Tag Archives: Lunch

Muffins at Midnight

15 Jun

Midnight is a great time for making muffins.  A few months ago I discovered these vegan zucchini date muffins on ChoosingRaw.com. They are absolutely delicious. I’ve been craving them for a few weeks and now that I’m running more I want to have plenty of clean post-run snacks around.

Zucchini Date Muffins

Zucchini Date Muffins

Not sure that midnight was an ideal time to bake these but I will be so happy when I have them after today’s boot camp.

Also, since it’s gotten warmer I’ve been obsessing over Arugula. This is the third day in a row that I’ve prepared this salad.

ShrimpBlackberrySalad

Shrimp & Blackberry Salad

Ingredients:
1 cup organic baby arugula
1/3 cup organic blackberries
1/2 organic zucchini, sliced
1 small Persian cucumber, sliced
2 TBS green onion, chopped
1 lemon wedge
6 wild caught jumbo gulf shrimp
1 tsp coconut oil

Saute the shrimp in coconut oil over medium-high heat, toss all ingredients in lemon juice and enjoy. This salad takes less than 10 minutes to prepare.

For all of you muffin lovers I leave you with, Muffins, a clip by one of my favorite comedians.

Which seasonal fruits and veggies are you craving right now? Do you have a favorite muffin flavor or recipe?

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Random Report: Balls, Hancock and Lunch

3 Mar

Remember that bowling party I went to a couple of weeks ago? Remember how ballsy I was and asked to order off the menu? Well my request was granted and I ordered a grilled steak salad with extra arugula. They prepared it just how I like it, medium-rare and dressing on the side.

Steak Salad

Steak Salad

It’s a good thing I made the request because it was an after work party and I was very hungry by the time I arrived. The buffet food included pizzas and fried mac and cheese balls, which I would have resorted to eating. This way I got to stay on track with eating clean.

This past Sunday was my second Hustle Up the Hancock race. I participated last year and ran up 94 flights of stairs in 20:30. I had a goal of 18 minutes and I DID IT! My final time was 18:05.

Hustle with my trainer

Hustle with my trainer

This is all thanks to my trainer. He had me on a weight-lifting, stair-climbing regimen specific to meet my goal. There’s no better feeling than accomplishing a fitness goal after training hard!

It’s been a busy week this week and I haven’t had much time to prepare meals and shop for groceries, luckily where I work (in the heart of Chicago) I have an abundance of  lunch spots to choose from. Yesterday I chose Freshii and ordered off their Freshii 15 menu. The Freshii 15 is a menu of low-cal, portion appropriate options created by Ashley Koff, RD. I like that they have this option, I think it helps if you aren’t confident with choosing healthy off a menu on your own. It does the work for you.

Freshii 15 menu

Freshii 15 menu

The thing that I really like about Freshii is that everything is customizable and they have almost endless combinations for creating soups, salads and wraps.

Freshii Boostii-q salad

Freshii Boostii-q salad

For lunch I chose the Boostii-q salad because it has all the ingredients I would use at home: greens, bbq chicken (skip the cheese), avocado, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, lemon juice and a splash of Sriracha (which I have never put into a salad before but now is going to become a staple salad ingredient).

I can’t wait to recharge this weekend. I’ll be registering for races, planning meals, hitting the gym and creating some running plans for the spring and summer.

What have you been up to this week? How do you manage eating healthy during a busy week?

Raw Delicious Decadent Dessert

25 Feb

I was able to salvage all of the photos from the memory card from the camera I killed earlier this week! I am very excited to share with you an amazing dessert that I made twice last weekend: sliced pink lady apples with slices of raw Gruyère cheese topped with raw honey and chopped pecans.

Raw apple dessert

Raw apple dessert

It’s 100% raw. 100% delicious. 100% decadent. 100% healthy.

It’s very easy to be this fancy. As long as you have some small plates you can easily impress your friends and family at your next dinner party.

Chop up some apples, place cheese slice on top, drizzle with raw (unheated) honey and sprinkle with raw pecans. The sweetness of the honey, the savoriness of the cheese and tartness of the apples create a unique blend of flavors that won’t be forgotten. I’m already thinking of variations of this with pears, brie, slivered almonds and honey.

Do you have a favorite raw dessert? I’d love to try it.

P.S. I’ve been so immersed in sharing delicious healthy food that I forgot to mention that I am doing the Hustle Up the Hancock on Sunday, 95 flights of stairs baby! I did the climb last year in 20:30 and my goal is to finish in 18 minutes. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

Curried chicken chili and clubbing

11 Feb

What do chicken chili and clubbing have in common? Absolutely nothing but I’m going clubbing this weekend and I’ve been enjoying chicken chili all week.

As years go by people’s interests and hobbies change. One of my favorite activities used to be clubbing. Yeah, I used to be a Jersey-Shore-fist-pumping-dance-your-butt-off-til-5am-at-the-club type, I’m not kidding. For some of you who have met me over the last few years or who have been following this blog you may find it hard to believe. In my late teens through mid-20s I was at every club opening and DJ night in Chicago and even traveled Europe visiting the biggest clubs in Berlin, Mykonos, Athens, Madrid, Ibiza, London and Barcelona.

These days I prefer to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, go to the gym and cook delicious meals at home. My latest invention in the kitchen is Curried Chicken Chili.

Curried chicken chili

Curried chicken chili

Ingredients:
2 free-range chicken breasts, fat trimmed and pounded
1 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp green curry paste
1.5 TBS coconut oil, divided

1 medium onion diced
1 medium red bell pepper diced

28 oz can of no-salt added diced tomatoes
1 TBS cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp curry powder (this is optional and to your preference, I added sweet curry powder)
15 oz kidney beans

Step 1:
In a shallow dish brush lemon juice over the chicken until covered on both sides. Then sprinkle with chili powder and cumin, covering both sides. Spread green curry paste on the chicken with butter knife. Cover and let stand in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2:
Preheat skillet to medium and add half of the oil. Sautee chicken until cooked through, about three to four minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and let cool. Once cooled dice the chicken into bite sized pieces.

Step 3:
In a medium-sized pot over medium heat sautee onion and red bell pepper until soft, about three minutes. Add diced chicken and mix ingredients.

Vegetables and Chicken

Vegetables and Chicken

Add tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, coriander and curry. Mix all ingredients and bring to a boil. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

With Tomatoes

With Tomatoes

Step 4:
Add beans, mix thoroughly, cover and cook for 15 more minutes. You can serve it straight out of the pot or over a bed of quinoa. Enjoy!

Are there any other chili-loving club heads reading my blog? If you’re out there what are your favorite dance tracks?

Full flavor and food philosophy

9 Feb

My food philosophy… what I eat is healthy, tastes great and gives me the energy I need for future activities. In other words when I prepare meals I make sure that they are nutritious, bursting with flavor and won’t put me in a food coma after I’ve eaten them. From time-to-time I eat strictly for flavor, but for the most part this is it folks and most of what you’ll be seeing from now on is food prepared with this intention.

Eating this way has gotten me in tune with my body and what it needs. I look at it as tapping into survival instincts, well modern-day survival instincts. I don’t eat huge portions so it’s important for me to eat every couple of hours otherwise my body starts to get tired and my mind slows down. Those are both no-nos in a fast-paced corporate environment since I want to move ahead and be productive.

Yesterday’s lunch was no exception to my philosophy. This shrimp, navel orange and quinoa salad kept me full and full of energy. It was a party for my taste buds and treat for my body. It does look festive, doesn’t it?

Shrimp, navel orange and quinoa salad

Shrimp navel orange and quinoa salad

Ingredients:
1 tsp coconut oil (or preferred cooking oil)
4 raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder

1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup raw spinach, lightly packed
1 peeled navel orange, sliced
(if you can get your hands on an heirloom navel orange, DO IT!)
1 small bunch walnuts
2 small colored beets, sliced

Step 1:
Drizzle lemon juice over shrimp. Then sprinkle with paprika, garlic powder and chili powder. Let stand for 5 – 30 minutes.

Step 2:
Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Sautee shrimp for approx. 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. The shrimp will turn pink. Remove from skillet, set aside.

Step 3:
In a bowl or plate place quinoa at the bottom of the dish. Layer spinach on top until quinoa is covered. Add the rest of the ingredients and top with shrimp. And enjoy!

Do you notice a difference in energy levels depending on what you eat? Which natural foods are your favorite energy boosters?

Eating Away from Home, Part 2

25 Nov Ceviche

This past weekend I went to San Francisco again. If you’re wondering what I’m doing there, I’m taking a course over five weekends. The class is about exploring what I want my contribution to be in the world. Every since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be known for changing the world somehow and that is what I’m up to when I travel to California. I’ll be going again three more times, so I will have a chance to perfect this system.

The majority of the time while in San Francisco I am going between the hotel room, the lobby and the conference room. It’s very similar to a work conference. I made some changes to what I did last time and overall we had a better experience, but the process could still use some improvements.

Prior to leaving on the trip my roommates and I took the following steps:
• Made sure that there would be a fridge in the hotel room before arrival
• Made a grocery store list
• Made a list of raw recipes that can easily be prepared in a hotel room
• Found a place to get raw milk
• Brought a cutting board from home

We ate breakfast at the hotel on Friday:

Oatmeal with bananas, raisons and peanut butter

Oatmeal with bananas, raisins and peanut butter

For lunch I returned to the bagel shop up the road for that same half bagel. You may be experiencing deja vu if you’ve read the other post, but I promise things will change as you read along.

Turkey, veggies and hummus on a bagel

Turkey, veggies and hummus on a bagel

Later in the evening on Friday we went to Whole Foods to pick up our food for the weekend. Some of the items we picked up:
• Fish (for ceviche)
• Kale
• Spinach
• Celery
• Tomatoes
• Avocados
• Snap peas
• Mushrooms
• Ginger
• Bananas
• Apples
• Dried cherries
• Bread
• Hummus
• Strawberries
• Blueberries
• Peanut Butter
• Jam

Here are some of the highlights of what we ate. One of us brought a hand-held blender and we were able to make smoothies in a pitcher.

Raw honey, raspberries and raw milk smoothie

Raw honey, raspberries and raw milk smoothie

We put so many vegetables and fruits in this ceviche I don’t think I could ever make it the same again. Some of what we put in here are red peppers, celery, raw dried cherries, mango, avocado, macadamia nuts and fish soaked in lemon juice over night.  It was delicious.

Ceviche

Ceviche

I also ate this roast beef sandwich.

Roast beef sandwich

Roast beef sandwich

I almost forgot about this kale salad with snap peas, tomatoes, avocado, lemon juice and Bariani olive oil (which is so amazing that I could dedicate a whole post to this olive oil).

Kale salad

Kale salad

On the last day as a treat I picked up this exquisite almond croissant, you can’t see it but there was almond paste practically oozing from the center.

Almond croissant

Almond croissant

I was able to eat as well as I do at home. It did require some extra effort and I’ll be honest sometimes I wanted to go downstairs to the hotel restaurant and order whatever, but sticking to the original plan had many rewards. I made excellent food choices every day while away from home, it was fun to prepare food in a small hotel room with friends (especially stuff that tastes good) and I had more energy than I’ve ever had while traveling.

There are a few things I could improve upon for next time:
• A more detailed grocery store list (we had too many left overs)
When at home I don’t usually write how much I need of something because I cook for two people and have recipes planned, here I need to be more specific or get a meal plan together.
• Getting in half a day early
• Asking a friend from San Fran to bring us a knife
• Having recipes ready to prepare on site
• Bring Tupperware

Overall this was a great adventure and I can’t wait until January to do it again. Hope that everyone has a great Thanksgiving! I’ll be running a 10k Turkey Trot and then I have two Thanksgivings to attend in the afternoon.

Lunch Adventures at the Chicago French Market

3 Oct

I just realized it’s been over a  week since I posted anything, it feels like forever.

I have a recap planned from my trip, but I had an amazing lunch experience this past Friday that I would like to share first. I went to the Chicago French Market with my coworker Amanda.

Amanda at the Chicago French Market

I had heard about this place a while ago and have put off the 15 minute walk from work for about 6 months. We took a look at the different vendors online. (As a side note, that’s a great thing to do if you’re going to a place like this. Pick your place and your entrée before you get there so you’re not tempted by all of the goodies. The place was swarming with bakeries and pastries so having a set place to eat makes it very easy to stay on track and not stray from making healthy choices.) After consideration and some intense browsing we decided that we wanted crepes for lunch.

The first thing we did when we arrived is we walked around to see the different vendors. This place reminds me of the Chelsea Markets in Manhattan but with its own Chicago flair. I felt like a tourist in my own city. There were organic produce stands, live lobsters, fancy soups, more than a few bakeries, a raw food stand, a flower shop, just to name a few.

We ate at Flip Crepes, each of us ordered a savory lunch crepe.

Flip Crepes

Flip Crepes

I ordered the Provencal, with turkey, herbs, spinach, tomato and Parmesan.

Provencal Crepe

Provencal Crepe

It was perfect. I love savory dinner crepes and I have Provencal herbs at home. Guess who’s going to make the same wrap at home sometime very soon? 😀

The table area was really cool, a little on the cheesy side but that was part of its charm. The walls were painted in a way to look like we were sitting beneath the Eiffel Tower and there was french music playing in the table area. What we didn’t know until we finished eating and getting ready to leave was that there was a French woman playing the accordion live, right there!

Live Accordian

Live Accordion

This was the best lunch adventure I’ve had in a while, I felt like I was on vacation smack in the middle of my mundane workday. It really helped break up the monotony of the day and inspired some new recipes. Amanda and I will be back to the French Markets, and next time I will have a raw food adventure.

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