Warm Weather Eats & A Summertime Recipe

Happy Hump Day!

Whereas last week seemed to drag by, this week seems to be flying by. No complaints here! I know as the school year draws to a close, I’ll be begging for things to slow down so I’ll have time to get all my loose ends tied up, but for now, I’m happy for things to keep on speeding by!

Speaking of the school year ending and summer approaching, do y’all have those certain foods that just scream warm weather to you?

For me it’s always fresh fruits and veggies. But, there are also a few other foods and drinks that just radiate summertime to me.

1. Watermelon

2. Corn on the Cob – mmm!

3. anything on the grill

4. Strawberry Shortcake

5. Peaches

6. Popsicles – yep, I’m still a kid

There’s actually a place in my hometown called Steel City Pops that sells all kinds of unique popsicle flavors. It reminds me of the cupcake or froyo craze, only in popsicle form. You should definitely check them out if you’re every in the Birmingham, Alabama area. They have a few locations throughout town.

7. Lemonade

8. Cold pasta salad

Speaking of pasta salad, I recently shared a picture with you of a new recipe I tried. I know, I know… it wasn’t very nice of me to tease you like that. Today is your lucky day though, a new summertime recipe is commin’ atcha!

Balsamic Chicken, Tomato, Basil, and Pasta Salad

How’s that for a long name?! Don’t be alarmed though, the name may be complicated, but I assure you, the recipe is simple and delicious!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

– 1 bag Refrigerated Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Breast Strips

*** OR, if you’re not lazy like I am, 12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast – cooked***

– 1 1/2 C. cherry tomatoes, diced

– 2 C. baby spinach, chopped

– 4 tbsp. basil, finely chopped

– 1/2 C. red bell pepper, diced

– 1 Tbsp. olive oil

– 1/2 C. balsamic vinaigrette

– 1-2 Tbsp. dijon mustard

– salt and pepper to taste

– 8 oz. dried pasta (I recommend rotini or farfalle)

Directions

1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box, and drain.

2. While pasta cooks, chop tomatoes, spinach, and basil.

3. Dice bell pepper and sauté in the olive oil for 2-4 minutes, or until tender

4. Dice chicken breasts into strips.

5. Stir together pasta, prepared vegetables, and chicken.

6. Combine balsamic vinaigrette, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to make a sauce/dressing to pour over pasta.

7. Stir dressing into pasta mix until dressing coats all pasta, vegetables, and chicken and all ingredients are well combined. Serve immediately, or chill an hour+  for flavors to really set in.

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This was absolutely delicious and is most definitely one of my new “go-to” summertime recipes! I served mine alongside a pretty awesome salad topped with feta and crushed almonds.

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Doesn’t get much more “summery” than a meal full of fresh fruits and veggies, served chilled on a warm Alabama night.

Let me know if you give the recipe a try. You’re gonna want to, I promise!

Linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons today for WIAW. Go check out all the goodness!

Let’s Chat…

1. What foods scream summer or warm weather to you?

2. What’s a new recipe you’ve tried recently?

3. Best thing you ate last week? For me…DEFINITELY that pasta!

 

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WYAW–What YOU Ate Wednesday

Hi friends! Have I mentioned recently how thankful I am for all of you? I love interacting with you on a daily basis. Y’all are amazing!

So, as I’ve mentioned, I tend to eat the same foods for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and even dinners. So, being as I’m short on time today, AND the fact that I need some food inspiration, instead of a normal WIAW post, I want to know what YOU ate. So, perhaps I should call this a WYAW (What YOU ate Wednesday) post. <—Thanks for hosting the party again this week, Jen!

Below are the foods I normally seem to eat day in and day out. So, please, help a sister out and give me suggestions – what did YOU eat for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner? What are some of YOUR favorite foods? I know I can count on you to give me some suggestions for changing things up. Smile

Breakfasts – usually oats, PB, and berries.

Photo Mar 29, 8 36 37 AM

Lunches – whole wheat bagel, hummus, turkey, lettuce, tomato, served with triscuits and a cookie

Photo Apr 12, 11 40 49 AM

Snacks: Typically a Luna bar for an afternoon snack and a heaping handful of trail mix for a nighttime snack.

Photo Apr 08, 6 05 55 PM

Dinner – Guacamole chicken salad pitas served with roasted sweet potatoes (I can’t seem to get enough of this! Mmmm!) This is definitely one of my favorite meals in my tiny  rather small dinner meal rotation.

  Photo Mar 27, 8 23 26 PM  Photo Apr 08, 8 26 26 PM

Alright…suggestions, please?! Ready, go! Open-mouthed smile

Let’s chat…

1. Obviously – Give me suggestions for changing things up!

2. What is one food/meal that you seem to eat over and over?

3. What was the best thing you ate this past week? For me, it’s definitely my guacamole chicken salad!

Some Old, Some New–WIAW {4/16/14}

I don’t know about you, but I’m super glad today is Wednesday! I swear, all day yesterday I kept thinking today was going to be Thursday.

Hopefully you all got your taxes mailed off before yesterday! I literally had to run to the post office on Monday while my class was at PE to mail off one last form that John needed mailed. He started his own corporation this past summer, and needed to send off some paperwork dealing with that. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, huh?!

Anyway, since today really is Wednesday, it’s time to share some eats from this past week in another edition of WIAW. If you’re unsure what What I Ate Wednesday is all about, check it out here. Jenn started this weekly get together so we can share recipes, meal ideas, and snacks. It is NOT meant as a way to compare your eats to others.

Breakfast

Breakfasts have remained the same. I cook up some oats, top them with a tablespoon or 2 of peanut butter, and stir in a freaking ton a hefty dose of sliced strawberries. Of course, there’s always coffee too, but that goes without saying. Winking smile

Photo Apr 08, 7 50 55 AM

Recycled photo – but I promise, it looked the same.

Lunch

Nothing much changed in the lunch department this week either – same ole thang.

I know I said I was going to challenge myself more in this area, but you guys, I’ve been so.tired recently, that I’m just doing what’s quick and easy. Since I can make this lunch on autopilot, I’ve just been going with it: whole wheat bagel, topped with hummus, deli turkey, lettuce, and tomatoes, eaten with triscuits, and a dark chocolate chip cookie. Simple. Delicious. A win in my book!

Photo Apr 12, 11 40 49 AM

Snack

I changed it up a bit this week. Instead of my beloved Luna Bar, I went with a chocolate brownie Clif Bar. So good! I knew I needed to add in a more calories to my day. I had this bar on hand and know it’s a little more calorie dense than the Luna bar, so I decided to give it a go. Pretty darn delicious!

Photo Apr 15, 6 35 01 PM

Dinner

I had an epic dinner fail due to some poor planning on my part. But, I rebounded pretty well, if I do say so myself!

I’d planned on making a new-to-me recipe, Courtney’s Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers. Well, I neglected to realize that they needed to cook on HIGH in the crockpot for 5-6 hours. Seeing as I don’t ever get home from work before 4pm, and would rather NOT eat dinner at 9 or 10pm (I’d actually like to be in bed then!), I had to improvise.

While I was bummed about not having the stuffed peppers, I decided to see if I could replicate the taste and texture on the stove top. Instead of stuffing the peppers with diced onions, diced tomatoes, and ground turkey, I cooked all the “insides” of the stuffed peppers in a skillet on the stove. I then diced up the peppers and tossed them in the skillet along with the other ingredients.

Photo Apr 15, 7 41 53 PM  Photo Apr 15, 7 59 39 PM

I served the mixture on top of rice, instead of having the rice inside of the peppers, along with the other ingredients. I must say, while it wasn’t a stuffed pepper, I was delightfully pleased with the outcome!

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I also had a salad topped with slivered almonds, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Snack

For a few extra needed calories, I had a snack before bed of a handful (or 3) of trail mix.

And that, friends was my day of eats. A few new items mixed with some of my favorite go-to’s.

Let’s Chat…

1. What’s something NEW you’ve tried this week?

2. What are some of your go-to meals and snacks?

Accountability and an Extra Delicious Dinner

It’s another wonderful Wednesday around here! I like Wednesdays since it means we’re now on the “downside” of the week, coasting into the weekend. Smile

Yesterday was another pretty normal day of eats. I tend to get repetitive with my meals and snacks – especially on weekdays when things are more hectic. On one hand, it’s great because on those crazy days when I don’t have any brain power left, I don’t have to think about what to pack for lunches or snacks. I just pack what I have on hand, and what I  normally take.

However, on the other hand, I think it can be harmful for me. Since I have a history of disordered eating, and in fact still definitely consider myself in recovery, eating repetitive meals and snacks lets me stay in my “safe zone”. It allows me to remain comfortable, and doesn’t challenge various “food fears” that I may have.

That said, I DO plan to begin to challenge myself more – especially with lunches and snacks. However, today’s WIAW doesn’t showcase any challenges. Soon enough though, and I need you guys to keep me accountable!

Enough talking, let’s hop to it. I’m featuring my eats from Tuesday – a pretty normal day overall, with an extra delicious dinner!

Breakfast7:45am

This week I have morning duty at school, meaning I have to be in my designated position at 7am in order to supervise kids before they’re allowed in their classrooms at 7:45. Yes, some kids really do get there at 7am. Crazy, right?! Since I was busy “supervising” I didn’t have a chance to eat my pre-made breakfast until a little later. Needless to say, after being awake since 5am, I was about to eat my arm off! I learned my lesson. I will be grabbing something to nibble, pre-breakfast, from here on out.

Photo Apr 08, 7 50 55 AM

Lunch – 12:11 (yes, that’s correct, 12:11)

Oh the joys of school lunch. 22 minutes, and not a minute longer… Needless to say, I’m good at shoving my lunch down quickly. Since I couldn’t really whip out my camera at the lunch table with my kiddos, you’ll have to use your imagination and this recycled photo. It was pretty much exactly the same. But in Tupperware and plastic baggies.

Photo Mar 25, 12 35 39 PM

Snack – 4pm

Obviously I was too hungry to take a picture pre-snack. Winking smile Scarfed down my favorite Luna Bar to tide me over, and because I needed a few extra calories.

Photo Apr 08, 6 05 55 PM

Dinner – 7:30

Oh my, it was a delicious one! I’ve made this chicken salad a handful of times recently and I cannot get enough. It is so delicious! I served the chicken salad in a whole wheat pita alongside some roasted sweet potatoes that I seasoned with season-all, cumin, and chili powder (don’t knock it until you try it!).

Photo Apr 08, 8 26 26 PM

I’m not a mayo lover, and never have been. And that’s one reason that I love this chicken salad. It’s also so fresh, which is exactly what I always seem to crave this time of the year. Since I’ve been loving this chicken salad so much, I thought I’d share the recipe with you!

Healthy Guacamole Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

– 2 cups shredded chicken

– 2 roma tomatoes (or about 1- 1 1/2 cups of diced tomatoes)

– 1 6 oz. container of plain greek yogurt

– 3 tablespoons guacamole

– garlic powder to taste

1. Shred your chicken and set aside.

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2. Dice up 2 of these bad boys.

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3. Add in greek yogurt yogurt, guacamole, and garlic powder. Stir to combine.

Photo Apr 08, 7 50 39 PM  Photo Apr 08, 7 53 05 PM

4. Let it sit in the refrigerator until chilled. Serve up and enjoy!

I think this would also be delicious on toasted bread, as a sandwich, or served atop a bed of romaine or spinach.

Snack – 9pm

I ended my day with a little bedtime snack of trail mix, which consisted of a mix of almonds, cashews, and craisins.

It was certainly a great day of eats! Smile

Let’s Chat…

1. Do you have any “fear foods”?

2. What’s the most recent, delicious thing you’ve made?

Hour-By-Hour {WIAW 2/26/14}

Thank goodness we’ve reached the middle of this week. Y’all, as fast as last week flew by, I feel like this week is going by just as sssllllooowwww. Whew!

I thought today, I’d share a glimpse into my day, hour-by-hour. Some of my favorite bloggers have done similar posts recently, and I enjoyed reading them, so I thought I’d play along too.

I’m also linking up with Jenn today! A big thanks to her for hosting this little What I Ate Wednesday party each week.

5:15- Alarm goes off. I hit snooze. Finally, about 5:30-ish I roll out of the bed.

5:45 – Peruse blog-land a few minutes while washing my face, brushing teeth, etc. and finally hop in the shower.

6:45 – Exit the bathroom, prep breakfast for John and myself, gather my things

7:00– head out the door

7:20 – Arrive at school, sign in, get coffee, make copies, and enjoy breakfast while checking e-mails.

7:50 – open the door to let kids in and get the day started.

8-11:15 – Teach, Teach, Teach,

11:15-12 – Kiddos go to PE. I organize my mess of a desk, file papers, prep for my afternoon class, check and return e-mails, and try to get ahead in planning for next week.

12 – Pick up my 2nd block class (I only teach Reading/Language Arts and my pair teacher teaches Math, Science, and Social Studies).

12:11-12:34 – (How’s that for a crazy, specific, super short lunch time?!): LUNCH!!!

Sorry it’s not a legit lunchtime photo. As much as you want to see the cafeteria and the kids I eat lunch with, it’s kinda frowned upon to whip out my phone at lunch. 😦

12:45-3: Teach, Teach, Teach

3: Clean up and organize my room, and prep for the next day.

3:40 – Head out the door for home! Text John on the way home and ask him if he cares if we have leftovers/ make whatever you want from the fridge for dinner. He’s game. Score!

4: Enjoy a snack of a Chocolate Dipped Coconut Luna Bar, hot tea, and water. And epic combo that ain’t old yet!

4:45: Change clothes and kick my own butt doing this workout from Heather, over at a Fit N Cookies. It was a good one!

5:30 – Hubby gets home. I chat with my mom on the phone for a while since I haven’t talked to her in days! John gets in his own little workout.

6:30 – Begin typing this post

7– Head into the kitchen to make my lunch for tomorrow, and do the little meal prep necessary – aka pop things into the microwave.

7:30 – Answer a few texts from my sister

7:45 – Finally sit down to dinner. I had some of this leftover Cheesy Quinoa Bake, with a side salad topped with feta, almonds, and balsamic vinaigrette. SO good!

We watch The Bachelor, yes- I got sucked in again, and I play on Instagram for a while.

9:20 – Get up for a snack of about 1/2 a cup of this trail mix.

10 – Get ready for bed, make sure clothes are good to go for the next day, and read for a while in bed.

10:45 ish – Lights out, and after tossing and turning, I’m out too!

A slower day than normal, but a good one nonetheless!

Let’s Chat…

1. What time do you typically get up/ go to sleep? Do you get enough sleep? I know I don’t!

2. What time do you typically eat lunch? Mine’s the same M-F…Saturdays tend to be a little later. 

3. Do you eat a nighttime snack? I do most every night! 

4. Tell me something about your day! 

Suggestions Welcome! WIAW {1/22/14}

Good Wednesday morning to you!

*totally typed 1/22/13 into the title the first time. Sheesh! *

The past two days have been busy around here. I’m definitely more than ready for things to slow down. I feel like ever since the Holidays, things haven’t quuuiiiiitte gotten back to normal. I’m ready to finally get back into the swing of things and restore some “normalcy” to my routine.

Since things have been busy, you’re going to see some “repeat offenders” in the WIAW line-up. Soooo…let’s hop to it.

Liking up with Jenn today over at Peas and Crayons. Jump on over to join in on the par-tay. 

Breakfast – 7:40 ish

Breakfast was, yet again, oats topped with berries. My stomach has been off lately, so I’m having a hard time wanting to switch things up in the food department. I know that oats will treat me kindly in the mornings, so I’m not willing to risk being uncomfortable all morning. Classroom full of 8 year-olds + an uncomfy tummy does NOT = a happy me! 😉

Lunch – 12:11

Lunch at school is from 12:11 – 12:34. How’s that for exact?! Lunch looks usually looks like this most days.

  

Hummus, turkey, lettuce, and tomato topped whole wheat bagel, served with mini-triscuits (cause minis are better), and a dark chocolate and oats Kashi cookie.

Snack – 3:45

Chocolate Drizzled Coconut Luna Bar

Always delicious! Obviously, I’m not sick of them yet! But, I’m open to change. So, do you have any suggestions?!

What are some snack bars that you like? They need to be easy to grab and eat on the go. I never know where I’m going to be in the afternoons, so something I can stash in my purse is necessary.

Dinner – 7:45pm

Gees…any suggestions for scooting my dinner time earlier?! Since lunch time is set, I usually eat my snack some time after school. By the time I get kids out of my room, get things back in order and ready for the next day, it’s usually about 3:30 or 3:45 by the time I can eat something quickly. Unfortunately, that puts me not really too hungry for dinner until 7-7:30 ish.

Throw everything into a pot, and let it go to work!

Being that my disordered eating still likes to creep in, it’s hard for me to eat when I’m not hungry. I have a hard time justifying eating dinner if I don’t feel a tad hungry. Any tips you have regarding hunger and such are happily welcomed!

Anyway, take a look at this pasta I whipped up! It’s called Italian Wonder-Pot, and it’s seriously the easiest, quickest thing to put together. Plus, it’s delicious!

Snack – 9:30

About 1/2 C. of trail mix including: almonds, cashews, and craisins. Mmmm!

Unfortunately, since dinner is late, that puts my nighttime snack late too. I know I need to eat a little something before bed so I get enough calories in for the day. Sadly though, by the time I eat something and get in bed, it’s usually anytime from 10-11pm. Obviously, with a 5am wake-up, this is not working too well, to put it lightly.

So, again…suggestions welcomed! 🙂

I hope you have a WONDERFUL Wednesday! I’ve got an appointment with my therapist and nutritionist this afternoon after school. I always feel so encouraged after meeting with them.

Suggestions about moving my eating times earlier?!

What is a “repeat offender” that often pops up in your meals/snacks?

Thursday Thoughts #3

Hey, hey, hey! It’s Thursday, which means tomorrow is Friday! Not sure why, but for some reason this week has seemed to drag by for me. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it’s the first time I’ve worked an entire week since early December?

Anyway, it’s that time of the week…Thursday Thoughts! Thanks for hosting this little par-tay Amanda! Head on over to Running with Spoons to check out more Thursday Thoughts

1. I ate my lunch in the car yesterday, out of tupperware. And I must say, it was lovely. Peace and quiet is hard to come by at lunch time, so I’ll take it when I can get it!

2. Why did I eat lunch in the car? I was chosen by my administrator to attend “Turn-Around” training once a month at the county level. That basically means I go hear a bunch of education mumbo jumbo and then am responsible for “turning it around” and teaching the other teachers at my school what I learned about.

While it does stink to have to make sub plans once a month (don’t get me started on how much extra work THAT can be), it is nice to get out of the classroom occasionally and actually get a lunch break. Since I had some errands to take care of today, I didn’t get to go to lunch with the other teachers at the training, but usually that’s a treat too!

3. My husband is a tech genius. Tuesday night, he installed a new outlet that goes with this home automation gadget thingy I got him for Christmas. I obviously have no clue what it does (I just knew he asked for it!). But I think he can remotely control it from his phone…from ANYWHERE!

There are so many things you can buy to go with the device…thermostats, light bulbs, motion sensors, and so on.

4. I’m trying out a new recipe tonight. It’s called Italian Wonder-pot. I found it on pinterest, and it claims to be quick, easy, AND delicious. I’ll let ya know how it goes!

5. I did Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 level 1 dvd yesterday. While it wasn’t too challenging, it did make me work hard and get nice and schwety! After a day of meetings, it was nice to move some. I hear level 4 is intense. We’ll see!

6. I also did this butt workout I saw Ashley pin on Pinterest.

Holy glutes! I hope I can get up once I sit down tomorrow!

7. Like I mentioned earlier, Monday night John and I went to watch my little brother play basketball (and my dad is his coach). It was SO fun chatting away in the stands with my mom and watching the boys play. My mom and I never run out of things to talk about.

          

About 5 minutes after the game began, one of my sisters who goes to Auburn University (gag…Roll Tide all the way!), which is about 45 minutes from where we were, walked in. What a fun surprise!!

John and I post-game with my brother Jake and sister Anna. And no, I usually don’t over dress this much for basketball games. 😉 No chance to change after work.

8. Did you guys watch The Bachelor on Monday night? I had to record it on the DVR since we were at the basketball game, but we watched it Tuesday night. What did y’all think? That one girl was crazy!!! And Lucy…um, bold much?! I won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it yet.

Who are your favorites? I like a lot of them. I thought Kat was cute, and Clare too. I also like Chelsea and surprisingly, Renee too.

9. I’m a gum addict. So, if you ever feel like sending me some gum, feel free! My favorites are Extra Sweet Watermelon, Peppermint, and Spearmint. 🙂

10. Well, on that note, I’d better go get my “Wonder-pot” on!

And, because my brother’s dog is the cutest, I’ll leave you with this…

Have a great Thursday friends!!!

1. Bachelor chat – GO!

2. Favorite new recipe you’ve tried?

3. Favorite gum flavors?