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open-faced tuna melt

It was hot and humid in Boston again this morning, but tonight it was perfect!!

Sorry that I have been a little MIA lately.  I needed a little break, but am hoping to get back into it soon.

This morning, I munched on a small bowl of Puffins, then whipped up a smoothie to bring with me to work.  I kept it simple today and it tasted delicious.

In the mix:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/4 cup hemp protein powder
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp pepitas
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

It was cool and creamy.  Perfect for a toasty morning!

We have not been doing the best with grocery shopping the past few weeks due to being away a lot, so my meals have been very sub-par, hence the lack of blogging.  Today, I seemed to make due for lunch, though.

Peanut Butter on a Whole Wheat Wrap

Cherries

Yogurt with Granola

It seemed to fill me up and was just as satisfying.

After work, I snacked on a small portion of oatmeal, then hit the road for a run.  It felt so good to run, even though it was HOT!  I filled a water bottle with 1/2 water, 1/2 pineapple coconut water to drink on my run.

I ran for about an hour, did 25 minutes of arm weights, then made a super quick dinner because I was famished.

Tuna Melt on Quinoa Bread

I mixed up my tuna fish with a little greek yogurt, mustard, celery seed and sliced pickles.  Scooped some on to my bread, sprinkled it with cheddar cheese and toasted my open-faced sandwich until the cheese was melted.

Served with a little salad of watercress and honey balsamic dressing.

Time to finish my book!

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do you recycle your #5’s?

Just a few more hours until the start of a 3 day weekend!  Does anyone have fun plans for the long weekend?

I was craving something cool for breakfast, but didn’t want to clean the blender, so I opted for a yogurt bowl.

Filled with:

  • Trader Joe’s Organic Honey Greek Yogurt (I did not really like this…)
  • ground flaxseeds stirred into the yogurt
  • 1 medium banana, sliced
  • 1 small champagne mango
  • raw granola from One Lucky Duck
  • small blob of chocolate peanut butter from Whole Foods

This was great!  (Besides not loving the yogurt. :))

I was running a bit late this morning, so I decided to take my breakfast to-go and eat it at work.  Much better than stuffing it in my face to get out the door quickly!

I packed up my yogurt bowl in my new preserve bowl.

Do you know what this bowl is made of?

Recycled yogurt containers!

Stonyfield partnered with Preserve to make sure that their yogurt containers were being reused.  They created the Gimme 5 program (with Brita) to create a recycling solution for yogurt cups and other #5 plastic containers that many cities and towns will not recycle.  The plastic containers are given a second life and come back as something just as fun – toothbrushes, razors, cutting boards and storage bowls!

To participate in the program, save all of your #5 plastics (the number will be on the bottom of the container) and pitch them in a Gimme 5 bin while at your local grocery store (I have seen them at Whole Foods).

The containers will be collected and made into other materials that you can purchase.  They take the plastic, sort it, clean it, test it, recycle it, and turn it into new Preserve products!  Check out more about their process here.

I received a few of the Stonyfield containers in New York when I stumbled upon a Green Festival and I use them all the time.

After that, I researched more about the program because it was so intriguing to me!  Another great thing for me, they are produced in the USA reducing the carbon footprint and their office is right outside of Boston. 🙂

All of their kitchen ware is BPA free and dishwasher safe!

I am embarrassed about the number of yogurt containers that I have saved over the past 2 months, but at least when I drop them in that bin at Whole Foods, I know that they are being used for something good!  Recently, I have started buying the larger containers to reduce the amount I buy.

(Disclaimer: I am not being paid or endorsed by this program, I just want to let everyone know about it because I love the idea so much!)

Anyways, on to lunch!

I packed up some leftover Honey Bean Salad and wrapped it in a whole wheat wrap with lettuce.

It tasted great this way!

We are in the home stretch…Have a great weekend!

yogurt bowls & colored veggies

This morning I was feeling pretty tired, so I took it as a rest day for working out.  It is so important to listen to your body and it’s wants and needs.  Sometimes it feels great to get up and have a good workout even though I feel tired, but other times sleep and a lazy morning is in order!  Today was one of those days.

I wanted something refreshing for breakfast with a lot of fruit.

So, I made up a yogurt bowl.

Banana Mango yogurt, Kaia Raisin Cinnamon granola, a champagne mango and fresh raspberries from the farm.

It was delicious and not too filling.  Just what I wanted.

Once lunchtime rolled around, I pulled our my packed lunch and assembled it in our kitchen at work.

A whole wheat wrap filled with lettuce, leftover veggie sloppy joes and a few slices of cheese.

Layer on the ingredients…

…then wrap it up!

With some fruit on the side.

The makings of a delicious lunch. 🙂

Tonight, I had two of my favorite girls over for dinner for girls night!  We had a lot of veggies to eat from our CSA, so we whipped up a quick dinner of Honey Balsamic Bean Salad to which I added extra almonds and raisins and Roasted Broccoli and Yellow Cauliflower.  I tossed the veggies in a little olive oil, salt and pepper then roasted them at 300°F for 25 minutes.  I like to keep the temperature on the lower side and bake for longer because it keeps more of the nutrients in tact!

And, I was having such a great time, that I forgot to take photos!

Why is the cauliflower yellow?


Apparently, the yellow (orange) tint is caused by the seed that is planted.  The seed is a hybrid which was originally produced in Canada for fun!  There are purple varieties as well!  Yellow cauliflower is loaded with beta carotene and has 25% more vitamin A than the white variety.  The colored cauliflower was good!  It didn’t seem to crumble as much as normal cauliflower does and it seemed to have a bit of a milder, sweeter flavor.  Overall, I liked it!

poppyseed waffles

The weekend was great!  Low-key, but lots of fun. 🙂

Saturday morning we wanted to be lazy, so we made up some waffles and lounged on our porch.  So relaxing!

Poppyseed Waffles

(inspired by 101cookbooks.com)

Makes 6 waffles

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Then, mix the wet ingredients in a bowl and pour into the dry ingredients.  Mix well, but do not over mix.

Preheat your waffle iron, then scoop the batter onto the iron by the ladelful.

Cook until the light goes off (or at least that is how long on our waffle iron!) and slightly browned.

This recipe made 6 full waffles.

I served myself 2 waffles with a thin spread of almond butter, a champagne mango chopped up and a drizzle of maple syrup.

With iced coffee.

They were delicious!

simply roasted fennel

Yesterday morning I tried something new – my Magic Bullet!!!

I found one at Target after hearing rave reviews at the Bridal Shower I attended on Saturday afternoon.  I have so many problems with my blender that I knew this would be perfect for my morning smoothies, and for travelling since it is very compact!

This morning, I made an old favorite to see how the Bullet compared to my Cuisinart blender.

It was awesome!  I whipped up a Chocolate Cherry Bomb Smoothie is no time.  Well, it took a good minute to mix it up (the bullet advertises that it will make smoothies in 10 seconds), but my smoothie contained frozen banana and frozen cherries and it cut those down in no time!

Perfectly smooth and delicious.

Along with my smoothie, I tried something else new…

Yes, you read right – Chocolate Almond Butter & Chocolate Hazelnut Butter!

I had to try them out, so I spread them each on 1/2 of a whole wheat pita.

This was a great breakfast.

And, for lunch – another Black Bean Burger (these are really, really good!) over lettuce with Roasted Fennel!

How to Roast Fennel

1.  Cut the long stalks off of the fennel so that you are left with the bulb, then slice the bulb into sections.

2.  Place the chopped fennel bulbs onto a baking sheet and brush with olive oil, just until coated.  Then, drizzle with balsamic.

3.  Bake in the oven at 400°F for 20-25 minutes or until slightly caramelized.

It comes out great!  Slightly sweet and caramelized with a hint of licorice.

For a late afternoon snack, I had Honey Greek Yogurt with Sliced Strawberries.

I met Emily after work for some tea at my favorite TeaLuxe!  The iced flavor of the day was Chai, so of course we both go that!

I was home late for dinner, so I didn’t feel like much.  I just mixed up another smoothie – Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana and defrosted a Non-Dairy Amy’s Bean Burrito.

Hit the spot.

donut peaches & apple sandwiches

Lunch was packed in about 2 seconds today.

I pulled out the last container of the Sprouted Quinoa salad leftovers, a yogurt and some peaches.

The salad was just ok today.  The avocado, apricots and strawberries were a little mushy, but nothing I coulnd’t handle.  The flavors had really absorbed as well.  I am not a waster, so I picked my way through and ate mostly the fruit and quinoa and dumped the rest.

This yogurt is full fat and tastes amazing. 🙂  Full of apricot and mango chunks!

It has more sugar than I would like, but I normally eat plain yogurt, so a little sugar isn’t going to kill me!

(ps…try freezing this yogurt for an hour or so and enjoy a rich, creamy frozen yogurt in place of dessert!)

Have you ever seen a peach look like this before?

That, my friends, is a donut peach!  Otherwise known as a saturn peach or saucer peach due to it’s resemblance.

It may look like a donut, but it sure doesn’t taste like a donut!

These donut peaches are actually delicious.  They have very very fine fuzz on the skin and are extremely sweet and juicy.  They remind me more of the look of a nectarine or white peach because the skin and flesh is mostly white.

(Source)

And, you get the faintest hint of almond flavor at the end.

I love trying new fruits and veggies.  It keeps it interesting. 🙂

I scarfed down this granola bar before my quick 3 mile run tonight (in 27 minutes).

They are the best granola bars!

Then, made a super quick dinner before heading out.

An Apple & Goat Cheddar Sandwich on Chipotle Black Bean Bread.

I sliced up the apple really thin, cut small strips of goat cheddar cheese, spread some dijon mustard onto the bread and drizzled everything with honey!  Then, grilled the sandwich until the cheese was melted.

Served along with another salad.  A mix of red leaf CSA lettuce, radishes, jicama, a few pumpkin seeds, rosemary marcona almonds and raisins.  Once again, the greens were mixed with balsamic honey and olive oil.

I learned a new trick yesterday from Emily at The Front Burner.  Chop up your raisins so that you can spread them around your salad more without all of the added calories.  You get a raisin in every bite!

The sandwich combination was awesome!  Sweet and spicy.  I loved it.  With a few tiny pickles.

YUM!

allandale farm csa

This week was the start of our CSA!

What is a CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  Over the past 15-20 years, it has become a popular way for people to purchase local, seasonal food on a normal basis.  Early in the year, farmers offer ‘shares’ of their produce (or eggs, dairy, etc) to the public.  You can usually purchase a whole share or a half share (basically, a share is a membership).  Each week come the summer, you pick up a box of fresh, local produce from your CSA!

This arrangement between the farmer and community creates rewards for everyone.

Rewards for the farmer:

  • They receive full payment early in the year which helps them to maintain cash flow at their farm.
  • Know that their hard work in the fields will go to use.
  • Are able to meet the people who are eating their produce!

Rewards for the consumer:

  •  Pay early in the year for local, fresh produce and not have to worry about it come summer/fall.
  • Know exactly where your produce is coming from and whether or not pesticides are used to grow them.
  • Get exposed to new produce.
  • Eat fresh, local, seasonal food all summer and fall!!

The only downfall is if the weather does not cooperate.  There is a shared risk in purchasing a share of the farmers crops, but it is one that I am willing to take.

Remember that not all local farms will be certified organic, however, that does not mean that they do not use the organic principles to grow their produce.  Obtaining an organic certification is a lenghtly and expensive process, so many farms do not participate.  My advice is to visit your local farm and ask them how they grow their produce!

Check out Local Harvest to find a CSA near you!

We joined a CSA at Allandale Farm in Brookline and pick up our box directly from the farm, so I know exactly where and how my veggies are being grown.

We purchased a half-share from the farm which will run from June through October.  Our CSA started last night when I went to pick up our basket of goodies!

Look at everything that we got!

So many greens!!!!  I love it. 🙂

Since our CSA only includes vegetables, I also picked up some fruit at their farm stand.

Allandale does not grow fruit, but they sell fruit from other local farms in the area.  The farms all work together to give their customers the best local and seasonal produce around!

I also picked up some plants for my porch.

And, some local frozen yogurt from Crescent Ridge.

Once I got home with my box of veggies, I washed everything to make sure no bugs were getting into my fridge (I found a couple ladybugs in the lettuce!) and stored them in large bags in the fridge.  Everything that we received was freshly picked yesterday morning, so it is as fresh as you can get!  But, it can’t hurt to store the produce well to keep it fresh.

Then, I made a huge salad for dinner!

I used my local green lettuce and mesclun mix dressed with a little olive oil, balsamic, honey and herbs.

With black beans, dried chickpeas, raw pumpkin seeds (for iron), native strawberries, a sprinkle of hemp seeds, salt, pepper and local goat cheese that I picked up at the Saratoga Farmer’s Market last weekend!

And, Rosemary Quackers from One Lucky Duck in NYC.

It is unbelievable how fresh the greens taste!  I can’t wait for the next 19 weeks. 🙂  I love being able to eat local and seasonal.