what I ate last week, week 3

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Here’s the third installment of what I ate last week.  If you are interested in checking out week’s one and two click here.  This week you will notice that I ate dessert, lots of it.  Last week was not normal for me in the dessert department.  I love a sweet at the end of the day and this week proved it.  Last Monday was National Chocolate Chip day so I celebrated by making my FAVORITE chocolate chip cookies.  You seriously have to try these cookies folks.  They are the bomb!  Em, I thought of you this week with a few items I ate, let me know if you can figure out what they are!  OK, lets get this party started!

Monday:

Lunch:

Remember last week when I told you I loved using whole-wheat naan bread as a base for mini pizzas?  Last week I topped mine with spinach, red onion and egg whites.  This week I was craving something a bit sweeter so I topped the naan bread with some fig jam, mozzarella and arugula.  It was amazingly sweet, but not too sweet, and the mozzarella went perfectly with the fig.  I threw some arugula on top to add some color and nutrition. I photographed only half of the naan pizza below because I trying to be good and just eat 2 pieces, but it was so good that I went in the kitchen and ate the other half, and I did not feel guilty!  That’s one of the perks of working at home; you can have seconds (or maybe its not the best perk).  I also had a fuji apple, which was the perfect compliment to the pizza. 

Dinner:

It was a typical manic Monday at the Grandy house so I solved our dinner dilemma by picking up my free lasagna from Paradise Foods.  Our local neighborhood grocery store sends out these monthly coupons for a free item in the store (you have to spend $25 to get the free item, but that is so easy to do).  This month’s coupon was for a family style lasagna (freshly made with high quality ingredients).  I picked up their turkey lasagna and it was amazing, all cheesy and gooey. I paired this with my favorite springtime vegetable side, roasted asparagus.  It’s funny because most of my friends were picking up their free lasagna as the same time.  Great minds think alike:)Dessert:  

Yippee!  I had dessert!  I told you I love dessert, not that you could tell from last week’s post.  I made these cookies around the time the kids were coming home from school.  You should have seen their smiles as they walked in the door and smelled the cookies baking. I think I’m going to make this a new Monday tradition, as it really made their Monday end on a happy note.  BTW, I did not eat all 4 cookies, (as shown below) these cookies were staged for my photos.  I just had one and half of another because they were so darn good.  You just have to make these cookies, you will thank me when you do.

 

Tuesday:

Lunch:

You’re probably looking to see where my smoothie and burrito are, right?  I mean it’s hot lunch Tuesday at the kid’s school and that is my usual fare.  No smoothie or burrito today, as I wasn’t in the burrito & smoothie mood.  I was craving fig jam again (must be all that sugar) so I made a toasted almond butter (no Jiff here Em) and fig jam sandwich on this amazing dark multi grain bread!  I paired it with a fuji apple and some coconut water.  It was a happy lunch and I enjoyed every bite.Snack:
Snack, say what?  I decided I would add this feature when I came across a snack that is worthy of posting about.  Typically I eat a handful of almonds, cashews or banana when I get hungry in the afternoon.  I was especially hungry this day since I ate lunch at 11:00 and I was eyeballing one of my chocolate chip cookies, but I was good and decided to nibble and gulp on the two items below.  OMG, this Mermaid Munch is the bomb!  I picked it up at the Farmers Market on Saturday and I am so going back to get more.  It tastes like candy!  Literally!  It is made with brown kelp, (Em, you would love that) almonds, sesame seeds, maple syrup and coconut oil.  There are no GMO’s and it’s all organic.  Annie, the woman who makes this, made this snack for a friend when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I guess the brown kelp helps to reduce hormones linked to certain cancers and the high iodine in kelp helps protect the thyroid.   The bummer is that you can only get it at the farmers market now.  I also am back and loving my green kombucha.  It actually fills me up when I am hungry in the afternoon and it gives me a bit of a lift!Dinner:
I had just written up a recipe post for my local grocery store’s blog featuring my broccoli lemon pasta.  I featured this recipe on their blog because organic broccoli was on special for the week. I took advantage of their special and made my family’s favorite pasta dish.  We love this pasta and if you want to know what dish gets cooked the most in this house, besides my kale salad, this is it!   Family favorite and kid rated 10!  Try it folks!Dessert: 

Get use to this photo because it was the dessert of the week. I honestly felt like cookie monster. Give me cookies!  Yum, Yum, Yum!  

Wednesday:

Lunch:

I found a new kale salad recipe that I wanted to try for lunch.  It’s a vegan Caesar salad.  I made the most amazing croutons with that dark multi grain bread that I picked up on Tuesday.  Wow, I loved this lunch and it was filling because as you can see below, I had plenty of croutons in it.  Dinner:
For some reason I was craving a burger today.  I crave them from time to time and I just go with it.  I take it as my body’s way of telling me that I need some meat.  Anyway, we love using buffalo in lieu of red meat when it comes to burgers and tacos.  You really don’t taste a difference and buffalo is so much leaner (even leaner than chicken) and has all those great omegas.  I topped the burger (or should I say John topped the burger since he is the grill master) with some cheddar cheese, added my cilantro-lime mayo and the mini brioche buns.  I liked the cilantro-lime mayo with the buffalo burger, (because I love this mayo) but John was not a fan of it on the buffalo burger (he loved it on the turkey burger though).  I am going to make a chipotle mayo next and try that on this burger.  I paired the burger with the kale Caesar salad and some roasted cauliflower.  My kids had the burger with the roasted cauliflower but not the kale salad.   This is another one of my kid’s favorite meals, buffalo burgers and roasted cauliflower! Dessert:
This is the last photo you will see of these cookies (unless you make them of course).  This was the last cookie I had this week, that is until I baked a new batch on Saturday!
Thursday:

Lunch:

Below is a typical no-nonsense lunch, an almond butter sandwich and kale salad.  This almond butter is slowly replacing my love for Jiff.  I was rushing around this day so I needed something that I could throw down the hatch quickly.   Dinner:
This afternoon was a bit hectic.  I had a student photographer here photographing me making my kale salad, my roasted red pepper pizza as well as the asparagus, so that is why I have 2 vegetables on the plate below.  It was also Zoe’s open house at school so I had to get dinner on the table early and the pizza’s crust came out a bit underdone.  Some nights you just go with the flow and eat the food as it’s prepared.  I was exhausted by the end of this day and ready for a break in the kitchen on Friday. 

Dessert:

Boo hoo!  No dessert for me tonight or the kids!  
 

Friday:

Lunch:

I am a big believer in leftovers as you have seen, so I had some leftover pizza and kale salad.    Friday is my favorite day of the week because I am finished with all my posts, so it’s my free day to do something just for me.  Sometimes I bake, have lunch with a friend or go shopping.  I just go with the flow and whatever I feel inspired to do, I just do. Dessert:
Sometimes you have to have dessert in the middle of the day.  Friday was super warm and both kids had a play date after school, so we went to the local gelato place and each had a cup.  I had the s’more gelato and it was rich and creamy and oh so yummy!  Dinner:

Fridays are a toss up, sometimes I cook and sometimes we eat out, it really depends on my week.  This Friday I was wanting a break form the kitchen, so we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant, DJ’s!  DJ’s is the bomb!  We have been going there weekly for about 15 years.  DJ’s is our kitchen away from home.  The owners and staff are like family to us and they always greet us with a smile and huge hug.  They have the best service and the best food.  Seriously, you have to try this place. We celebrate every birthday or special event there and I even think that we will have Zoe’s rehearsal dinner there.  They also have this beautiful and peaceful patio in the back of the restaurant, and that is our favorite place to sit.   It has a zen-like quality and it’s protected from the wind.  It’s like eating dinner in your own backyard.  Everything is served family style and there are always plenty of leftovers.  We love that because it takes care of lunch the next day.


Some of our favorite dishes?  For appetizers we switch off between the pot stickers and the onion pancake, (which is shown below). 

For dinner our favorites are the empress chicken (I ate this every week when I was pregnant with Zoe), Mongolian beef, pork or chicken, szechwan chicken, lemon chicken and fried rice.  Tonight we shared some empress chicken along with fried rice, DJ chicken and Mongolian pork.  I love to mix all the dishes together on one plate. I also had a nice glass of wine and some tea.

This photo was taken after we helped ourselves to the dishes.  You can kind of see John and Eli in the background or at least their arms.

What did we learn this week?
I really do eat and love dessert.
I eat way too much kale and need to find another vegetable to obsess over. Thoughts anyone?
I truly am a PB&J kind of girl!
 
 

what I ate last week, week 2

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I’m back with week two of “what I ate last week.”  Aren’t you excited?  Come on, I know some of you enjoyed seeing all the exciting things I showed you in last week’s post of “what I ate last week.”  If you read last week’s post then you know that I eat the same thing for breakfast every day.  I am therefore not going to post breakfast again till I change it up a bit.  Life was hectic this week so I honestly did not have the energy to create a new breakfast plan, but I thought about it though!

Monday:

Lunch:

This was a great lunch to kick off the week.  I love using whole-wheat naan bread as a base for mini pizzas.  I topped this one with spinach, red onion and can you guess what the white stuff is?  It’s not cheese, it’s an egg white.  Pretty cool don’t you think?  

Dinner:

OK, you all know Monday nights (due to crazy schedules) are either sandwich or leftover night.  Well, there were no leftovers to be eaten up, so it was sandwich night.  Gosh, I’m now noticing that this was a pretty carb heavy day.  Did I mention that I love carbs?  Probably not a great thing, but oh well, we all have our vices. I will post this sandwich recipe soon.  I got the idea for this sandwich from Sol Food.  It’s a sandwich that I always order so I decided to try making it at home.  It’s ciabatta bread topped with cilantro lime mayo, roasted red peppers, arugula, mashed avocado and heirloom tomatoes.  Need I say more?  I paired this with some asparagus, of course.  

Dessert:

Sadly, there was no dessert.  Boo hoo :(

Tuesday:

Lunch:

It’s Tuesday and you all know what that means, hot lunch at the kid’s school!  Burrito day! Yippee!  All right enough with my cheerleading.  After the gym I came home and whipped up this strawberry smoothie.  It was super delish (my new favorite word) and easy to make.  I added some flax seed to it, but was not super happy with that addition.  Next time I will omit the flaxseed as it took away some of the smoothie’s sweetness.

I made up one of these burritos again at hot lunch!

Dinner:

So this is where I went downhill a bit.  I went into hot lunch venting to all my peeps that I was exhausted and fooded out (not sure if that is a word, but lets go with it).  I was sick of cooking and I was tired, like exhausted.  They all comforted me and told me that I do more cooking than most people and that I needed to take a break!  I just love my lunch peeps!  I took their words to heart and called my hubby and politely asked him to bring home a pizza that night.  He happily obliged (I think he was even a bit excited).  The kids were ecstatic, as they have not had take out pizza for some time.  Gee, it’s as though I was depriving them or something. Anyway, I really wanted something chocolaty for dessert so Eli and I drove on over to Susie Cakes after school and grabbed us some cupcakes. Mine was chocolate with butter cream frosting.  Yum!  Oh, and I also paired the pizza with my favorite kale salad.

Wednesday:

Lunch:

I felt much better today and I was way more energized.  I had my Jackie spunk back!  Taking a night off from cooking was just what the doctor ordered.  I had some leftover kale salad so I mixed it up with red quinoa, a hard boiled egg, tofu and some black and garbanzo beans from the salad bar at Whole Foods. I did not add any additional dressing as it was not needed.  I felt powerful and full of energy after this lunch!

Dinner:

Wednesday is the one night that we are all home for dinner so I tend to whip up something nice and healthy.  I was craving salmon so I made my favorite salmon recipe and paired it with these amazing couscous cakes and spinach salad.  My kids loved the couscous cakes, but unfortunately not the salad.  I steamed up some broccoli for them as I had a feeling they were not going to be fans of the salad.  I put some cucumber and mint into my water and it was very refreshing.  This dinner was fit for a spa!

Dessert:

The kids had ice cream cones and I had a bite or two of fish food ice cream, but I didn’t get a photo of it, sorry!

Thursday:

Lunch:

Lunch was a repeat of last night’s dinner but without the salmon.  I had some leftover couscous cakes and I whipped up a fresh batch of spinach salad.  I also had some water but forgot to add that to the shot.  Now lets talk dinner…

Dinner:

I caved tonight.  I went to CPK!  Eli has been begging to go and my girlfriend’s kids have been begging to go, so we went.  It’s funny because we took along Eli’s best bud and he was super excited to go to CPK as his parents never take him, hmmmm… wonder why?  It was a fun night as the company and wine were great, but not so much the food.  The lettuce on my salad did not look fresh and I could tell the dressing was from a big jar.  The pizza crust was good though, so I focused on that and my glass of wine.  Sometimes you have to go with the experience and not worry so much about the food, so that’s what I did!  

Dessert:  

I can’t believe this is the third night in a row that I did not participate in dessert.  I must warn you that this is not normal Marin mama behavior.  I love dessert as you will see in next week’s post.

Friday:

Lunch:

TGIF!  I loved lunch today because I got to share it with two of my best friends, Yvonne and Carey.  Sadly our other bestie was not able to join us.  We missed you Hilly!  Anyway, Carey led us through an amazing yoga routine and then we headed over to Rustic Bakery.  It’s my third time there this month and I think I’m ready for a change!  I had their albacore tuna sandwich along with my new favorite beverage of choice, water with mint leaves. “So exciting!” 
We are girls who love dessert so we grabbed 3 forks and dug into this amazing and decadent  peanut butter brownie.  I am so going to replicate this, just you wait!  There was not a crumb in sight after we got to work on this. I am happy to report that we were part of the clean plate club.  

Dinner:

Zoe had dance rehearsal tonight so we had an early dinner.  I had tons of parsley and asparagus that I wanted to used up, so I whipped us up a parsley pesto pasta and added some roasted asparagus.  This was a healthy and delicious way to end our hectic week. 

Dessert:  Didn’t you see that I had my dessert at lunch?



So there you have it, week 2. 
What did we learn this week?  
We learned that I am a huge fan of carbs, (maybe I eat to many) and that I was lame about eating dessert.



What I ate last week, week 1

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Here is my new post as promised. I thought this would be a fun series to add in addition to my weekly recipe posts, as it’s a view into my day-to-day eating habits (for those of you that care or are interested).  Welcome to my food diary.  This so called food diary may give you some new lunch or dinner ideas, show you how I portion up my meals and give you a bit if insight as to who I really am.  You will see that I am a big fan of leftovers and a creature of habit, especially when it comes to breakfast.  I will post Monday through Friday’s meals from the prior week. I may occasionally post a weekend meal, but I like to have my weekends off from photographing food, so maybe not.  

6:00 am.  OK, here is what I have for breakfast almost every morning, I kid you not.  I may mix it up a bit on occasion, (steel cut oatmeal, Greek yogurt with granola) but I typically have a bowl of cereal every day, yes every day, and I have been doing so since I was 17.  Eggs and toast do not cut it for me in the morning and I can’t have anything to sweet or I will crash.  Cereal does the trick and fills me up till lunch. 
So what’s in the bowl you ask?  I throw in a combination of the three cereals below.  
I put the Ezekiel on the bottom (or grape nuts), throw a bit of Cafe Fanny on next (this is the best granola and it’s locally made in Berkeley where my best blog buddy Em lives), then I top it off with some Fiber One (you know, to get some extra fiber in).  If I’m not having a smoothie that day, I will throw 2 tablespoons of flax seed in and then top it all off with whatever fresh berry is in season.  Strawberries and blueberries are in now, so I throw one of them on there.  I know it’s a carb heavy breakfast, and a pretty big bow of cereal, but it works for me and I never tire of it. 
 
I’m not skipping over the coffee, no way.  I need my cup of joe in the morning. I have about one to two cups of Peet’s coffee every morning.  I brew up some Major Dickason mixed with their house decaf and I drink it black, thank you!
That is basically my daily breakfast routine. Just so you know, I am not going to post breakfast again unless I have something different, as who wants to see the same picture over and over!

Monday:

Lunch:

I made up some chickpea veggie burgers that morning for the week and decided to have one for lunch along with my favorite kale salad.  I always drink water as well.  Basically I have coffee in the morning with breakfast and then it’s water the rest of the day!  I drink about eight to ten16oz glasses like the one below. To give the water some taste I sometimes add some fresh mint leaves or sliced cucumber.

Dinner:

Monday is one of our crazy nights.  Eli has baseball till 6:00 and Zoe has dance till 6:45 and doesn’t get home till 7:15, so it’s one of those nights where I am basically a short order cook.  We typically have leftovers on this night (if there are any) or it’s grilled panini night.  We were lucky this Monday, as John had made some amazing beef pho the night before, and we all had that for leftovers along with some asparagus on the side.  

Dessert:

Yup, we all had this homemade ice-cream sandwich below.  I made the cookies (recipe next week) and inserted them with Three Twins Madagascar vanilla ice cream.  Delish!

Tuesday:

Lunch:

Tuesday is the day where my peeps and I train with our trainer, Stein, after drop off.  I’m always hungry about an hour or so after the workout, (because he works us so hard) so I tend to have a smoothie.  The smoothie below is my spinach power smoothie.  Another reason I have a smoothie on this day is to hold me over till lunch because I work hot lunch at the kid’s school and don’t get to eat till 1:15 or so (that’s late for me).  I eat breakfast at 6:00 each morning so I hungry by noon.
BTW, the kids have an amazing lunch program.  Their lunch is provided by Good Earth, which is an amazing all organic Grocery Store.  The lunch fare is all organic, the meats are organic and hormone free and everything is made fresh that day.  Yes, this is a public school we are talking about, not private.  Parents volunteer to serve the kids lunch each day.  It takes 10 parent volunteers to serve up lunch every day.  We serve it behind serving stations just like a caterer does at an event, and we have chafing dishes that hold the hot entrees. 
This is just a photo of the fruit and veggie table.  I pushed all the stuff together so you could see it.
Tuesday is burrito/taco and enchilada day.  The kids can either have a burrito or taco anyway they want or an enchilada.  We serve them the rice, beans, turkey meat and cheese into their taco or tortilla,( basically whatever they want in it) and then they can top it with fresh salsa or sour cream.  The kids also get seasonal & organic fruits, fresh veggies, Caesar salad with homemade dressing and croutons, hard boiled eggs, whole-wheat bagels and organic vanilla yogurt which the kids can top with some amazing homemade granola.  Good Earth rocks and we are so lucky that they provide this amazing and nutritious lunch for our kids.  Anyway, the reason I am talking about the kid’s hot lunch is because I always treat myself to a burrito when I work Tuesday lunch.
Here is a photo of the burrito before I rolled it up.

Dinner:

Tuesday is another hectic night and I am usually tired from my workout as well as serving hot lunch for 3 hours, so I like us to have something that is easy to whip up.  As you saw, I made these garbanzo bean burgers on Monday so we had these for dinner along with my kale salad, yet again.  I warned you that I loved kale salad and that I am obsessed, are you seeing it now?  Zoe ate these burgers with us, but Eli is not a fan, so when I sauteed up the burgers I cooked him up a cheese quesadilla.  Surprise, surprise, my kids are not fans of kale salad so I steamed them up some broccoli.  I know this might have seemed like a short order cook night, well it was, but some nights you gotta do what you gotta do.  

Dessert:

Ice cream sandwiches for dessert again, but with Three Twins sea salted caramel ice cream in the middle.  

Wednesday:

Lunch:

What, kale salad again?  Are you really surprised?  I had some leftover kale salad a piece of whole-grain bread topped with some not so healthy Jiff peanut butter.  I know, Jiff, really? I am trying to convert to the healthier stuff, but I really love Jiff and sometimes I just want good old- fashioned peanut butter.   Don’t criticize me!

Dinner:

Wednesday is a night where we are all home and can eat at a normal time like a civilized family.  This is the night where I tend to make up a nice meal that everyone enjoys.  We had turkey burgers with the fixings and some asparagus on the side.  You will be seeing a lot of asparagus on our plates, as it’s in season right now and so tasty.

Dessert:

No dessert for me, as I needed a break from 3 nights in a row of ice-cream sandwiches.  I made the kids an ice-cream cone though.

Thursday:

Lunch:

I love this lunch.  It’s a blueberry and spinach smoothie (recipe soon) that I paired up with multigrain toast topped with walnut butter (I had a healthier nut butter today, see Em) and fig jam.  It was delicious and satisfying.  It was also raining out so I wanted a warm and gooey sandwich.

Dinner:

Thursday was cold and rainy and I had lacrosse pick up, so I wanted to have something quick and comforting.  I still had some chickpea burgers around so John and I each had one of those paired with my favorite creamless tomato soup (which can be made in 25 minutes folks).  The kids had the tomato soup with grilled cheese panini’s.

Dessert:

I took another night off from dessert, but the kids had ice cream cones, yet again.  The cold does not stop them from enjoying ice cream.  

Friday:

Lunch:

Friday is usually the day that I like to meet up with a friend for lunch.  I met up with my friend Carolyn at one of my favorite lunch spots, Rustic Bakery.  I had this Asian chicken salad below.  I also brought along my own water, because why buy bottled water in a plastic bottle when you can be drinking out of glass!  Carolyn and I did split a rather large cookie for dessert, but I forgot to get a photo of it, sorry.  It was a dark chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips in it. Yum!

Dinner:

On Fridays we tend to go out to dinner, as Marin mama needs a night off from the kitchen.  This night we went to one of our favorite spots, Avatar’s Punjabi Burrito, which is located in Larkspur.  I had a glass of wine, (because it was Friday) and these amazing pumpkin enchiladas. They are superb!  This photo does not do them justice as I took it quickly with my iPhone because people were staring at me wondering why I was taking photos of my dinner.  I am still getting use to photographing food in public.

Dessert:

For dessert we headed down the street to Modern Cookie Company. This is the place where I got the idea for my s’more cookie.  John and I split this s’more cookie (just look at that thing, yum) and it was decadent.  Here I am going from no desserts in two days to two deserts in one day.  I figured I really only had one dessert as I split both of them, right?  Eli had the s’more cookie as well.  Zoe had a dark chocolate cookie with butterscotch and chocolate chips baked inside.  She raved it was one of the best cookies she has ever had.  

This dessert was the perfect way to end the week!

I am human and I may not make the healthiest choices all the time. I want people to see this diary so they know I am being real here and not trying to come across as someone who eats only the healthiest and most natural ingredients.  I try to eat with real ingredients most of the time, and I know my morning cereal choice is not the healthiest, but I am slowly willing to convert. I am in the process of trying wheat berries and other natural substitutes in lieu of my morning bowl of cereal.  Stay tuned and see what I come up with.  Also, please send me any suggestions of your favorite breakfast or lunch foods.  Cheers for now!