YA Eats 2

Hello beauties!! I hope this post finds everyone well. Who doesn’t love eggs? Whether you’re brunching hard with eggs benny, or hard-boiling them for on the go snacks, eggs are such a staple for keeping your belly full and your tastebuds happy. I am an avid egg salad gal. It is so easy to whip up a batch on Sunday afternoons and have egg salad ready to put on a wrap, mix with a salad, or eat on its own. And it very much fits in with the young adult theme of keeping the preparation quick, simple, and down to few ingredients. Let’s get into it! (I must PSA that egg salad is not the most beautifully photographed, know that stomachs don’t have eyes!)

What you need:

10 eggs

1 bunch celery stalks

1 cup Greek yogurt (I use Face)

Garlic powder, salt, pepper

What you do:

Hardboil your eggs. I don’t know about y’all, but I struggle with hardboiling eggs. They either take too long to peel and when you do half the egg is gone in the garbage with the shell, or the egg gets yolky, leaky and sad. Not in our kitchen! I finally perfected the hardboiling of eggs – put in the saucepan and cover by about half an inch with cool water, bring to a boil on high heat, then lower to medium heat and let cook for 10 minutes. Immediately pour out the hot water and fill with cool water, and let sit for 15 minutes before you continue on with your egg usage.

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Cut up the celery into small pieces, peel your eggs and cut them into small pieces as well. Cover this mixture with your yogurt, add in your spices. Give it a big stir and yum! I added my egg salad to wraps throughout the week.  I would spread cheese onto a wrap and plop a bit serving onto it. With every recipe, of course, feel free to make it your own—add it different veggies, cheeses, spices, condiments; add it to salads, quinoa dishes, take a breakfast spin on it. The egg carton is your oyster!

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Makes 5 servings. Cook time: 20 minutes. Prep time: 6ish minutes.

See you all here soon for another YA Eats, and some other posts getting back to my true roots – talking about feelings. Looking forward to it! XOXO

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YA Eats 1

Hi y’all! Long time no talk. What have I been up to, you may ask?

I ran my Brooklyn Half.

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I started volunteering with Cooking Matters.

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I have been enjoying the springtime weather.

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I have been expanding the type of veggie I use to cook with.

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And I have been thinking up bigger and better plans for this blog.. which leads me to this. I am starting a new series called YA Eats (Young Adult Eats, kind of like when you go to the library and ask for the YA novel section where you can find the somewhat raunchy romantic beach reads.) I decided to do this because I know a lot of people in my age category (21-26ish) who struggle to eat nutrition filled meals. There’s a stigma that eating healthy is expensive, too time-consuming, and doesn’t taste good.

So people this age may gravitate towards the frozen meals and the take-out section of the grocery store, the only veggies consumed each day is whatever Chipotle throws into your burrito bowl. And this is by no means a judgment – it’s really hard to take a step back from the way you’ve been eating for many years to carve out a few hours per week to ensure more health into your body.

This idea came to me with my new volunteering job at Cooking Matters. The mission is to help families “shop for and cook healthy meals on a budget, as part of the No Kids Hungry campaign.” The cohort I have been working with includes 12 adults, many with little children, many on SNAP (new name for food stamps.) We talk about what gets in the way of healthy cooking, and the biggest barriers are not a surprise: the price, the time, the taste. Our mission is to teach healthy cooking for more affordable, and give it a great taste that kiddos would love the food just as much as their parents do. So far we have made healthier versions of: fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, stirfry, apple yogurt parfaits, black bean brownies, and vegetable quesadillas with mango salsa.

It’s a super inspiring program, and it feels so great to see these parents incorporating healthier food into their diets, and into their families’ diets.

So that is the long version of what inspired me to create this series. Let’s get to the first YA Eats!

YA Stirfry

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What you need:

  • Brown rice
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • Assortment of veggies: I used a red pepper, button mushrooms, brussels sprouts
  • honey
  • stirfry sauce: I used Organicville sesame terriyaki sauce

 

What you do:

Chop up the vegetables and throw them in a frying pan with some olive oil and honey.

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Let the veggies soften and cook through for several minutes, then toss in the chickpeas and rice.

Stir and let cook together, then add in the sauce.

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Easy as 1, 2, 3!

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How long did this take, forreal? About 15 minutes.

How many meals do I have this lovely stirfry for? It fit into 3 meal-sized tupperwares!

Come back again soon for another YA Eats! Enjoy the Sunshine! XOXO

Spring Cleaning

Hello Friends! With the warmer temperatures here to stay and long summer days on the horizon, I have been thinking about letting go of everything that’s no longer serving us from winter.

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I am making a vow to let go of any negative thoughts that are no longer helping me. That’s what negative thoughts are, right? They develop in some way to help us, protect us, keep us safe… and at the same point leave us stuck, feeling hurt, and lacking confidence. I know for me, a consistent negative thought is that I don’t do enough and that I need to be better in all aspects of my life. This thought constantly drives me, pushes me to do more, be better, and try harder. However, it also leaves me feeling discourage and unable to be present and fully appreciate what I am doing, because I am just thinking about and planning for the next task I “need” to conquer. This spring, I am going to recognize that this thought is meant to help me, to drive my goals… but I am also going to recognize that I should trust myself and know that I will continue to achieve without berating myself and putting myself down.

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I am making a vow to let go of clothes that I have been holding onto for years. My drawers overflow, my closet is incredibly cramped. There are many outfits for those “what if” occasions, that never do seem to come. I am going to let go of the clothes that I hold onto, even though they still have tags on them and it is clear that they doesn’t spark joy within me.

 

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I am making a vow to let go of engrained habits. For the past three years, I have been drinking a smoothie every morning once the weather got nice. Last week, I got a loaf of wheat sourdough bread, and I have been eating peanut butter and strawberry sandwiches for breakfast. I felt like I was hurting smoothies’ feelings, and then I recognized that that’s pretty doofy and that when my body is craving smoothies again, I will start making them.

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I am making a vow to let go of excess food in my cabinets that I have been stowing away for a rainy day that hasn’t come. I have black bean pasta that I tried and did not like however haven’t let go of because I feel guilty about wasting food. All of the extra food that’s been sitting around in your kitchen, all the half empty condiments that you store up, the bags of pretzel crumbs.. stop saying that “you’ll eat it one day”, let go of them. Donate the food, put it in the compost, if you don’t have a compost find one in your town. Or simply throw it away, because holding onto it creates a burden for you and prevents you from being creatively free in the kitchen.

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What do you vow to let go of this spring?

Portland Adventures, But Mostly Eats

Hello friends! Happy hump day🙂 how is everyone? This past weekend, I took my boyfriend to Portland, Maine for his quarter century birthday present. This was my first time there, and there was an incredible vibe this city radiates. Portland is peaceful, charming, and filled to the brim with stellar food options (mostly seafood, note the location), so the majority of our time spent there was eating. Eating through a city is the best way to get to know it, no?

On our way we stopped at the Nibble Lighthouse.

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The overcast day added to the beauty and peacefulness of the scene. The rest of the day was spent exploring the city, which is incredibly easy to do in several hours because of how teeny and cozy Portland is. We stopped at Maine Squeeze (ha, get it?) which became my go to place for the weekend.

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We stopped in the Cabot store, which was pretty life changing. All the cheeses were out and about, ready and willing to be sampled with different pretzels, crackers, and breads. We got some buffalo cheddar for later while there.

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The next day was the highlight of the trip, potentially highlight of my 2016: a walking food tour of Portland. I’ll keep the words to a minimum and let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Fruit with espresso and chocolate balsamic, honey mead.

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Lobster mac and cheese, heart eyes emoji to the max.

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Warm scones with wild blueberry jam.

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Goat cheese, cheddar cheese, gouda cheese, and clementines and pickles as palette cleansers.

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Cod with coleslaw and bean/rice creation.

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All the truffles. One was goat cheese truffle, super interesting.

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Cutiepie with his beer.

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Up close and personal, a new lobster friend. Don’t worry, we didn’t end up eating him.

It was such a fun experience to get to explore the city as well as the local, favorite food spots.

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The rest of the day was spent, you guessed it, centered around more food.

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I read about this restaurant that serves brussels sprouts in lots of unique ways, and this was the snack I was most looking forward to on this trip. We tried Caesar brussels sprouts, and boy were they fantastic. Never would I have anticipated a day where brussels sprouts would be something I would count down to, just goes to show how tastebuds change when you start incorporating healthier food into your diet! Not to mention the fact that these sprouts were smothered in cheese and breadcrumbs. We went out to a nice birthday dinner at David’s Restaurant in order to celebrate Felix’s big day.

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Some sort of delicious coconut boozy drink, and coconut curry mussels.

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Ahi tuna with peanut soba noodles and asparagus.

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Creme brûlée as the birthday cake.

The next morning was centered around more food.

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His and her smoothies from The Maine Squeeze. 

And then to another exciting food place that I was counting down until….

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THE HOLY DONUT! As you can read on the sign, the donuts are made out of mashed potatoes. Lol what? I don’t get it, but all I know is that they are outrageous.

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I got this dark chocolate coconut donut, and Felix got a canoli donut. So unique and delicious. The rest of the morning we went to a park on the beach and wandered around before it was time to head back for meal prepping and half marathon training.

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This coming weekend I’ll be in Providence, Rhode Island cheering on Felix’s sister who is running a marathon (!!!) so I will be back next week with another foodie travel guide for y’all. Enjoy the rest of your week XOXO.

 

Good Eats + Growing Up

Hello lovely folks! I hope you’re all having a great week and soaking up the sunshine. Here in Boston, the weather is starting to get warmer, and we just had the Boston Marathon this past Monday. With that comes along with an incredible amount of hope, inspiration, and heart warmth. I was unfortunately at work this year, but I saw on the internet that lots of people who were physically impacted by the bombing several years ago completed this year’s marathon, which is so incredible to see people re-reaching their dreams, after an incredibly painful experience deterred them to begin with. A few years ago when I was able to go to the marathon, I saw people in their 80s running, young kids with their parents, people with special needs and disabilities. You see it all, and it truly is incredible to see perfect strangers gathering to cheer on other perfect strangers.

Anyways on the food front, I had some pretty fantastic meals recently that I’m excited to show y’all:

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Favorite sandwich from Flour Bakery. Sweet potatoes, kale, apple, blue cheese, walnut pesto.

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Eggplant, mozzerella, basil, tomato wrap from a farm nearby my apartment.

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Challah bread grilled cheese with tomato soup and salad.

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Make your own juice: pear, carrot, apple, pineapple.

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And pretty flowers so good you could eat….. maybe?

For the week, I made a similar salad to last week’s — spinach with dried cranberries, hard boiled egg and roasted broccoli, cauliflower and peppers. For dinners, I have a springy vegetable pasta that I’ll post the recipe for next week. As for this past weekend…

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My parents were in town to hangout!! We went to the Boston Marathon expo, which had lots of inspiring messages, many people trying to sell their running products (shoes, timers, granola bars), and all the wonderful people picking up their bibs to run! Having my parents in town is always something that leaves me feeling grounded, more centered, and more aligned with my values and what’s important to me.

Along that line, I wanted to share what many of the people in my life, including myself, are going through right now. I feel like we all grow up with the overarching goal that one day, you will be incredibly happy, all the time. One day, everything will feel perfect and look perfect without any worries, doubts, fears. That growing up means each day will be filled with excitement and new adventures. We don’t think about the complacency that comes along with doing similar things each day. Or the fact that adults struggle with worries and challenges just as much as younger folk do. For me, I’m feeling like huh? This is it? This is the life that I have been training for since elementary, then middle, high school, college, graduate school, lots of internships, and here I am? This elusive magical place isn’t feeling like all its cracked up to be. I struggle daily. I doubt myself. I doubt my choices. I get down on myself. I feel bored. I want more. But I think I’m starting to realize that that is what life is. It’s not about the rainbow sunshine days, but how we work towards getting there. How we find extraordinary in the ordinary. How we articulate our struggles with those around us, and how they respond with a supportive and loving message. If any of you have been feeling kind of out of it and confused lately, please reach out and know that you’re not alone.

Zucchini Balls and 26.2

Hello beautiful people. How is everyone’s week going? Anything new or exciting in your lives? I have been all over with my blog posting lately. I can’t get to the root of what is the bigger issue, however I have been less motivated to do things I really enjoy, such as writing in the bloggy, this past month or so. Quite possibly a different form of the winter blues? I’m trying to live by the words I preach to others, which includes sticking to your important wellness habits when you’re in a funk. I also feel like we live in a society which tells you that as long as you have friends, a job, a place to live, etc., you should be happy all the time and you should not struggle, and if you are struggling you should hide this behind a smiling mask. Completely unrealistic and unfair. Anyways, onto da food.

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Yummy mushroom flatbread at Sip, downtown Boston, with my grad school friends after we all passed our counseling exam!!

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I absolutely love brussels sprouts (also I finally just learned that it’s brussels sprouts, not brussel sprouts, whoops!) and wanted to use shaved sprouts as the base of my salad this week. It’s kind of cabbagey and so wonderful. I added in dried cranberries and chickpeas, and made a honey mustard dressing by combining honey with dijon mustard.

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Onto these miraculous zucchini balls. Being a vegetarian, sometimes it can be harder to find comfort food to make that I enjoyed regularly as a child, like roasted chicken, hamburgers straight from my dad’s bbq, or spaghetti and meatballs. This recipe brings all the comfort, all the springtime veggie goodness, and an interesting healthy spin on a comfort food we all enjoyed growing up.

What you need:

  • 3 zucchinis
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp basil flakes
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
  • few pinches salt and pepper

What you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 425° and grease cooking tray with olive oil.
  • Using a vegetable peeler or a food processor, shred the zucchinis into short ribbons.
  • Mix these in a bowl with the cracked eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese, and spices.
  • Form the mixture into balls. Makes about 10 medium sized balls.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve over pasta and enjoy!

Now onto an exciting update in my life…..

Philly-marathon

I signed up to run the Philadelphia marathon in November!! My best friend who I am training for the Brooklyn half with convinced me, and I am incredibly fired up and nervous and excited and anxious and all the feels. For those of you who missed my post about my running journey, I always wanted to be a runner because my dad and sister were incredibly into it. I joined cross country and track in high school, which left me feeling disempowered  and embarrassed. I could barely run for 5 minutes, let alone the 5k races each week. I definitely tried to mask my shame by laughing at myself with my teammates. I had a feeling that my running career wouldn’t stop in such a low point, however. I ran several times a week in college, and then in graduate school. After I graduated, I had the desire to up my workout game and I signed up for a half marathon in Rhode Island. The training was an incredible and sentimental experience; I really proved to myself that I was capable of much more than I gave myself credit for. I am now training for the Brooklyn Half, and yesterday had an experience that I never pictured myself going through: I ran 8 miles in the pouring rain and wind throughout Boston. Going from hardly being able to run for 5 minutes, to signing up for a marathon, is something I am really proud of. So within this long winded paragraph, I hope you find the inspiration to try something that you never thought you could do. What did this remind you of in your own life?

I am going to try to go back to 2 posts a week starting next week, I will see you all here very soon. XOXO

New York City + New Rituals

Hello lovely people! I hope everyone is doing well and had a lovely weekend. I know I sure did – I went home to New Jersey to spend time with my family and visit all my best friends living in NYC! I have a bunch of pictures to share with you all today:

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Scenes from my dad’s garden.

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Veggie pizza from New Jersey- nothing can beat it!

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Springtime magic in NYC.

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Kristina and I on an NBC Tour! Jimmy Fallon was taping while we were there!

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Dinner at Candle 79, a vegan restaurant in the Upper East Side. This was a free sample they gave us, which was black rice mixed with veggies. For dinner, Kristina and I split the dumplings, and for my meal I got lemon caper seitan with mixed veggies and mashed potatoes. My phone lost the picture but you can imagine how good that must taste!

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The Low Line – an indoor garden and first “underground park.”

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Baby’s first acai bowl – 1 frozen acai pack with 1 banana and 1/2 cup almond milk in the blender, topped with banana, blueberries, and some homemade granola!

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Speaking of the homemade granola – I made Chai Spiced Granola from Gimme Some Oven. It is so good and really does taste like a chai tea latte! Yum.

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New favorite snack – parm crisps from Whole Foods that are literally just baked parmesan cheese. This one happened to look exactly like the United States of America.

Now onto food for the week! Breakfast will be the usual smoothies, and lunch will be egg salad wraps like last week because I enjoyed it so much. For dinner I made noodle-less vegetable lasagna…

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What you need:

  • 3 zucchinis
  • Medium package white mushrooms
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Large can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese

What you do:

  • Preheat oven to 325°. Line baking tray with olive oil.
  • Cut zucchini into long, thin strips and lay across the baking tray.
  • Cut up onion, garlic and mushrooms and mix together in a bowl. Add in 3 tbsp olive oil, and spices to cover/taste. Mix well.
  • Add above mixture onto zucchini strips. Cover the mixture with the crushed tomatoes.
  • Cover the veggies in the parm and mozz cheeses. The cheesier, the better!
  • Bake for one hour. If the cheese starts to brown, cover in foil and continue baking.

Let me know if you try it, and if you miss the noodles or not when eating it!

And the last thought of the week… Sometimes your days may be incredibly stressful, upsetting, anxiety-provoking, draining, etc. It is important to create a ritual for yourself to end your day with, in order to have something to look forward to each day and to know that no matter what, you have a special way of ending the day, even if your day didn’t go as according to plan. This could be spending 10 minutes to journal each evening after dinner, or calling a friend at the same time each day, or taking a walk after work to clear your head, which is what I’m going to start doing once this dang snow melts. No matter how stressful or busy your day is, you will always know there is a nice relaxing activity waiting for you at home.

What do you enjoy doing to destress after each day?

Veggie Burgs + Vagus Nerves

Hello beauties! I hope this post finds you happy and healthy, and if not, then striving towards happiness and health. I have some yummy recipes and a cool mind body concept for you today, so let’s dive right in.

This weekend, my roommate from college and dearest soul sister Emily came to visit from Colorado. Our favorite pastimes include eating and lounging together, so that’s a lot of what we did. We went to dinner in Boston’s Chinatown, my first time being there!, and went to a Vietnamese place where I got pad thai because I am a creature of habit. We also shared a yellow cream canoli from Mike’s Pastries between us and my boyfriend. Unpictured because it was gone before I could pretend to snap a pic! The next morning we went to Blue Shirt Cafe in Davis Sq.

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The juice was called “an apple a day” and consisted of apple, ginger, and lemon. We then adventured to the Museum of Science, which had an INCREDIBLE nutrition exhibit where they show you what a day in the food life of people across the world looks like. They interviewed people such as an acrobat, a woman struggling with binge eating disorder, and an astronaut, and it was so cool to see what other cultures’ eating habits are like. Part of this exhibit also included education surrounding diabetes and hypertension, and how lifestyle changes can drastically decrease your chances. So incredible!

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For dinner we went to Joe’s American Bar and Grill with our other college roommate — reunited and it felt so good! We ALL got ahi tuna burgers, which was kind of spicy and amazing.

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The next day I did a 7 mile run towards my half training and was reminded that Boston is a pretty pretty place…

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As for meal prep for the week: I am having my usual springtime smoothie (frozen strawberries, spinach, banana, almond milk, coconut oil, peanut butter, chia seeds, flaxseed.)

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And my favorite egg salad recipe for lunches.

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What you do:

Hardboil 6 eggs, let cool and chop them up with celery, plain Greek yogurt, and dijon mustard. So simple and perfect on a wrap!

As for dinners, I made a modification of The Full Helping’s Quinoa Chickpea Burgers.

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I didn’t add in any pumpkin seeds, and I used sundried tomato pesto. Pair that with some brussel sprouts and you are in it to win it my friends.

And now on to the part that may have made you think huh?! when you started reading. What the heck is the vagus nerve? It’s the largest cranial nerve in the body, and helps regulate all of the extremely important bodily functions like breathing and digesting. Those with healthy vagal functioning, a “higher vagal tone”, are more resilient, have an easier time connecting the body and mind, and are more able to be fluid, level-headed with emotional output. Those with a low vagus tone are less resilient, more prone to digestion struggles, stress, anxiety, depression, and emotion dysregulation. The vagus nerve helps to calm us after being in fight-or-flight mode, or really distressing situations.

Why am I bringing this up? My roommate and I were recently talking about feeling disconnected, not as engaged in our lives, and less excitable than usual. Someone in her life told her about this, and how connecting to the vagus nerve is an important part of the mind body connection that keeps us engaged, balanced, and feeling alive. So if you’re feeling a little more disconnected, a little less zen, and not like yourself as of late, it could be a good time to reconnect to your vagus nerve. This can be done by taking really cold baths, meditating and focusing on the breath in a slow and controlled fashion, exercise, and yoga. AKA all of the activities you already know will help make you feel better. Sometimes it’s good to know what is actually going on in your body that is causing you to feel a certain way – somewhat takes the pressure off and reminds you that you’re not doing anything wrong. Have a great week lovebugs!

What can you do to improve your vagal tone this week?

Cheese Class and Cooked Show

Howdy everyone! Readers of mine must have noticed that I took a little week-long break. You can talk all you want about self-care and penciling in time to relax but until you do it, nothing changes. I have been trying to spend more time reading and talking on the phone with my out of state best friends. An important lesson that I am constantly trying to implement is that you cannot be fully there and present with others if you cannot be fully there and present with yourself.

Let’s head into some recent eats. This past weekend my boyfriend and I cooked a nice dinner, which was outrageously wonderful.IMG_2634

Brussel Sprouts Gratin. Brussel sprouts cooked in milk, white cheddar, salt, pepper and olive oil.

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Seafood linguini. Linguini mixed with shrimp, mussels, calamari, mushrooms, spinach, olive oil, butter, and garlic made by Felix the chef.

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And a simple huge chocolate chip peanut butter cookie.

We also had the pleasure of going to a cheese 101 class at Formaggio Kitchen this past weekend. For those of you who know me and my absolute love for cheese, you know this is my heaven. It was a two hour class focused on pairing cheeses with different foods and alcohols. Here’s the menu:IMG_2642

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Followed by the plates:

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I loved the cheese at 9 o’clock, which was a goat cheese that you eat with their airy soft sourdough bread and lemon peel marmalade. I also never thought to put cheese with kettle corn, but the top gouda was out of this world and made for a cool texture combo.

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A little messier because I originally forget to take a picture, whoops. The one with jam on it was soooooo good, it was made from sheep milk and was super creamy, but not in a brie cheese kind of creamy because I hate brie. The top one was mixed with honey which made for a beautiful interesting combination, and the one with chocolate on top was blue cheese which is typically a dessert cheese. The teacher explained the bluer the cheese, the moldier it is. Oh! Good to know.

Then we got to explore the cheese caves, where some cheese goes to sleep and some goes to continue activating the cheese enzymes…

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Such a fun experience!!

As for food this week, I am making strawberry smoothies for breakfast, pb&j rice cakes for snacks, and these salmon burgers for lunch…

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These are a bit more onion filled than usual; I was exhausted when making them and thus included a whole onion instead of half of one. Oops!! When I make salmon burgers, they typically go like this:

  • 1 can salmon
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • sprinkle of parm cheese
  • handful cut up sundried tomatoes
  • fresh garlic
  • sprinkle crushed red pepper
  • sprinkle basil
  • some oregano
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

And then I stove fry them for a few minutes on each side, and mix them with some brussel sprouts and asparagus for the week! As for dinners, my best friend Emily is coming this weekend, and I got Turkish food with my friend Steph last night, so I’m just going to be mixing and matching whatever I already have. AKA lots of mac+cheese with some veggies in there I assume (which is mighty fine with me.)

This past weekend I watched a few episodes of Michael Pollan’s show Cooked, which explores cooking through the four elements: fire, water, air, and earth. He travels to different countries and discovers their cooking habits and what makes their cuisine unique. I highly suggest it for those who are looking to expand their kitchen style, and for those of you who are also aching with wanderlust and creating a list of new countries to travel to (story of my life, why can’t we all be Elizabeth Gilbert and get paid to do a Eurotrip and write a book about it?!) Michael Pollan is a really unique guy too, he brings a lot of fun and engaging personality while also convincing you to eat your veggies. Check it out!

That’s it on my end. Thank you guys for reading, I’ve got lots of love for you!🙂                        What kind of cheese would you hope for at a cheese class?

Recent Eats, Loving the Heat, and Sister Sweets

Hello friends! How is everyone this week? I want today’s post to be a mix of what’s been going on lately, and an awesome stirfry recipe. Let’s get to it!

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Friday night my boyfriend and I made white Russians and chocolate covered strawberries. Doesn’t this look professionally done?! I guess it’s not that hard to melt some chocolate chips in the microwave and smear that over some berries. I also love chocolate covered blueberries, cherries, bananas… okay, pretty much any fruit/any food item.

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Saturday my sister and best friend in the world came to visit all the way from Dirty Jerz. Together, we did lots of eating and lots of walking. Over 13 miles on Saturday, to be exact. My legs are not wanting to half marathon train after that. It was about 65 degrees on Saturday though — how could we not soak up that goodness?!

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We explored Harvard and MIT areas, two really fun and popping places near my apartment. And we caught sight of lots of flowers starting to bloom, spring is sprunging!! Don’t mind my shadow lurking in the picture…

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We stopped at Life Alive, an incredible vegetarian restaurant in Cambridge that brings fresh and healthy flavors in really interesting combinations, and also has a really zen and fun vibe. We both got the “Harvest Alive” smoothie, which has kale, avocado, lemon juice, banana, chia seeds, dates, and almond milk. Yum!!! Then we walked over to balance that out with a sandwich from Flour, which I was so excited about that I forgot to take a picture. It had roasted sweet potatoes, walnut pesto, apples, blue cheese, and kale on honey whole wheat bread. To. Die. For. I will dream of this sandwich every time my head hits the pillow. Life Alive and Flour are two places that I want to start doing recipe recreations for, because I need you to be able to taste these wondrous creations even if you’re not living in the Boston area.

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After strolling down the esplanade, which is the pretty walkway next to the Charles River that runs through the city, we walked over to the Bunker Hill Monument to meet up with my boyfriend who works around there. I assumed I was in somewhat great shape, and it’s about 300 steps to the top of this tower. I thought, piece of cake. Famous last words, because I was huffing and puffing while walking at a snail’s pace. This monument is a Revolutionary War landmark, and has a museum attached where there were papers written by elementary school kids who wrote about what freedom means to them – super cute.

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We then wandered over to the Downeast Cider Brewery for a tour. The cider made here has less sugar than most ciders I’ve tasted, and the brewery has lots of fun activities to do like Battleship, Connect 4 and Cards Against Humanity. I got a maple pecan blend, yum. Then we went to Sugar and Spice for dinner, where my sister and I shared shrimp dumplings, and I got pad see ew with shrimp. We pretended like we would maybe go out at night, but ended up crashing before 10.

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The next day, we had some protein pancakes (2 ingredients necessary for the base, bananas and eggs.) (which look a little something like this..)

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We then did a 5 mile run around the reservoir, despite the fact that our legs were tired and sad. I’m the biggest proponent of listening to your body, but that day my training plan outweighed that desire. It’s Tuesday and my legs are still unhappy, so remember – bodies always know best, listen to them over a paper telling you how much to run per day.

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We headed over to Davis Sq, a cute part of Somerville that had a lot of fun St. Patrick’s Day activities going on (that we did not partake in.) We stopped at Mr. Crepes, where I got a beet, goat feta, spinach, walnut combo that was glorious. That was topped off with some dairy free chocolate coconut icecream. I employed my sister (Beckie) in helping me with my meal prep for the week, aka she kept me company while I whipped up this yummy stirfry.

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I made brown rice in one pan. In the other, I mixed up a combo of cauliflower, red peppers, brussel sprouts, and mushrooms with chickpeas. I added honey and Organic Ville Sesame Teriyaki sauce. I let that simmer and brown, and then I mixed it with the rice. Dinner for the week is served! And then Beckie and I treated ourselves to a nice dinner…

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Salmon, quinoa and sprouts. The sprouts were glazed in balsamic, and the salmon sauce was a mix of honey, dijon mustard, and brown sugar. Awesome, filling combo!

This weekend was a great reminder of what happens when the sun shines and you’re with the people that mean the most to you. Cherish those special relationships in your life, they aren’t common and definitely fill the heart and soul up. To close, I got this cookbook in the mail that I am so, so excited about.

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I have been a fan of Erin Gleeson at The Forest Feast (www.theforestfeast.com) for a while now, and finally ordered her stunning cookbook. Can’t wait to start make recipes from it! Talk soon! XOXO

What was the best thing you ate recently?