Lunch Lately

As I’ve mentioned, um, almost every time I’ve blogged this month, work has gotten crazy busy. Generally it just means that I’m always busy, and that my desk looks like this:


However, it also means that I can’t take long leisurely lunches. I am the only assistant, as well as the receptionist in my office, which often means that when I’m not there and something needs to be done, or the phone’s ringing, or there’s a FedEx guy coming with an important package…sh*t gets cray cray.

There’s not lots of time to walk (or bike) home, whip up something for lunch, clean up and come back in less than an hour. I’ve also been trying to keep to my 3x per week workouts, which usually means lunch happens afterwards at my desk.

So here’s how I solve the problem of “I don’t have much time + I want to be healthy + I’m kind of cheap and don’t want to eat out”:

My most common lunch is leftovers, or whatever dish I made a big pot of on Sunday for lunches the following week. Usually this involves beans or, in the summer, some kind of grain like quinoa that is good to eat cold.


  • This week: chipotle stout chili. Inspired by a Beeroness recipe, it has a healthy amount of chipotle, Stout beer, and even quinoa! Lots of protein and fiber in this one.


  • An experiment involving lentils and chipotles (I am on a chipotle kick lately!) – it wasn’t blogworthy, but it served its purpose as lunch for a few days.


  • Soup soup soup. This one was from a recent trip to my parents’ house…you know, one of those trips that ends with Mom rummaging through the fridge and saying, “Here, take this! I bought too much hummus at Costco! Have some soup!” Her Carrot Ginger soup is the best. In fact, the lunch I packed today includes some leftover turkey meatloaf she sent me home with last night! I added a side of broccoli…. for health 😉
  • As pictured, I also eat a lot of Wheat Thins. We’re running low on snacks in our office pantry, but Wheat Thins are always in stock. Not ideal, but they do the job!

Speaking of soup… I eat a LOT of soup cups. It started when I had a broken hand and couldn’t make much of anything else for lunch. There are a few brands that have pretty good nutritional stats, and many are less than $2 each. Score.


  • This was actually a picture I sent to T-Man to show him my firm’s new coffee cups (lol) but my favorite brand of soup cup is making a small appearance. McDougalls is probably the most filling one you’ll find (at about 340 calories and 15+g of fiber for their Split Pea/Black Bean varieties), the ingredients are good, and the flavor doesn’t disappoint.


  • Eating Right is a new brand I spotted on sale at the grocery store this weekend. They are pretty good on keeping the scary ingredients to a minimum, and the first cup I tried on Monday was pretty tasty. They’re only 180-190 calories, but that means they leave me a little hungry. (Wheat Thins to the rescue!)


A closer look

Another good quick lunch is microwave burritos. The good brands (like Amy’s Organic) tend to be more expensive than soup cups, at $3 each, so I don’t get them often. Yes, I realize I base my grocery shopping decisions on the basis of $1 difference…yes, I might be cheap. At least I can admit I have a problem 🙂


  • This puppy (from evol foods) has been waiting in our office freezer as a back-up lunch in case I ever forget or don’t have time to plan out a lunch. I was pretty intrigued by the idea of a spinach and tofu burrito, haha.


Pretty good nutritional stats, too!

And since we’re on the subject of pictures of food I eat at the office, here’s my most common breakfast and one that I don’t have as often, but am trying to work into my weekly routine:

20130130-085753.jpg  20130130-085801.jpg

  • Greek Yogurt (I buy whatever brand is on sale, but Oikos is my favorite!) + a Fiber One 90 calorie brownie. I eat this at least 3 days per week, and I love it. My beef with greek yogurt is that it has zero fiber…so pairing it with a Fiber One brownie is the perfect answer, as each one has 5g of fiber! AND THEY’RE DELICIOUS! I won a box in a giveaway from Christina at Hungry Meets Healthy, and I’ve been buying them regularly ever since.


  • Smoothies. I’m really trying to make smoothies happen, you guys. I have a blender, and T-Man has a blender, and I almost always have frozen bananas & fruit on hand…But they don’t keep me full very long. Also, we both have roommates, and whenever I plan to make a smoothie in the morning, one always seems to be asleep or on a work conference call and I’d hate to run the noisy blender. The above smoothie was pretty good though: frozen banana, blueberries, juice/zest of an orange, and a dollop of peanut butter.

What is your favorite quick n’ easy lunch?

Do you ever choose price over flavor?

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

So it’s been pretty cold. I know that I’ll get flack for saying this, being that I live in California and all. But it has consistently been 32 degrees or below every morning this week! I won’t mention that the high each day has also been 50 degrees…but I will complain about having to defrost and/or just get impatient and scrape ice off the windshield in the morning. I was actually up at 6:30 yesterday morning to go get a cancerous mole removed (long story) and it was a shock to my cold-hating soul!

I’m convinced this winter that I have poor circulation, because I am pretty much always freezing. I’m freezing in my 63 degree apartment, T-Man’s 67 degree house…I’m even sometimes freezing in my office, which is actually kept around 73 degrees.

Enter: soup.


I’ve been craving hot food lately, especially since I had a head/chest cold over Christmas and wanted everything I consumed to be hot to soothe my throat. My dad’s side of the family (all 18 of us) exchange gifts Secret Santa-style every year, so when my cousin Evan drew my name this year, he sneakily asked T-Man what to get me for Christmas. T-Man suggested a Crockpot…most likely because I have been holding his hostage for about 6 months now and it’s time I got my own 🙂

So that’s what I got for Christmas, and I knew immediately what I’d be making in it first: SOUP!


I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with Chicken Tortilla Soup. I love it because it involves lots of my favorite non-soup ingredients: chiles, corn, chicken, cilantro… I hate it for the same reason I steer clear of Chicken Noodle Soup: because it’s normally pretty brothy, with rubbery pieces of chicken floating around. I am not usually that person who slurps up all the broth at the end of a bowl of soup – except maybe with a nice big piece of bread.

That being said…I slurped up all.of.the.broth at the end of every bowl of this soup. I have made myself a broth-believer.

The secret: a roasted pepper.


I charred this pasilla pepper and blended him up with roasted garlic and cilantro to add a little sum’n-sum’n to my broth.


(Another toy my mom got me for my birthday…a duo blender/mini food processor! To join the regular food processor T-Man got me for our anniversary. Good thing there are no more birthdays and holidays for a while, ’cause I’m running out of cabinet space!!)

The result was a broth that wasn’t just there for all the ingredients to float in: it was actually super delicious on its own!

And because this soup is made in the Crockpot, it is extremely easy to make. It also has very few ingredients and is HEALTHY! Check it out for yourself:


Boneless skinless chicken thighs, a pepper, cilantro, tomatoes, garlic, black beans (cause I love ’em) and fat free low sodium chicken broth. Oh and frozen corn, which isn’t pictured. This meal is packed with protein and not much fat at all – only from the chicken. The great thing about cooking in a Crockpot is you don’t have to add oil like you do with sauteing or roasting!


You really just dump it all into the Crockpot. I avoided the dreaded rubbery chunks of chicken by first cooking the thighs whole, then removing them toward the end of cooking and shredding them with a couple of forks. Such a good decision!

This is a soup that can also be made without a Crockpot…your best bet would be to use leftover cooked chicken and shred it first, then add everything to a pot and let it simmer for as long as you’d like.


Make it! Warm up your cold wintery self!


Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
makes 3-4 servings

3 boneless skinless chicken thighs OR 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2-14.5 ounce cans of chicken broth (about 3-4 cups)
1 pasilla pepper (I would use a pasilla pepper or the spicier poblano…the 2 are often confused for each other)
1 bunch cilantro
2-3 cloves garlic (roasted or not- here’s a good tutorial on how to roast garlic)
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes in chiles
1/4 cup corn
shredded cheese (optional)
crumbled tortilla chips (optional)

Start by adding chicken and chicken broth to the Crockpot. Set Crockpot to high so the chicken can start to cook during the short time it will take you to prepare the other ingredients.

Char the pasilla pepper on all sides, either on your gas stove or under the broiler in your oven. When it is done, carefully move it into a plastic bag, or a covered bowl, so the steam will release the skin. After about 10 minutes, you will be able to easily remove the charred skin, as well as the inner seeds and ribs. I also charred and peeled my garlic cloves as a way to “roast” them. Add garlic and peeled pepper to food processor, along with a handful or two of cilantro, and process until it is a pesto-like consistency. I added a teaspoon of water to help it along.

Now you can start adding the rest of the ingredients to the Crockpot. Add the chile-cilantro mixture and stir to incorporate into the broth. Next, add black beans and the entire can of tomatoes and chiles (liquid and all). Last, add the corn. Slow cook in the Crockpot on high for 4 hours. After 3 hours, remove the chicken thighs and shred them with two forks. Add the shredded chicken back in for the last hour of cooking.

Garnish with cheese and tortilla chips if desired! (I didn’t have any on hand! For shame.)

Note: You can also set your Crockpot to low if you want it to take longer to cook (e.g. while you are at work). If you set it to low, it will take 6-8 hours total. You will still want to remove the chicken about an hour before the cooking time is up. Also, I feel like I should warn that if you also buy Rotel brand tomatoes and are a tomato-hater, they will smell pretty disgusting at first…but never fear, the broth actually masks the taste of the tomatoes very well! Believe me, T-Man and I were gagging at the smell of the Rotel and both loved the final product!

Meatless Monday: Curried Cauliflower Soup

Something about cold weather makes it so hard to get out of bed in the morning.

I mean, the obvious conclusion is that no one wants to leave the comfort of a warm, cozy bed for the cold, harsh world. We don’t usually run the heater at night (because we’re cheap :-P)…we’ve had a warm rainy spell here, so last night it was 68 when I went to sleep and 58 when I woke up. My roomie wasn’t as lucky this weekend though:

Anyway, that feeling of not wanting to get out of bed in the morning is only intensified on Monday mornings, I think. There’s just something in the air that makes Monday mornings suck. Come to think of it, I”m not particularly fond of Sundays either. Especially when you drink a whole bottle of red wine on Saturday night at a Christmas party with a puppy in a tuxedo and spend most of Sunday hungover in bed watching Suits and catching up on Homeland…but I wouldn’t know anything about that. (OMG HOMELAND THE FINALE WAS EPIC. I love me a good “WTF” moment! And Saul. Saul is my fave.)

Because it’s been getting so cold (last week was mostly in the mid-high 40’s…pretty cold by California standards!), I’ve had soup on the mind. And not just any soup…a soup with some spice. Curry it is!


I know, I know. This soup is pale yellow…Hardly appetizing. But hear me out!

I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes using cauliflower in place of potato in recipes, or cauliflower puree instead of cream to make a creamy soup….and it’s pretty intriguing. Jen from The Scrumptious Pumpkin has particularly been fueling my cauliflower intrigue with her Skinny Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Healthier Potatoes au Gratin. Stay posted – I will inevitably lure my boyfriend into eating cauliflower while telling him it’s potatoes sometime soon. But until then, we have straight up cauliflower soup!

This soup is warm (cause it’s soup and that’s how you’re supposed to serve it), hot (cause it’s got Indian spices in it), and perfectly hits the spot. One head of cauliflower only made enough for two servings, but if you only have one head of cauliflower and want this soup to produce more than two meals, you can add a cup or two of peeled and diced potatoes to the pot when you’re steaming the cauliflower. The result, because potatoes are super starchy, will produce a thicker soup!

However, the cauliflower alone is just as good. Especially if you’ve got some “naan” to dip in it. I just charred some tortillas and called it naan…I know they aren’t the same…just humor me here and tell me in looks like naan.


Curried Cauliflower Soup
makes 2 large bowls of soup

1 medium-sized head of cauliflower (I’d guess this was about 3-4 cups of florets)
1/2 of a large white or yellow onion
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1/2 tsp curry powder or garam masala
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
pinch of cayenne pepper (Optional. Garam masala already has a bit of a kick)
oil, for sauteing onions and spices

1-2 pieces of naan, flatbread or tortilla, for serving

Notes: I used lite coconut milk, but full fat would work fine. Curry powder and turmeric will give the soup a yellowish hue…if that weirds you out (haha), you can leave the turmeric out. But don’t cut the curry or garam masala!

Begin by breaking down the head of cauliflower. Chop off as much of the stems as you can, but don’t worry about breaking down the pieces too small. Steam or boil the florets for about 15-20 minutes, until fork tender. Alternatively, you could also toss the cauliflower in oil and roast them…this would probably taste better, but it would also take longer.

While florets are steaming. slice onion into long strips. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Make sure the pot is large, you will be adding in all the cauliflower later. Then, add onions and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, stirring frequently for a minute or two. Next, add spices and stir to coat everything. Let toast for about 5 minutes. It may seem to be burning…if you’re worried it actually is, turn down the heat to low.

After 5 minutes, add in enough coconut milk to cover the bottom of the pot and use a spatula to deglaze the pot. Toss in the cooked cauliflower and the rest of the coconut milk. The liquid probably won’t cover the cauliflower at this point, so add water until it does (about a cup and a half, more for a thinner soup). Let all the soup ingredients simmer for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a food processor or blender. Blitz it to your desired consistency, then keep warm on the stove or serve immediately with fresh naan!

Meatless Monday: Autumn Chili

It seems like a while since I’ve posted a Meatless Monday recipe. Between my Grandpa’s passing, the election, health issues, and our vacation…I haven’t really been doing a lot of cooking lately!

Most of my dinners have been anything I can put in the oven, forget about for 20 minutes, then chow down on. Usually this means roasted brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, or the seasonal favorite: squash. (OK and sometimes T-Man and I put tomato sauce, salami, and cheese on a large slice of sourdough and call it “pizza”…don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!)

I’ve made my parents and boyfriend try spaghetti squash a couple of times, roasted a butternut squash for a delicious soup, and I finally picked up an acorn squash that is currently sitting on my counter waiting to be made into another soup…or maybe just roasted and stuffed with quinoa. The possibilities are endless!

It was really rainy this weekend. And for a girl who has lived most of her life in California, that means it simply rained for about a day straight. So in a search for comfort food that would get my stomach stretched for the marathon-style 24-hours of Thanksgiving approaching T-Man and I (his birthday is the day before, and we will be braving Bay Area traffic to make it to two different dinners on Turkey Day), but not cause premature Thanksgiving weight gain, I made this healthy, hearty chili.

I had ground turkey in my freezer, but I decided to be festive and added roasted butternut squash instead. This would be great with acorn squash, roasted pumpkin, sweet potato, or whatever fall gourd or tuber you find in your grocery store. With plenty of protein from the beans alone, I figured I’d cut out the fat and add more vitamins, nutrients, and fiber by replacing it with squash.

Though I typically love a spicy chili, this recipe has a lot of sweetness from the bell peppers and butternut squash that gives it this interesting sweet-and-savory feel. Of course, me being me, I added cayenne pepper, and if you want it to be even spicier, I’ve added notes on what you can substitute.

This chili has a couple of secret ingredients: instead of tomato paste, I added pumpkin puree (of course always staying in theme!). Next, no chili for me is complete without beer. I really wanted to try making this chili with a seasonal pumpkin ale like Jen does in this recipe, but I couldn’t rationalize buying a whole 6 pack for a single cup of beer, so I used what usually do – a light wheat beer (this time a Hefeweizen). Any kind of seasonal beer would add a delicious touch to this already autumnal chili.

So try it and let me know what you think. And don’t forget the beer 😉

Autumn Chili
makes about five 2-cup servings

3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 1/2 of a small to medium squash)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
cayenne pepper, if desired
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup beer (I used Hefeweizen, but I would’ve LOVED to try a pumpkin ale!)
1/2 cup frozen corn
oil, for cooking
salt and pepper

Ingredient notes: Any kind of fall squash would work. Any combination of beans would work. I prefer a lighter beer for my chili, but as long as you stay away from hoppy, bitter beer, you’re fine. Bell peppers make this chili more sweet than spicy; replace one with a jalapeno or chipotle pepper for some kick.

Preheat oven to 400F. Carefully peel and cube your squash and toss with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring once. You want the squash to cook a little bit, but it doesn’t have to be completely done yet, as it will cook more in the chili.

While the squash is roasting, prepare your peppers, onion, and garlic. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and saute peppers and onion until soft, about 5 minutes. When the squash is ready, add garlic to the pot and stir, cooking another minute. Stir in roasted squash cubes. {Note: I roasted my squash before to cut down on the cooking time on the stove. You can add uncooked squash at this point, just increase the simmer time so the cubes get cooked.} Add seasonings of your choice: I went heavy on the chile powder, then added paprika, cumin, oregano, and cayenne…plus more salt and pepper.

Stir till everything is coated in the spices, then add canned ingredients: beans and crushed tomatoes. Stir till combined, then add pumpkin puree and beer and stir some more. Let simmer for at least 5-10 minutes {longer if you didn’t roast the squash}. A few minutes before serving, stir in the frozen corn.

The longer you let the chili simmer, the more delicious it will get. I like a thick, hearty chili, so I prefer not to add more beer/water to thin it out.

Serve hot with a side of cornbread!

Meatless Monday: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Quinoa

So we finally got fall weather last week. And it was finally appropriate to make a pot of soup.

Of course, that fall weather went away just in time to do a bit of pre-Halloween celebrating this weekend…it was in the high 70’s, so I didn’t have to worry about being too chilly in my early Halloween costume:

But more on that later!

This soup is a little chunky, a little cheesy, and even a little crunchy (?) from the quinoa. T-Man loved it…even though it didn’t have meat. I made enough to feed a small army. So, in other words, it has fed T-Man and I for 5 individual meals so far, and there’s STILL at least a bowl left in his fridge.

It’s best scooped with a piece of sourdough toast. And then, if you’re like me and run out of soup while you still have toast in your hand…just pour a little more soup and repeat.  No shame.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Quinoa
makes one large pot of soup

1 butternut squash (~3 lbs)
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup quinoa, dry
3-4 cups vegetable broth or water (chicken broth is OK for non veg-friendly)
4-5 sage leaves, chopped
1 parmesan rind, or as much parmesan as desired
oil, for roasting
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Carefully cut squash into quarters. It helps to microwave it for a minute first. The simplest way to do it is to start by separating the neck and the bulbous bottom, and then slicing each half in half. Place quarters, cut side up, onto roasting pan. Slice the onion into wedges, separate two whole garlic cloves (with a layer of peel still on) and add to the roasting pan. Season everything with salt and pepper, then spray with cooking spray or drizzle a bit of oil and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. The squash will not be completely done yet.

While that’s roasting, prepare the quinoa according to package instructions. When 30 minutes has passed, remove squash, onion and garlic from oven and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove squash and garlic from skins and give it all a rough chop. Heat more oil in the bottom of a large pot over medium heat, and add the roasted veggies. Saute for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, then add enough broth or water to cover the roasted veggies by about half an inch. (I’d guess this was 3-4 cups) Turn heat down to medium low, and keep at a simmer for 15 minutes. If you have one, add in a parmesan rind.

When the squash is fork tender, discard parmesan rind and transfer soup to a food processor in several batches. Blend to your desired consistency. I like mine with a little bit of texture. Once finished, return to pot and add cooked quinoa. Add chopped sage and (if you didn’t have a parmesan rind) grated parmesan. Simmer until ready to serve!

Keeps in refrigerator for a week (and counting!)

Lunch Lately

When you work in politics, things are usually really exciting. Like, have to be in 4 places at once exciting because there’s a hearing going on here, and a vote going on there, and your boss needs his Blackberry charger (let’s be real, that last one is 80% of what my job entails)….

But there are also lulls.

The Legislature goes on recess…like a lot. For instance, right now they’ve been on recess since August 31st. So it’s been quiet times here in my little lobbying world.

In honor of this, I bring you the first installment of:

Things I Google and Wikipedia at Work

  • Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom — What started as a research task for my boss quickly turned into a trip down this handsome man’s entire life story.
  • date of Pearl Harbor (to prove to T-Man that I had the date memorized…….I don’t.)
  • date of Bastille Day (to prove to T-Man that I had the date memorized….I do!)
  • Trader Joe’s carrot cake ingredients… YUM
  • “c accent french”, from that one time when I taught Bev of Bev Cooks how to type a c squiggly thing (I was trying to remember what it was called…’s called a cédille)
  • Marilyn Monroe measurements (because I’m a creep)
  • BMI calculator (because I’m pathetic)

Something I also google at work is recipe ideas. Especially for lunches. Because the easiest time to waste money eating out as a ~young professional~ is at lunchtime, and my goal is to avoid it at all costs. In fact, the only 2 times I’ve been out to lunch since July were to treat my brother to birthday lunch, and to be treated to lunch on my own birthday.

To achieve such a “feat”, I have a few strategies.

Use the Weekend to Prep

Every Sunday, I like to prepare a dish that will last me at least 2 meals. Here is this week’s example:

I’ve made Ashley’s Lemon Dill Pasta Salad before (with an avocado dressing!), but this time I had fresh basil on hand so I made it with that instead of the recommended dill. Loved it!

I munched on a lot of it while I was making it (oops) and then split what was left into two tupperwares for lunch this week. Paired with a handful of wheat thins or a bag of chips, it was the perfect amount of food!

Make Enough Dinner That You’ll Have Leftovers

It’s actually pretty hard to make single serving size versions of a lot of dishes…I don’t think any pot exists that is small enough to make just 1 serving of rice! So instead of sacrificing the success of a dish because I don’t want to waste food or overeat, I make enough that I can eat the rest for lunch the next day.

A few weeks ago, I told you all I made Let it Brie’s Chana Masala with lentils… What I didn’t share was that I actually only used about half the lentils that I boiled for Indi’s recipe. The rest got seasoned with taco seasonings, hot sauce, and green onion, paired with a tortilla, and became lentil tacos for at least 3 days worth of lunch! Oh, I added an avocado too because I’m obsessed.

I ran out of my beloved super low-cal Fiber & Flax corn tortillas, and got Mission’s Multigrain Artisan Style tortillas — also very good, and not too bad on the ingredients! I love tortillas that are thick and seem like they’re handmade.

This is actually what I have packed for lunch today:

My own weirdo interpretation of Frito Pie. I am desperately looking for ways to finish a can of refried beans I opened a few days ago, so instead of the traditional chili, I made a big ol’ batch of refried beans with a ton of veggies and greens and chili seasoning, and am planning on mixin’ it up with a bag of Fritos. Desperate times call for desperate measures, people! Also, please ignore the nail polish and spoon lying in my bed.

Buy Healthy Easy-to-Make Lunches

For when there’s no food prepped from the night before (and I can’t get home to make lunch), I have an “emergency stash” of food at the office.

I’ve already shown pictures of this before, but I swear by it:

I love this soup cup brand and Nile Spice. Both make pretty healthy soup cups and, if you get the flavors that are chock full of fiber, they are considerably filling.

I also buy frozen burritos from Cedarlane and Amy’s Organic because they have good ingredients (especially Amy’s) and they’re usually on sale at Safeway for only $2-$3 a pop!

Soup cups and frozen burritos are usually for days that I work out or go for a jog at lunch, because I’m usually famished when get back to the office around 2pm.

What do YOU bring to the office for lunch?

P.S. A few of my photos finally got approved by Foodgawker! It’s been bringing a lot of traffic to my site, so hooray! Welcome new readers, and stick around, for most of my photos are not taken with my iPhone like they were in this entry 🙂

Check out my gallery here:

my foodgawker gallery

What to Eat When You Have a Broken Hand

Life is hard with one hand.

I know I’ve said it before, but I’m so often reminded of it that I feel it needs repeating. Life is especially hard when you normally insist on making meals from scratch and an injury dooms you to to a life of microwave meals. I really try to stick to a healthy diet and avoid eating out when I can, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that things are gonna be different these next 5 weeks!

Check out some things that I’ve found to be both easy-to-make, and somewhat healthy as well.

1) Yogurt for breakfast.

For the calcium and added vitamin D, but mainly for the easy open container! Continue reading

Mother’s Day Dinner

Every year, someone in my family has a meltdown on the major holidays. Mother’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, you name it. If it’s an important holiday, someone’s gonna have a meltdown. Apparently, this year, it was my turn.

I’d like to blame it on the boyfriends-family-emergency I mentioned yesterday, or on the fact that I really missed him after 5 days…or on PMS. Whichever excuse y’all will buy. Let’s just say I was one scary sight to be seen in the kitchen on Sunday.

Regardless of that, I think I made a pretty darn good Mother’s Day meal for my mom. I sent her a few recipes that I had pinned and asked which ones she’d like me to make for her…She decided on Asparagus Soup and Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo.

It all started on Saturday night, with a bunch of huge asparaguses. Asparagi? Asparagus?

Continue reading

Barefoot Contessa? Not quite, but I’m getting there.

Cooking has become my new drug.

I’ve found myself living a post-grad life where I work 20+ hours per week unpaid, live under my parents roof, and have so few friends still in town that I can count them all on less than 2 hands.  Cooking, on the other hand, is something I can control.  It’s something that allows me to be creative, as well as contribute to the household.

Okay, my life isn’t that bad, I’m actually a pretty spoiled when you think about it.  My parents pay my bills, and I have two great internships, and what am I complaining about- I have almost 800 Facebook friends. (because those are the friends that really matter, right? :-/)

That doesn’t change the fact that I’ve become awesome at cooking.  I’ve come a long way from my senior year of college, where my staples were either pasta or various sautéed vegetables over Rice-A-Roni.  Last night, I decided to test my cooking awesomeness theory by making my own recipe.  Not by combining several others, not by just changing one ingredient in a Giada At Home recipe!  I went for it without guidelines and jotted down notes as I went, à la Barefoot Contessa.  And it worked!  So here I present to you, my recipe for Acorn Squash Soup.

Continue reading