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My Morning Through Snack Daily Food Routine (shed those lbs & still eat well)!

Well, it’s official.  I’ve finally decided that to make my goal weight by mid-June I am officially going to have to kind of… err… sort of… uugghh… maybe diet a bit!  Yuck!  That tasted bad evening writing down that hateful “d” word.  I made it 6 months while staying on target or even getting ahead of my chart and have hit the longest of plateaus over the past 3 months.  If I plan on “making it” to the finish line I have to actually cut back a bit.  I’ve also just revamped my workout.  In previous posts I had mentioned the glory of Jillian Michael’s Shred It Level 1.  Well, now it’s Level 2 in addition to her 6 Weeks to 6 Pack Abs (if you want to die a painful workout death… do this. It’s killer! But amazing), and I am taking hour long Latin dance classes every Friday. I feel the combo should get me to where I need to be in the short bit of time I seem to have left.  Sigh, sigh, and sigh again… however, I feel great!  So, that’s the silver lining, and the hope for total “svelte-ness” is my dangling carrot.  In my mind it’s super model status, however, reality strikes in the form of a possible thinner thigh, arm, and a true dream of 50% of Jillian Michael’s abs.  We dream big here my friends.  I mean BIG.  I do indeed, dare to dream.  

I start every morning with my G’s Oatmeal Smoothie recipe. My little man (Greyson) LOVES them, as do my husband and myself. Berries mixed with oatmeal, coconut milk, and yes, spinach! Don’t let this scare you!  The spinach is masked by the coconut and the sweet fruit.  An incredibly healthy and satisfying start to your day.  Not to mention, I make it the night before so the oats have been fully soaked, it will be cold without having to add ice, and let’s face it, one less step to slow down your morning.  Sold!  Next, I arrive at work and have a small snack of almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and a clementine.  I love all of them and they keep my belly content until a later snack or early lunch. I swallow this down with a cup of chrysanthemum tea with a dash of cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and an ever-so-small squeeze of agave. This is incredibly refreshing and easy to drink. After this, I return to the caffeine with a Jasmine Green Tea (I have a black coffee as soon as I arrive at work).  For a small lunch or hefty snack, I have a whole wheat slice of bakery bread loaded with all kinds of delicious seeds, and I smother it in my homemade Classic Hummus after smashing some avocado on the bread (sometimes with a tomato or some cheese as well-all depends on how crazy I feel that day!).  If I want to make this more of a lunch, I will have a heftier slice of my bread and it’s toppings plus I’ll tack on a salad or soup, like my Pesto Mushroom Salad or my Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup.  I’m not trying to pack the calories in but I definitely want to feel satisfied and really enjoy my food. What’s eating if we don’t love it?!  My goal is to fuel my body with the “best” and enjoy it in the making. Simple, happy, delicious. Join me in my not-so-new morning mantra!
My Morning Through Snack Daily Food Routine (shed those lbs & still eat well)!My Morning Through Snack Daily Food Routine (shed those lbs & still eat well)!My Morning Through Snack Daily Food Routine (shed those lbs & still eat well)!My Morning Through Snack Daily Food Routine (shed those lbs & still eat well)!

Classic Creamy Hummus

Pesto Mushroom & Chick Pea Spinach Salad

Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup 

My Morning Through Snack Daily Food Routine (shed those lbs & still eat well)!My Morning Through Snack Daily Food Routine (shed those lbs & still eat well)!My Morning Through Snack Daily Food Routine (shed those lbs & still eat well)!My Morning Through Snack Daily Food Routine (shed those lbs & still eat well)!

 

Robert Moses Sandwich (Eggplant Feta Mediterranean Sandbo)

Robert Moses Sandwich (Eggplant Feta Mediterranean Sandbo) is a sandwich from my childhood. Therefore, this will be one of my more poetic posts.  If you’re from LI or the greater LI, NY area you are already familiar with summers at the beach… Robert Moses was my every weekend.  An amazing Long Island beach that from an aerial view could be hard to see the sand, as it was packed to the brim with bodies & umbrellas.  People having picnics and playing paddle ball, body surfing, boogie boarding, reading magazines, and listening to classics on the radio, all whilst under a sea of umbrellas…everyone there for the same reason, enjoying the same sun, sand, and sea.  To sum it up, it was AMAZING!  Coconut ice cream bars from the vendors strolling along the beach and for those who could imbibe, cocktails masked in coolers poured into a classic Solo cup.  Does life get better than this?  Truly, I think not.  If yours does, please share because I want to know your secrets! I digress, this is where Robert Moses Sandwich (Eggplant Feta Mediterranean Sandbo) was born. My mother would pack the “herd” loads of food for the day.  We were always going strong in the number department!  At this point, 4 children plus friends made for an even better beach day. My mom always made these amazing sandwiches.  They were made “special” just for the beach. They were delicious to begin with, but I am more than sure this only helped to make them taste even more scrumptious! Eggplant cooked with oregano, feta, tomato, red onion, spinach, fresh basil, and a fresh baked baguette- simple, easy, and amazing! I’ve taken some liberties with my mother’s sandwich but that’s only because I cannot remember it in its true form.  In Beijing, I am most definitely not having beach weekends, however, in the Spring season, when pollution allows, Chaoyang Park is pumpin’ and we are a’ picnickin’! Robert Moses Sandwich (Eggplant Feta Mediterranean Sandbo) was our last bite of delish at the park. Sharing my childhood tastes and memories with you… 
Robert Moses Sandwich (Eggplant Feta Mediterranean Sandbo)Robert Moses Sandwich (Eggplant Feta Mediterranean Sandbo)Robert Moses Sandwich (Eggplant Feta Mediterranean Sandbo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Moses Sandwich (Eggplant Feta Mediterranean Sandbo)
Serves 2
Robert Moses Sandwich (Eggplant Feta Mediterranean Sandbo) is comprised of eggplant, feta, tomatoes, spinach, fresh basil, red onion, and herbs. Great beach grub!
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium sized baguette (fresh bakery style is best)
  2. 1 handful of spinach
  3. 1/4 C chopped fresh basil
  4. 1/2 small red onion (I keep them in rings)
  5. 1 small ripe tomato-sliced
  6. 1 small eggplant-sliced
  7. Feta cheese - to taste (I like a fair amount)!
  8. 1 tsp lemon (1 slice) or lemon juice (optional)
  9. Oregano to taste
  10. Salt & pepper to taste
  11. Olive for pan & for brushing on the baguette
Instructions
  1. Cook your eggplant with lemon (optional), salt, pepper, and oregano for about 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness
  2. Slice open baguette and brush each side with olive oil. Sprinkle on salt/pepper, and more oregano if you desire (I do)!
  3. Place the feta, onion, and basil on the bottom. Next, top with tomato, eggplant, and then spinach
Notes
  1. Beer pairing: (In your beach cup of course)!
  2. Cold Amber or ESB
Wine Pairing
  1. Sauvignon blanc OR Chardonnay will both do here!
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Green Goddess Cheesy Quesadilla

I have been on a quesadilla kick lately.  Honestly, they’re amazing no matter what you do to them.  Years ago when I lived in Oregon my roommate got a quesadilla maker.  Now, I’ve always been partial to a quesadilla cooked in a pan, as my father had always made them for me this way, however, for this month long quesadilla binge that occurred post purchase of the quesadilla maker many moons ago, I was in love.  We’re talkin’ breakfast, lunch, and dinner quesadillas.  We couldn’t be stopped. Everything from eggs, tofu, every cheese in the rainbow, veggies, veggie meat and more had a place in a quesadilla at one time or another. Needless to say, I went on a quesadilla hiatus after this.  Ahhh… old OR and quesadilla memories.  Makes me smile! I’ve been creating all kinds of craziness lately in a tortilla or two.  The Green Goddess Cheesy Quesadilla reminds me of the old farmhouse Oregon days. Yes, we lived on a 30 acre farm.  It was awesome!  I miss my gigantic gardens more than words can say.  I loaded it with mozzarella cheese (it oozes as you slice it open…yum…), basil, tomato, spinach, and then topped it with smashed avocado & salt, and a pesto rosso (sun-dried tomato pesto).  It was beyond fabulous, deliciousness to the extreme! Hence why I’ve given it “Goddess” status. Just to top it all off, it took ten minutes.  Easy, quick, amazing. Crack open a nice Peroni and mangia! 

Green Goddess Cheesy QuesadillaGreen Goddess Cheesy QuesadillaGreen Goddess Cheesy Quesadilla

Green Goddess Cheesy Quesadilla
Yields 1
Green Goddess Cheesy Quesadilla is loaded with mozzarella, basil, tomato, and spinach. Topped with avocado smash & pesto rosso. An Italian twist on a classic quesadilla.
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 whole wheat tortilla
  2. Approximately 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella
  3. Large handful spinach
  4. Small handful basil - chopped
  5. 1 small ripe tomato -sliced thin
  6. 1/4-1/2 ripe avocado
  7. 2 heaping Tbl pesto rosso
  8. Salt & pepper to taste
  9. Dried oregano to taste (optional)
  10. Olive oil for pan
Instructions
  1. Oil & heat pan
  2. Add spinach, salt & pepper, and oregano - cook for about 1 minute. Remove from heat
  3. Place tortilla on pan. Add cheese, then basil, spinach, and tomato. Fold tortilla in half
  4. Heat each side until golden brown and cheese is fully melted
  5. Let cool for a minute or two and slice in half
  6. Top each half with smashed avocado and salt followed by your pesto rosso
Serve with
  1. A cold Peroni or beer of your liking
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Crazy Delicious Veggie Couscous

Crazy Delicious Veggie Couscous is easy, incredibly healthy, and can be made in just ten minutes!  I’m always trying to make something well-balanced, healthy, and yummy for my wee man, Lil’ G.  Now that he is eating what I eat, this has cut down my Sunday cooking by almost 2 hours, as I like to make two big meals for the week for the both of us.  Not to mention, I’m also always attempting to create dishes from the leftover ingredients in my refrigerator. What’s that annoying phrase I keep posting?  Oh yes, waste not!  Clearly, I am a pusher of this personal philosophy.  Food truly is a terrible thing to waste. Onwards, I was hangin’ with Greyson looking for a dish to make for us. I loaded the floor with pots, pans, spoons, and a variety of other kitchen items for G to play with whilst I took to the stove.  After all, he has just turned 17 months.  Can he entertain himself?  Sure.  For a little bit of time. However, when I give him the opportunity to play with things he doesn’t get to use daily, this increases my odds of a more lengthy self-play session giving me the opportunity to cook with ease!  Of course we play and “compare” creations throughout, too. 😉 

Crazy Delicious Veggie Couscous is a perfect choice for an easy and healthy dinner any day/night of the week.  Pumpkin, lentils, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, and herbs make this dish a tasty meal. Naturally, feel free to add any veggies you may have left over in your fridge. Please comment and let me know how your creations came out.  Share a pic and let’s chat about ideas for other couscous delights!  Enjoy!

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Crazy Delicious Veggie Couscous
Serves 6
Crazy Delicious Veggie Couscous is whole wheat couscous with pumpkin, carrot, lentils, mushrooms, spinach and herbs. Quick, easy, and healthy!
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C cooked whole wheat couscous
  2. Olive oil for cooking
  3. 1 shallot - diced
  4. 3 gloves garlic - diced
  5. 1 can lentils
  6. 1 C pumpkin - diced
  7. 1 carrot - diced
  8. 1 C mushrooms - sliced (I used cremini)
  9. 1 handful spinach leaves
  10. Dried parsley, oregano, and basil to taste
  11. Salt & pepper to taste
  12. Optional: Parmesan cheese for topping
Instructions
  1. While your couscous is cooking, heat a large pan with oil
  2. Add shallot and cook for 1 minute
  3. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds - stir
  4. Add carrots, pumpkin, and some salt & pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes
  5. Add mushrooms, lentils, and herbs, more salt & pepper if needed. Cook for 2-3 minutes
  6. Add spinach and any more herbs you would like. Stir for 30 seconds.
  7. Place in individual bowls. Serve
Optional
  1. Garnish each bowl with parmesan cheese & dried parsley
Notes
  1. Serves 6 adult sized dinner bowls.
  2. Optional: Cook your couscous with a veggie broth cube
Wine pairing
  1. White - Viognier
  2. Red - Syrah
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