Tag Archives: breakfast

Pea & radish risotto

More continued fun with the camera at breakfast time. Smile

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That would be a variation of Ashley’s amazing buckwheat bakes. If you haven’t made one yet, check out her recipe page for a whole section dedicated to them. I made a bunch of modifications to this morning’s bake but it included banana & blueberries on the inside with an almond butter, coconut butter and almond milk frosting on top. Worth every one of the 30 minutes it takes to bake!

This weekend was kind of a wash weather wise. Yesterday, it was cold and rainy and today, while a little warmer, was still gloomy. Instead of normal summer foods I was craving something more comforting. Risotto is one of those dishes that defines “comfort food” to me. My mom makes a wonderful dried porcini mushroom and sausage risotto in the winter that is creamy, cheesy and everything risotto should be. So many times I’ve ordered a risotto dish at a restaurant only to be served something that is masquerading as a rice pilaf. The difference is in the method. People say risotto is time consuming but it’s really not. Rice takes the same amount of time to absorb the necessary liquid whether you set it all in the beginning and walk away like a typical rice dish or, you slowly add the liquid in stages like a risotto. Risotto is not any more time consuming, it just needs a little more tlc. And I can assure you that added tlc is more than worth it when it results in this.IMG_0291

Since it’s at least supposed to be warm weather season, I decided to keep this risotto on the lighter side with peas and radishes. This was served as a side dish to some grilled steaks but could definitely steal the show as main course if you wanted it to. In fact, it would be excellent with some grilled shrimp as a stand alone dish.IMG_0204

I actually found some brown Arborio rice at the bulk bins last time. This was the bottom of the container though so it was mixed with a little bit of regular, longer grain rice that was left when I poured it in. They technically have different cooking times, like different shaped pastas would, but I just rolled with it. I wasn’t about to pick apart the different shaped rice.

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Aren’t those radishes cute with their little tails? They kind of remind me of tadpoles.

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Anything that starts with butter has gotta be good, right?

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Some diced onion, garlic and shallot.

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You know where this is going…sauté.

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Once the mixture has softened, add the rice to toast and absorb all the oil & butter.

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And if you haven’t yet been convinced to make this. Maybe this will help.

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Some for the risotto, some for you. It’s only fair.

After the risotto absorbs the wine (anywhere from about 1/4-1/2 cup will do)  slowly ladle some heated chicken broth (or veggie) into the pan with the rice until it just covers it. Once it’s almost completely absorbed, add more until all the broth is gone and the rice is fully cooked. Here’s where I’ve heard many an Italian swear by different methods. Some say do not touch or stir the rice at all while it’s going through this process. My mom and family fall into this group. Others say to stir every now and then during the cooking process to release the starches in the rice which makes for a creamery risotto. I’ve tried both and actually prefer the latter. Sorry mom. This works especially well with white rice as it breaks down easier than brown.

While the rice is cooking, prep the veggies.

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And grate the cheese.

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When the rice has absorbed all the liquid and it’s fully cooked (taste test here, ours was a little al dente last night) add the frozen peas, radishes, some fresh chopped herbs and grated cheese.

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Season to taste and top with some crumbled bacon.

Why?

Does bacon even need an explanation? I didn’t think so.IMG_0287

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Pea & Radish Risotto

Makes 6 side dishes

  • 1 1/4 cup brown Arborio rice
  • 40 ounces chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1-2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup diced radishes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley & mint)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked well until crispy (optional)
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Heat chicken broth in small sauce pan over low heat. In large skillet, heat evoo & butter on med heat. Add shallots, garlic and onion and sauté until softened. Add rice and toss to coat. Let rice toast for 1-2 minutes. Add wine and stir rice until wine is completely absorbed. Slowly ladle chicken broth into rice until just covering the top of the rice. Let the rice absorb the liquid, stirring occasionally. Once liquid is mostly absorbed, add more broth again covering only to top of rice. Continue until broth is used up and rice is fully cooked. Add radishes, peas, herbs and cheese to cooked rice and mix. Season with salt & pepper and top with crumbled bacon.

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Filed under Dinner, Recipes, Side Dishes

Things that made me happy this weekend

Lazy mornings that allow for breakfasts like this. Homemade blackberry waffles with yogurt and fruit on top.

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Hot summer spring days that make a root beer float an acceptable treat. Smile

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3 consecutive days of running. More to come on the book behind the Garmin tomorrow.

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A dog that always makes me laugh. Her water bowl was about 20 feet away. I guess the fountain was more intriguing.

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A man and his lawn mower. Seriously how can this not make you laugh? Headphones that look like he should be on the tarmac doing ground control at JFK, rain boots in case the floods come, and a big goofy grin. Besides golf and his dogs, tending to the lawn may be his favorite pastime.

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Icy cold drink on a hot day.

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First cherries of the season.

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Grilled corn on the cob.

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This guy preparing said corn.

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Grilled eats. Side note: these chicken sausages from Sam’s Club are amazing!

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Bright flowers. Sometimes I feel like an old lady by how happy I can be just sitting on the deck looking at potted flowers.

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A good book. Picked this up after one of Jenna’s book reviews and am loving it so far.

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Back to the grind…

What’s something that made you happy this weekend?

15 Comments

Filed under Around the house, Family, Meals

Cleaning out the fridge

I have 3 goals before we leave on Thursday.

  1. Clean out the fridge
  2. Fit in as much exercise as possible
  3. Pack

As of yesterday morning this is what we needed to eat our way through:

-5 leaves of kale

-3/4 block of tempeh

-1 block of tofu

-1/3 cup of cottage cheese

-1/2 of a big container of plain yogurt

-1/2 gallon of milk

-3 muffins

-2 lbs of strawberries

-1.5 pints of blueberries

-2 kiwis

-3.5 bananas

all that coleslaw

-1 pint of grape tomatoes

-4 green onions

-handful of arugula

-handful of grapes

All of that in 2.5 days. Think we can do it?

Here’s a look a day 1. It’s random but, I’m determined to not throw anything out!

Breakfast

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Don’t be fooled, these are no ordinary pancakes. I wanted to use up the cottage cheese but wasn’t really in the mood for it straight up. So, I improvised. Usually on weekends I’ll make pancakes from scratch. The weekdays just don’t afford that much free time though. Enter Trader Joe’s multigrain pancake mix.

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I’ve tried a ton of mixes and this is by far my favorite. It’s not perfect but at least seems a little better than Bisquick. I just halved the recipe on the box, added the cottage cheese, and cut back on the milk just a little since the cottage cheese gives it some moisture. I also always add a splash of vanilla and cinnamon to pretty much any baked good so that went in too. They quickly became blueberry pancakes once I realized how much fruit we have to get through. Half a pint of blueberries down, 1 pint to go! Smile

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Topped 1/2 banana, 4 strawberries, chia seeds, pepitas, and of course maple syrup.

Lunch

Tempeh, goat cheese, bacon and arugula sandwich with grapes and coleslaw on the side.

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This was good! I’m not gonna lie, frying up the bacon and then heating up the tempeh in the bacon grease kind of just felt inherently wrong. I got over it after the first bite. Try it!

Dinner

Green onion, tomato and goat cheese frittata with kale chips on the side.

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I love frittata’s. They’re simple, tasty and anything that involves goat cheese is a winner in my book.

So after Day 1 the list looks like this:

-5 leaves of kale

-3/4 block of tempeh 1/2 block left

-1 block of tofu

1/3 cup of cottage cheese

-1/2 of a big container of plain yogurt

-1/2 gallon of milk

-3 muffins 2 muffins (1 was an afternoon snack Smile)

-2 lbs of strawberries

-1.5 pints of blueberries  1 pint left

-2 kiwis

-3.5 bananas 3 left

all that coleslaw

-1 pint of grape tomatoes 1/2 pint left

-4 green onions

-handful of arugula

-handful of grapes

Not bad right?

As for #2 on the to do list, I fit in a 20 minute yoga for runners session, an easy 3 miles on the treadmill and 15 minutes of abs/core work. Good enough for me!

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Ginger supervised.

Packing didn’t even get touched. I always end up procrastinating with that one. Eye rolling smile

2 days!

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Filed under Around the house, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Meals, Running

Ode to Ireland

First things first. Breakfast was too good not to share. This girl knows what she’s talking about when it comes to smoothies. I’ve been wanting to try these dough boy smoothies for quite some time and yesterday morning was the day. Boy am I glad I did. Such a nice change of pace for breakfast. It really does taste doughy too!

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Those white clumps are coconut butter and definitely the best part. If you haven’t tried these yet, do it.

<Insert long work day here>

But that’s ok because it’s only a 4 day work week for me. We leave for Ireland on Thursday night! We’ll be headed there for just over a week and plan to explore much of southern Ireland from Dublin —-> Cork –> Killarney —> Shannon. We’re going with Adrian & Doreen so you’ll be seeing a little bit more of those two. This is my first trip to Europe that we’re planning completely on our own and not with a group of some sort so, it will be interesting to see how everything pans out from driving our stick shift rental car on the other side of the road to figuring out how to get from city to city.

I decided to get ready for our trip by incorporating one of the few foods I associate with Ireland (maybe I’m naïve but, what food is actually Irish?) into last night’s dinner. Cabbage! I’ll admit that my assumption of cabbage being Irish is based solely on the whole corned beef & cabbage St. Patrick’s Day tradition. So I apologize if it’s not but, I promise the recipe is good anyway!P1012649

There were slim pickings in the produce drawer of the fridge and since we’re leaving on Thursday I really didn’t want to buy too much either. Enter this coleslaw/salad that I can make a ton of, will keep just fine for a few days, and satisfy my vegetable quota. Hope Ulysses likes it because it’s on the menu every night between now and Wednesday!

Honestly, I don’t even know if I can call this a “recipe” it’s so simple. Simple is how I roll. I don’t have time for long, elaborate meals during the week while working full time and trying to fit in some sort of workout after 5pm. (Don’t even try and talk me into a morning workout. It will not happen. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve tried only to totally dismiss the alarm clock when it goes off.) My goal is to try and keep it healthy, quick, and of course tasty. That’s it. I think this satisfies all three.

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These 4 vegetables cost me $4.32 at my favorite store. I plan on having them last me for 3 dinners/lunches. Can’t beat that.

Ever had jicama?

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This was actually my first time buying it. I’ve had it in plenty of store bought vegetable party trays but never bought it myself. It looks like a root vegetable and you just peel the outside layer off much like you would a potato.

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Once the jicama is peeled, just julienne it along with the red pepper.

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This is a loose interpretation of a “julienne”. No need to be perfect here.

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Moving onto the cabbage, I actually take out the white inner core as I think it’s kind of bitter and then just slice it.

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Add all your sliced vegetables to a bowl. I actually threw in some un-pictured raisins too for some sweetness. I also thought about adding a sliced up apple but then realized I didn’t have any left.

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Now it’s time for the dressing. This is where most coleslaws go horribly wrong. I wanted to keep this one light and obviously healthy but, I also wasn’t in the mood for just a vinegary dressy.  I ended up kind of winging it and it came out great!

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp mayo
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • salt/pepper

Just pour the dressing into the bowl with the sliced vegetables and toss to coat.

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I let this sit in the fridge for a couple of hours but, there’s no reason you couldn’t eat it right away.

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I was alone for dinner last night and this was the perfect side to my grilled cheese and tomato sandwich. Smile

Now it’s time to start packing!

“Irish” Coleslaw:

Serves 8-10 side dish portions

  • 1 small head of red cabbage, sliced
  • 1 small head of green or savoy cabbage, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 jicama root, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup raisins, chopped
  • salt/pepper to taste

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp mayo
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • salt/pepper

Directions:

Thinly slice all vegetables and combine in a large bowl with chopped raisins. Whisk together all dressing ingredients and add to bowl with vegetables. Add salt & pepper to taste. Toss to coat and serve or refrigerate.

Have any of you been to Ireland? Any suggestions on things we must do while there?

14 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Meals, Recipes, Travel

HOHA 5 mile race recap

Yesterday morning started out like every other race morning, EARLY! Every single race I’ve done I wake up with the same thought: “why, oh why did I sign up for this? I could totally just go run X miles myself today and not have to be up this early.”

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(Hi, it’s 5:30am on Sunday)

The weather was horrendous and as I listened to the rain that was so hard it sounded like hail hit the skylight in my bathroom I’d be lying if I said the thought to just skip the race and forfeit the $20 registration fee didn’t enter my mind. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was meeting my brother and his girlfriend in Hoboken and that I had blogged about it already, I might’ve just gotten back in bed Winking smile

Of course in the end it’s always worth it and the satisfaction of another race under your belt definitely trumps the wake up call. It’s just a little hard to remember that when this is what you’re driving through to get there.

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Note that the windshield wipers are on their “frantic” speed here. You know, the highest one where they’re going so fast you think they might just fly off.

Side note: improper frequency of windshield wipers is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. It has to be coming down in buckets for me to even contemplate using that speed. This was the kind of rain that is so loud and hard you can’t hear your radio and your hands are on the steering wheel at 10 & 2 like you’re 16 taking your driving test. I probably shouldn’t have been operating a camera at the same time. The things I do for blog content!

1.5 hours later I got to Hoboken and thankfully the rain had stopped. We picked up our bibs, used the nasty port-a-potties and headed to the start.

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Adrian was a spectator/cheerleader/photographer this year so he got to eat yummy chocolate, pear croissants while Doreen and I stretched.

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Scary and how ‘bout those bags under my eyes!

They changed the course a little this year so we had to walk a few blocks to the start.

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Why do we look insanely white compared to everyone else?

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And, we’re off!

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Doreen’s super excited to see Adrian taking this picture!

We discussed paces right before the start so we knew we wouldn’t really be running this “together”. Doreen is super fast! Even with me thinking I’d be about 20-30 seconds faster per mile this year than last, she still paces quite a bit faster than that. Her goal was to beat Adrian’s time last year of 36:08. So after about the first 1/2 mile I couldn’t even see her anymore.

The course was very similar for the first 4 miles even though they started in a different place so I knew what to expect. Mile 1 was flat and fast but at mile 2 you enter Stevens Institute of Technology’s campus which is full of hills! Last year it kind of took me by surprise so it was nice knowing what to expect this time around. The next 2 miles were again very similar and flat. Smile  The last mile they added in a loop through a new park to make the course an exact 5 miles. Last year the course was short (4.94 miles) and while that was great for reducing my pace and time, it’s nice to run a course that’s the exact length it’s supposed to be.

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Doreen on the final stretch.

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Take the damn picture Adrian, I’m done pretending I’m happy right now!

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“Sprinting” at the end

I looked up about right here to see the clock say 40:38 and I really wanted to clock in before the 41:00 mark. Mission accomplished, new PR 40:54!!

Mile splits:

  • Mile 1: 8:02
  • Mile 2: 8:20 <—hills! (last year this mile was 9:02. Improvement!)
  • Mile 3: 7:58 (!!)
  • Mile 4: 8:18
  • Mile 5: 8:16

Average pace: 8:11

Last year’s time was 42:46 and considering the course was short by .06, I beat that time by more than 2 minutes! Next year the goal will be under 40:00 Winking smile

Curious if Doreen beat Adrian’s time? Sooooo close! She clocked in at 36:51. I told you she was fast! She killed it!

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That’s not an awkward wave, it’s a “5”.

Then onto the best part about any race, food! We headed to La Isla, just like last year for their famous “stuffed french toast”. It was on Food Network’s Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Bobby lost.

The place is kind of a hole in the wall but, like most of those places the food is delicious.

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Thank you, Omar. Your french toast rocks.

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This picture doesn’t even come close to doing this bad boy justice.

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We all split everything and left perfectly satisfied. Smile

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And then it started raining again.

Anyone else race this weekend? How’d you do?

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Filed under Family, Meals, Races, Restaurants, Running

A day of eats on the road

While I have no intentions of making this blog a food journal (I’m just not disciplined enough for that), I thought it would be fun to go through a day of eats when I’m on the road. There are so many good posts out there about how to eat healthy when traveling and I usually follow a lot of the basic advice but, I found this trip to be particularly challenging. I was traveling with 3 other co-workers, we had one car and there was no down time.

Breakfast

As a company, we’re Hilton loyal. I love Hilton Garden Inn’s because I think they have the best breakfast options. Part of that is of course because it’s free once you are high enough up the ranks of Hilton’s reward program. But anywhere there is oatmeal, there is potential!

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What looks like mush on the bottom right hand side of the picture is actually oatmeal. It definitely had a funky gray color to it and was starting to congeal on the top but I literally scrapped that off and took some from the bottom. Try not to think about how long it may have been sitting out there. It’s still a way better option than those biscuits or the bacon you can barely see in this picture. Smile 

I’ve noticed that if a hotel has oatmeal they usually tend to have some toppings too.

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(brown sugar, walnuts and raisins)

I wasn’t a huge fan of how “thick” the oatmeal was (probably from sitting there for a couple of hours) so I added some milk to thin it out.

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Then, the best parts.

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Hotels  always have some loose fruit options. Usually, bananas, apples and/or oranges. If you don’t see bananas…ASK! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just asked someone and they have them in the back but didn’t put them out for some reason.  Usually, I travel with peanut butter packets. Justin’s and Barney Butter are my favorites. I totally forgot this trip so I just used the Smucker’s the hotel had. Is it ideal? No. Will it kill me this one time? No again.

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Insert 2 cups of much needed coffee here. I also stole an apple for later thinking I’d use it as a morning snack or lunch add-on.

Lunch

We had absolutely no say in lunch. The college we were at provided the food. Boxed lunches. Unfortunately, I was one of the last people to grab mine and all that was left was the turkey option. I usually grab whatever the veggie option is since it’s most often the healthiest but, no luck this time.

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Pretty huh? That’s my apple stolen from breakfast. If I hadn’t grabbed that my lunch would’ve literally just been a slimy turkey sandwich and that lovely yellow, mayo laden potato salad. Oh, and don’t forget the 1 piece of lettuce and 2 slices of tomato! Needless to say, lunch left much to be desired. I ate about half the turkey sandwich as it was all I could stomach and the apple.

Snack

Surprisingly, the snacks provided actually included a pretty decent trail mix which I inhaled about 2 hours later after the pretty pathetic lunch. Half a sandwich just doesn’t cut it for me. Ever.

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Dinner

We had no time between the end of the day on campus and the airport because of our flight times so it was the Gainesville airport for dinner. I had a connection in Atlanta and would’ve much preferred to eat there as there are tons of options, but with a 47 minute layover I knew I’d be running to the next terminal/gate.

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This is seriously the only option in the Gainesville airport. It’s kind of comical. The one guy working there takes your order, rings you out, cooks your food, and then serves you. Customer service at it’s best! The menu was fried, fried, and more fried but, I found a garden burger or a turkey avocado wrap as 2 potential options. I went with the latter and picked off about half the wrap. It was actually halfway decent. At least better than I expected.

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I still wasn’t satisfied though so I got some snacks.

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This was seriously one of the best apples I’ve ever had. Apples are one of my least favorite fruits, especially red apples. I’m more of a Granny Smith gal. I didn’t have high hopes for this one wrapped in cellophane and sitting in the counter fruit basket for who knows how long but, it was tasty! I ate about half the bar. Wasn’t a huge fan.

Dessert

I knew I had to switch to terminal B for my connection which has a Freshens (is it sad I know which terminals have what food options in Atlanta?) so when we landed about 5 minutes early I booked it there to get this baby.

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Froyo just makes the world a better place. Smile

Sometimes traveling can be fun and a little like  “Up in the Air”. Other times, it can be like a slimy turkey sandwich boxed lunch. Looking forward to getting home and having a meal I actually cook and getting a run in! Even if I had the time this trip I’m not sure I would’ve been out in the 95 degree weather to pound the pavement. It.was.hot.

I’m thinking swordfish and stuffed tomatoes are on tap for tonight. If they turn out well maybe I’ll share Winking smile.

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Meals, Travel, Work

My current breakfast obsession

Last week I cooked up a batch of red quinoa that I figured I could get some use out of for some meals in the next few days. Then I ended up not cooking Thursday night and going out to dinner on Friday night, so the quinoa just sat there in the fridge. I’ve made this before and loved it so I figured I could use it as inspiration for Saturday morning’s breakfast.

I put about 1/2 a cup of cooked quinoa in a bowl:

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Added:

  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1/4 cup of skim milk
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla extract

and popped it in the microwave just to heat things up for about 1.5 minutes. The quinoa didn’t absorb any of the liquid since it was already cooked, so it turned out to be more of a cereal like consistency.

Then the fun part, toppings!

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Do you see all the stems on those blueberries? I’m kind of OCD and had to pick off every.single.one. Wish I could get over those kinds of things because that took me a whole 2 minutes. 2 extra minutes between me and my breakfast. Any of my family or friends reading this know how bitchy crazy I can be when hungry.

The last addition was a drizzle of maple syrup on top to sweeten it up just a bit. It’s a little different than a normal breakfast and adds a nice punch of protein from the quinoa. I loved this. So much so that I’ve now eaten it 3 mornings in a row. That pretty much never happens. I need variety in my life. Usually, I don’t go more than 2 days eating the same meal. Maybe it’s because I have 4 cups of cooked quinoa on my hands and know my husband won’t touch it while I’m gone for the next 2 days for work or, maybe it is that good?  Try it and tell me what you think Smile

Currently, I’m on my way here.

Map picture

 

Any Gators out there?

I travel all around the country for work and have been on 100+ college campuses in the past 7 years. Two things I’ve taken away from all this travel:

  1. They put some large/flagship institutions in really remote places. How they can convince more than 40,000 students to go to places like Urbana, IL is beyond me!
  2. I don’t know why I thought picking rural Pennsylvania for my 4 years of undergrad was a good idea when places like this and this exist.

Word on the street is we’re going here for dinner and it’s supposed to be pretty good. Hopefully, the reason they still have the 2010 New Year’s Eve menu on their website is because they are sooo dedicated to the food that they forgot to update the web. Right???

6 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Recipes, Travel, Work