All the Food

Well hey there!

Long time to no chat! I had the best of intentions of becoming a regular blogger over the summer but between graduation, trips to NYC, hanging around town and getting ready to move to California, my little corner of the internet was forgotten. I have actually been toying with the idea of rebranding/shifting towards a different focus as my interest has hanged since I started this blog. More to come later but there are going to be some changes.

Lets catch up on more important matters, delicious food. I got this idea from Imma Eat That – highlight some of the amazing meals/snacks I’ve been muchin’ on throughout the week.

Weekly Noshes

Udis[Udis Broccoli & Kale Lasagna, Trader Joe's Mahi Mahi Burger & Spiralized Zucchini]

English Muffin[Whole Wheat English Muffin, Whole Foods Cashew Butter, Banana & Cinnamon]

Dinner Spriral[Spiralized Zucchini, Chicken Parmesan Meatballs, Massive Japanese Sweet Potato]

IMG_1642[Thickest Greek yogurt]

IMG_1635[My favorite protein bars]

Highlight:

IMG_1608[Lightly Salted Rice Cake, Peanut Butter & Unsweetened Carob Chips]

Right now I am flying from LAX to Connecticut. I am working on the new blog changes which I hope you will all enjoy!

What have been your favorite eats lately?

Build Me Up Buttercup Baby

I am sorry if you are all tired to seeing copious amounts of squash recipes. I just can’t help it, I am a squash addict. Some people love acorn, some adore butternut but my favorite will always be buttercup. I’m still not quite sure what the difference between kabocha and buttercup is…I tried to do some research but couldn’t find a whole lot. I’ve had some that were stringier and yellow while others have been starchier and more orange. Regardless, I love this squash. Not only is it extremely versatile (sweet, savory, Italian, Thai, Mexican, etc), but it is full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Fiber. Pretty eyes, healthy immune system, healthy GI tract = win win (source).

The real star of this show was the Trader Joe’s Bruschetta Spread. I used it as the sauce and it is divine. As Loreli Gilmore would say, I wanted to take a bath in this sauce. So delicious. If you see this, buy it!

Bruschetta

Chicken Pesto Bruschetta Stuffed Buttercup Squash

Stuffed Squash 2Ingredients:

  • 2 oz of pasta
  • 1/2 Butternut squash (or any squash really)
  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Bruschetta Spread
  • 4 Chicken Pesto Chicken Meatballs (I used Nature’s Promise)
  • Sprinkle of parmesan cheese
  • Seasonings – garlic powder, salt, pepper and basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 385
  2. Slice butternut squash in half, take out the seeds and save the other half for another time.
  3. Coat half the squash with nonstick cooking spray and bake face down for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, boil the pasta water. Cook the pasta as the directions on the box.
  5. Take the squash out of the oven, turn over and season with desired spices.
  6. After pasta is done cooking, add Bruschetta spread and chicken meatballs to pasta pot and stir.
  7. Once combined stuff the squash.
  8. Put back in the oven for another 10 – 12 minutes.
  9. Take out, let cool and enjoy!

Stuffed Squash

What is your favorite squash?

Lets Get Cozy

Long story short: I come back down to Virginia expecting warmer conditions after freezing staying at home in Connecticut only to be greeted with 17 mph winds and a high of 18. Yeah – not cool. Although I can’t complain too much. My first day of classes consisted of 1 class that let out early. Naturally, I came back to make a warm breakfast because frigid temperatures really don’t make me excited to be outside. Enter one of my favorite oat bran recipes!

Mocha Almond Oat Bran  mochaalmondoats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Oat Bran
  • 1 cup of coffee
  • 1 packet sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 cup Blue Diamond Coffee Mocha Almonds
  • 1 Tbsp Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter (or any nut butter/spread of choice)
  • Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Combine the oat bran, sweetener and coffee into small sauce pan
  2. Place sauce pan on stove and put on medium heat setting.
  3. While the oat bran thickens, gather the almonds, chocolate chips and spread
  4. Chop almonds
  5. When oat bran is done cooking to your desired consistency place into a bowl
  6. Top with almonds, cookie butter and chocolate chips
  7. Place in the microwave for 15 seconds
  8. Enjoy.

Ahhhh…warm cookie butter & chocolate chips – can’t beat that flavor combo!

cookiebutter

Almost makes the weather acceptable…almost

Italiano!

Did you guys honestly think I could not go a few post without a new sandwich creation? Because, I can’t. I just enjoy them way too much. Lately the theme has been Italian inspired and I’m certainly not one to complain considering Italian food is one of my favorite cuisines.

Roasted Red Pepper Eggplant Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread  (I used Whole Wheat Oatmeal)
  • 2 slices of Muenster cheese
  • 2 Tbsp of Trader Joe’s Red Pepper Spread
  • 1 baby eggplant, sliced
  • Season to taste (I loved basil, garlic powder, salt & pepper)

How To:

  1. Heat a small pan to medium heat
  2. Drizzle the pan with olive oil and add sliced eggplant with seasonings; while eggplant cooks heat another pan/skillet to medium heat
  3. Stir fry until the eggplant cooked and remove from pan
  4. Assemble the sandwich, spreading the red pepper spread on both slices of bread, 2 slices of cheese and the eggplant in the middle.
  5. Head sandwich until golden brown on both sides
  6. Enjoy :)

You know this baby is good when cheese is oozing from the center. Just sayin’

Simply the Best

“better than all the rest”

This song can only describe my breakfast.

Now, I know I say this with about 97% of my meals (specifically breakfast) but this was the. best. breakfast. ever. It all started with this bad boy. I don’t think I really need to go into detail about how great this stuff is. I should go into details about how sad I was to see it empty, but I will spare you all my sadness. I knew I would have this jar for breakfast, but I wasn’t feeling oats or a sweet potato. Such a tough life…decided what to put in an almost empty jar, I know. All it took was a peek into my fridge & freezer to see what needed to be used. Of course chocolate was involved. A jar needs more than just a vita top, even though they are quite large. Lately I have been obsessed with blended cottage cheese, like can’t get enough/must have every day. I blended 1/2 cup of 1% Cottage Cheese + 1 T Cheesecake Pudding Powder to fill up the almost empty jar.

Layered the two fillings and voila- breakfast is served!

The only downside to this meal was when it was all gone :(

To Run Like A Runner

You need to eat like one.

Simple as that.

It kills me to see some people busting their butts by putting in the time to run crazy distances and train hardcore not to see the results they deserve. Or worse – an injury.

I am currently reading Running For Women by Kara Goucher. I must admit, I have a major girl crush. She is so candid in the fact that she struggled with emotional eating when she suffered two injuries. Yet, she came back strong and faster than ever. She is going to London for crying out loud! Her chapter on nutrition really spoke to me. Coming from an athelete, I could relate to her advice/tips more so than a fashion magazine that puts women on a low calorie diet. Running 65-75 miles a week requires lots of fuel, so eating is essential to reduce the risk of stress fractures, injuries and burnout. I don’t have any eating “rules” per say – except two.

  1. 1500 mg of Calcium every day. No ifs ands or buts about it.
  2. Carbs at every meal. Usually 2-4 servings.

When I post reviews/a reciepe – it is usually only one part of my meal. I normally have a couple extra sides to make sure I am getting enough. Thus, I’d thought I would show you a typical lunch for me. Increasing my carbohydrates during lunch has really improved my performance. Enter a little Italian love <3

I think you all can tell I love me some Trader Joe’s & I have loved eggplant ever since I tried it about a year ago. Top the purple vegetable with some tomato sauce, seasonings and cheese and the meal sounds promising. Plus, how can you go wrong with ingredients like this:
Although, the last Italian meal I had from Trader Joe’s was less than stellar so I really had no expectations for this. However, my tastebuds were blown away. Not only was the sauce flavored perfectly with basil & oregano the tomatoes used for the sauce tasted surprisingly fresh. No “tomato sauce from a jar” taste at all. The cheesy had a rich mozzarella flavor that was abundant throughout the eggplant. Oh and the eggplant – well lets just say it was hearty and savory. Not soggy at all. If you have a local Trader Joe’s – this should be added to your list asap. Crazy good. I mean just look at the cheese!

Rating –> 5 Coffee Beans

Alas, no meal Italian meal is complete without some veggies and pasta. My veggie of choice is two sauteed zucchini seasoned with garlic powder, basil & Italian seasoning. The pasta is spinach pappardelle, which taste oh so good. Not to mention I love how wide the noodles are!

And that lady & gents is one of the many ways I like to fuel up.

You Let Me Down Joe

Trader Joe’s just so happens to be one of my favorite grocery stores.

Trader Joe’s just so happens to sell the most amazing frozen foods/meals in my opinion. From stirfried veggie egg rolls, Channa Masala to Quesedillas & tofu nuggets, just to name a few. In a nutshell, they’ve pretty much got food for every cuisine.

Trader Joe’s just so happens to have a new frozen meal that I thought would be perfect for lunch.

As I have mentioned before, I am picky about Italian food since both my grandmother and mother grew up in Italy. Thus, I basically get authentic Italian food on a daily basis when mom makes her sauce. However, the promise of spinach & ricotta stuffed inside pasta shells with gooey cheese melted on top skewed my judgement. I should have just walked away, but alas, this meal went into my basket.

Looks promising, right? Well don’t be fooled. I guess for only 270 calories, it shouldn’t have surprised me to only see 2 measly shells. Sure they were big, but the picture on the box makes it appear like there is more than two….three perhaps. Disappointing really doesn’t begin to describe this Italian classic. Not only was the filling inside the shells extremely bitter, but there also seemed to lack ricotta. Basically there was no ricotta and boatload of spinach. The tomato sauce was bland and tasted like it came from the jar. I guess the only highly of the meal was the nice al dente texture of the pasta and the melted mozzarella cheese. Meh.

Rating: 1 Coffee Bean