Category Archives: Snack

Nature Box – June Edition

Happy Friday!!

Can you believe we are already HALFWAY through June?  Ughh I feel like summer has barely even begun, thanks to the less-than-desirable weather lately.  Hopefully, this just means a later start to winter this year and no snow until mid-December.  One can only hope!

Nature Box – June

Although I received my June box at nearly 2 weeks ago, I have been so crazy busy and just haven’t had the opportunity to taste-test all my monthly goodies.

nature box june

Too busy to eat?  Never thought that was possible. 😉

nature box june 2

But I finally opened up all the bags and dug in!

nature box june items 1

If you’ve never heard of Nature Box before, it’s a subscription service that sends 5 different healthy snacks at the beginning of every month.

nature box june items 2

This June box is my 3rd one and I’ve been enjoying sampling unique health(ier) snacks without having to buy a ginormous bag!  Just the right amount to satisfy a snacky mood. 🙂

nautre box june card

The company sends a card detailing each item and offers suggestions of how to enjoy your snacks.  The theme for June is “Picnic Season”.

Cherry Ganache Granola

nature box june cherry ganache granola

This was my breakfast this morning.  A yogurt bowl with all kinds of goodies – blueberries & bananas (on the bottom), Greek yogurt, sunflower butter, and the Cherry Ganache Granola.  It was very tasty with the big plump dried cherries and whole roasted almonds mixed in with the crunchy granola clusters.

Peanut Butter Nom Noms

nature box june peanut butter nom noms

These are soft little cookies made with oats and peanut butter with chocolate chunks.  It tasted like an oatmeal raisin cookie (minus the raisins) as the base but with a hint of peanut butter and giant melty chunks of chocolate.  Delish!

Salsa Spiced Nut Mix

nature box june salsa spiced nut mix

Just a hint of zesty flavor coating a cashews and almonds, plus a crunchy corn-type chip.

BBQ Kettle Kernels

nature mix june bbq kettle kernels

Love these things!  I believe they are the similar to the roasted kettle kernels (but with a BBQ spin on ’em) from April’s box which I adored!  They remind me of those half-popped popcorn kernels at the bottom of the bowl. 🙂

And of course, Mr. Mac had to photobomb my picture!

Guacamole Bites

nature box june guacamole bites

These were good, but not my favorite.  They tasted like your typical corn chip (aka Frito, etc.) but with a tangy flavoring.  I mean, they were definitely yummy but I’m not the biggest fan of Frito-type snacks and I was hoping for more of a ‘guacamole’ emphasis.

***

Have a fabulous weekend!

Advertisements

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??

***

Have a great rest of the 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!

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!

Nature Box – May Edition

Now that we’ve got just a little over a week of May under our belts, I’ve been able to try the next batch of snacks from my Nature Box monthly subscription.

nature box may 2

As someone who loves to try new and different foods, I was eager to open up this month’s goodies.

nature box may 3

In addition to 5 health(ier) snacks, the Nature Box comes with a card summarizing the contents of each item.

nature box may 5b

Banana Bread Granola, Lemon Meringue Waffles, and Taj Mahal Snack Mix

nature box may 6b

Whole Wheat Raspberry Figgy Bars and Italian Bistro Pretzels

Now let’s take a look at each one!

Banana Bread Granola

banana bread granola 2

This granola was pretty good, though I could hardly taste the banana flavor.  It was very crunchy, almost like a crisp cookie would be crumbled up.  Very tasty over some yogurt.

Lemon Meringue Waffles

lemon wafers 2

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with these.  They are light, crispy with a nice sweet lemony flavor.  The card suggests to sandwich a little frozen yogurt between two waffles or snacking on with some tea, though I ate them straight out of the bag, as well as with a bowl of strawberries and cool whip.  Didn’t really ‘knock my socks off’ but still tasty.

Taj Mahal Snack Mix

taj mahal snack mix

As someone who loves a good trail mix of nuts and dried fruits, this was right up my alley!  I enjoyed the unique mix of sweet mangoes, almonds, sunflower seeds and raisins all coated in a smoky (subtle) curry spice.  The recipe card suggests incorporating into a homemade chicken salad… I may just have to try that if I don’t eat it all first! 😉

Whole Wheat Raspberry Figgy Bars

whole wheat raspberry figgy bars

Think of these as a healthier, whole wheat version of Nutri Grain bars crossed with Fig Newtons.  Although I’ve never really been a fan of Fig Newton, these tasted pretty good still but not my favorite.

Italian Bistro Pretzels

italian bistro pretzels

Even though these are called pretzels, they taste a bit like crunchy garlic breadsticks.  Never said they weren’t delicious though!

 

Enjoy your Thursday! 🙂

Caprese Salad

Guess what I did a few days ago?

tj's grocery bag

Yep, a trip to Trader Joe’s!  After I talked about it last time, the idea became stuck in my head and I just had to make a quick trip over there.

TJ's Groceries

I purchased lots of new-to-me products so it was yet again another successful trip!  I found myself the most excited about the following:

  • Buffalo Jerky – a little bit sweet & spicy and very tender
  • Coconut Chips – crunchy little strips of dried coconut; would be very tasty in a trail mix!
  • Coconut Oil Spray – makes using coconut oil much less messy
  • Roasted Frozen Corn – can’t wait to whip up a Mexican corn dip with easy, pre-roasted corn
  • Individual Frozen Basil Cubes – just pop em out and throw in soups, sauces, pasta, etc.
  • Espresso Pillows:

espresso pillows

As usual, I always snag an impulse buy while at the register checking out and these did not disappoint!  A hint of chocolate, toffee and coffee.  I’ve been keeping these guys in my desk drawer at work for when my sweet tooth kicks in!

caprese salad ingredients

I also picked up a giant container of fresh basil (for cheap!), vine ripened tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella.

caprese salad3

In a matter of minutes, these ingredients came together for one of my very favorite salads.

caprese salad6

I don’t know what it is about this combination, but I absolutely love it!  Fresh ingredients are the key!

caprese salad5

I also love the addition of avocado but unfortunately, I had a bum avocado so I had to do without.

caprese salad4

Obviously, this isn’t my recipe but I couldn’t help sharing such a perfect dish for summer.

caprese salad

Ingredients:

Fresh tomatoes

Fresh mozzarella

Fresh basil

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Directions:

Slice tomatoes and mozzarella about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.  Alternate layers of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper, to taste.

caprese salad3b

WIAW #15: Full to the Max

Hello there!

Can we please talk about how it’s May already?  Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego did April go?

carmen sandiego

Source

Please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers Carmen Sandiego?!

Ahh well, ya know what ‘they’ say…. April showers bring May flowers.  And I think we’re all ready for flowers and warm weather.  At least I am!

What I Ate Wednesday

Not only is today the first day of May, but it’s also Wednesday so I guess another WIAW post is in order.  Click on this to see what it’s all about!

 

I skipped last week because a) I was too excited to share our update on the wedding plans, b) our fridge was nearly bare from being out of town (it took me a full week to finally go grocery shopping), and c) I was too darn lazy to photograph a single piece of food.  So there.

But WIAW is back today, let’s have a look.

Breakfast

I created an egg wrap to go for my car ride in to work.

egg wrap to go

I used to make these ALLLLL the time and then, I don’t know what happened?!  I just stopped all of a sudden – I tend to get stuck in breakfast ruts making the same thing over an over (aka yogurt bowls… don’t worry, still love ’em) but I figured it’s time to get a little crazy and ya know, mix things up a bit. 😉

And now that these bad boys have been reintroduced, they will definitely be back in the breakfast rotation!

egg wrap steps

Warm whole wheat tortilla with a Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge spread in the middle (I used French Onion this time) with 3 scrambled eggs in the middle and of course, lathered with Cholula sauce!  So. So. Good.

Mid Morning Snack

My wrap was quite filling so I wasn’t too hungry in between breakfast and lunch, but I packed a light snack and ate it about an hour before lunch.

snap peas and carrots

Baby carrots (which were super fat and not so ‘baby’-ish), plus sugar snap peas.  By the way, snap peas = amazing!  So crispy and crunchy 🙂

Lunch

Monday night, at Dave’s request, I threw 2 lbs of chicken breasts into the crock pot to make a big ol batch of shredded buffalo chicken.  So of course, it made an appearance in my lunch the next day.

salad2

Yet another way to prep chicken ahead of time. 😉

leftover buffalo chicken - salad

Baby romaine salad, topped with a mix of roasted zucchini, summer squash and red onion, plus grape tomatoes, shredded buffalo chicken, lots of creamy goat cheese, and balsamic dressing.  Oh my goodness, this was soooo tasty!

banana

And a ‘nana on the side.

Afternoon Snack

Per the usual, I needed something more to eat a few hours later.

pumpkin greek yogurt

Greek yogurt with canned pumpkin loosely stirred in and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Dinner

I took advantage of the B-E-A-UTIFUL weather and ate dinner outside as the sun went down.  Ohhh and it made me crave summer that much more.  I think (I HOPE!) it’s finally here… 😉

turkey burger spaghetti squash

Underneath everything is roasted spaghetti squash and the remaining leftover roasted zucchini, summer squash and red onions, all topped with a generous serving of spicy marinara sauce.

turkey burger spaghetti squash 2

George grilled up a turkey breast and I then layered some marinara, mozzarella and fresh parmesan cheese on top and stuck under the broiler for a few minutes to melt.  I guess it was a spin off chicken parmesan… except with a turkey burger.  Oh yeah, and no breading.

This meal came together surprisingly well for being as hungry as I was!  I often envision a wonderfully put-together meal on my way home from work and then somewhere along the way, my hunger gets the best of me and kills the execution.  This was not the case.

The only issue with this meal is it left me uncomfortably full…

banana bite

…ummm that is, until I heard my name being called from the freezer, so I enjoyed a banana bite to round out the meal.

?????????????

I mean, after all I still had room in my dessert stomach for a little sweetness! 😉

Have a fantastic Wednesday and Happy May 1st!