How to Eat Well if You’re a Busy 20-Something

My dear blog, you have been neglected this week. My dear blends (blogfriends), you have been neglected as well. To make a long story short, work has been cray cray. And it will continue to be cray cray until our Legislative Symposium is over and done with on Wednesday.

As an apology, I offer you pictures of the food I have been enjoying. Because even with work being as busy as it is, I’ve mostly managed to eat a homemade lunch at least 4 days out of every week, and have eaten dinner at home just as often. (OK, so yesterday I had an Amy’s microwave burrito for lunch. Sorry I’m not sorry.)

Let these photos serve as inspiration! Join me – let’s prep our food on Sundays and eat well during the week. No slaving away in the kitchen necessary…unless you’re into that sort of thing 🙂

Breakfast

avocadotoast

Avocado toast. This one really got some mixed feedback on Instagram…apparently not everyone thinks avocados are the best thing ever invented EVER. Who knew? {on a related note, leave it to my family members to tell me my food looks gross, ha!} Prep time: 5 minutes.

overnightoats

These are last night/this morning’s Overnight Oats. 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup almond-coconut milk, 1/4 cup plain nonfat Chobani, half a banana and some mango. This was the first time I ever actually finished overnight oats! Usually cold oatmeal makes me gag. I credit the Chobani…their plain flavor is actually palatable! Prep time: 5 minutes the night before.

kindbar

At the end of the 5K I ran, they had boxes of KIND Bars for all the participants to take. I grabbed, err, 4 different flavors to sample.  This one was my ABSOLUTE favorite. The chocolate and cherries make it taste like candy!

Lunch

lunch

This is how most of my lunches go – I make a pot of some kind of grain/legume on Friday night, mix it up with veggies, and then eat it throughout the week with a tortilla (or in this case, tortilla chips). Prep time: 30 minutes when you make it ahead of time, 3 minutes to reheat and devour!

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I already showed you all this picture on Monday, but that Kale and Chickpea saute is a prime example of my typical lunch. I made two small servings and bulked it up with the pictured brown rice and toast. Prep time: 20 minutes when you make it ahead of time, 3 minutes to reheat and devour!

Dinner

asparagus

#yolkporn central! This was an awesome weekend dinner that I accompanied with sweet potato fries and wine. In a perfect world, I’d eat a big breakfast and lunch everyday, followed by a snacky dinner. Prep time: 30 minutes.dodgeballdinner

A perfect pre-dodgeball dinner. Tons of quinoa and roasted green beans. It was super filling, protein packed, but didn’t leave me feeling too bloated to run around and throw balls at people. 😉 Prep time: 20-25 minutespeanutchicken

My amazing Chicken in Spicy Peanut Sauce dinner that I was obsessed with and shared with you all. Still dreaming about this meal. Prep time: 30 minutes, less if you’ve made the rice ahead of time!

sandwich

I used most of a can of chickpeas to make the aforementioned Chickpea & Kale saute, and then I mashed the leftover chickpeas with some cream cheese (I didn’t have plain yogurt!), lemon juice, salt and pepper…Then I piled on some roasted red peps and spinach and called it a Chickpea Salad sandwich 🙂 Prep time: 10 minutes

miniturkeymeatloaves

After 3 months of being subscribed to Cooking Light magazine, I finally tried out a recipe. It was for Mini Greek Style Meatloaves, which I made into Mini Mexican Style Meatloaves.. because I am me, and I love cilantro. Paired with a mango salsa, it was AMAZING! Prep time: 30 minutesturkeyburger

Last night, I plopped the mini meatloaves on a thin bun and called it a turkey burger. Win. Prep time: 25 minutes (or however long your fries take to bake)

What I Eat if I Do Go Out

jamba

Several Friday mornings this month I’ve craved Jamba Juice. I think it must be the dodgeball beers on Thursday night that make me feel like I need to load up on nutrients Friday morning! I’ve been trying their fruit + veggie smoothies and, while they don’t taste as great as the purely fruit ones, at least I feel revived!

lowbrau

These are duck fat fries from LowBrau. I say if you eat healthily during the day, a bag of fries and an IPA makes a fine dinner 😉 Balance, people! They were screamin’ hot, and super crispy! We weren’t a huge fan of the beer cheese pictured (it reminded us too much of processed nacho cheese), so we ordered another garlicky cheese and were totally in business.

burgersnbrew

Burgers & Brew is one of T-Man’s favorite restaurants, so we go pretty often. Their burgers are amaaaazing, but often a lot to handle. I started getting this Turkey Avocado Melt and hooo boy is it good! Lots of protein and it is STUFFED full of avocado. Definitely recommend if you live in Sacramento or Davis!

What are your go-to breakfasts and lunches during the work week?

How often do you eat out during the week?

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Meatless Monday: Spaghetti Squash

I am FINALLY sharing with you all my recipe for spaghetti squash! I’ve only showed you pictures of me making it one two three times, I guess it’s time I post my recipe.

The thing is, this isn’t a recipe as much as it is a method. Spaghetti squash is super versatile. Once you roast it and get it out of the shell, you can do anything with it that you’d do with regular ol’ spaghetti. Sometimes, I just toss it with olive oil and fresh herbs. Usually, though, I whip up a batch of tomato sauce (I use canned tomatoes during these colder months) to serve on top. And to ensure that my carb and meat lovin’ boyfriend is satiated, we’ll usually toss some meatballs, garlic bread, and/or salad into the mix as well.

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This weekend, turkey meatballs and Alexia frozen garlic bread were invited to the party!

So, it doesn’t taste like spaghetti. Let’s get that out of the way right now. The texture is a little different and it definitely tastes more like a vegetable than a grain. But it is still an affordable and healthy alternative to its pasta counterpart, and it is super easy to make! Plus, it pretty much adopts the taste of whatever sauce you serve it with, so you’ll hardly notice you’re eating veggies 😉

Here’s how you do it:

Spaghetti Squash
serves 2-4, depending on size of squash and what you serve with it

1 medium/large spaghetti squash
olive oil
pasta sauce of choice

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Using a very sharp knife, carefully cut the stem off of the squash. If you’re having a really hard time with it, poke a few holes throughout the squash and microwave it for 30-45 seconds before trying again.
    cut2
    cut1
  3. Place the squash on the end you just cut off so that it’s stable. Again being extremely careful, cut it in half length wise.
  4. Scoop the insides from the squash.
    cut5 scoop
  5. Spray the cut side with a little bit of olive oil, and place skin side down on a baking sheet into the oven. Let it roast for at least 30 minutes, 40 minutes maximum. You want strands to pull away with very little effort when the squash is scraped with a fork.
  6. Remove and let cool before going at it with two forks. No right or wrong way to do this- just go at it until you get every last bit of squash out of the shell.
    scrape2scrape
  7. That’s it! Serve hot with olive oil and fresh herbs, or topped with your favorite pasta sauce. I’m even looking forward to trying this in a mac n’ cheese type dish…the possibilities are endless!

spaghetti3

spaghetti2

I will hopefully soon be sharing a recipe for the meatballs we enjoyed it with this weekend- I’ve made ’em 3 times now and I can’t get enough! But you all will have to wait until a non-Meatless Monday post for that 😉

table

Bon appetit!

P.S. Are you coming?

I'm Attending Blend

I registered for Blend last night and am super excited! Can’t wait to meet lots of “blends”, get my hike on Utah-style, and uh if we’re being honest here, I’m stoked to get some swag! Click the link for more info!