Category Archives: Lunch

Just call us the welcome wagon

This afternoon, Diana hosted a Welcome to Charlotte brunch for Katie, another food blogger who just moved into the area.  I volunteered to bring something easy because I knew that with my bridesmaid luncheon and wedding preparation activities on Saturday, I would not be able to fit in baking of any kind.

I stopped by TJ’s to grab some orange juice, champagne, pomegranate juice, and sparkling water at 11:45 am, only to be reminded by the “No alcohol yet” signs that NC has the lovely “no alcohol until 12 pm on Sunday” rules.  Apparently skipping church is bad, but skipping church and drinking is doubly sinful.  I actually made it to church and TJ’s just in time to be inconvenienced.

As a result, we showed up late to Diana’s, but not too late.

I immediately made friend with her super cute and friendly Corgy, Bailey.  He’s such a good boy.

The spread was incredible.

After chatting a while we helped ourselves.

Katie’s breakfast quinoa…and the recipe….

I definitely have to make this.  I love quinoa.

We make all new Charlotte food/health/fitness bloggers pose with their food.  Just kidding.  Only if their food is delicious. 🙂

My plate: veggie and cheese flatbread, bite-size broccoli cheddar quiche, green monster muffins, chickpeas, melon cubes, Katie’s breakfast quinoa.  Diana made almost all of the food and it was so delicious!

I had sparkling water with OJ.  After my headache last night, I was in no rush to give my head any excuse to hurt again.

Katie, Brittney, Katy (visiting from Orlando), Caitlin, Diana!

There was also plenty of hilarious YouTube video watching.  We watched my favorites “Rusty the Narcoleptic Daschund” and “Charlie Bit Me!”.  We also watched some hilarious Corgy videos and one about a crazy goat that sounded like he was screaming “What?” like a person.  YouTube can easily entertain a group of people for hours on end.

Finally, we cut into Brittney’s gorgeous blueberry pie (recipe here).

Brad and I split this piece, but accidentally stuffed our face had two bites before I snapped a photo.

We had a great time at Diana’s.  She was such a great host.

If you’re a food/health & fitness blogger, you should move here.  We’re a fun bunch. 🙂



Filed under Lunch

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!


Filed under Breakfast, Lunch, Uncategorized

Protein-packed afternoon

Sometimes I look back on my day and think, “I am seriously lacking in the protein department.”  Today was not that day, thanks to leftover salmon from last night.

My recipe I posted for Orange-y Salmon and Noodles only needed two salmon fillets, so I had a third for my lunch today.

In the mix: 1 salmon fillet, arugula, hearts of palm, lots of cukes, roasted red peppers (I prefer roasted over raw), feta, red and green onion. Plus a plum on the side and the last of my tomato vidalia dressing.

Now that is a good looking salad.

Snack was pretty protein-packed too.

This assembly line of goodness featured the last of my Greek Gods yogurt, baked pears (i.e. nuked in the microwave pears) and my homemade cranberry flax granola.

Plans for after work include dropping off my vases for my reception tables at my wedding director’s house, squeezing in a bit of cardio (maybe?), and fun dinner plans with Charlotte bloggers.

We’ve seen quite a bit of each other lately.

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Filed under Lunch, Snacks

Domestic Sunday

I hate housework during the week when I’m rushed and don’t have time to wash and fold clothes in addition to cook dinner, pack my lunch, exercise, etc.  BUT, I almost like housework on the weekends when I have no where to be and no obligations.

The laundry at my house has become out of control in the past two weeks.  I’ve washed clothes, but have had absolutely no time to fold any.  Because I have run out of places to stash the unfolded clean clothes, the dirty clothes were starting to pile up as well, since my dryer was my last stashing location. Wow, this sounds worse as I type it.

Today I planned on spending a good portion of the day getting the laundry back in order.

Back from our long walk, I showered and made a quick lunch of  leftover salsas from last night.

My salad was a base of arugula with both the black bean corn salsa and the mango salsa, plus avocado, a big dollop of Greek yogurt, and some green onion.  I had some tortilla chips on the side plus about four more I snacked on while making lunch.

Just in case you’re wondering the ingredients of the salsas are…

Black bean/corn salsa

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 bag frozen corn (thawed or nuked for a minute or two)

1 large beefcake tomato or 2-3 small on the vine tomatoes

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

juice of 1 lemon

salt to taste

Mango Salsa

1 mango sliced

1 red bell pepper chopped

1/2 large red onion finely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt to taste

I also had some cherries and strawberries in my new Pottery Barn snack bowls, courtesy of my brother and sister-in-law. 🙂

I then got started with my laundry chores by starting a new load of laundry, but somehow got distracted from folding by the kitchen.  It was calling my name, I swear.

First up, my homemade granola.  I followed the exact same directions as last week.  It’s kinda scary that we went through that much granola so quickly.  It was mainly me, although Brad did have some as well when I showed him how tasty it is on a SIAB.  I love this recipe and I might change some of the ingredients in the future just to mix it up, but the base of oats, flax seed mill, and applesauce will be the same.  It’s just so good.

Next up, I started on a little baking experiment that turned out edible, but not as good as I hoped.

Sunflower Seed Coconut Bars

1 cup spelt flour

1 cup oat bran

1/4 cup tapioca flour

1 cup light coconut juice

1/2 cup apple sauce

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seed butter

1/3 cup unsweetened coconut

3/4 tsp. salt

8 tiny spoonfuls of stevia

1/8 cup agave

Honey for drizzling

more sunflower seeds and coconut for sprinkling on the top

Mix all the ingredients together except the last two.  (I know, I’m a bad baker for not doing wet ingredients separately from the dry ingredients.) Spread evenly in a square glass pan lined with wax paper.  Sprinkle lightly with coconut and sunflower seeds.  Bake on 350 degrees Farenheit for 35 minutes.  Allow to cool, then drizzle with honey and cut into 16 squares.

I’m always worried when I post about Stevia, that someone is not going to understand what I mean by tiny spoonfuls, resulting in a baking disaster.

This is the kind of Stevia I use.  It’s from TJ’s and has a super tiny spoon.  The container is about the size of a salt shaker.  The spoon is about the size of my pinky and I have child hands.

Even with all the sweetner, it wasn’t enough.  These bars had a good flavor but the sweetness was definitely lacking.  If it’s not dessert, I don’t want food to be too sweet.  I don’t think I’ve gotten the knack for baking with Stevia yet.  I’m just never sure how much to add.  I want to try these again but I think I would add more sunflower seed butter and maybe 1/4 cup brown sugar.  I ran out of agave so maybe if I had added 1/4 cup instead of an 1/8, it would have turned out better.  More coconut would probably improve the flavor as well.  I am almost out of honey so I ended up putting not quite as much as I wanted because it was so difficult to get out of the container.

This recipe is completely vegan, until you add the honey.  This would be easy to omit and use agave or maple syrup instead.

I’ll still be eating these probably with jam and sunflower seed butter.  The texture is really nice and fluffy.  I wanted a fluffier bar, not a dense bar.  This turned out to be a good balance between the two.

With my baking bug cured, I set off to face the laundry.  Half way through I snacked on a small corner of the sunflower seed coconut bars (it crumbled because I didn’t allow it to cool before I removed it from the pan) and tried my first Honest Tea.  The white peach flavor was really refreshing and just slightly sweet.


Filed under Lunch, Snacks

It’s been a blogger weekend

After my 4 mile race yesterday morning.  I came home and ran another three miles on the treadmill.  I had big plans to run 6 more miles for a total of 10 but by the time I got to mile three, I was just so tired of being sweaty.  After running and marinating in my running clothes during breakfast for several hours, I really really needed a shower.

Here are some action shots from my race (I’m in green).

For the record, I don’t usually smile while I’m running, but I do for photo ops.

Lunch was a veggiepalooza due to the need to eat the contents of our crisper before everything goes bad.  I’ve been a little heavy handed on the produce at the grocery store lately, but haven’t been following through by eating all of it regularly.

Ezekiel wrap (my last) with avocado, Laughing Cow, tomatoes, red bell peppers, and some kind of greens.  I bought them at the farmer’s market a little while ago and I know they’re not collard greens or mustard greens, but don’t remember what variety they are.  They have a very mild flavor so they might even be okay for a smoothie.

After tackling some wedding-related tasks, I snacked on this Banana Walnut Gnu bar.  This may be my very favorite.  The walnuts really add to the flavor.  Other bars that don’t add walnuts to their banana bread flavor is really doing a disservice by leaving out the walnuts.  Walnuts belong in banana bread.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with getting the last of the bridemaid’s presents finished.  I can’t wait to show them off, but can’t disclose them until I have actually given them away next Saturday at the bridesmaid luncheon.

I also stopped by Staples and picked up some place cards for the reception tables, then hurried home to get ready for more fun times with Charlotte bloggers.

Michelle invited Brad and I over to her house for a cookout to say goodbye to Kath, who is moving to Charlottesville on Tuesday, and Emily, who is moving to D.C. September 1.

The spread was amazing, as could be expected from a bunch of foodies. 🙂

Corn on the cob, grilled summer veggies, black bean burgers, beef burgers, cheese and veggie burger toppings, lots-o-condiments, and Great Harvest hamburger buns.

These were the star of the show for me.  I love black bean burgers so much I think I could eat one everyday.

Other eats: black bean and corn salsa and mango salsa (my contribution), blue tortilla chips and regular salsa, orzo salad, cukes and tomato salad, plus plenty of tortilla chips for dipping.  We brought two bags, which were never opened.  So many chips!

My plate:  a little of this and that, the bottom of a hamburger bun with a black been burger and copious amounts of ketchup, then lots of veggies.

Someone broke out one of the new Lara Bars; the PB chocolate chip, which I tried last week.  I held back from snacking on it, since others hadn’t tried it yet.  It was gone in probably 2 minutes.  Pictures speak louder than words about this bar.

Michelle’s dog Cooper got plenty of loving.  He’s such a cute friendly little guy.

Katie’s vegan cupcakes were sooo delicious.

I also had a bite of Diana’s green monster muffins which somehow escaped the camera.  I’m pretty much convinced now that you can add spinach to anything without changing the taste or texture.

We all gathered around for a group shot. Caitlin, me, Michelle, Emily, Diana, Jen, Katie, and Kath.

After having a great time hanging out, Brad and I met up with some other friends in the Plaza Midwood area.  We had a couple of drinks, but around 11:30 pm, I got so sleepy I knew I couldn’t make it another minute.  Brad stayed out with friends and I headed in grateful to be in bed before midnight.


Filed under Dinner, Lunch

Wanted: one guinea pig

I waited much too long to eat lunch and was ravenous by the time I headed for the fridge.

On the menu: leftover black bean burgers on half a whole wheat bun with tomatoes, Laughing Cow, and 1/2 a tomatoe + nuked roasted root veggies.  Yum!  Maybe it was because I was on the verge of starving, but this was muy excelente.

My meal was perfectly filling but I still had that empty filling when you’ve waited too long to eat.  I decided to give the Flavor & Fiber Lemon Ginger Bar a try.  This was my least favorite flavor so far.  It just didn’t do anything for me.  But, I think I have a prejudice against ginger.  I only like ginger in certain things and most always savory, not sweet, stuff.  I think it needs another persons opinion.

If you’re interested in trying my other one and you actually like ginger, let me know and I’ll hook you up with a free bar sample.  My stipulation is that you have to agree to do a little write-up for the blog.  Not really much of a give-away, I just want to be fair to the nice Gnu people who sent me these bars so I’m looking for an unbiased opinion.


Filed under Lunch, product review

Snacky McSnacky

Lunch was so delicious.  One of my coworkers told me he was jealous.

I brought a generous amount of arugula with a bit of avocado in one container.  In another I brought a leftover black bean burger, which was possibly better the next day, and leftover roasted corn and sauteed peppers and onions in another container.  I wanted to heat up the food in this second container, which is why I packed them separately.

I ate it with a bit of my leftover tomato Vidalia dressing.  Cherries on the side made this meal complete.

But about two hours later I got kind of snacky and fell in love with one of the new Lara bars.

The PB chocolate chip is the only new one I have found and it is so peanutbuttery.  I don’t mind the somewhat overpowering taste of dates you get in most of their bars, but this was a nice change.  Dare I say better than the coconut cream pie bar?  I think I need a double blind test to make that official.

Then, about an hour later, one of my coworkers came and got me for an ice cream social we have each year to raise money for the United Way.  Well, who can say no to a good cause?

I give you my artistic interpretation of cookies and cream ice cream.  One scoop, in a bowl.  Of course, I didn’t snap a photo in front of all of my coworkers.  That would be weird.  Right?

Much more weird than drawing a picture of a scoop of ice cream in Paint.


Filed under Lunch, Snacks