best b/l/d of the week.

Happy (Good) Friday!
If you’re wondering what b/l/d is, it’s just breakfast/lunch/dinner. I shortened it since it seemed a little long in the title.

I picked up something new this week during my grocery run - Engine 2 Sprouted Ancient Grains Tortillas and while I was in that carb aisle english muffins sounded so good (as did just about everything else on that shelf) so I also grabbed a pack of the Rudi’s spelt. It’s been well over a year since I’ve bought those, but I’m so glad I did. And these two carbs definitely helped highlight the best meals I had this week.

engine 2 & rudis

I’ve been eating those english muffins every morning and loving em. Best (and only) breakfast this week has been a toasted english muffin every morning, slathered with ricotta cheese + four fruits jam. I had half a jar of part-skim ricotta cheese leftover from making lasagna last week that desperately needed to be used up. This is probably the best way to do so.

english muffin breakfastricotta & jam english muffin

If you haven’t tried ricotta + jam, I highly suggest you to. So. good.

And the best lunch was definitely this turkey wrap.  Honey dijon + smashed avocado spread onto an engine 2 tortilla and topped with turkey ham (which is basically just 100% turkey made to look like ham) before wrapping it up and sitting it on a bed of baby arugula. I actually ended up stuffing the arugula into the wrap after taking that photo. On the side I had about 1/3 of this Evolution Super Green juice that I picked up at Starbucks with my free drink or food reward. It tasted like a dessert so it was the perfect way to wrap up lunch.

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I’d rate these tortillas an A-. They’re fairly hard to begin with, but after a 45 second spin in the microwave, they softened up and had a nice chew to them. Very hearty for sure.

Best dinner this week was my veggie box dinner. Out of laziness and hunger pangs (I blame it on those), I popped into Whole Foods on my way home one evening and put together a box with the best looking veggies at their food bar. I lovee their roasted cauliflower and cabbage salads. On the side I also enjoyed a sweet potato I pre-baked in a batch earlier in the week.

sweet potato + salad

I’d like to say I’m better at meal prepping, but baking a few sweet potatoes on Monday is about as good as it gets. And making kale salads.

Have a fantastic weekend! Especially if you get today off!

PS – apologies for the funky looking borders on some of the photos. I updated wordpress and now I can’t seem to figure out how to take them off! Any suggestions/advice would definitely be appreciated :)

citrus kale power salad.

kale salad

There’s nothing quite like the crunch of a fresh citrusy salad. Especially one that gives you an extra kick of power and energy mid-week. This kale salad is also perfect to make at the beginning of the week to accompany dinner or lunch throughout the week. It’s so easy to make and pairs with just about anything. It’s also a great deterrent to reaching for something a little less healthy in the refrigerator, staring back at you telling you to make good choices.

kale salad

citrus kale power salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • ~ 9 cups coarsely chopped kale, take off the stems and keep them for juicing
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil*
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup (good) parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: ½ cup fresh mandarin orange slices, pith removed
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry kale leaves. Remove stems, keeping them for juicing if you would like.
  2. Roughly chop the kale and place in large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and honey. Taste to make sure it's to your liking. (too sweet - add more lemon juice, too sour - add more honey)
  4. Pour dressing into the bowl of kale and massage the kale for approximately 5-10 mins, or until you feel like it has been thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Toss in pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and mandarin oranges if using.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
Notes
* Can substitute the extra virgin olive oil with coconut oil if you prefer.
The longer it sits, the more the flavors meld. Feel free to make ahead and store in refrigerator.

Sometimes, I’ll take out a few handfuls of kale and add some other greens (spinach, arugula, baby chard) instead. I know some people find the texture of kale too fibrous so substituting a few cups of softer greens for the kale helps to take out some of that chew factor, while keeping it nutrient dense. The massaging of the kale with the dressing also helps to loosen the texture of those kale leaves. Kale is kinda like our muscles when we’re tense – just needs some massaging to loosen up ;)

A few of the many benefits to eating Kale:
- full of antioxidants
- anti inflammatory
- prevents cancer
- contributes to lowering cholesterol
- supports detoxification
- fiber
(Learn more here.)

Try to get in an extra serving of veggies today :) Have a great day!

dc weekend // 04.14.14

dc weekend

I’m back from my weekend in DC and it was an absolute blast. Thank you Iris for being such an amazing hostess and sharing some of your favorite DC sites + eats with us.

We literally could not have asked for a better weekend weather-wise to explore the city. It was sunny and warm enough for shorts! Saturday began at Ambar in the Capitol Hill neighborhood where we enjoyed a relaxing brunch. They feature a tapas type brunch menu (a mix of Balkan and American cuisine) with small plates, which means an opportunity to try more foods.

ambarambarambar

After brunch we stopped by the flea market nearby before headed toward the National Mall to see the cherry blossoms that officially reached their peak bloom this past weekend. We weren’t the only ones out to enjoy the weather and cherry blossoms because it was absolutely packed out there. We slowly made our way around the tidal basin which was literally encircled by the lush, light pink blossoms. Absolutely stunning. The crowds even thinned out in certain areas giving us an opportunity to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the area.

cherry blossomscherry blossom 
cherry blossomscherry blossomscherry blossomcherry blossomcherry blossomcherry blossom

Sunday began with another brunch at a cute little wine bar, Vinoteca, out in the U Street Corridor. I ordered the Pan con Tomate And Sunny-Side Up Eggs, a rustic piece of toasted thick cut french bread, topped with tomato, manchego cheese, and a sunny side up egg, with mixed greens on the side. It was such a simple dish, but so, so good. I definitely want to recreate it at home in the near future. We also ordered a plate of french toast with lavender honey and ricotta for the table so we could indulge in a bit of the sweet side of brunch as well.

vinoteca

After taking our time brunching, we hoped on the metro and wandered over to Georgetown for some shopping. But really, our main purpose was to visit Baked and Wired – home to some super scrummy cupcakes and sweet treats.

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baked and wired

The fun & quirky name labels coupled with my indecisive nature made choosing a cupcake an incredibly hard task. I ended up asking for the most popular cupcake, and was promptly sold on a strawberry cupcake. Right before paying I decided I also wanted to take home a uniporn rainho cupcake (vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting). Who can resist pretty blue frosting & unicorns? There were so many other flavors I would have loved to try. I’m happy to report that the strawberry cupcake was awesome. It’s probably for the best that I live over a thousand miles from this bakery.

baked and wired

That about sums up my short time in DC. It feels like we ate our way though the weekend, but we also made sure to explore the different neighborhoods and catch at least a glimpse of some of DC’s most monumental sites.

Now it’s time to get back to the grind. And make healthy choices. ;)
Have a great week!

Some other places worth a visit in DC:

Cork: A cute little neighborhood wine bar that offers wines by the bottle, glass, or nightly flights, which is a good way to get a taste of a few different wines at once. Also offers a  menu of with an ample amount and variety of small plates to nosh on. The french fries are incredibly crisp and tossed in a deliciously aromatic mix of lemon, garlic, & parsley.

Sushi Taro: A daily changing menu full of fresh sushi and sashimi. Make sure to make reservations because this places fills up quick!