Breakfast + Lunch + Snacks

While we’re much more diligent about planning out dinners the rest of our meals tend to be more of a fly by night operation. While I do take these other meals into consideration while planning for the week I could probably be more specific. Perhaps that would eliminate the scratching of the head at 5:30 in the morning…hmmmmm.

I thought I’d share some of the things we turn to more frequently than not for these meals since I always love fresh ideas from somewhere else. I’ve been finding a lot of inspiration on Instagram with the #Whole30 hashtag. We’re not doing Whole 30 specifically but we’ve been adhering to some of the pillars of it. I’ve eliminated almost all dairy and have had very little grains and sugar. The weekends are more relaxed and I do still indulge.

 

Breakfast

Trader Joes has awesome frozen oatmeal or oatmeal/quinoa (the only grain I’ve really been eating!) I like to top with a dollop of peanut butter or Justins Vanilla Almond butter and some berries.

Hard boiled eggs with fruit on the side

Avocado toast if I’m eating bread

Fried eggs with avocado slices and tomatoes

Green Smoothies (my favorite is kale, pineapple and coconut water with a scoop of vanilla protein powder)

Egg Cupcakes! (eggs + veggies baked in muffin tins)

 

Snacks

Nuts! We love nuts from Trader Joes. Lately it’s been cashews and pistachios

Lunchmeat wrapped around bell peppers or with guacamole

Grapefruit (I am ADDICTED!)

Guacamole cups from Costco with veggies to dip

Hard boiled eggs

Apple and peanut or almond butter

 

Lunch

I try to roast 3-4 chicken breasts and vegetables on Sundays and divvy it up for lunches. I’ll usually throw it together for a salad. I’m loving roasted beets, carrots and squash right now.

Tuna salad! I like to make a mediterranean version without mayo.

Roasted sweet potatoes with chicken and veggies on the side

Soup (Another thing I’ve been trying to whip up on the weekends is a pot of some kind of soup. Lately our favorite has been butternut squash. Super simple and delicious!)

If I’m eating grains I’ll make up a big batch of farro or quinoa at the beginning of the week. I’ll then add it to salads.



lunchmediterranean tuna salad + steak with veggies + fruit with muffin cups and avocado + quinoa veggie salad with arugula + sweet potato farro and arugula salad + roasted broccoli and butternut squash.


What do you do for breakfast + lunch + snacks?

Brrrrrrr!!!!

Good Morning and hello Monday! We woke up to temps of 27˚ outside this morning! What the what?! I was so not prepared for the bitter chill that temperatures that cold bring into the house. Especially when you don’t turn on the heat (whoops!) Luckily we learned that our house warms up quickly and our heat does indeed work.

After a long and busy weekend all I wanted to do last night was to head out to a bar and grab some dinner and watch football. I wanted nothing to do with the kitchen or dishes. We were both beyond tired though and opted to stay in, throw on jammies and watch more Breaking Bad. We are seriously addicted and almost done with season 3.

We decided on Gyoza Soup, otherwise known as clean out the freezer/fridge soup. It’s so good and so filling. I’m glad I made more than enough for lunch leftovers today! You can tune this soup to your liking and add in pretty much anything that sounds delicious or any vegetables that are about to turn. The first time we made this soup we used fresh spinach which was really yummy!

When the soup was done cooking I set up the perfect picture and snapped away. Then I set my phone aside and quickly dove in only to later realize that my phone didn’t actually take the pictures. My iPhone 5S is giving me a run for my money these days and it’s only 6 months old. Guess I’ll have to make a trip to the Apple Store this week.

Enjoy your Monday!

gyoza soup

1 medium onion {cut in half, then sliced thin}

4 carrots {peeled and sliced into circles}

2 celery stalks, diced

6-8 large mushrooms, sliced

8-10 Trader Joes frozen Gyoza {we used pork this time}

1 container Trader Joes organic chicken broth

2 cups water

1/2 bag Trader Joes frozen Kale

salt

pepper

ginger powder

garlic powder

hoisin sauce

olive oil

sauté onions in olive oil until they are slightly translucent, then add in carrots and celery. cook until veggies begin to soften. add in mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown. season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and ginger powder {we didn’t have fresh ginger or I would have used it and I was too lazy to deal with fresh garlic!}

add in the container of chicken broth and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. once boiling add in the frozen kale and bring back to a boil. allow the soup to boil for 5-8 minutes depending on the size of the kale pieces. add in gyoza and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes. don’t let the gyoza over cook!

serve immediately! this is delicious when you drizzle in hoisin sauce but just as good without it. we had some leftover rotisserie chicken so I shredded it and placed a little bit in each of our bowls. I ladled the soup on top and when we sat down to eat everything was nice and hot. this soup was super filling, we each only had one bowl!

have some fun with this recipe and add in vegetables to your liking. Trader Joes has other gyoza as well, there’s a vegetarian version and a chicken one too.

InstaSunday!

life rearranged

Linking up with Jeannett again! Somehow I had planned on doing an InstaFriday post and am just now sitting down to write it. Things have been crazy busy around here, but I’m not complaining! I managed to snap a lot of photos last week so this post will probably be a tad bit long. Have a good week!

I went to Chicago last weekend and FINALLY got a chance to meet this handsome little man. Love him, absolutely love his momma. Was bummed it was such a short visit! I hate having friends with babies so far away.

Norm! I got to visit with another set of some of my favorite friends and Norman is their awesome dog. How cute is he? There are some awfully cute family photos as well but those are yet to be revealed. Yay photo shoots!

Waiting for the P family to show up at the zoo I snapped this picture of my boots that I am in love with. It was seriously the most perfect fall weekend in Chicago. Blue skies, yellow leaves and it smelled like fall. Love that.

No trip to Chicago is complete without a stop at Molly’s Cupcakes. Seriously. They make the best cupcakes in the city. They’ve been on Cupcake Wars (and they won!) Now get up and go get a cupcake if you’re in Chicago (or New York.) If only they would open up shop in Denver…This is their lemon blueberry chesesecake cupcake. Woah. Delicious! I also got a carrot cake one to take home with me!

I do love living in Denver but I miss this view from time to time. How pretty is the Wilmette Beach?

Back home in Denver to chilly temps and nasty weather.  A big pot of soup seemed like just the thing to make for dinner. This soup was a vegetable “garbage” soup with any veggies I had in the fridge. Kale, spinach, carrots, zucchini, celery and potatoes along with a can of cannelini beans and a can of diced tomatoes. It was delicious!

And then it snowed. Yep. Not just a light dusting either. Gotta love Denver weather. I for one was actually excited. There’s something magical about the snow. Then I tweeted this picture to Sam Champion at Good Morning America and got back “BEAUTY” as a reply. So fun!

Our backyard covered in snow….

The husband and I had a date night! We went to YardHouse (yum!) and then to a preseason Nuggets game. They sucked. However we did get to see the Clippers play and they are awesome.

Go Nuggets or something like that 🙂

I think I had more fun taking pictures then watching the Nuggets get their butts kicked. New photo phone obsession? Vsco cam. Have you checked it out?

I ended my work week with this tasty glass of Glider Cider with a friend I’ve known since I was probably 4. How fun!

Yum. Yum. Yum. Warm apple cider donuts! While these weren’t as tasty as the doughnuts from Curtis Apple Orchards they did the trick yesterday. All I’ve been wanting is an apple cider doughnut. I think that I’m going to have to go buy a doughnut pan from BBB and attempt to make some of my own.

Cooking, Soup and Cookies!

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my job? Not only because it’s awesome but because I know that I will have the time to cook dinner. From scratch. Any night of the week. Sure things come up and we get busy, I’m tired, don’t feel like it, etc. but I have the ability to do so and that makes me so happy. We had friends over last night for a low key weeknight dinner party. I had one friend ask how I manage to pull things like that together and another friend marvel at my food plan for the week on the fridge. That my friends is the key to my current kitchen success. Sure it takes time, a little extra effort and it doesn’t always work out. It’s a start though and I know the longer I continue to do so the more success I’ll have!

It begins with me browsing through all the weekly sale ads, taking note of proteins that are on sale and then sitting down and finding recipes that match up. OR if my freezer is stocked with protein then I go through that. However since we’ve recently emptied said freezer it’s the weekly sale ads for now! Last week I rounded up my recipes, what I have on hand and what I needed from the store. After grocery shopping on Friday and having a few new ideas in my pocket I spent Saturday cooking and baking.

It was cold, SNOWY and just a good day overall to spend in the kitchen. Also a good day for soup! So I decided to try to recreate Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar soup because it’s amazingly delicious but not cheap. I have to admit that Panera’s soup still takes the cake. Perhaps it just needs more tweaking or perhaps they use some sort of secret ingredient but I didn’t love this. It was way way way to thick for my liking and the taste wasn’t the same. It made a good, quick lunch but I’ll probably have to keep searching for recipes.

 

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 medium chopped onion
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half cream
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh broccoli
1 cup carrot, julienned (I used 3 carrots, peeled and grated…)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I omitted this step, I’m not a huge fan of nutmeg…)
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
In a large pot sauteé the onions in the butter…
Remove onions from the pan. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly!
Continue stirring consistently and add in the half & half. Simmer on low for a few minutes while continuing to whisk.
Add in the chicken stock and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally!
Add in broccoli, carrots and sauteéd onions. Continue to cook for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
After the vegetables have cooked you can choose to pureé the soup or leave it chunky. I used my immersion blender and slightly pureéd it so the chunks of broccoli weren’t as big. Add in the shredded cheese and stir. If you’re adding nutmeg also add that in. At this point I decided that the soup was really thick and that I was going to add in another cup of chicken stock. I heated it up before adding it to the pot. I probably would add more next time.
Serve with a nice crusty piece of french bread like at Panera and top with a little extra cheese. Yum!
Serving soup in Anthropologie bowls makes me happy 🙂 Well let’s be honest, serving anything in these bowls makes me happy. And following up soup with the tastiest chocolate chip cookies ever? That makes for one awesome Saturday!
Happy Thursday! Come back tomorrow to see my InstaFriday post!