Archive for the ‘Lunch’ Category

Coasting

I don’t know about you guys but I feel like I have just been coasting through this week. A euphoric feeling of laziness has taken over my body and while I’m going through the motions, I haven’t been on my game as much as usual.

I didn’t get enough spinach when I went grocery shopping last week and ate the entirety of my supply by Tuesday. Spinach fail. I may or may not judge my entire day on whether or not I drink my morning smoothie (we won’t get into that) so instead of making a “green” smoothie, I’ve been opting for apple/banana.

This “coasting” smoothie contains 1 cup almond milk, 3 ice-cubes, 1 apple, 1 banana and flaxseed meal.

For those of you wondering what Flaxseed Meal is, it has a nutty taste and helps digestion. It’s also high in fiber and a powerful cholesterol controller. Just 2 Tablespoons gives you your daily supply of Omega 3 Fatty Acids too! Some people put it in their hot or cold cereal or oats, but I choose to put it in my morning smoothie.

Bottom’s UP!

Lunch has quickly become my least favorite meal of the day. Taking out meat throughout the day severely cut down on my usual lunch fixings! No half turkey sandwich, no leftovers from the night before, no Zaxby’s chicken house salad, no tuna salad, etc. My favorite go-to’s now are organic tomato soup and veggie crackers, a veggie wrap, a spicy black-bean burger with carrots or a kale salad with half an avocado. Those meals can usually tide me over till my afternoon snack, but I’m still craving meat for lunch.

Group Power really kicked my butt on Tuesday. So much so that I am trying to sike myself up for tonight’s class! We have changed our tracks and exercises and they are brutal! A lot of push-ups and the bicep track was insane, I almost had to give up. Maybe after Tuesday’s class is when things began to really coast…

I did recently stumble upon a tofu recipe that I really enjoyed and sometimes those are hard to come by. I appreciate the food and that being said, eat it quite frequently throughout the week but so far I’ve only found a few recipes that I would make again…this is one of them and it’s EASY. Score. Recipe courtesy of Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Baked Tofu with Soy and Sesame

Ingredients:

  • I block (14 oz) extra firm tofu
  • 3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • Olive oil, for baking sheet
  • Optional: sliced green onions

 Directions:

Cut tofu in half crosswise. Blot each piece on both sides with paper towels, pressing down to remove as much liquid as you can. (The wetter the tofu, the longer you will have to bake it).

Turn oven on and set to 350 F. Whisk together the sesame oil and soy sauce  in a small bowl, then use pastry brush to brush both sides of the tofu pieces generously with the mixture. Let tofu marinate in the soy-sesame mixture for 5-10 minutes while the oven heats.

Spray a non-stick baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick spray and place tofu slices on sheet. Bake about one hour, not turning, but brushing with the soy-sesame mixture several times, until the glaze is all gone. It’s done when the tofu feels firm to the touch, and looks glazed and nicely browned. I cooked my tofu about 60 minutes.

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It’s officially February. Moving right along through these winter months…am I the only one that is lusting after Spring?

Chris Turns the BIG 3-0!

Last Friday Chris went out-of-town for the Moscone Conference in San Francisco and unfortunately we were apart for his 30th birthday.  We agreed to celebrate this past Saturday and thankfully everything I had planned, turned out great! Let’s recap…

In true Claire fashion, if it were up to me, I would have invited all his friends from all walks of life to a HUGE surprise party to help ring in his “dirty thirty.” BUT…Chris has a different take on birthdays and prefers to not make a big deal out of them…crazy! I wanted to respect his wishes by keeping it down-played and so instead I planned a fun-filled day with just the two of us…and plenty of his favorite foods.

On Friday I made him some rice krispy treats…just to get things warmed up….

I’ve really missed being in the kitchen and my all tofu/salad/semi-vegan diet has kept “cooking” to a minimum, so I really enjoyed making these.

Saturday morning was Starbucks and Belgium waffles from scratch!

After lounging around the house after breakfast, it was time to go to Victory Lanes for some extreme go-karting! We had a blast and Chris was really appreciative of our Saturday adventure plans that I had made for us.

I was kinda obsessed with the fact we got to dress up in fire-resistant suits….

The entire time we were racing around the track I was laughing inside my helmet! Seriously if you have not tried this and live in Charlotte, go!

When we got back we had built up quite the appetite so I made him a big BLT sandwich…

and a tofu wrap for me.

I tried to stay away from the waffles (I just had a green smoothie) and the heavy lunch, because I knew I was going to ditch my dietary standards for the night at the steak house that evening. It was inevitable…I don’t have the strength to order fish or vegetarian when I’m eating at a nice restaurant. It feels like such a waste.

While I can say dairy is all but out of my diet and eating animal by-products have been limited to only about 2 times a week, deep down, I’m still a meat and potatoes girl…

You can take the meat out of the diet, but you can’t take the desire out of the gal.

I had a filet and mashed potatoes for dinner and enjoyed every last bite. Knowing that I would go back to eating a mostly plant-based diet the next day, I figure what’s the point in living longer if you can’t enjoy a nice piece of meat and meltly mashed potatoes every once in a while? Everything in moderation….

I also took a few bites of Chris’ brownie sundae for dessert…

Wow how I have missed butter and ice-cream! I bought a Carvel ice-cream cake, that I will let Chris tackle himself, and leave my bad habits at our dinner table on Saturday night.

Today is a long day filled with cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and I’m hoping to get a mani/pedi in! It’s a beautiful day outside so I’m thinking a gym session will get nixed for an outdoor activity with Daisy instead!

What are your plans on this warmer than usual Sunday?? Did you all have great weekends!?

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ALSO! I got a sneak peek at the new blog layout and I’m so excited to share it with you guys! I have complete faith in the graphic designer who is working on it and I’m supposed to see some final options on Monday. We are shooting to implement the new design on February 1st and I can’t wait to see what you guys think!


Good-bye Dairy

Hi there bloggers and readers! Sorry if my last post was a teaser, but you’ll be happy to know that I have still been reading, I just have had no time for posting…so here we go!

Still reading The Beauty Detox Solution and WOW is all I have to say. I’m totally sucked into this book and everything the author is teaching me about food.

It’s kind of scary realizing all that you don’t know, and realizing what you do know, isn’t much and quite frankly completely skewed.

Rewinding a bit…I opted to work a cheer-leading competition all day on Saturday for some easy money.  I was up at 5:15 am and worked till about 7:00 pm and basically went right to bed once I was done. After being on my feet and watching what had to be well over 100 competitions all dubbed with the same pop music blaring, I was exhausted=no post.  Just look at some of the line-up….

It continues on the next page-yikes!

I did have one proud moment…my sister and most of her UNCC teammates are on a competitive team so I was able to watch them, they did so great!

Sunday I slept in and it felt good. My body slept like a rock, it was a little hard to get up and get moving. I was supposed to work the same event on Sunday but opted out and gladly let another girl take my place.  Instead I read some more of my book (I’m way past the intended chapters) did a little yoga (stretching more frequently is one of my New Year Resolutions) and went grocery shopping.

Boy has that become a harder task since reading Kimberly’s book! In case you are wondering she suggests living a more vegan lifestyle than I’m use to I have ever experienced. However, her research alone has scared me away from dairy, point-blank. Which if you are a follower, you know how much my oats, fruit and yogurt concoction is going to be missed. 😦

No Milk. No cheese. No animal by-products really…

and this tiiiinnnnyyy little section is where I can get some organic. This unfortunately is not going to cut it so I’ll probably have to make more trips to TJ’s.

After spending more than a 1/3 of my grocery money on produce, I ventured off to get some things for Chris. This change is going to be interesting within the household to say the least. While I preach to Chris the practices I’m learning about, I think it’s going to take him more than words on a page.

I’d like to be clear that I’m not starting the detox just yet. I still want to complete the entirety of the book so I can be better assured that I won’t make a mistake and that longevity is my friend. On a personal level, I just can’t really fathom eating any dairy anymore after what I’ve read. I still plan on eating meat for the next few weeks as I’m not starting the official detox till a week from today and even then she transitions you out, or at least gets you down to only eating it 2 nights a week, if you prefer.

This book is changing my life, the outcome is yet to be seen but it sure is powerful.

Let me highlight a few of the things in Chapters 2 and 3, I believe that will suffice for tonight’s post.

  • I’ve learned what causes us to age and how it can be avoided and reversed just by our diets
  • Also, the single most important way to redirect large amounts of energy to make weight loss efficient and fight aging is freeing up energy from digestion.
  • A food that takes the quickest time to digest=the healthiest for you and vice versa.
  • I’ve been taught the proper way to eat and it’s not every three hours…and breakfast isn’t the healthiest meal of the day (according to your stomach).

For more info on Kimberly Snyder’s book, go here.

In order to get a jump-start on Kimberly’s program, I made it a little easier on myself by doing a lot of prep work after the grocery store.

Here you will see spinach washed and separated for salad use and green smoothies, cucumbers, celery  sticks, apple slices for (sandwiches snacks and salads), red and green bell peppers chopped up and lastly, some iceberg and romaine lettuce.

I also am attempting to get my taste-buds use to Silk Milk (hey, it’s an alternative for things right?) Does anyone else notice the distinct difference in color from the actual glass to the advertisement. This will take some getting use to.

Hope to try her green smoothie in the morning after an early gym session-if all goes according to plan. I could potentially sleep in till the last second and go to work with my hair wet. Not uncommon for a Monday 😉

How were your weekends? Have you ever tried a detox or cleanse before??

Ice Ice Baby

Yesterday’s snow day was beyond AWESOME. It was like playing hookie, guilt free.

Apparently I was really missing the “dining” part of this blog because I felt like every meal we ate yesterday was exciting and therapeutic to make. With 2 jobs, wedding planning and my romance with the gym rekindled…there has been very little time for experimenting in the kitchen.

The snow day helped ease all that.

When I wasn’t checking my work e-mail, or organizing (because let’s face it, I just can’t sit still for an entire day) I was making us a yummy breakfast, unique lunch or tasty dinner.

Lunch was a tuna sandwich on an everything bagel. I added some cheddar and mozzarella cheese and put it in the broiler to melt. I mixed in some red onion, salt and pepper with the tuna and topped it off with some iceberg lettuce, apple slices and some carrots for a hearty, warm and healthy lunch.

Dinner was a couscous bowl with tofu and I did not follow a recipe. Instead I just diced up some red and green peppers along with a  jalapeno pepper, red onion and some tofu. Placed it all in a wok, added a little TJ’s low sodium soy sauce, cumin and lemon juice. Mixed it all together and threw it in a bowl with a glass of Pinor Noir on the side!

So side-not in the midst of all the excitement of a snow day, I broke my toe. How does one do this you ask? Well in attempt to re-arrange my living room furniture, I stubbed my toe HARD!

Has anyone ever seen the movie, “Because I Said So?” Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore play a mother and daughter who both have tendencies to re-arrange their furniture as what can only be described as an alternative to therapy. I have this sickness….feeling cabin fever? Rearrange furniture.

(source)

Anyway, moving along, it hurt so bad that I literally dropped to an Indian-style position on our living room floor and had Daisy so worked up she was racing circles around me. Meanwhile Chris  was just trying to get me to verbalize what had happened instead of grunting. He wrapped my toe, which apparently is all you can do when you break one.

It still hurts and I’m even more bummed that it looks like heels are out of the picture for the next few weeks.

Tuesday morning we woke up with a 2-hour delay at our office. Being so far out, I opted to stay home in hopes that Wednesday would bring drastically different conditions and I could actually make it into the office.

The lovely snow has now turned into ice and the novelty of this inclement weather has officially died off.

Daisy and I went for a short walk, but even she was annoyed. Everywhere we stepped there was cracking beneath our feet.

For breakfast I decided to use the last bit of bread we had to make apple cinnamon bread pudding. This was quick to throw together but took about 45 minutes in the oven. I cleaned up the mess in the kitchen, threw in a load of laundry and did some work to kill time.

I was ready to scarf it down once the timer went off. This nice breakfast treat along with some hot chocolate is definitely a silver lining for having to take  PTO.

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Gotta get back to checking my e-mail and maybe a podcast of pilates since my gym is still closed 😦  Hope everyone is staying warm and safe in this weather!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lg. loaf french bread
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups apple sauce, divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 small lemon zest

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Cut the loaf of french bread into one inch chunks. If it is stale already, move onto the next step. If it is fresh, spread it out on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, stirring once. This will remove some of the moisture from the bread allowing it to soak up the custard mixture.

While your bread is in the oven drying out, prepare the custard. In a large bowl whisk together the milk, eggs, 1 cup of apple sauce, cinnamon, sugar and lemon zest. Whisk until well combined.

Spray the interior of a glass casserole dish with non-stick spray (I used a large 9×11 dish. You can use an 8×8 to make a deeper/taller bread pudding). Fill the baking dish with the bread chunks, pressing down if needed.

Pour the custard liquid over the bread chunks as evenly as possible.  Drop chunks of butter on top if desired (2 Tbsp total). You can add the second cup of apple sauce on top before baking (drop dollops of it on top and wiggle it down between bread chunks) or you can add it after baking. I like to add it cold after baking because I like the temperature contrast.

Bake the bread pudding at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve hot.

Get off my Treadmill.

Dear New Gym Members or former members coming out of the woodwork,

This place isn’t big enough for the both of us. I lift weights…I could take you down. But further more, please don’t send me back to working out in my living room. It’s boring there.

Does anyone else’s gym look like this??

(source)

I much prefer it being empty. Just me and a few other regulars roaming around. We communicate with polite head nods as if to say, “hey there..same time, same place…again.”

(source)

Alas…it is January and this is when everyone decides that healthier living is moving to the top of the priority list. Good for them! Just get off my treadmill 🙂

I’m kidding of course. While I was super annoyed that my group power class was too full to join and the fact that I had to do ab work until a treadmill was free last night, I am glad to see more faces joining the gym. Although, I think I am going to stick to the morning work-out schedule for a while until some of the “newly motivated”, fall off the wagon.

While I hope this isn’t a monotonous food post, I did switch up the breakfast…from apples to strawberries.

Verdict: Not as good as apples.

Lunch this week has been boring and usually involves anything that I don’t actually have to assemble. I’ve been sleeping like a rock the past few days and sleeping in till the very last-minute! Soup & carrots have been the winners this week.

Interesting? No. Fast and Easy? Yes. I swear I will get better about packing my lunches next week. Leaving my house un-organized on Sunday completely put me in a tailspin. I opted to drink wine on the couch if you recall. Therefore I can’t get up on time, have not packed lunches for myself and don’t even get me started on my lack of work outfits from little to no laundry being done.

We had more prime rib for dinner and let me explain. We bought too much for the Christmas Eve dinner so some we froze and now we have to eat. I couldn’t stand another meal with just red meat and sides so Chris and I decided to do subs. This was awesome.

I told him he is just going to have to take down the rest of the leftovers because I don’t want to see Prime Rib again for months.

After dinner, I plopped down on the couch to finally relax (the gym wasn’t as relaxing as it is normally) and devoured some Sex and the City, thanks E!

After the back-to-back episodes (every weeknight mind you) I did a little wedding planning before bed. There are a few items I have yet to check off from my lists but all in all, things are running smoothly.

Looking for invitations this weekend, can’t wait!

The Top of Twenty-Ten

2010 is officially ova…I promise you it is. I bid it farewell last night with friends and way too much champagne.

The night started off at Thomas Street Tavern for some dinner and drinks with friends we’ve had for YEARS, almost a decade actually and I can’t believe it’s been that long.

From there we left to go to a NYE party. The hosts did an amazing job! The party was complete with champagne flutes, appetizers, great company…and the coolest glasses you’ve ever seen.

It was just enough people to feel like a party and not so many that you couldn’t sit and talk with everyone there. Perfection!

Feeling a little under the weather dehydrated this morning, I didn’t have much time to recuperate. I had to be at work at 10:30….did I mention this job has to be temporary? I feel like I don’t have time for anything these days! After working Chris and I made some yummy tuna sandwiches and have pretty much spent the day relaxing and it has felt great.

Today I’ve had some time to reflect back on 2010 and what kind of year it was for me. In a word?…Amazing.

I put together a “Top of Twenty-Ten” list for one last farewell look at a year that had so many life-changing memories in it, I feel it will be a highlight for years to come.

1.) The question got popped…we finally got engaged 😉

2.) Took a tropical cruise with Chris…oh yea, and 30 of my relatives=awesome.

3.) Got Promoted! Woot! Woot!

4.) Witnessed one of my besties have a son and start a family…

5.)…and the other one get hitched!

6.) Finally saw a show at the Orange Peel, a venue I had been lusting after.

7.) Took one hell of a girls beach trip…

8.) Made it home to San Francisco to see my family for the holidays…how I MISS them!

9.) Became a first time aunt!! Who knew I could love a munchkin that much?

 

…and last but not least….

10.) Created a blog that continues to challenge me and provide satisfaction like nothing else….

Dine-in-Dash.

As we move on to 2011, it’s time to write down my resolutions and after much reflection, here is what I’ve come up with:

2011 Resolutions

  • Start saving 10% of our income towards buying a house
  • Take the GMAT
  • Run a 10k race
  • Run a Half Marathon
  • Get hitched!!
  • Make a budget
  • Watch TV less and read more
  • Eat more organically
  • Increase blog traffic
  • Keep STRESS at a LOW!

What were your favorite things about 2010 and what are your New Year Resolutions?

The Countdown Begins!

The countdown to what you ask?

1.) Christmas, obviously!

2.) Post holiday- get in wedding shape project

3.) A little blog revamp

It is once again Monday and what a weekend we had. Lately it seems like we have been squeezing everything into the weekends and I’ll be thankful for the quietness that comes with January and February. I, like most people, fully intend on hibernating in the coming months.

Working backwards, Friday was a blur. I vaguely remember eating my favorite breakfast treat along with some un-pictured Salsartia’s. The strong love I have for Mexican occasionally needs to be un-leashed.

Friday was a slew of pot-luck treats due to attending a phenomenal Christmas Party (thanks Shannon!) It was a great time and by far the best that I’ve been to this season.

Do you know how hard it is to get this big of a group to look and smile at the same time?

Saturday I woke up, looked outside and saw this special treat…

It’s not much snow, but it’s snow none the less. This prompted me to bake our breakfast! 🙂

I have been on quite the apple kick lately so I decided to try this recipe that I saw on Simply Recipes.

 Bisquick Apple Coffee Cake

Ingredients: (I halved everything so we only had 2 servings)

Cake:
2 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 cup of milk or water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 tart green apple, cored, peeled, sliced

Topping:
1/3 cup Bisquick mix
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease 8″ square pan or 9″ round pan. Mix cake ingredients. Spread cake batter in pan. Insert apple slices into the batter evenly throughout the cake.

Mix the topping ingredients of Bisquick, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread topping mix over top of batter in pan. Add slices of butter all over the top.

Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown, testing with a toothpick.

After delving into this, I tried to tackle some house-hold chores before our busy day and evening we had scheduled. We had my cousin’s graduation at UNCC at 3:00pm and directly following we had intended to go see the Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas Lights. I say intended, because we didn’t end up being able to go. 😦

With my grandparents in town from GA for the graduation and our entire family being together for the first time since the cruise last January, I found it pretty impossible to bail on the family get-together. I felt bad that we had to cancel our plans, but with an uncle in and out of the hospital recently and my grandparents getting older, you can never take those moments for granted.

At the family get together we were able to see my cute little nephew. Chris wouldn’t put him down, and quite honestly it was one of the cutest sites I’ve ever seen.

I think he may be getting baby fever, hehe 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, I also landed a holiday job. I know what you are thinking…WHEN am I going to have time to do that? My answer? I’ll figure it out. With the wedding, Christmas and expenses everytime I turn around, it will be beneficial for us, for the next few months.

Sunday I had to work from 9-1, I only had time to grab quick leftovers from Saturday morning.

Still good, albeit not as pretty.

When I got home I was starving AND tired. That combination warrants a good ol’ fashioned, PB&J. It was just what my stomach wanted.

The rest of the day was spent cleaning and finishing up laundry (Chris did help a bunch). For dinner, I was craving something healthy and colorful. Colorful=good nutrients my body was lacking! RED tomatoes, GREEN veggies, DARK olives and bright ORANGE salmon.

Baked Salmon with a Mediterranean-type salad. Tomatoes,  kalamata olives, basil, red wine vinegar and some chopped onion. DELISH.

As stated in the beginning of this post, I told you there was a countdown to Christmas, a new work-out regimen for the wedding as well as a blog revamp. Please take this survey so that I can better understand what it is you like about Dine-in-Dash. (It’s only 5 questions long and the answers are private!)

http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22BNEQP2CDW/ 

For the 2011, things will be changing on Dine-in-Dash. I want to make sure I change things for the better and not eliminate what readers might like the most. It would really help me out if you would click on the link to take the sruvey! Thanks!!

 Hope your weeks are slow and lazy, I know mine will not  be with retail during Christmas!! Yikes!