and Katie to a Greek place. The service was not great, but the food was fantastic! This was a beef kebab with peppers, rice, and a big Greek salad. Hummus and pita enjoyed on the side.

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Another big salad for dinner before the ghost tour I mentioned in my last post. This included grilled chicken over mixed greens, veggies, peanuts, and a few tortilla strips which I handed off the majority to Stephanie. Very flavorful. For some reason, the peanuts were my favorite part…

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My meals were topped off this week with a perfectly grilled cheeseburger on an English muffin, broccoli, and the sweetest, freshest corn picked up from a farm. I also had a couple of chips for the salt factor.

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Another great week of eating!

Mindful Eating, Good Food Takes Time

The big thing about food and eating that I think we do bring a lot of times is we cut quality options in favor of convenience. I get that there are simply never enough hours in the day, but eating and cooking should be enjoyable processes. I would say most of my meals don’t take up more than twenty minutes at a time and there are always ways in which to plan ahead of time! This is one facet of my life where mindfulness and care has really worked.

Here’s what I ate this week!

I started my week off with some delicious pancakes topped with toasted coconut because I can and it appears more indulgent that way.

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Since I worked the polls and had to be up bright and early, I prepared a batch of baked oats for both my mom and myself. This recipe includes pumpkin purée, maple peanut butter, cinnamon pecans, pumpkin spice, dates, and mashed banana. It was rich, gooey, filling, and energizing the next day heated up!

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To add to the pumpkin festivities, I threw some pumpkin purée into a mixture of egg whites, milk, and pumpkin spice, drenched two pieces of my favorite whole wheat sour dough bread and grilled them up for some fancy French toast. On their own they were divine.

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But with some chocolate peanut butter, jelly, and toasted coconut on top, they were another level.

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More oatmeal, this time of the stove top variety with my regular peanut butter and jelly and more toasted coconut. It’s kind of a thing now. I love hot oatmeal on a cool morning.

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Here we have more pancakes, but not my usual recipe. I researched online and found a great whole wheat and oat pancake concoction and of course topped them with more peanut butter, jelly, and coconut. I’m still learning the quirks of the new stove top, but the browning didn’t affect the taste!

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Toast topped with peanut butter never goes wrong, especially if you need a quick, portable breakfast as I did on Saturday. Filling, healthy, and energizing, especially when accompanied with fruit.

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I ended my week with two over easy eggs with some toast topped with butter and jelly and a big bowl of fruit. Divine.

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Lunches this week included many fancy salads. This one includes chickpeas, tons of fresh produce, cinnamon pecans, and a side of leftover zucchini fries and a piece of toast. I’m loving the new salad bowls!

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I had to create something fast, healthy, and delicious on Tuesday and thanks to leftovers, I was up for the challenge. Chickpeas, mushrooms, and peppers over brown rice and a side of more zucchini fries and asparagus.

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Another salad quickly, though lovingly tossed together with fresh vegetables and feta cheese and a cup of Chobani coconut yogurt and some chopped up pecans.

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Unknowing that pizza was also going to be dinner, I thought I would try something other than a salad and grilled myself an English muffin pizza with sauce and cheese, broccoli, summer squash, and zucchini on the side as well as some cheezits.

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A leftover piece of pizza and a big salad was in order for Friday. I’m not sure there is a better food combination than pizza and salad. Oh wait, peanut butter and jelly…. Peanut butter and chocolate….

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On Saturday, I met up with some of my family for a lunch outing. Fried seafood is not my thing, but I did enjoy a nice burger and a couple of fries. The buttered, grilled roll makes the difference! An amazing peanut butter Oreo ice cream cone pretty much completed my eating for the day, but I forgot to snap a picture!

Lunch was a bit strange on Sunday because I ate it in different parts. First was a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with chopped banana and blueberries as well as a cup of yogurt. After my workout I had a big salad and a bowl of popcorn.

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For dinners, I had lemon chicken smothered in mushrooms, brown spinach rice, and asparagus.

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Whole wheat vegetable lasagna with some marinara and chicken sausage on top and sautéed spinach on the side was perfect after a long day.

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Next came a piece of steak covered in peppers with a baked potato with a dollop of butter and sour cream, and some grilled broccoli, summer squash, and zucchini.

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Girls night included take out pizza, a toasted ravioli, and a chicken wing. I also had some leftover broccoli, which I forced myself to eat before enjoying another slice of pizza.

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Chipotle honey BBQ salmon with a piece of Mexican street corn and grilled zucchini and summer squash was enjoyed at a restaurant with my parents. It was hard to opt for the veggies instead of rice or beans, but since I enjoy chips and salsa more, I knew it was the right choice.

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After that sizable lunch on Saturday, I wasn’t feeling a full fledged dinner. Instead I had some popcorn with my cousin Mikey who tried to teach me how to play this video game thing that I’m still confused by.

On Sunday, since my eating had been so spaced out, I was craving peanut butter and jelly on toast for dinner and went for it. Sometimes you gotta have what’s calling to you!

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Though I missed one this week, we have to admit that I’m getting way better at remembering to snap pictures before I dig into my meals!

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Home Cooking > Restaurants, Sorry Not Sorry

This past week marked my last of disruptive cooking and eating In regard to the kitchen. It’s done! That combined with the pending fall weather, has me ready to cook and bake up a frenzy. In the coming weeks, you will find my meals to be far more exciting than what I have to offer this week.

My week started off with some peanut butter toast. Had I know it would be the only day I had full access to the kitchen before the painting started, I would have sucked up the heat and made something a bit more interesting. Still tasty with some berries and half a banana.

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Thinking ahead, I made overnight oatmeal with raisins, chopped dates, banana, and cinnamon, a hard-boiled egg and a pepper jack cheese stick with fruit.

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More toast because it was quick, easy, and delicious. This time of the chocolate variety. Consider this times two this week.

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This is a picture of a meal I had out this weekend. Let me tell you, it was okay, but when it comes to breakfast, my family does it better. I asked for poached eggs which are supposed to be drippy and buttery, they came out half-soft and partially hard. Eh. The home fries were not cooked enough and I prefer my bacon far crispier. The only thing that really did it for me was the whole wheat toast slathered with butter and strawberry jam.

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Now this, is what I’m talking about. A couple of weeks ago my mom had an eggs Benedict that included baby spinach instead of meat. We attempted a recreation at home and it was fantastic. Perfect poached eggs over an English muffin and baby spinach, drizzled with Hollandaise sauce. So good and the sauce was only twenty calories! Enjoyed with fresh fruit in an empty kitchen!

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Lunch starts with glorious leftovers. Turkey tips, macaroni and cheese, salad, zucchini fries, peppers and mushrooms. So freaking good! And very filling. The drink in the background is mostly seltzer water with a splash of blueberry lemonade. Divine!

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I was so hungry and didn’t have access to the kitchen, so I took this as an excuse to visit the Whole Foods salad and hot bar. I stocked my box full of fresh veggies, baby spinach, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, and artichokes. Then I had a bit of a chicken dish and an incredible Indian chickpea dish over coconut rice. I am now on the hunt for that recipe or something that is similar.

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I threw together this tasty, fresh salad the night before to enjoy with half of a whole wheat pita and a cup of my favorite coconut blended Greek yogurt. Refreshing on such a hot day. I’ve been trying to eat more yogurt as it’s such a good source of non-meat protein.

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Pizza and salad came for lunch on Friday when it was so hot and the kitchen was being finished. Roasted red pepper is my favorite topping along with a Greek salad.

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The next day, after a long afternoon of swimming and floating in the pool, I enjoyed leftover pizza and a salad I tossed together with romaine, tomato, carrot, and celery.

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After a big breakfast, I took advantage of all the fresh vegetables we bought yesterday and tossed a salad together with sweet baby lettuce, red pepper, carrot, celery, and tomato from my garden. So tasty along with another cup of yogurt and a piece of toast. Kept me fueled and light through my run that was amazing in the cooler, humidity-free air.

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Dinner was a mixture of leftovers and a couple of Chinese options. I had a piece of steak, lemon pepper chicken, with brown spinach rice, roasted cauliflower, a crab Rangoon, and a scoop of chow mein. Weird, fun fact about me, I don’t like onions unless it’s within foreign food or select onion rings. I don’t get it either.

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Delicious Italian consisting of chicken parm and medium shells, asparagus, red pepper, and mushroom along with a piece of sour dough toast. A lot of carbs, but worth every bite.

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More leftovers, this time homemade chicken parm, whole wheat medium shell pasta found at Target, roasted cauliflower, and asparagus. I love all these whole wheat pasta options that have been popping up!

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Friday night I had a delightful dinner with friends at a fun Mexican place. With sangria and some chips and salsa, I had mini steak quesadillas with a side of black beans and vegetables. A good tip to know is when you are eating tacos, choose corn tortillas over flour for a healthier option. I do like a little sour cream, but is didn’t even use up half of that shown in the picture.

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One of my favorites, chicken stir-fry. I grilled up a Perdue chicken with zucchini, cauliflower, red pepper, mushroom, and bok choy. Under a bed of brown rice, I mixed everything up with a Thai peanut sauce I found at Target.

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This was an assortment of different flavor, a honey BBQ chicken drumstick, part of an Italian sausage, half of a sweet potato, zucchini fries, and mushrooms and peppers.

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To end the week, I had a wedge of caramel, walnut brownie topped with vanilla ice cream. This was combined with a hot cup of peppermint tea because I was shivering when I finished!

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Summer Tidings

Though the beginning of September is technically still summer, and feels like it too, there is always something about the month that screams Fall. I love summer, but the Fall inspires such beautiful memories and emotions that it might just be my favorite holiday.

This also happens to be the first September, in twenty years, that I am not gearing up to go back to school in any capacity. School supply shopping and moving my brother back into college brought some nostalgia, which already runs rampant in me during this time of year. It’s a big change, but it’s a good change, especially once I figure out what I will be doing.

As promised, this week brings a lot of good food made in an actual kitchen, my OWN kitchen, that is so so done, except for a door on the spice rack. Most important, it’s functional and beautiful and I am ready to get cooking.

Breakfast this week featured some repeats, my favorites, that I haven’t been able to make in some time. First up are delectable poached eggs on whole wheat toast. Simple and delicious. My mom makes them best. Enjoyed with berries that is unpictured because I do not like my fruit touching yolk.

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Pancakes! Yes, I made them this summer on the portable stove thing, but there’s something about the actual stove top that made these even better. The sad thing is when I first enjoyed these, I was battling that awful virus that swept me off my feet. I started making them before the full effects got to me, but when it came time to eat them, it was a nose blow, hand scrub, bite one-one-one ratio. They are beautiful though.

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Oddly enough, I somehow still had a hankering for toast and peanut butter. I tried Trader Joes Artisan Wheat for the first time and found it dense and fresh, perfect for regular Teddie peanut butter and jelly. There was half a banana and some berries too that didn’t make it into the picture.

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More toast and peanut butter, this time of the chocolate variety, since they were busy working on the kitchen and I needed to be quick. Beautiful bowl of blueberries and raspberries on the side. I love summer produce.

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When I was finally feeling better, though mucus seems to be lingering, I made my pancakes again. I will never get sick of them.

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This oatmeal I made with a new, first time purchase of maple peanut butter. I threw a tablespoon into stove top oatmeal along with a tablespoon of cinnamon roasted pecans and a handful of blueberries. It was absolutely delightful and so autumn-inspired, I can’t even wait to have it again with a cup of pumpkin spice coffee on a cold-fall day.

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Taking advantage of having my mom home in the morning, I asked for more poached eggs. This could be my favorite kind. Savory and filling. More fruit on the side that didn’t make it into the picture.

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When I first got my cold, all I wanted was soup, and my mom obliged. My favorite combination at Panera is broccoli cheddar soup with the Thai chopped chicken salad and a whole wheat baguette on the side.

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My mom also obliged in making me a tomato grilled cheese, in which I needed cheezits and strawberries.

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Greek salad eaten and enjoyed in our new special salad bowls. Romaine and baby spinach, peppers, tomato, cucumber, carrots, feta, and Greek dressing with a pita on the side.

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This is a colorful stir fry, one of my favorite go-to meals, made with Perdue’s honey barbecue chicken and a variety of fresh veggies tossed lightly in soy sauce on top of brown rice.

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We had a big family barbecue on Saturday, so here are some of the pictures of this food. Not all of the dishes got snapped and I can tell you, I ate a lot. These were not my single portions FYI but two of the dishes I made, a big salad and a Mediterranean dip I’ll tell you about soon.

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Before moving my brother back into school, I tossed a quick salad together and had a side of leftover macaroni and cheese.

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Starting off dinners for the week was a steak fajita salad with brown rice and part of a zucchini boat.

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A takeout Greek salad with the best grilled chicken and half a pita that was enjoyed through sniffles and snot.

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The night I was very sick, I had whole wheat pasta, half of a sausage, and stuffed down a salad. I didn’t take a picture because I forgot.

I went out for Thai with my friend Molly and had a much better experience than last week. This is cashew chicken with an array of veggies and brown rice.

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Saturday at the BBQ, I was too busy running around that I didn’t get a chance to snap many pictures. There were burgers and hot dogs along with salad, pasta, beans, and corn. Perfect for Labor Day.

This is the turkey tips from the 99 along with some mashed potatoes, a biscuit, and broccoli. I’m excited to use the leftover tips in a salad this week.

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Proving that we do cookouts right, today we had amazing lemon pepper chicken, steak tips with honey BBQ sauce, mushrooms and green peppers to smother the meat, brown spinach rice, a huge salad, and zucchini fries. I found the recipe from a Buzzfeed article and they were so good! I can’t wait to make more zucchini recipes!

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A perfect ending meal to an amazing summer full of good fun, tasty food, and sun. I’m sad to see summer go, but I’m happy to welcome fall once again. Rotational seasons rock!