Category Archives: Breakfast

Technical difficulties

We’re experiencing technical difficulties as Brad has been working on my site.  We’re completely revamping the whole look and moving it onto our server, so if things look a bit odd, please don’t give up on us.  For now, I’m using the old domain name www.foodiefresh.wordpress.com.  But we’ll be nixing the wordpress portion once again soon.

Gotta make this quick! We’re going over to Diana’s house in a minute for a welcome to Charlotte party for Katie.

After my shower yesterday I ran actually I drove down to South Charlotte to run a few errands.  By the time I got back, it was 4:30 and I needed a snack.

I grabbed some Kashi cracker crumbs, pretzels, and cottage cheese, plus a La Croix raspberry.  I’m loving these so much right now.

Dinner was leftover pizza from Hawthorne’s and a quick salad of romaine, tomato, red onion, and tomato vidalia dressing.

We stayed in last night because we have soooo much coming up next week with the wedding being on Saturday.  It’s a good thing too because I developed a headache around 9 pm.  I was an old lady and went to bed at 10:30 on a Saturday night.

But…woke up feeling glorious the next day.

I made peaches and cottage cheese oats for two.  Look new placemats!  They’re a wedding gift from my friend Jane, who I used to teach 5th grade with in my past life.

Hers…

His…Brad later added some jam and quite a bit of cinnamon.

He says my oats are the first “real” oats he’s ever eaten.  “Real” in the fact that they’re not instant.  That makes me feel nice. 🙂

And we’re off!

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner

Bridesmaids’ Luncheon

I had an awesome 10 mile run this morning!

I started off with a thin slice of Dakota bread with some PB & banana and even had enough time for coffee.  I like to drink coffee before long runs because I drink it every morning and I don’t think you should do anything too outside your regularly scheduled programming.  However, sometimes before early races, I don’t have time for coffee.

Like I said, the run was great!  I ran with Jen and it was wonderful to have someone to talk to for 10 miles.  As we chatted, the time just flew by.  Before I knew it we had covered 5, then 8, then 9 miles! The last mile was a big hill, but we got through it and pounded out the last few tenths of a mile on flat terrain.  It was great!  The weather was just perfect.  A little humid but the temperature was only in the 70’s.  Such a nice change from the high temperatures we’ve been experiencing early in the morning.

My face gets really red when running.

When I returned my sweet guy made me this green monster for breakfast #2.

1/2 frozen banana

1 scoop chocolate Amazing Meal

1/2 scoop chocolate whey protein

1 cup frozen spinach

1 cup almond milk

5 mint leaves

It was delicious!  I’m experimenting with putting mint leaves in my smoothies.  I think I’ll try more next time.  I don’t want it to be too minty so I’m trying it a little at a time.

Coffee #2 was a must! Have you heard that coffee might possibly help muscle recovery after runs?  I first heard about it in a Runner’s World article, which you can read here.

After getting ready, it was time for my bridesmaid luncheon.

I held a luncheon in honor of my bridesmaid at 300 East in Charlotte.   They were really easy to work with.  Picking my menu was super easy because I love their simple but delicious food.  Their pastry chef even called me personally to give me a consultation on what she could do.

The Menu

Appetizers:

Hummus plate with veggies and pita chips

Housemade Pimento Cheese with crackers and veggies

Guacamole with salsa and tortilla chips

Entrees:

Sonoma Salad ~ Red Potatoes, Avocado, Grape Tomatoes & Dijon Dressing over Baby Greens, with Grilled Chicken, Grilled Shrimp, or Lump Crabmeat

Fig and Prosciutto Pizza ~ with Gorgonzola & Grilled Fruit

Grilled Chicken and Pesto ~ with Roasted Red Peppers and Provolone on Focaccia

Grilled Portobello Sandwich ~ Gorgonzola, Arugula, Red Onion, Tomato Salad & Sherry Vinaigrette on an Onion Roll

Special Drinks:

Peach Bellinis, Mimosas, Honig Saugvignon Blanc

Dessert:

Key Lime Pie with Raspberries and Raspberry Sauce

I had a great time picking out this menu! 🙂

The table with one of the bridesmaid’s gift and a photo of me.  My aunt found this photo of me a few days ago.  I was two years old and it was taken at her bridesmaid luncheon 25 years ago.  If you could see it more closely, you know notice that I used to be a blonde!  Funny, because my hair is almost black now.

Some of the girls and my family before everyone arrived.

While appetizers were passed around, I had a club soda with a splash of cranberry juice.  I also drank a full glass of water to rehydrate.  Don’t worry, I enjoyed myself.  I soon switched to a peach Bellini.

The bridesmaids’ gifts were a necklace and earring set I handmade.  I took a class to learn how to make the “branch-style” necklace, but made each necklace differently.  The one pictured above is Candace’s set.  I used sterling silver wire, hooks, and chain, topaz, Swarovski crystals, and mother of pearl.  The earrings are mother of pearl to match.  I’m really proud of these necklaces because I have never done anything like it before.  It was really important to me to give them something nice and something that reflects myself.

My (3rd) cousin Marie and wedding director, my grandmother, and my aunt.

A candid photo of the table.

My cousin April, Brittney, and my sister-in-law Jen.

I somehow missed taking shots of the apps, but let’s move on to the entrees.

I ordered the Sonoma Salad with shrimp.  I always eye this salad, but have never ordered it.  I’ll pretty much eat anything with avocado on top.  I also had a glass of the Honig at this point in the meal.  I chose this wine because Brad and I visited Honig winery on our day-long trip to Napa.  It is our top recommendation to anyone going to Napa.  Small and intimate, they give you a lot of attention and we absolutely love d it.

Candace (my matron of honor) ordered the fig and prosciutto pizza, as did a lot of people.  If you try 300 East, you’ve got to try this.  It’s one of my favorite things on their menu.  Salty sweet combos are always my favorite!

I had about 1/2 of my key lime pie.  It was the perfect balance of sweet and tart.  Scrumptious.

300 East is so cute!  I love the fireplaces with iron fronts, all over the old house turned restaurant.

Just the bridesmaids (and me!): April, Ashlyn, Candace, me, Jen, and Brittney.

Two shots of the whole group.

I had a really nice time talking to everyone and involving Brad’s mom and grandmother into getting to know the women in my family and my friends.  Each of my bridesmaids are so special to me, so honoring them and the commitment it takes to be a bridesmaid was very important to me.  It was also really nice to have a wedding festivity that didn’t center around me.  I prefer to be the hostess way more than the guest of honor.

300 East was a dream to work with.  The food was perfect and the staff was extremely helpful and hospitable.

After the bridemaid luncheon we all hit up this super cute consignment boutique around the corner, called Sweet Repeats, which has really swank, barely used stuff.

It was a great day to celebrate with the women I love! 🙂

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Filed under Breakfast, Restaurants, running

It’s not easy eating green

I haven’t eaten as many greens this week as I usually do and part of the reason is that we’re going out of town in a week and I don’t want to spend a bunch of money on produce.  Today, I seriously made a dent in my frozen veggie collection.

First off, I started with the worlds ugliest, but still tastey, SIAB.

Why so ugly?

I was a little spacey when I woke up this morning and initially forgot to put in the vanilla whey protein.  I had a fully assembled SIAB with granola on top.  I had to remove the granola, put the smoothie back in the vitamix, add the whey, then reassembled with the granola.  That’s why you can barely see the granola and why it’s a darker green.  I also went a little crazy with the frozen spinach.  This is a peach SIAB.

1/2 frozen banana

1 huge sliced peach

1 cup almond milk

1 scoop vanilla whey protein

1/4 tsp. xanthan gum

bit of Stevia

heavy on the cranberry flax granola

It reminds me the slime they used on You Can’t Do That on Television. Look familiar?

My morning was spent working from home, a break for No More Trouble Zones, and my photographer dropped off my bridal portrait.

I used leftover un-chicken fried rice, sans egg white and added frozen green beans and peas, which I roasted until they were slightly crispy.   Then I added a Dr. Paeager’s veggie burger.

This looks huge but was only 1/2 cup quinoa.  The loads of veggies really bulked it up.

Early afternoon, Brad and I headed to the Register of Deeds to get our marriage license, which took forever.  We initially tried to go in through the county courthouse, but they wouldn’t let me in because of my camera.  What a dumb rule, everybody has a camera on their phone and phones are totally allowed.  So weired.

Luckily we could go into the Register of Deeds office from another side of the building.  The whole process took longer than I expected and I think everyone waiting with us were plotting to stage a coup by the time we left.

Next, was a quick trip to Target where I tried this.

It’s just water with a very small hint of blackberry.  I liked it!

Lunch was pretty filling and I didn’t get hungry until 5:30 pm, which was great because we’re probably going to have a later dinner than usual with Brad’s mom and grandmother.  They’re coming into town for my bridesmaid’s luncheon tomorrow.  I’m so excited about giving them their gifts!

Happy weekend!

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Questions answered

Hi all!

Good news on the home front.   Rascal made it through the night without getting sick.  I have a feeling that the little booger got into something at my aunt’s house yesterday.  He’s such a devious little guy, always looking for the crumb someone dropped, the pantry door left open, the new person invited to dinner who doesn’t know table scraps are not allowed…

But it’s his rascal-i-ness that makes him so lovable too.

Just look at that face!  How could you not love him?

Thanks for all the concerned tweets and comments.  In all honesty, Rascal has a sensitive stomach so this is not the first time it has happened, nor will it probably be the last.  That is why I travel with baby wipes.  Dogs teach you the very basics of  Children 101.

Breakfast this morning was the same as Monday morning, and since I left my camera at home, you get the same photo.

This time however, I could not finish my peach, which may have been even bigger than the one pictured here.  I only ate a little over half, probably due to my snack before bed time.  Note to self: when a peach is as big as your head, cut it in half, just in case you can’t finish it.

Besides questions about Rascal, I got two other questions in blog comments recently, which I thought I should address here just in case anyone else is wondering.

Jen asked: Can you tell me the instructions for cooking the brussel sprouts?

Sure, I can!  But I really wish I knew where I found this combination of flavors.

For fresh brussel sprouts:

–  Clean them and chop them in halves or thirds depending on their size

– Saute with  a bit of olive oil in a pan

– Once they start to brown add about 1 Tbsp. of Sriracha sauce (for one person – add more if you’re making enough for two people or if you just like a lot of spiciness).  I stir them around with my spatula so everybody gets a little Sriracha sauce.

– Add one large pinch of a large grain salt like kosher salt or sea salt

– Just before they’re done (I like mine pretty crispy and brown), add a pinch of brown sugar (~ 1/2 tsp.)

– Serve immediately because who likes cold brussels

Now, this isn’t exactly what I did last night but this version is much better.  I haven’t bought brussel sprouts in a while because they’re not in season, so all I had were frozen brussel sprouts…tiny ones.  So, I thawed them in the microwave first (1-2 minutes) then I put them directly in the pan.  I didn’t half them because they were so small.

This version works “okay”, but to get the real experience, go with fresh brussels, which get much crispier.  There’s just something about that spicy and slightly sweet combination. 🙂

My second question of the day was from my friend Jess.

I couldn’t find if you’d already wrote about this on your site…so I googled it and still have questions.  Bragg’s Amino Acids…what exactly is it?  Is it like a supplement, kinda like adding flax seed? do tell do tell 🙂

Well first of all, I don’t know why I keep calling it Bragg’s Amino Acids, because it’s actually called Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, which contains 16 amino acids. Bragg’s says that it’s a “gourmet alternative to soy sauce”, so let’s compare.

Soy Sauce – top

Bragg’s – bottom

When comparing these two nutrition labels, please keep one important point in mind.  The serving size for soy sauce is one tablespoon while the serving size for Bragg’s is 1/2 tsp.  So even though it looks like soy sauce has much more sodium, in reality a tablespoon of Bragg’s has 960 mg of sodium while soy sauce has about 46 mg more with 1006 mg total in an equivalent serving.  However, the taste of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is much stronger than soy sauce so you’ll need much less to get the same taste intensity.   Use less = less sodium.

Some of the listed health benefits of Bragg’s come from what it does not contain:

no chemicals
no artificial coloring
no alcohol
no preservatives
no Gluten
Certified NON-GMO

However, there are brands of soy sauce that have no gluten, no chemicals, and no GMO’s.  San-J is an example of a soy sauce that adheres to almost all of these standards except one: it contains alcohol.  However, I’m not so sure why alcohol would be such a negative ingredient. (?)

From what I can tell, the real difference between Bragg’s liquid aminos and soy sauce is that Bragg’s amino acids are live.  This food product is made by fermentation, not by processing.  So if you are a raw foodist, you might prefer Bragg’s.

During my brief stint in researching Bragg’s Liquid Amino’s I found this interesting blog post about Bragg’s and MSG.

To be fair, please also see Bragg’s take on MSG here (5th paragraph under Summary of Basic Findings).

So will I continue to use Bragg’s?  Probably until the bottle runs out.  It’s way more expensive than soy sauce so I purchased the smallest bottle.  I’m not a raw foodest so although I really enjoy raw fruits, veggies, and fish, I’m not going to spend a lot of money to have an additional product just because it’s raw.   I’m not entirely convinced of the health benefits outside of it having less sodium.  I don’t use a lot of soy sauce so I don’t think the small amount I use has a negative effect on my health.

So, are the amino acids specifically goof for you?  Yes, they are.  In fact, you need them to function properly.  Combinations of amino acids form proteins, which you need.  But the amount of protein in Bragg’s is so small, that it would be very difficult to get your necessary protein from this source alone.

What are amino acids? Amino acids are the chemicals that make up proteins. The human body needs 20 different amino acids to function properly. (source)

Amino acids can be found in protein sources such as meat.  However, this becomes slightly trickier for vegetarians (but not that tricky!).

Proteins are made up of “building blocks” of amino acids.  Think of it like a puzzle with two pieces.  To get a complete protein, you must have both pieces of the puzzle.  Many vegetarian protein sources have one puzzle piece, but do not have the other.  So by eating nuts or beans alone you’re getting only part of the amino acids needed to make a complete protein.

To solve this problem, non-meat eaters need to eat a combination of foods that are complimentary proteins.

Examples:

  • Beans and tortillas.
  • Black beans and rice.
  • Chili and corn bread.
  • Pita bread with humus (source)

It was once thought that you had to eat these combinations at the same meal, but a study done by the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada showed that our bodies have the ability to combine amino acids to form a complete protein from foods eaten within 24 hours.   So you could eat oats in the morning and beans at lunch and your body would take the amino acids  (the two puzzles pieces) and stick them together to form the complete protein.  Our bodies are smart like that.

Stay tuned for a lunch recap, which just happened to be a meal of complimentary proteins.  🙂

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Pain = good workout?

I woke up this morning surprisingly not sore.  Did I do something wrong?

It’s not that I want to be in pain.  But when you run 10 miles, you want it to hurt a little afterwords so you know you had a good workout.  Let’s not kids ourselves here, running on a treadmill is not as challenging as running outside.  There’s much less friction and unless you increase the incline, you’re not experience any terrain changes.  I once read that a .05 incline is a good way to create a more realistic run, which is what I did last night.  Now, I’m not so sure it was enough.  It’s not that my 10 miles were easy, it was hard to stay on the treadmill that long.   I’m just not sure how hard it was physically besides the pain I caused myself by overeating beforehand, as opposed to the mental strain of 1 1/2 hours on a treadmill.

Any advice from long distance runners would be much appreciated.

Let’s move on to breakfast, shall we? After being skeptical of the whole overnight oats thing, I’m really liking them now.

This morning’s overnight oats had:

1/3 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup 2% Greek yogurt

1/3 cup light coconut milk

1/2 banana

small handful of unsweetened shredded coconut

1 Tbsp. AB

1 Tbsp. raspberry jam

So yummy.  I loved the flavor the coconut milk gave to the oats.  Often things that you eat with coconut are so sweet, but this was only sweetened by the bananas and jam, so the coconut flavor was more apparent and I loved it.

Not much on the agenda today, but I do have a fun run planned tonight with ladies you’ve probably seen before.  Crossing my fingers that another thunderstorm doesn’t rain out our plans.

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I apologize in advance…

…for the low-quality iPhone photos.  If I’m going to keep blogging, I’ve got to stop leaving my camera at work.

When I got home yesterday evening, I decided to forgo workout #2 of the day to spend some time with Brad who was going out of town.

I got a little hungry waiting for dinner so I tried this out.

TJ’s White Bean Humus.  The verdict?  eh….kinda bland.  Not as thick as humus and I missed the tahini.  I think it could have been improved with stronger herbs and a bit of salt.  I think I could make a much better version.  But now I have a whole tub to eat.  Maybe I can convince Brad that he likes it.

With a few veggies, plus some un-pictured pretzels.

Then I was off to dinner with some lovely Charlotte bloggers.  This time we were meeting up on my end of town: Uptown at Dandelion Market.

In attendance: Jen, Jen, Brittney, Diana, Michelle, Jessie, Jessie (and  husband), and Katie.

Katie’s food came out first and I had to snap a photo of it because the salad is just so interesting.  I had it the last time I ate at Dandelion Market.

House salad with dried cranberries in a parmesan basket with balsamic vinaigrette.

Then I made myself busy taking blurry photos when no one was looking.

Finally my mussles came out.  They were super tasty probably due to the creamy broth they were in.  I used the bread to sock up the broth and it was delicious.  Tomatoes and garlic garnished the mussels as well.

I also ordered the stuffed zucchini which had more stuffing than zucchini and was delicious because of that.

I love anything served with a thick sweet marinara.  The stuffing was parmesan and bread crumbs.  Yum.

I also had a glass of Pinot Noir.  I just couldn’t resist.

We had originally planned to go to Dandelion Market because we purchased a Groupon.  Groupons are deals on stores and restaurants in the city you sign up to receive coupons.  This Groupon cost $10 and was good for $20 worth of food.  The news of the Dandelion Market coupon erupted on Twitter and all of us bought one anticipating a blogger dinner  meet-up.   However, when we all went to print out our Groupons, we  noticed that the fine print said we were only allowed to use two Groupons per table.  Poo  poo.

When our bills came I thought What the heck…it doesn’t hurt to ask.  So I asked and the manager told our waiter that we could all use our coupons!  Yes!  My $24 bill became a $4 bill, just like that.  Don’t worry, I’m sure we all tipped generously.  I used to work in a restaurant and am sensitive to tipping appropriately.

Non-iPhone photo, courtesy of Jessie.

It was a fun night and I’m so glad I got to meet Jen for the first time!

I woke up the today 45 minutes before my alarm clock went off (GEEZ!).  But, I did get to make a delicious breakfast.

I started off making an egg over easy Allie-style.  When I first saw this, I thought…genius!  You don’t have to flip the egg and it steams perfectly.  I often pop the yolk when I flip it so this is perfect.

Altogether now…

My last Food for Life sprouted English muffins spread with Laughing Cow.  One was topped with an egg over easy and some slightly browning avocado.  The other with a little blueberry jam.  Strawberries on the side with some much needed coffee.

Somehow even with the early start this morning, I managed to be right on time.  What did I do with the extra 45 minutes?

Back tonight later with a no-photo lunch recap, snacks + dinner and hopefully (fingers crossed) a looooong run!

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Kelly and the giant peach

This morning I got up at an ungodly hour to get in some major sweating.  I have plans this evening, so I took the necessary steps to get my workout in early…super early in this case.

I was a sweaty mess and loving it afterwords.  Sometimes exercise feels good but sometimes it only feels good when you stop.  The latter was true in this case.

I’ve been doing No More Trouble Zones about twice a week now for several weeks and the 30 day shred consistently for about 45 days.  Things definitely get easier the more you do them, like push-ups.  However, side plank raises are just as difficult as the first time I ever did them each and every time.  Are they ever going to get easier?

I was pretty famished after my workout and running late.  Thank goodness I made Sunflower Seed Coconut Bars yesterday because they made “making breakfast” effortless.

I had one of the bars (plus about 1/2 of an inch more that I cut off and ate while this was heating up in the microwave), smeared with about 1 tsp. each of sunflower seed butter and blueberry jam.  On the side I had a massive peach.  To give you an idea of the size, it is sitting on a salad plate.  When I bought it at the grocery store a couple of nights ago, the cashier said it was the largest peach he had ever seen.

I hope this peach is just “big-boned” and not hocked up on plant-growing chemicals.  That’ s what I get for shopping at Harris Teeter where organic produce requires a credit check and a second mortgage.

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