why I shouldn’t go to Costco hungry

All day I thought today was Thursday. I was sorely disappointed when I realized tomorrow is not Friday. But since it is, in fact, Wednesday, I can join the linky party Jenn is so gracious to host every week.

These are actually Monday’s eats, but they are eerily similar to today’s eats.

Pre-workout snack (as well as post-work snack, I have a problem, I know.)

Some j-hole was behind me in Costco and snickered as I picked up my Cliff Kid Z Bar box, commenting that “no kid would ever eat that.” Ummm, yes they would. If you don’t stuff them with McDonalds and sugary confections they will actually enjoy food made out of real ingredients. Plus, they aren’t for a kid. They are for me. I am a kid at heart, and I love them. Just sayin’

Breakfast

Creamy buckwheat with pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, pecans, chia seeds and vanilla almond milk.

Snacks

apple from my parents orchard, celery + hummus

and a pineapple 2% chobani

Dinner

curried split pea soup topped with cilantro and Fage non-fat Greek yogurt

scallion potato bread


Late night snack, aka why you don’t go to Costco while hungry – I walked out with two very large containers of Nutella, woops

Saltines topped with Nutella

Yep, saltines with nutella. No, I’m not pregnant. I love pretzels with nutella, but I didn’t have any of the twisty treats on hand.* However, at Christmas, a family friend gave us some saltine toffee treats that I ate in about 5 seconds. They were amazingly delicious. I thought perhaps saltines with Nutella would be a good substitute. Mmmmm, not so much. But oh well, I still ate a few spoonfuls of the good stuff, so I’m a happy camper.

*Damn, I should have gotten those at Costco.

What have you purchased lately out of hunger impulse?

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MPM: freezer love

When I was growing up, my mom always froze any leftover vegetables at the end of each dinner. Once we had a 4 cup container filled to the brim, my mom would make a big batch of soup. Just like Miss Smart, my mom didn’t like food to go to waste. The soup never tasted the same, and this is probably where my creativity in the kitchen started.

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After graduating from college and starting my first job, I began to make a big pot of soup every Sunday. I followed the same principal of throw in whatever veggie you have, along with a grain and protein of some sort, and I would eat it down all week long. By  Thursday afternoon I was sick of whatever soup I had created, but I was single and broke, so I quickly got over my bored taste buds.

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A few years passed and I finally revisited the idea of freezer cooking. Aside from my staple frozen pizzas, lean cuisines and mom’s frozen vegetable soup, I didn’t have much experience with freezer meals.  But I am so happy my friend Alanna introduced me to freezer cooking. She probably doesn’t even realize she did this, but I thank her nonetheless.  A year and a half I was browsing her blog and ran across her cooking day recap. I was transported to Once a Month Mom* and quickly fell in love with freezer cooking.

*my friend Kelly writes the whole foods menu!

This week’s menu plan is chock full of meals that were either pulled out of the freezer, or will be made in double batches,freezing half for later consumption.

Meal Plan Monday

Monday

Curried Split Pea Soup and scallion bread

Tuesday

Grilled Ahi, Caprese salad, brown rice

Wednesday

Spinach gnocchi with homemade pesto

Thursday

Chicken and Black Bean Burlattas

Friday

Turkey burgers and zucchini sticks

Saturday

Lasagna rolls

Sunday

Zucchini White Bean Soup (subbing yellow squash)

 

Have you eaten any of the meals in this week’s meal plan?

Zucchini and White Bean Soup

We still have zucchini overtaking our garden. Luckily I was able to squeeze a tiny bit of creativity out of myself this week, and I whipped up a batch of this healthy, filling, end of summer soup.

Zucchini and White Bean Soup

Serves 6 – approximately 1 1/3 cup servings

Ingredients

2-3 large zucchinis, cut into chunks

1/2 large onion (I used sweet, but yellow would work well too)

4 cloves garlic, minced

42 oz vegetable broth or chicken broth (3 14 oz cans)

1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 can white beans, rinsed and drained (black beans would work well too)

1 tsp Italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Throw vegetable broth, onion, garlic, zucchini and Italian seasoning into a large pot and bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.

Transfer half of your batch to your food processor, add half the Greek yogurt, and process until smooth. Do the same with the second half of your batch, adding the last half of the Greek yogurt.

Make sure your lid is on and actually snaps in place…

both times.

Yes, I spilled it once, cleaned it up, and then made the exact same mistake the second time. An immersion blender could prevent this issue. Hmm…add to amazon wish list…

Return to pot, add beans, and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste.

I plan to make a second batch and freeze it for work week winter meals. The first batch went too quickly to freeze!

Enjoy!

the return of pumpkin

Last week I was so on top of things. Lesson plans done, homemade meals cooked every night, gym every morning at 5, and blog posts to boot!

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But this week…
Lesson plans done.
Leftovers, or easy one pot meals every night.
Gym only 2 mornings, and it isn’t looking good for tomorrow.
No blog posts.

(source)

Sigh.

But I knew I could pull it together for a WIAW linky party. Thanks Jenn for getting my virtual butt in gear :

 

So here are Monday’s eats, not quite as pretty as weekend eats, but they represent everything that is my life right now: an attempt to be balanced.

Breakfast

Finally found pumpkin! I purchased 3 extra-large containers at Wal-Mart (judge away), and whipped up a batch of my friend Kelly’s pumpkin spice latte discs, following Megan’s triple measurements, (as I wasn’t in the mood to do math!).

Following the pumpkin trend I had a large container of pumpkin pie oatmeal,

and a second coffee…

Lunch
I cut the roof of my mouth on my blackened Rudi’s whole grain wheat English muffin,

and was then stung by my slightly acidic salad dressing.

Snacks
Luckily my Cliff Kids fruit rope

and Chobani pineapple (2% – soooo much tastier than 0%!) lifted my spirits.

Still starving when I arrived home, I slathered some Bee’s Knees on a brown rice cake as I whipped up dinner.

Dinner
Potato rosemary bread and zucchini white bean soup (recipe tomorrow…or Friday….or Saturday, but shooting for tomorrow).

I was too tired to eat dessert…which never happens.

What is your favorite de-stress technique.

Say hello to my elephant, she needs a name.

Wow, two weeks in a row I’ve managed to get my stuff together to get fashion Friday post put together. I’m pretty impressed with myself.

Monday

dress: Mossimo (Target), ribbon belt: Gap, shoes: Dansko

Tuesday

Dress: Ann Taylor Loft, Bag: Coach, shoes: Dankso, Necklace: NY&Co.

Wednesday

(cooled down to 85!)

Top, burmudas: Ann Taylor Loft, Cardi: Banana Republic, wedges: Born

Thursday

Dress: eci, Cardi: Banan Republic, Shoes: Aerosoles

Friday(!!)

Ruffle shirt: TJ Maxx, Cardi: Halogen, Capris: Banana Republic, shoes: Lucky

Today was College shirt Spirit Day. I completely forgot, until I got to school and saw all the teachers and office staff wearing Gonzaga, WSU and Easter apparel. I improvised by attaching my GO ZAGS! door sign to my shirt.

Fiday funny: if you look closely you can see my elephant. I need an “E’ name for her. She is attached to my school badge/school keys. One of my kids noticed it says Coach on it, and asked me what sport I coached. I didn’t realize she was referring to my elephant and couldn’t figure out why she thought I coached a sports team.

It didn’t stick all day, but I was at least wearing Gonzaga colors to make up for my mistake 😉

Where did you go to college?

I went to Saint Mary’s College of California my Freshman year and then transferred to Gonzaga University my Sophomore year. I graduated with a B.A. from there (Communications & Sociology) in 2005. I attended Whitworth University for my Masters in Teaching, and graduated in 2010.

What should I name my elephant?

I’m leaning toward Eleanor, but I am open to other E name suggestions.

Zucchini chips

Our garden has exploded.

These babies are huge.

That’s what she said.

Bread knife for length comparison…

Can of beans for height comparison…

Something had to be done. We’ve been throwing zucchini into everything we can think of, giving them away, and freezing some for winter. The hubs decided it would be a great idea to make chips out of these bad boys. And they turned out wonderful!

Zucchini Chips

Ingredients:

1-3 large zucchini

dusting of salt & seasoning of your choice (we chose Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt)

Directions:

Slice zucchini to a quarter inch in thickness. Place zucchini in dehydrator in single layers. Dehydrate* at 135 degrees for 8 hours (if your dehydrator has a fan), or longer if your dehydrator lacks a fan.

Check for crispiness. You don’t want them to be bendy. They should break like a chip.

*You can probably make these in the oven at the lowest temp setting, but it will probably take longer. And who wants to leave an oven on all day long?

Enjoy with hummus, salsa, or your dip of choice!


What is your favorite non-chip “chip” or non-fry “fry”?

WIAW: 2nd week of school

It’s WIAW time again. I skipped it last week, even though I planned to attend the party with a back-to-school edition. So instead, I’m back with a second week of school edition.

My back-to-work routine has gone from non-existant to nearly intact. I hit the gym each morning this week, and I got up the first time my alarm went off each morning! This is unheard of. I don’t want to jinx myself, but I think I am actually going to stick to it this time.

Pre-gym was an un-pictured  cliff kids bar. After returning home and showering I pulled out my nearly empty jar of my absolute favorite peanut butter.

Luckily, Trader Joe’s is opening soon, so I’ll be able to purchase as many of these as my heart desires. Inside went hot oats, cinnamon, brown sugar and chia seeds.

This was my first OIAJ (oat in a jar) experience. Mmmm magical.

Lunch was a Hugh Jass salad with spinach, avocado, onion, tomato, bell pepper and black beans.

Work snacks included celery w/smoked tomato basil hummus, grapes, and an apple that tasted more like a pear.

While cooking dinner, I nibbled on some zucchini chips (recipe tomorrow).

Dinner was a diversion from the meal plan,

as fish didn’t sound good, and ground turkey tacos sounded better.

I used to cut up all my veggies, and have them in nice little rows, so I could assemble perfect bite soft tacos.

But arranging the veggies takes longer than necessary, so I’ve started throwing all veggies into a tupperwear container and mixing them up.
After assembling my tacos I throw a handful or two of spinach on top and voila, salad for lunch tomorrow.

What is the best thing you ate today?