Category Archives: Salads

WIAW #19: Addicted

Halfway through the week!

I’m definitely looking forward to going home tonight.  The forecast seems promising so far in both Louisville and Chicago.  I’ve had between 2-5 hour delays in my last 4 audits sooo I’m really hoping things stay on schedule!

What I Ate Wednesday

Since it’s Wednesday, it’s time for another WIAW post.  If you’re not familiar, you can read about it here.

Breakfast

After a nice and sweaty Crossfit session, I grabbed something to eat from the little coffee shop at the hotel while I got ready for the day.

iced coffee banana barney butter

Iced latte and a banana, plus a packet of Barney Butter almond butter I brought along in my suitcase.  I normally drink my coffee sans cream or sugar so the latte was a nice change!  Creamy and delicious 🙂

hotel breakfast

Once I was showered and ready, I headed down to the hotel restaurant for a real breakfast.  Omelet with mushrooms, green peppers, and onions, homestyle potatoes, and biscuits.

Lunch

After working for a few hours, my coworkers and I broke for lunch.

panera thai chicken salad

And I was happy the group decided on my favorite, Panera!  Same as usual – thai chopped chicken salad and whole wheat baguette on the side.  Plus that delicious new Hibuscus iced tea I had last time on my audit.

Afternoon Snack

By the time we got back to the hotel, each of us went back to our rooms to regroup for about an hour or so before meeting back up for dinner.

yogurt apple nut mix

I played some games on my iPad while snacking on this yogurt apple nut mix

handful of yogurt mix

Butter toffee peanuts, yogurt raisins, honey roast sesame sticks, honey peanuts, almonds, and dried apples.

fairway solitaire

Sooo lets get back to the games I was playing on my iPad… my friends, Darcy and Lauren, recommended this game, Fairway Solitaire.  They warned me it was addicting and were they ever serious!?  I’ve been playing it every spare minute on this trip!

photo (1)

It’s also maddening!  This little gopher laughs at you when you play poorly! But I still can’t stop!

Dinner

Finally, I took a break and met up with the other two for dinner.  We headed to the Fourth Street area of downtown Louisville and settled on another brewery called Gordon Biersch.

mediterranean chicken gordon biersch

I ordered the Mediterranean Chicken entree, consisting of grilled chicken breast with a bruschetta topping, a side of sauteed veggies and jasmine rice.  It was quite tasty!

Bedtime Snack

planters heart healthy mix

Back at the hotel, I continued playing Fairway Solitare and sometime in the midst of my games, I was hungry again so I snacked on some mixed nuts.  I played this maddening game until I physically couldn’t keep my eyes open and called it a night!  Can we say addicted??

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Have a great rest of the day!

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Madhouse on Madison

Dave and I had a little Sunday Funday yesterday!  We began our morning with some engagement pictures, courtesy of my dad and his lovely assistant (my mom), and then headed downtown Chicago.

dave and i at roots

Our first stop was Roots, one of our very favorite restaurants down the street from where we used to live.  We usually would have dinner at least one night a week there, so we’ve been missing it like crazy since we moved!

roots build a salad menu

I, of course, ordered my usual creation from the “Build A Salad” menu.

roots salad

Baby mixed greens, roasted red peppers, red onions, tomatoes, pistachios, goat cheese, grilled chicken and cilantro vinaigrette.  Oh, how I’ve missed this salad! 😉

madhouse on madison 2

After hanging out at Roots for a couple hours, we headed over to the “madhouse” (aka United Center).

hawks game girls

We met up with our friends, Will and Julie, and Julie’s sister and mom, and also ran into several other familiar faces.

hawks game

hawks score

hawks score 2

hawks score 3

The Hawks played great!  Upon arriving at the stadium, everyone was handed red Stanley Cup Playoff towels and every time the Hawks scored, the crowd went wild!

dave and i hawks game

Go Blackhawks!

Cooking Scrapbook – Curried Chicken Salad

TGIF!  Hope everyone’s week went by smoothly and quickly.  I’m definitely ready for a 3 day weekend!

I planned on posting yesterday while I was in St. Louis for an audit but technology wouldn’t allow it.  We are in transition at work for new laptops and I was selected to test out one of the new models to ensure there aren’t any problems.  I brought it with me and sure enough, major glitch #1: neither the wireless network on the laptop, nor my AT&T wireless card gave me internet access.

But I’m back in town and all good in the (internet) hood!

Cooking Scrapbook

Just a little reminder, a few years ago I put together a cooking scrapbook for my mom.  It includes various recipes from my childhood through current (or since I moved out a couple years ago).  I thought it would be a neat idea to cook my way through those recipes and remember all the memorable times I spent growing up and being in the kitchen with my mom.

Here’s a little recap of ones I’ve done so far:

Curried Chicken Salad

cooking scrapbook curried chicken salad

Since I thought summer was finally here last week, I was in the mood for a crisp, refreshing, light salad so I dusted off the old scrapbook and decided to make this chicken salad.

curried chicken salad 4

I even enjoyed a big bowl of it outside… when it was still nice out!

curried chicken salad 5

Note the sarcasm?  I’m a little bitter than I had to dig out a coat this morning since it’s in the 40s around here.  Ridiculous!

curried chicken salad 1

Anyways, this salad is light and refreshing. It would be perfect for a summer picnic!

curried chicken salad 3

It does contain curry (which can be strong in some dishes) but the flavor here is subtle and gives it a nice touch.

Curried Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

3/4 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt

3/4 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 cups diced cooked chicken

1 1/2 cups red seedless grapes, halved

3/4 cup celery, sliced

1/3 cup green onions with tops, thinly sliced

2 Granny Smith apples, diced

1/3 cup pecans, chopped (I ended up using half pecans, half walnuts since I ran out)

Butter lettuce leaves, optional

Directions:

1.  Mix together yogurt, curry, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

yogurt mix for chicken salad

2.  Combine all chopped ingredients in a large bowl (chicken through pecans).

curried chicken salad ingredients

3.  Add yogurt mixture to large bowl and stir until evenly coated.

curried chicken salad mixed up

4.  Serve over large butter leaves, if desired.

curried chicken salad 2

 

Enjoy your weekend and Happy Memorial Day!

WIAW #18: Bowls of Goodness

Gooood morning!  Hope you’re having a fantastic week so far!  Only a couple more days before the long Memorial Day weekend. 🙂

Before I head off to St Louis for an audit this week, here is another What I Ate Wednesday post.

Breakfast

I’m pretty much obsessed with this scrambled egg combination and I’ve been eating it up like crazy lately.  Since I’m taking a few days off to recover, I have extra time in the morning to prepare a hot bowl of eggs.

scrambled eggs avocado feta cholula

Three eggs scrambled with a splash of milk and dash of salt and pepper, topped with half a diced avocado, lots of crumbled feta cheese, and few shakes of Cholula hot sauce.

mcdonalds coffee

When I arrived up at my desk, I had a piping hot cup of coffee from Mickey D’s waiting for me, courtesy of one of my coworkers. 🙂

Mid Morning Snack

I dove straight into work and was able to accomplish a lot without checking the clock every 20 minutes which definitely made the first half of the day go by in a flash!  Love days like those.

roasted red pepper hummus snap peas baby carrots - Copy

My bowl of eggs fueled me nicely throughout the morning and my only indication that it was past 10 am were the growls escaping my stomach.  I munched on baby carrots and snap peas dipped in roasted red pepper hummus while I continued working away at my desk.

Lunch

I finally broke for lunch and went downstairs to eat with a few coworkers.

blackened chicken salad 3 - Copy

Holy cow.  This salad was DE-licious!

blackened chicken salad - Copy

Spring mix, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, craisins, macadamia nuts, goat cheese, and blackened chicken (leftovers from Monday night’s dinner).

newman's own lite sun dried tomato - Copy

I poured this Lite Sun Dried Tomato dressing into the bottom of the container along with the cucumbers so the rest of the salad remained fresh.  When I was ready to eat, I shook everything up so the dressing could evenly distribute.  Very tasty!

Afternoon Snack

The other day Jewel was offering two 1 lb containers of strawberries for $4.  Although I intended on purchasing blackberries instead, the decision was a no-brainer – a tiny clamshell of blackberries for $3.98 vs 2 lbs of strawberries for basically the same price.

And now I’m stuck eating 2 lbs of strawberries! 😉

white chocolate macadamia butter strawberries yogurt bowl 2 - Copy

I snacked on a bowl of Greek yogurt topped with cut-up strawberries and Reginald’s White Chocolate Macadamia Peanut Butter.

reginalds white chocolate macadamia peanut butter - Copy

A perfect afternoon pick-me-up!

Dinner

The positive side to skipping a morning workout is getting out of work a bit earlier.  I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening relaxing and enjoying some leisurely cooking in my kitchen.

pretzels and pepperjack cheese snack

I snacked on a few Italian Bistro Pretzels from my Nature Box this month and pepperjack cheese slices while I worked in the kitchen.

veggie garlic pasta bowl 2

I finally sat down to a big bowl of pasta.  I layered baby spinach on the bottom, which wilted down nicely from the hot fettuccine, along with steamed broccoli and cauliflower, roasted garlic dressing, red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese.

veggie garlic pasta bowl

I had a real craving for marinara sauce which is what inspired me to cook up the pasta, but I failed to realize that I had no sauce in the pantry until the very last second.  Instead, I tossed the pasta lightly in roasted garlic dressing and it tasted great!

trader joe's dark chocolate almonds

I cuddled up with blankets and my furry friend to watch TV and munch on a few dark chocolate almonds.

trader joe's dark chocolate almonds 2

These things are dangerously good!

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Warm Shredded Brussel Sprouts Salad

Have you ever had a no-chip manicure before?

I had one done about a year ago when I was living in the city and after only two days, the nail polish already chipped.  And by chipped, I mean it was coming off in sheets!  After spending twice the amount of a normal manicure, this girl was not happy.  Nor was I convinced that this “no-chip” business was true.

Since then, I continued to hear wonderful things from so many people about the no-chip and how it lasts at least 2 weeks and blah blah blah….. so I decided to give it another try.

nail chip2

Well, you see that chip on my middle finger?  It happened yesterday, sadly.

But that was after 5 solid weeks!  Granted, my nails have grown out a lot and they look terrible in this picture but I was determined to see how long the polish lasted.  And now I’m a believer in the wonders of no-chip manicures!  Totally worth the extra $$, in my opinion.

Warm Brussel Sprouts Salad

Okay so now moving on to a delicious meal!

warm brussel sprouts salad with chicken

Similar to the concept of a warm spinach salad, I subbed in Trader Joe’s shredded brussel sprouts for the spinach and added plump dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and creamy goat cheese.

warm brussel sprouts salad with chicken 2

And to round out the salad and become a complete meal, I topped with grilled chicken breast.  Delish!

warm shredded brussel sprouts salad with cranberries pecans and goat cheese

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

10 oz. bag of TJ’s shredded brussel sprouts*

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup pecans

2 oz. crumbled goat cheese

2 grilled chicken breasts (optional)

Directions:

1.  On medium heat in a large skillet, add pecans and stir constantly for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant and toasted.

toasted pecans

2.  Once toasted, pour pecans onto a cutting board and coarsely chop.  Set aside.

chopped pecans

3.  Coat skillet with cooking spray and pour in shredded brussel sprouts.  Saute for a few minutes.

TJs shredded brussel sprouts saute

4.  Add chicken broth, salt, pepper and cranberries.  Stir and let simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, the brussel sprouts are tender and the dried cranberries plump up a bit.

brussel sprouts with cranberries

5.  Dish up onto plates or in bowls and top with toasted pecans, goat cheese, and grilled chicken, if desired.

warm brussel sprouts salad and chicken

Have a wonderful Thursday!

WIAW #17: Akron, OH Audit

Halfway through the week already!  Since I was traveling for work on Monday and Tuesday, the last two days flew by for me…. well, kinda.  I’ll get to that in a minute!

What I Ate WednTuesday

I wasn’t originally going to do one of these posts this week because I figured it would be more of the same old hotel breakfast, sandwich, protein bar, etc. stuff I normally eat on audits.  And although there was some of that, I also enjoyed some REALLY good stuff and wanted to share!

Breakfast

Welp, here’s my standard hotel breakfast as of late.

hotel breakfast

Scrambled eggs with hot sauce, banana and peanut butter, and a coffee.

Lunch

We started our audit at 8 am and were finished in less than 2 hours.  Normally, that’s great but our flight didn’t leave until 7 pm and there were no available flights to switch.  😦  Soo, two options: wait around until 7 pm, or drive from Akron, OH and be home by 5 pm.  Neither option was ideal but we chose the latter and hopped on the road right away.

A couple hours and lots of excruciatingly painful construction traffic later, we pulled off into a ‘service center’ aka truck stop.

panera lunch

Nicest truck stop ever!  Along with a Starbucks and a few other fast-er food places, they had a really nice Panera, offering their entire normal menu.

I ordered the Thai Chopped Chicken Salad (of course!) with a whole grain baguette on the side and their new hibiscus iced tea.  I normally get their acai berry tea but this new flavor definitely trumps it!

panera chocolate chip cookie

While ordering my lunch, they pulled out two sheets of freshly baked ginormous chocolate chip cookies.  As if the smell wasn’t tempting enough, the lady taking my order offered me one for 99 cents.  Sold!

cookie gone

I fully intended on saving it for a snack during our next 4-5 hour stretch of driving but when I got in the car, I couldn’t resist letting a warm chocolate chip cookie just stare at me and so I devoured it.

Little did I know Panera offers one of the best chocolate chip cookies EVER.  Seriously, so so so good!  Slightly crispy edges and soft gooey chocolately middle… a little slice of heaven if you ask me! 🙂

Afternoon Snack

banana nut quest bar

The rest of the afternoon seemed like an eternity, but we finally made it back.  I still had another 45 minute leg of my trip to get home so I snacked on a Banana Nut Muffin Quest Bar.  This is the 3rd or 4th flavor I’ve tried, and I absolutely LOVE these things.  Perfect for on the go!

Dinner

Since I got home much earlier than originally planned, Dave and I went out for dinner to Even Flow in downtown Geneva.

autumn salad

I started out with the Autumn Salad, made of mixed greens, fresh pairs, candied walnuts, feta cheese and maple vinaigrette.

beef short rib minis

Followed by the Stout Braised Short Rib Minis and a couple glasses of sauvignon blanc.

Both items were tasty but Dave’s meal was the best.  Unfortunately, I didn’t snap a pic but he got the Crispy Beer Braised Pork Belly BBQ Sandwich with house made fries.  UNBELIEVABLY good.  He shared a few bites with me, and I was jealous! 😉

dave and mac 2

Back at home, we relaxed outside on the porch since the weather was incredible.

dave and mac

Mac was infatuated with all the animal noises going on at dusk – birds, crickets, frogs, you name it.  Truly the sound of summer!

frog

Right before heading in to call it a night, Dave spotted a frog hanging around near us!  I swear we discover a new animal, insect, bird, etc. every week.  Guess that’s what happens when you move to the burbs!

WIAW #16: A Few Old Standbys

Happy Hump Day!

Hopefully, everyone is off to a great week so far!  I certainly can’t complain… the weather has been beautiful and the week seems to be flying by already. Keeping my fingers crossed the rest of the week does too!

What I Ate Wednesday (aka Tuesday)

Of course, since it’s Wednesday, I’ll keep up the usual WIAW posts so here we go…

Breakfast

I kicked off the day with an oldie but a goody.

overnight oats in a pb jar

Overnight oats with bananas and strawberries, all stuffed into a nearly empty peanut butter jar.  Not only is this jar concept absolutely delicious, but it saves me from washing an extra dish, score!

Mid Morning Snack

la croix and pb berry granola bar

Pretty familiar looking:  Coconut La Croix and a peanut butter berry granola bar.

Lunch

turkey wrap

Whole wheat wrap with romaine lettuce, Cajun-style deli turkey, green onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and yellow mustard.  I really loved the addition of the cucumbers which gave the wrap an extra crunch!

veggies for lunch

Plus, some fresh cut up cucumbers and red, orange, yellow bell peppers on the side.

Afternoon Snack

caprese salad snack

Caprese salad with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.  I’ve been living off this stuff lately!

Dinner

I had some zucchini and cilantro hanging out in the fridge that needed to be eaten up.

zucchini sauteAnd it just so happens what began as a way to use the produce turned into quite a fantastic meal!

zucchini saute2

I sauteed onion, zucchini, and fresh tomatoes with a few spices, before adding Trader Joe’s fire roasted frozen corn and canned pinto beans to the mix.  I then topped the veggie bowl with chopped parsley and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.  Simple and satisfying! 🙂

strawberries and cream dessert

As always, despite being full I wanted a little sweetness so I enjoyed a bowl of strawberries with a little cool whip and lemon wafers.  Great way to end the evening!