I'm writing this post to you after a very indulgent day at work. We had a birthday celebration yesterday and there were sweets everywhere. And these weren't just any average sweets - we had my FAVORITE chocolate chip cookies (maybe in the whole world) from Porto's Bakery, which were hot out of the oven, and we had a beautiful fruit tart, AND homemade mini chocolate chip banana cupcakes with homemade buttercream frosting. I mean, it was a pretty great day for eating sweets. After I completely overindulged, I thought about my wedding dress, and my upcoming poolside bachelorette party in Palm Springs, and wondered why I ate sooooo much of everything. And I can tell you exactly why. It's because I didn't pack my usual lunch or snacks, and I was completely unprepared for a healthy day at work. My icky feeling at the end of the day led me to write this post to motivate you (and me!) to be be prepared with great snacks, a delicious lunch, and a smart treat to get me through my 3pm cravings the rest of the week.
Here are my basic tips for having a healthy week:
1. Stock up on Sundays to set yourself up healthy lunches all week. I ALWAYS buy these staple items:
- All kinds of lettuce - I typically get a few bags of organic spinach, arugula, and kale.
- My favorite veggies for salads - cherry tomatoes, persian cucumbers, carrots.
- Beans and lentils for protein (I like to go meatless for lunch)
- TJ's shelled edamame - find it in the refrigerator section -it's cooked and ready to go... super easy!
- Hard boiled eggs
- Low-sodium turkey slices
- Nuts and dried fruit - figs, apricots, blueberries, or cranberries
- Good salad dressing - My latest favorite is Bragg's Healthy Vinaigrette
2. Always remember to get your snack on. Having small meals throughout the day keeps your metabolism going. Shoot for a 100-200 calorie snack in the morning and in the afternoon. I always go for either fruit or a half a Larabar in the morning and usually a sweet snack in the afternoon. These are my go-to's:
- ThinkThin Lean Bars (love the Salted Caramel flavor - it always cures my sweet tooth)
- 2 clementines
- Berries and a handful of almonds
- Veggies and hummus
- Coconut Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
3. Always keep one drawer of your desk stocked. That way if you show up to work without having breakfast, you'll make good choices rather than reaching for the Cronuts at the team meeting. Or if you're starving mid afternoon, you can always rely on your mini pantry in your desk.
At all times, my desk pantry is full of raw almonds, all kinds of tea and Matcha Green Tea Powder, instant steel-cut oatmeal packets, kind bars or Larabars, rice cakes and Justin's almond butter packets. That makes it pretty easy and effortless to stay healthy throughout the day. Even if you don't have a desk job, these are great things to keep in your car or in your purse so you can make healthy choices on the go!
I'm back! Finally! A brand new recipe and video coming at ya from my brand new kitchen! It was so much fun to film this recipe on my new "set". My beautiful kithcen was built and customized for me by my amazing fiance and soon-to-be brother in law. They poured their hearts - and all their spare time - into building this kitchen exactly how I imagined it. After countless hours spent looking at tile, sinks, faucets, and deliberating over backsplash and appliances, Mitch and I are finally able to relax and enjoy it and make ourselves at home. There's no better feeling! Once that final nail was hammered and the last piece of backsplash had set, I knew it was time to come up with a great recipe for you. Here we go - Mushroom Flax Lentil Burgers!
I've been eating a lot of vegetarian meals lately, and I always feel amazing afterwards. Not overly full, just satisfied, light and ready to tackle the rest of the day. I know people sometimes worry that a meatless meal won't fill them up, but these burgers are super hearty and tasty - you won't miss the meat at all! This recipe is filled with tons of protein, fiber, and healthy omega-3s. You can pile your burger with your favorite toppings, cheese, and condiments and eat it on a toasted bun, or you can ditch the extra carbs and serve it on top of a salad. I went bun-less and ate mine with dijon mustard, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and arugula, and it was just perfection.
Here's everything you need to know to make your new favorite Meatless Monday dinner:
Recipe inspired by Cooking Light
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped white onion
2 garlic cloves - minced (or 2 frozen Dorot Garlic Cubes)
1 1/2 cups pre-cooked lentils (I used the Trader Joe's Steamed Lentils)
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
4 whole wheat crackers (I used Ak-Mak)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
Any toppings you like - goat cheese, parmesan, dijon mustard, arugula, avocado, tomatoes, onions . . .
Serves 3 - 4.
What do you think? Are you ready to try out some lentil burgers? Mitch and I couldn't get enough of this recipe - it's definitely going to be on repeat in our new kitchen!
After polishing off every last bite of this beautiful salad yesterday (and practically licking the plate clean), I can tell you that there is absolutely nothing better. The juicy summertime peaches and tomatoes from the Farmers Market are insanely good, and when you pair them with creamy buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, and a delicious sherry vinaigrette... it's perfection.
I've been completely addicted to peaches and nectarines this summer, and either one will do the trick in this salad. Feel free to get creative and substitute your favorite cheese (burrata, anyone?), maybe a sprinkle of toasted nuts, or a garnish of chopped fresh mint . . . no matter what, it's going to be amazing.
I was inspired to make this when I was perusing through the Cooking Light site right before I went to bed - computer on stomach, looking at food photos per usual. Seeing their Summer Peach and Tomato Salad woke me right out of my half-asleep browsing. I substituted baby buffalo mozzarella balls (bocconcini) instead of feta to make it more of a caprese style and it was absolutely DELISH.
Lightly adapted from Cooking Light Summer Peach and Tomato Salad
1/4 cup sliced red onion
3 ripe peaches or nectarines - pitted and cut into cubes
2 cups heirloom cherry or pear tomatoes - halved (I used red and yellow cherry tomatoes)
1 cup baby mozzarella balls (bocconcini) - halved
2 tbsp fresh basil - chiffonade
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1. First mix all the dressing ingredients.
2. Chop all salad ingredients and mix together in a salad bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well.
3. Optional: Drizzle your favorite balsamic reduction over the top.
4. Add salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with extra basil over the top.
How easy is that? Make this for your next dinner date with all your girlfriends and they'll just die over it. Let me know what you think of this beauty!
It's that beautiful time of year again . . . the sun is shining, peonies are in season (and all over my apartment), and Farmer's Markets are bursting with tons of my favorite fruits and veggies (hello cherries, peaches, and juicy tomatoes!). I just can't get enough! All the produce looks more vibrant and the flavors are soo much tastier and fuller! I can't think of anything better to do than celebrate the brink of summer with some ridiculously fresh and flavorful summer salads. I got inspired when the June Cooking Light arrived in the mail - the whole issue is dedicated to summertime cooking and one salad in particular instantly made my stomach start growling . It was the Crab, Corn and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing. It just screeeaamed freshness, and after craving it for days on end, I finally went to the grocery store and got all the ingredients.
I have to say, it turned out even better than I had expected. It's a refreshing, light, and clean salad, and Mitch and I could not get enough. I think I'm going to have to remake it again tonight. The lemon, fresh basil, juicy tomatoes, sweet white corn, and of course the crab are unbeatable together. The combo of flavors is just perfection.
I started with the ingredients in the Cooking Light recipe, added avocado (duh!), and served it over a bed of baby kale. I changed up the preparation a bit and the whole process - from chopping to veggies to making the dressing to putting it together on the plate - took less than 10 minutes. TOTAL success. Get ready because this is about to be your go-to salad for the entire summer.
Adapted from Cooking Light's Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad
Serves 4 (as an appetizer salad)
Doesn't get much easier than that, right!? For more summer cooking ideas, be sure to check out Cooking Light!
Last week, I took a little break from my computer while vacationing with my family in Costa Rica. It was an absolutely amazing trip and the perfect opportunity to rest, relax, disconnect, and catch up on my reading and family time. Somehow with all that sleep and time in the sun, I still managed to come home with a cold. I'm sure a lot of you can relate to feeling under the weather right now - 'tis the season for getting sick! And when I'm sick, the last thing I want to do is spend time cooking dinner and cleaning up a bunch of dishes. Trying to decide what easy meal to make for dinner, I flipped through the latest issue of Cooking Light for inspiration and started drooling over their recipe for Chickpea and Sausage Minestrone. There's just nothing better than a hearty, healthy soup when you're sick, and an added bonus is that it's usually just a one-pot clean-up. I happened to have most of the ingredients on hand, but instead of sausage, I decided to use my favorite Trader Joe's Frozen Turkey Meatballs. These are great because they're low-cal, high protein, super tasty, and really easy to throw a soup while it's cooking.
This soup did not disappoint. It's got SO much flavor, a little spice, fresh herbs, and tons of veggies - exactly what I was craving. And what's better with soup than a crunchy, cheesy crostini to dip in the hot broth? I did my own take on the Cooking Light Ciabatta Parmesan Toasts to make them just a bit lighter and more flavorful, and they turned out so delicious. Best part - this whole meal was done in about 20 minutes.
This soup is definitely my new go-to. Whether I'm sick or not, it's just the perfect hearty, healthy comfort food. Feel free to use the Turkey Meatballs like I did, or substitute ground turkey or sausage, or go meatless for a healthy vegetarian dinner.
Ok let's do it, Turkey Meatball Minestrone, ready set go!
July 28th, 2016
December 6, 2016
Lindsay is a Holistic Nutritionist who lives for a great meal, a beautiful farmers market, daily matcha lattes, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. Weeknight Bite is Lindsay's happy place where her nutrition practice, simple recipes, and wellness tips come together to inspire you to live a healthy, balanced life.