Tag Archives: salad

Lunch salads

11 Apr

I haven’t kept up with the Eat to Live diet strictly, but I did keep some of the habits since our last encounter in February. My favorite has been big lunch salads. Here are a couple from this week.

First is Wednesday’s, which I also ate on Tuesday:


Mixed greens topped with roasted sweet potato, black beans, and peanut sauce (peanut butter, hot sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and hot water to thin). The salad kept me full through to dinner, which is the most important part, but it was also delicious! Peanut sauce and I have a longtime love affair, and sweet potatoes are my favorite pair for it.

Here’s today’s salad that I plan to repeat tomorrow, too:


Greens with roasted beets and black-eyed peas tossed in pesto vinaigrette (just a tablespoon of my kale pesto thinned with red wine vinegar). It’s only 1:40 now, so only time will tell if it tides me over as well as yesterday’s.

There are a million posts about building the perfect salad, so I’m not going to do one, too. And anyway, you can tell my method is pretty simple: greens with a good amount of another (often roasted) veggie, beans, and a flavorful dressing. That’s pretty much it. I’m planning more salads for next week (taco salad and another beet dish, though with different flavors). I will share those, too.

What’s your favorite thing to bring for lunch? Soups and salads are my preference. Both offer lots of veggies and nutrition, but neither make me sleepy. Anything too heavy makes me crave an afternoon nap!


Salad and Smoothie

8 Jan

Hey guys! How is your Tuesday? Mine is being spent in spreadsheet hell, but I wanted to break free long enough to share a little food love. Sorry for the brevity!

This week marks the return of the green smoothie into my life:


That’s Monday’s, which featured a combination of spinach, banana, mango, strawberry, and coconut milk. Today’s was spinach, banana, mango, almond milk, almonds, cinnamon, and ginger. I have them alongside a hot mug of green tea sweetened with some allergy-fighting local honey and an unpictured glass of water.

Last night, we enjoyed a delicious beet salad:


I chopped the three peeled beets, tossed with a little olive oil, and roasted it topped with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, I took a defrosted half block of tofu, sliced it into strips, and marinated it similarly to this tempeh. I baked it in a glass dish for about 10 minutes, and then I sauteed it in a little oil. When it was done, I removed the tofu and added chopped onion and minced garlic to the pan, followed by the cleaned beet greens. The tofu and the fully cooked beets then went into the pan, and I tossed everything together. Each salad got a topping of Dijon/vinegar and a few little cubes of Trader Joe’s Parmesan & Gouda cheese. The end result was delicious and surprisingly filling.

So that’s all I have for you today. I hope everyone else’s Tuesday is devoid of tiny Excel cells!

Health goals for 2013

3 Jan

2012 most definitely had its ups and downs, and frankly I have zero interest in a reflection on my life over the year or my favorite recipes or anything of the sort. Lots of other bloggers do it, and that’s great, but it’s not very me.

I do, however, love planning. I’m a little hyper-addicted to it, in fact. It’s due in part to being a bit (ha!) high-strung, but it’s largely, too, because without a schedule or list of goals, I lose motivation easily. Crossing things off a list or having something specific to work toward really inspire me. I also love deadlines. I’m sick, but it’s not contagious.

So while I’m happy to say that 2012 wasn’t too shabby in terms of my eating and exercise, I still want to do better this year. With that in mind, here are the food and fitness goals I’ve outlined so far:

  1. Complete B & X’s 60-Day Challenge. The B is me, and the X is my husband, just so you know. He decided to complete the Insanity workout, which is eight weeks. To encourage him — and myself — I pledged to do a complementary program of my own design. Basically I’m recommitting to the 10k training plan I abandoned in the fall, plus adding two more workouts (yoga, strength training, bike riding, etc.) in each week. In sum, we will be active for six days a week. At the four- and eight-week marks, we’re going to get a little reward, to be determined. By doing the challenge together, we keep each other honest and motivated. But by engaging in separate activities, we can do the workouts we prefer and not embarrass ourselves in front of each other. Ha.
  2. Run my first 10k. I’m currently searching for one in late April/early May to coincide with the completion of my training (yep, it will continue after the 60-Day Challenge — it’s 15 weeks!). I will actually hit a 10k distance in mid-February, however, so I’m consider doing it earlier in the training and then another one after it’s over. I’m just talking to myself over here. Sorry.
  3. Cook almost every meal at home.  You’ll notice I didn’t set an exact number each week, because it can be hard to predict work week plans. And frankly, sometimes takeout or a heat-and-eat pizza from Ralph’s are important for my mental health, too, on particularly stressful days. However, “almost every” pretty much means every lunch (with exceptions for work commitments), dinner every week night, and a brunch and dinner on the weekend. But again, I left myself some flexibility.

Those are my specific goals. I have some general thoughts about trying new cooking methods, eating more fruit and greens, and things like that, but nothing is fleshed out. I’m considering doing some kind of weekly recipe challenge in February, though, so be on the lookout for more details. And, of course, I have a bunch of other goals, but they are unrelated to the topic of this blog, so I didn’t think you’d be interested.

And just so this entry isn’t totally colorless, here is my cute little breakfast:


I made half a batch of Baked Banana Bread Oatmeal (no nuts or chocolate) in two of my new ramekins. They are so convenient! Yesterday I ate them hot from the oven, and today it was so easy to pop the little container in the microwave. I’ll make another half batch tomorrow morning.

And here’s lunch:


The dips look way less appetizing than they are. Ha! The brown mess is a variation/simplification of Susan’s Black-Eyed Pea Hummus recipe. Here are my variations:

  • Used 1 cup of black-eyed peas and 1 cup of black beans (all freshly cooked at home)
  • Omitted the onions and pecans
  • Subbed white vinegar for lemon juice because I forgot to buy lemons

The green sauce is my Creamy Vegan Dill Dressing, though again I had to sub in vinegar for the juice, and I used hot sauce instead of jalapeno. I apparently paid no attention at all at the store. The dressing was left over from last night’s salad:

Almost identical to the original one, it featured baby spinach, black beans, roasted corn, avocado, the dressing, and tortilla strips. I made the strips from stale corn tortillas lurking in the fridge, and then I turned the rest into the chips you see above for my lunch.

And now I have three questions for you:

1. What kind of health-related goals have you set this year?

2. Do you give a hoot about other kinds of goals I’m setting, or should I still to diet and exercise? (I promise your answer won’t hurt my feelings.)

3. Would including nutritional information about my recipes help you?

CSA week somethingorother and meal planning

3 Dec

Hey all. I was sick with a nasty migraine yesterday, so my CSA box photo is lackluster. My apologies.

Anyway, let’s get right to it:Veggies

  • Lettuce
  • Swiss chard
  • Parsley
  • Arugula
  • Cilantro
  • Cabbage
  • Four apples
  • Beets
  • Giant radishes
  • Purple kohlrabi

And here’s the tentative meal plan:

Breakfast: Polenta Topped with a Fried Egg


  • Monday — Leftover roasted veggie salad (see below)
  • Tuesday — Pitfire Pizza on my employer
  • Wednesday-Friday — TBA


  • Monday/Tuesday — Vegan cabbage rolls (recipe to come, if it’s good)
  • Wednesday/Thursday — Red lentil soup (ditto)
  • Friday/Saturday — Roasted veggies

And as a bonus, because this post is dull, here is the roasted veggie salad I made for dinner last night:

SaladRoasted beets, sauteed Brussels sprouts, and tempeh cooked this way atop red leaf lettuce and drizzled with a Dijon/lime juice combination. I had the leftovers (minus the lettuce) cold for lunch today, and it was still delicious.

I should be back tomorrow with a dessert recipe!

Check out the CSA link-up over at In Her Chucks’ “What’s in the Box?”!

Updated Thanksgiving menu

21 Nov

I decided to change up my menu a bit for tomorrow’s big meal, so here is what I’m planning to make:

Sourdough rolls

Sauteed Swiss chard (depending on how stressed I am tomorrow)

Cranberry sauce

Cornbread casserole

Garlic mashed potatoes

Roasted Brussels sprouts

Pecan pie

Oh, and my brother-in-law bought a pre-cooked turkey, which the boys will be in charge of entirely. The rest means I have prep work to do.

  • Tonight: Mix sourdough starter with other ingredients to let it rise overnight; bake the pie; roast the garlic; make cranberry sauce; make the cornbread casserole.
  • Tomorrow morning: Second rise of dough; boil, mash, and generally prepare the potatoes; roast the Brussels sprouts.
  • Just before serving: Bake the rolls; pan fry the sprouts; reheat the cornbread; saute the Swiss chard.

It’s actually less daunting to type it out that way. I could do a lot of stuff tomorrow instead of tonight, but I really don’t want to be stressed/bitchy on Thanksgiving.

And just so this post isn’t entirely self-serving, here are a few recent meals:

Another beet salad! This one was my favorite, though. I roasted the beets longer so they browned a little. I also steamed and then marinated a block of tempeh in a mixture of soy sauce, olive oil, liquid smoke, garlic, chili powder, pepper sauce, black pepper, and brown sugar — no measurements as I just dumped everything in a bowl. Then I sauteed some spring onions in olive oil and added the tempeh and beet greens. After a couple of minutes, it was nicely wilted/sauteed, and into a bowl with the beets it went. The salad was served atop salad greens and drizzled with a little lime juice/Dijon combo. So, so good!

Here you are beholding Spabettie’s Baby Portobello Strogranoff, served atop barley instead of quinoa. On the side is simple roasted cauliflower. I didn’t add wine to the recipe (just because we didn’t have any — I used more broth instead) but wish I had. The recipe was still delicious, but I imagine it would have been even better with a little cab sauv in the background.

And finally, more of the Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheeze. I added broccoli and mushrooms this time, plus more garlic, and I liked it quite a bit. We were out of Dijon (see salad above), and I missed the flavor, so don’t skip it either! The swirly twirly pasta was fun, too. I rarely buy anything but spaghetti or occasionally penne, but I really enjoyed the variety.

I hope everyone is preparing for a joyful holiday. Enjoy the food, but join me in trying (so, so hard) to embrace the truly happy meaning behind Thanksgiving. Lots of love from my kitchen to yours!

Roasted beet salads

5 Nov

Today’s lunch salad was a variation on a salad we ate this weekend. Though the ideas were largely the same, they packed very different flavors, so I wanted to share both. Here was Saturday’s salad:

Caramelized beets on top of romaine lettuce served with toasted cashews (just dry toasted in a skillet for a few minutes), a combination of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and salt and black pepper. Very basic but very delicious. It paired wonderfully with Butternut Squash Chili (recipe to come):

Today I wanted to do something similar but using what had come in this week’s CSA share. Here’s the result:

I roasted the beets using the same method as above except that I didn’t toss with balsamic vinegar at the end. I also wilted the beet greens in a tiny bit of olive oil and salt and pepper, and at the very end added a bunch of arugula and a little water for about two minutes. I wanted to break down the bitterness but not make them soggy. The dressing was very simple: the juice of one Meyer lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and a minced garlic clove. Each salad portion is the veggies topped with some dressing and about 1.5 tablespoons of toasted pecans. Simple. Easy. Delicious.

What’s your favorite way to eat beets? I love the way roasted them plays up their natural sweetness without turning them into candy. I also love them raw and shredded, though I seriously lack the patience to grate them!

Weekend eats

9 Oct

Here’s a round-up of what I ate this weekend.

I was flying solo on Friday night due to Mr. X being on set into the wee hours. The fridge situation was weird, so I went for a random combination. The result was this:

Roasted butternut squash, white beans (yes, we are STILL eating these), Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, cilantro, garlic, and jalapeno. It was surprisingly tasty. I would 100% make the combination again.

On Saturday, X requested my Asian Noodle Salad, so I made a quickie version for lunch:

Romaine for all the leafiness, red pepper (and no green), whole wheat spaghetti noodles, Armenian cucumber, and toasted cashews. The dressing was more or less the same, though I used way less oil. It was quick and tasty.

Dinner was also at my sexy Latin man’s request:

Yep, pizza using my sourdough crust, though I used whole wheat flour for half the recipe since I ran out of white whole wheat. The result was extra nutty and really good. We topped it with Roasted Tomato Sauce (made from canned tomatoes this time), red pepper, onion, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and Tofurkey Italian sausage. Yep, no cheese! X is doing the vegan thang with me this month in solidarity, and to lower his cholesterol. This pizza actually tasted better as leftovers the next day when we reheated it in the oven. Who knew? The peppers and mushrooms just got a little extra soft, so next time I will lightly saute both before layering them on the pizza.

And on Sunday, I ran my four miles and then devoured a fatty slice of leftover pizza. At 1:30, I met some coworkers and other ladies for brunch (fo’ free — holla!) and enjoyed this delicious meal from Mohawk Bend:

So good. It was the House Smoked Mushroom Hash (“tofu scramble romesco, choice of toast” — I had sourdough). There was also a Bloody Mary (totally vegan!) and a nibble of their signature Buffalo Style Cauliflower, both of which escaped my iPhone. And then there was sauv blanc. And then a Moscow Mule (or two). I passed out early. Shocking.