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Category Archives: Lunch

A Dirty Trick and Delicious Egg Salad

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Yesterday, Brian, Kate (a good friend from Butler), and I all pulled a dirty trick on someone.

We told one of our dear friend’s, Caitlin who just graduated from pharmacy school, that we would not be able to make it to her graduation party in Chicago.

That was a lie.

Kate drove up from Louisville to meet us in Indy so that we could all drive up to Chicago together to surprise her.

We needed a little fuel for the three hour drive, a mocha light frappacino fit the bill for me!

Once we arrived, we had to take cover and hide so that as soon as she came into the kitchen we could jump out and yell “SURPRISE!”

We got her good!

She was so surprised to have us there, and I am so glad that we were able to make the trip.

She then spent a little time opening some gifts.  Of course, Brian and I wanted to get her the best gift possible.  So, we got her a car. A Mini Cooper to be exact….a mini Mini Cooper 🙂  The doors open, and it moves when you pull it back on a flat surface.  She will definitely get some good times out of that little gem.

We then spent the evening drinking wine, visiting, and just hanging out.  It was a perfect night, and I am so glad we were all there together to celebrate Caitlin’s hard work.

Congrats Caitlin!

We stayed the night at Caitlin’s then woke up bright and early to get back to Indianapolis today.

Lunch

When we arrived home, it was about lunch time.  I was pretty hungry and egg salad sounded delicious to me!  I honestly can’t even tell you the last time that I had egg salad, so I had to text my mom to double check on the ingredients that I wanted to use.



I remember my mom making egg salad sandwiches when I was little, and I absolutely loved the tanginess of the mustard with the creaminess of the egg.  So delish!

Delicious Egg Salad

Yields: 2 Servings

Nutrition Information:  Calories 119.8  Fat:  4.3g  Carbs:  4.5g  Protein:  16.9g

Ingredients

  • 4  hard boiled egg whites
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp mustard

Directions:

Begin by hard boiling your eggs.  I used the good old Krups egg cooker, but you could do it the old fashioned way by boiling the eggs in a pot of water.

I then peeled all of the eggs, and removed some of the egg yolks.  I combined all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mashed it together with the back of a fork until it was my desired consistency.

Then, you are able to serve the salad any way you like!  It would be great as a sandwich or a wrap, great to eat on it’s own.  I served mine up with a big bowl of spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes.  So summery and soooo good!

The salad was completely delicious, and tasted exactly as I remembered it tasting even though I subbed some Greek yogurt for the mayo.  I know that sometimes subbing Greek yogurt for the real deal mayo sounds great but can end up tasting not so good, but honestly this recipe is perfect for subbing.  You will not miss the fat, you will not miss the flavor, and you will not miss the calories or extra protein 🙂  This swap is totally worth it.

Question of the Afternoon:

  • What childhood meal have you been wanting to recreate recently??
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Friday in a Nutshell and the Foodie Blogroll!

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I had a pretty eventful Friday…here is what went on (in a nutshell 😉 )

I was invited to be a member of Foodie Blogroll!!

Foodie Blogroll is a blogging community that features different blogs each week, allows members to participate in exclusive promotions with various food companies, and is a great way for food bloggers to connect with other food bloggers. I am so excited to be a part of this community, and I can’t wait to be involved in my first promotion.

Lunch Date

Yesterday, Brian showed me just how great of a fiance he was by stopping by the hotel to take me out to an unplanned lunch date!

 

It was very unexpected, but much needed.  Panera was our restaurant of choice.  Seriously, I don’t think that I could ever get sick of that place.

 

My lunch was one of the You Pick Two combos including the vegetable soup with pesto, and the Thai chopped chicken salad…sans the chicken.  So good, I need to figure out how to make that salad at home!

 

After we were finished with our lunch, we ran next door to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up a wedding gift for the wedding we are attending later today.  Unfortunately, we had to order the gift to be delivered to the couple, but luckily they had a coupon code that I could text to receive on my smart phone!  Gotta love savin’ some moolah 😉

 

Running

My work day ended with a meeting downtown.  Since my workout scheduled for the day was my long run for the week, I totally took advantage of this and made sure to pack workout attire.

I stopped by one of the gyms I teach at to change, then headed out along my usual path.  Sadly, I didn’t charge my Garmin last night and she died about .2 miles in…so I think I ran just about 6 miles.

 

I got pretty thirsty along the way and forgot to bring my mini water bottle, so I stopped at a hotel and creeped around until I found this little beauty.  It was glorious!

 

Dinner

After the run, I was pretty hungry and so thankful that I had leftovers from last night’s salmon patties.  Even though they weren’t perfect, they were still a tasty and quick dinner.  I just added a side of green beans and called it a day!

 

Ella’s Frozen Yogurt

The other day, Brian and I stopped by a friend’s on our way home just for a moment to say hi and see her new house.  On the way we drove past this cute little frozen yogurt shop!

 

We didn’t stop then, but I knew we would be making a trip in the very near future.  Ella’s Frozen Yogurt was decorated so cute, the toppings were displayed perfectly making Brian and me want to try each one, the staff was incredibly friendly giving us samples and recommendations, they had live music, and special discounts every day of the week! They had a live band playing outside too. Not to mention the frozen yogurt tasted delicious!

Topping Station:

 

More Toppings:

 

Even More Toppings:

 

Tara’s Creation:  1/2 Snickerdoodle and 1/2 Cake Batter Frozen Yogurt topped with granola, peanut butter drizzle and a few cookie dough bites to snack on in the car.

 

Brian’s Creation:  1/2 Cake Batter and 1/2 Strawberry frozen yogurt with cheesecake bites, butterfingers, strawberries, and peanut butter drizzle.

 

The best part about the whole thing was that it only cost $5!! Friday’s promotion is 40% off for students, and Brian and I completely took advantage of that discount.  A delicious Friday night treat!

Breakfast

This morning, I woke up pretty hungry, so I immediately ran upstairs to make myself a delicious strawberry protein smoothie bowl (strawberries, almond milk, Sunwarrior protein powder, spinach, ice and water, raw oats, and a bit of peanut butter on top).

It totally hit the spot!

 

Now, it’s time to review some Body Pump before teaching my class later this morning.  I hope you all have a great Saturday!

Question of the Morning?

  • What were your Friday night plans?
  • Anyone else eat some fro yo? (or ice cream??)
  • What is your favorite Fro Yo topping??

My absolute all time favorite fro yo topping would be….granola!  I love the crunch, the sweetness, everything about it.  Yum!

Completely Delicious Meatless Zucchini Lasagna

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Many of you may know that Monday was the official launch of Body Pump release 82 at the gym I am an instructor at.  Because I love a theme, and I love to dress for the occasion, I ordered a shirt from the Les Mills web site that matches the Body Pump theme.

I was tracking the shirt online to make sure that I would get it by the time of the launch, and on Monday morning it said that the shirt was in my city!  Naturally, I thought that it was at the house just waiting for someone to pick it up.  When I told Brian that the shirt had arrived, being the loving fiance that he is, he immediately headed to the house to pick up the shirt….and to find that it was not at the house!  It was in town, but it had not been delivered yet 😦 So, I had to complete the launch with just a plain red tank top.  Clearly, the red tank worked fine, but as soon as I got home what was waiting for me??

The Body Pump tank top!

So, I didn’t have it for this launch, but at least I can wear it when I teach my Saturday classes!

Meatless Zucchini Lasagna

In my family, lasagna is that dish that everyone loves but we reserve for special occasions like Christmas Eve.  So, we only end up having the tasty dish once or twice a year.  Well, this weekend while I was planning my meals, I was in the mood for this special dish, so I decided to do a little experimenting with my mom’s traditional recipe, and this is what I came up with!

Yields: 4 large servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 small zucchini
  • 1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 8 oz of Morningstar Farms Meal Starters (I am seriously loving these things!)
  • 1 cup of low fat or fat free cottage cheese
  • 1 small red onion
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp garlic salt (divided)
  • 1 tsp oregano (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3 oz low fat string cheese (or mozzarella)
  • 9×11 glass baking dish

Directions:

First, place a pot of water on the stove to boil while you brown the meal starters and the onion together.  While the meal starters and onion are cooking add 2 basil leaves, 1/2 Tbsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp oregano, and the Italian seasoning.  Once the water on the stove is boiling, place zucchini pieces that are cut into the shape of lasagna noodles (long strips) into the boiling water to cook until tender, about 4 minutes.

Mix the tomato sauce with the meal starter and onion mixture.  In a separate bowl, combine the cottage cheese with the remaining spices.

Now, it is time to begin layering the lasagna!  First, put down a light layer of sauce into the 9×11 glass baking dish, then place a layer of the zucchini “noodles” on top so that you cannot see anymore sauce.

Next, spread half of the cottage cheese mixture on top of the zucchini and top with half of the mozzarella or string cheese cheese.

Then, it is time to repeat the steps all over again!  So, place another layer of sauce, then the zucchini, then the cheeses, then one final layer of sauce.  Place in the oven at 400 for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and it is cooked all the way through.  Allow to set in the pan for about 5 minutes before serving.

Last but not least…cut yourself a slice and enjoy!

Nutrition for 4 servings:

Calories:  155  Fat:  4.4g  Carbs:  10.2g  Protein:  17.4g

Tell me what some of your family’s special occasion meals are!! Do you ever “break the rules” and eat them without there being a special occasion??

 

How to Streamline Your Week Nights: Sunday Meal Prep

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Yesterday, Brian and I started off the morning pumping iron at the gym.  Brian went through my chest and back workout with me, and it was so great!  I don’t mind working out on my own, but I feel a different level of intensity when I am working with someone else, I have the ability to push myself that much harder.

While I love working out, and enjoy it as a hobby, Brian doesn’t have the same feeling about heading to the gym.  He is a great sport and has run two races with me, allows me to take him through workouts, and puts up with all of group fitness class planning, training, and everything else that I put into my fitness obsession.

When Brian told me that he would head to the gym with me, I was so excited because I honestly felt as if it were a new way for us to bond.  Overall, he did an amazing job and we both challenged each other…but I think that we will make things a little harder next time 😉

Lunch

After our workout, we headed to church and then to lunch at Panera with my sister.  Boy, do I love Panera!  Today, despite the 100 degree heat, I opted for the you pick two with blackbean soup and the Thai chopped chicken salad (minus the fried wonton strips, the chicken, and dressing  but with extra edamame added…boy am I difficult!)  It was great to see my sister, because even though we live close,  I don’t see her nearly enough.

After lunch and chatting about an upcoming family vacation to Florida Brian and I headed to the store to purchase some groceries for the week.  After the grocery, it was time to prep my meals for the week.  I swear, each week I get faster and faster at the process.

Sunday Meal Prep

Getting ready to roast some veggies

It helps that Brian was my partner in crime and assisted me in prepping our food.

Since I began working full-time in addition to teaching group fitness classes throughout the week, I realized that coming home at 6pm, preparing dinner, packing lunch for Brian and I, preparing for my group fitness classes, and doing whatever else comes up for the day didn’t leave me with very much time for spending time with Brian, or just spending time taking a break.

I have found that prepping my food on Sunday is the only way that I can not spend 3 hours in the kitchen when I get home from work at 6pm.  So, I designated Sundays as my food prep and grocery day.  Two things that I absolutely love to do, but when I am short on time….they can seem more like chores and the joy is taken out of the activities.

The foods that I prep on Sundays (and maybe a bit on Saturdays) are:

  • On the Go Breakfast Biscuits:  these are great to throw in a little plastic container to eat after teaching one of my group fitness classes at my desk at work.  I think they are even great cold, and they do not take long to bake up at all.

  • Roasted vegetables and/or sweet potatoes: I use the same method for both of these.  I simply chop them into the desired size and shape, spritz the pan with nonstick cooking spray, and toss the veggies in garlic salt.  I then place them in the oven on 400 degrees for around 20 minutes, and stir them up at the halfway point. It is so simple and delicious, and these taste great heated or cold as well!

  • Baked Oatmeal:  I make these little oat cakes in various flavors by simply adding various fruits, or no fruit at all!  I store them in the fridge and incorporate them into my breakfasts throughout the week either eating them on their own, mixing them with Greek yogurt to make a little parfait, or topping a smoothie bowl.

  • Barley, quinoa, or brown rice:  These are great to make a large batch of because they can be easily heated up and doctored up as a side dish, or made into a little salad by simply adding protein and veggies.
  • Chopping up veggies that I like to eat raw for lunches:  It is so simple and easy to grab the amount of veggies you want and stick them in a baggie to toss in the lunch box, and if you decide you want to cook them up for a meal later in the week, they are already bite sized!

I find that prepping these simple foods on the weekend completely streamlines my week.  I truly enjoy eating foods that I have prepared, and it takes a lot of time to prepare them…but one thing to remember is that it is not impossible.  All that it takes is a little bit of pre-planning, and maybe a little bit of help from your partner in crime (thanks Brian!) 😉  Of course everything doesn’t always go as planned, but if you have a plan for the healthy meals that you want to eat for the week, and the foods are readily available than there are no excuses between you and your healthy, delicious, satisfying meals!

 

What do you do to streamline your week night routine??  Do you prep most of your meals on one night?

Kwickie Kebobs and a “Hurts So Good” Workout

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A couple of days ago, I asked what you would like to see more of on the blog.  The top two things…

  1. Quick Meal for After Work
  2. Super Sweaty Workouts

So, here is a little bit of both!

First let’s start with dinner…

Dinner

This week has been extremely hot here in Indiana (104 degrees!) and I have really been craving summer foods.  One food that never fails to scream summer to me is the kebob.  My mom always makes kebobs during the hot months, and the foods being skewered vary every time!

I decided to keep things fairly simple last night and opted for shrimp and squash.  This little meal that is so good it seems like a treat, came together in just about 15 minutes…can’t beat that!

Kwickie Kebobs

Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 6-8 oz of shrimp (the size can vary, I went with medium)
  • 2 small squashes (summer, or zucchini)
  • 1/2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • wooden skewers

Directions

The night before you want to serve the kebobs, chop the veggies into semi-large pieces slightly bigger than the shrimp.  Place in a baggie with the balsamic vinegar, oil, garlic salt, and Italian seasoning.  Shake and allow to sit in the fridge over night.

If your shrimp is thawed you can do this with the shrimp too!

The following night, when you come home or decide that you are ready for the kebobs, place wooden skewers in a shallow pan of water so that they don’t burn.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Then, remove the squash from the bag and begin to skewer the shrimp and the squash, alternating in any pattern you like!

Place in the oven, bake on 400 degrees for 6-10 minutes, checking to see when the shrimp turn pink.

Once the shrimp are pink, remove from the oven and enjoy!

This meal would be great over brown rice or barley!

Now, onto the sweaty workout…

Super Sweaty Cardio Intervals

Thursday mornings, before heading into work, I start my day by teaching a 60 minute cardio interval class.  I have found a format for this class that the students really enjoy (they always tell me how class flies by!), really gets us working up a sweat, and allows us to have fun!

Yesterday’s workout was killer, and I mean that in the best way possible.  We were sweating after the first round, and really had to push through to finish.  It was that “hurts so good” kind of a workout.

Standing Crunch:  Stand with your arms lifted above the head holding a medium sized weight (8lbs), bring your arms down to one hip while lifting that knee up to your chest.  Place your foot back on the ground, lift your hands back above your head and repeat on the other side.

Monkey Jumps: Begin in a low squat position with toes slightly turned out and fingertips on the ground.  Push up through the heels jumping high and reaching arms overhead, land back in starting position.  Really keep that butt down!!

I hope you all enjoy your Friday, and have a great start to the weekend!

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Milkshake for Breakfast??

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Breakfast tasted like dessert this morning.

I woke up, not really craving anything in particular.  I headed over to the fridge and just started pulling things out that looked good, and I ended up making this DELICIOUS treat! Seriously, it tastes like a milk shake!

Almond Cacao Milkshake Smoothie

  • 2/3 frozen banana
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp raw organic cacao
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ice cubes to thicken things up

Combine all things in the blender and enjoy!  Seriously… 😉

 

 

 

 

The Bachelorette…Party

Today, I am headed to the lake and then out on the town for the night celebrating my friend Erin’s bachelorette party!

Last summer at Erin’s white coat ceremony

Because I love to pitch in when it comes to making food, I made a little Greek yogurt and spinach dip.  Again seriously addicting and delicious, I hope you enjoy!

Greek Yogurt Feta Spinach Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 green onions
  • 10 oz spinach
  • dash of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of reduced fat feta
  • 1 tsp of dried dill
  • black pepper to taste

 

Directions

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Cook the onion, and garlic for about 2 minutes until soft.  Then, add in the spinach.  Continue to gently stir until the spinach is completely wilted down.

When the spinach is wilted, scoop it with a slotted spoon into a food processor.  Pulse about 5 times.  Next, add in the rest of the ingredients except the black pepper. Pulse until desired consistency.

Stir in the black pepper to taste.  This dip can be served cool, or warm!  Enjoy!

Nutrition per 2 Tablespoon Serving:

Calories:  32.9  Fat: 1.5g  Carbs:  2g  Protein:  3.4g

Strawberry 3 Times!

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After showering and getting ready at the gym this morning, I tried something new.

A Tropical Strawberry flavored Shakeology drink.  I received the sample in the mail a couple of weeks ago and thought now would be as good of a time as any to try it out.  I simply poured the mix into 8 oz of water in my bottle, shook it up…got a little on my shirt and drank it on my way to work.

It tasted pretty good!  I think it would be better mixed in things like protein pancakes, smoothies, or bars simply because of the slightly gritty texture due to the rice bran protein, but I enjoyed it and drank the entire thing!

Although the ingredients list is long, there are a lot of nutrients, vitamins, and super foods crammed into that little packet.  It was a tasty treat that I will have to consider getting more of.  I wonder how the chocolate flavor tastes??

Lunch

I must have been in a strawberry mood, because I have had them three times today!

For lunch, I mixed chopped strawberries, chopped mixed nuts, reduced fat feta, red onion, canned salmon all on top of some green leaf lettuce.  I then drizzled the tasty salad with a little bit of balsamic vinegar.  Seriously, I think I have a new favorite summer lunch.

I hope that your day is going well, time to get back to work!