How adorable are these South Carolina wine glasses that one of my bridesmaids got us for our engagement?
Hi everyone! Sorry for being MIA for the last couple of months…I’m not sure if you heard the news yet – but I am excited to share with you all that Trevor and I are engaged!! Not only are we engaged, but Meaghan is my maid of honor! Super exciting 🙂
This healthy bachelorette has been wedding planning like woah! Of course, we have been meal planning and cooking healthy meals and I am excited to getting back to sharing some of my recipes with you all.
Here is a recipe I made the other night that is perfect for a summer weeknight dinner out on the porch, or to bring to your 4th of July picnic. It’s a great side dish for grilled salmon or chicken, or even put it on a bed of arugula for a refreshing summer lunch. If you start snacking it on for breakfast, that’s not the end of the world either. The best part? It has 5 just ingredients!
Simple Cucumber & Watermelon Salad
Serves: 2 servings, 2 leftovers
- 3 cups watermelon, cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 large local cucumber, cut into half moons
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- Cut the watermelon and cucumber.
- In a large glass bowl, add the watermelon cubes, cut cucumber, olive oil and lime juice. Toss to combine.
- Add in the feta cheese and toss the salad to mix ingredients evenly.
- Serve cold – can store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Full steam ahead! I’m back in my 7th out of 10th class in grad school (yes this is taking forever…), working full time at Pure Barre and as a Coach for All Access Internships. Woah buddy. All great things – but sometimes it just doesn’t allow for making healthy bachelorette meals. (Though did you hear the news?! Bachelorette only for a little while longer!)
Meal planning really helps during these busy weeks, and be sure to check out our healthy meal planning tools. These are the kind of weeks when you revert back to college and instead of doing laundry – you just buy more underwear. Yeah that happened.
Check out my weeknight power bowl! The majority of this recipe is prep, especially if you use chicken that you already cooked earlier in the week. It is a yummy, healthy and fresh meal for one that you can save for the next night, or even bring for lunch the next day. It provides lots of color from the vegetables that serve as your base, and you top it all off and make it more than your typical boring salad by adding hummus, avocado and a fun lemon cilantro vinaigrette. Did you know that the Vitamin E in olive oil helps you absorb the nutrients in your vegetables? See, salad dressing isn’t always a bad thing! Enjoy and happy cooking 🙂
Weeknight Power Bowl
Serves: 1 and 1 leftover
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 of a hot house cucumber, washed and sliced into half moons
- 8 campari tomatoes, washed and quartered
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/2 avocado, sliced into 6 pieces
- 6oz grilled chicken, cubed
- 4 Tablespoons pine nut hummus
- 4 Tablespoons cilantro
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided (I used dill infused for more flavor)
- Pepper to taste
- Set out a large salad bowl and a tupperware bowl.
- Add 3 cups of the baby spinach to each bowl, and top with 1/2 of the cucumber slices, 4 tomatoes, 1/8 cup red onion, 3 avocado slices and 3oz of the grilled chicken.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of the pine nut hummus to the center of the bowls.
- Top each bowl with cilantro, squeeze one half of the lemon onto the salad and drizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.
- Top with fresh ground pepper, and serve!
Lunch ready for tomorrow! And check out this fancy planner that I got to design with Erin Condren for Pure Barre. It also has a meal planning dashboard – pretty awesome!
This fall I joined the Hub City Farmers Market CSA – Fall Farm bag, and am really loving it! I have heard about CSA’s before, and have had friends who have joined them, but 4 servings of produce every week was just too much food and it would have gone to waste. This farm bag is perfect as it supports local farmers with produce that has been picked within the last 24-48 hours and is only $15 per week for 8 weeks. Every Saturday, I select which items I would like in my farm bag, and the bag is actually delivered to my office on Tuesday! It is a very exciting part of my day. This season is almost over, but if you live or work in the the Spartanburg area, I would highly recommend the Hub City Farmer’s Market CSA program for Spring.
Since it is a fall farm bag, we have been getting a lot of fall squashes such as butternut, acorn and of course spaghetti squash! This has caused me to get quite creative with my fresh recipes (exactly the result I wanted out of this program). This week I got a little creative with my spaghetti squash.
If you have never had spaghetti squash, I highly recommend you try it. It is a gluten free option to spaghetti, is a whole food (no added chemicals, preservatives, fat or salt) and actually has way less calories than real spaghetti. One cup of spaghetti has 221 calories, compared to spaghetti squash which has about 40 calories per cup – that is over 5x the calories! And I promise you, the texture and the flavor is way better than bland out of the box spaghetti. Try using spaghetti squash in any dish you would typically use spaghetti noodles (with pesto, marinara sauce etc).
Recently, I have really been obsessed with these “spaghetti squash boat” recipes you see on Pinterest . It’s super easy, just roast the squash, add in your toppings, roast a little more and serve. Check out my BLT Spaghetti Squash Bowl below and don’t be expecting leftovers .. you will want to eat it all!
BLT Spaghetti Squash Boats
- 1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 4 pieces nitrate free bacon (I used Applegate)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 6oz bag baby spinach
- 2oz goat cheese, divided
- Black Pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut the both ends off of the spaghetti squash, then cut it in half. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon.
- Drizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and grate fresh black pepper over each half of the spaghetti squash.
- Place the spaghetti squash face side down on a cookie sheet. Bake on 425 for 35-40 minutes.
- While the spaghetti squash is cooking, cook the bacon in a large frying pan on medium-low heat trying not to char it.
- Once the bacon is cooked, place on a plate with a paper towel and pat off the extra grease.
- Add the spinach and halved tomatoes to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted.
- Once the spaghetti squash is roasted, remove from oven and turn over face side up. Fill the middle of the spaghetti squash with the spinach and tomatoes and top with crumbled bacon and 1oz of crumbled goat cheese.
- Roast for another 5 minutes on 425, and serve!
I have heard from many of our followers that they have gotten spiralizers recently, and I am so excited about that!! I love how you can take one of your favorite pasta dishes, and create it into a healthy low carb dish that literally takes half the time.
This dish is inspired by a recipe I saw on Pinterest. I added some flare and used low carb zucchini noodles instead of spaghetti (which has 45 grams of carb per 1 cup cooked…a cup of pasta is not very much!). Proof that any pasta recipe you see can be transformed into a guilt-free dish by using zucchini or summer squash noodles! What are some of your favorite pasta dishes that you want to make with the spiralizer? Be sure to leave a comment and/or recipe below and we will try to re-create it!
Lemon Ricotta Zucchini Noodles with Chicken and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Serves: 2 (or 1 and 1 lunch)
- 6oz grilled chicken breast, sliced
- 3-4 zucchini
- 2 Tablespoons julienne cut sun dried tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, separated
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup fresh ricotta
- Black pepper
- Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Lemon slices for garnish
- Spiralize zucchini using the medium sized noodle blade (like spaghetti).
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, and add 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan. Add zucchini and sun dried tomatoes and toss to cook about 2-3 minutes.
- While zucchini is cooking, combine the rest of the olive oil, lemon juice & zest, ricotta and black pepper in a small bowl and mix with a fork.
- Add the ricotta sauce to the zucchini noodles and toss to coat.
- Divide the noodles between 2 large bowls. Top each bowl with 1/2 of the sliced chicken breast and lemon slices.
- Grate Parmesan cheese over each bowl, serve and enjoy!
Until recently, I would not have considered myself a “breakfast person.” In fact, I didn’t even like eggs until I met Meaghan in 2011 …. and I was 22. Back in our MUSC days, I used to eat a 1/2 cup of dry breakfast cereal every morning. There is even a picture of our pantry with all of our 12 cereals lined up in our Mt. Pleasant apartment. I would eat my dry cereal in the car, while driving to work (you can imagine what my car looked like).
Then I got a job, moved to Greenville, and started trying to eat a big girl breakfast: oatmeal. I tried the instant oatmeal, then the organic instant oatmeal, and even tried making baked oatmeal. I never quite felt right after eating oatmeal, and was absolutely ravenous after 30 minutes.
In April we completed about 6 weeks with whole foods only: no processed out of the box type stuff, we made everything. During this time, I got hooked on this simple, yet healthy and very satisfying breakfast. Every Sunday night I make a big batch of quinoa with cinnamon apples and walnuts or pecans, and eat off of it throughout the week. This provides everything you need in a healthy breakfast: carbs from the apples and quinoa, protein from the quinoa and nuts and healthy fat from the nuts. This recipe has 5.2g of protein – almost as much as an egg!
Cinnamon Apple Quinoa with Nuts
Servings: 6 (3/4 cup each)
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup skim milk
- 2 small apples, chopped (I use organic pink lady)
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice(I typically use pecans or walnuts)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Cinnamon to taste
- Place the quinoa, water and milk in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer, stirring frequently to ensure the quinoa and milk do not brown to the bottom ~ 15 minutes.
- While the quinoa is cooking, melt the butter in a medium sized frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the chopped apples and season with cinnamon to taste. Stir frequently and cook for ~5 minutes.
- In a large serving dish with a lid, combine the quinoa, cinnamon apples and nuts and place in the refrigerator. (It will last up to 7 days.)
- Reheat 3/4 cup of the quinoa breakfast mix in the morning by placing in the microwave for 30 seconds – and you’re good to go!
Nutrition facts: 214 calories, 11.9g total fat, 3.2g saturated fat, 23g total carbs, 5.2g protein, 45mg sodium
What’s your go-to work day breakfast?
Mug: Fiestaware Poppy Jumbo Cup
Your long weekend starts NOW! I have been in craft cocktail mood lately posting all of these drink recipes, but I promise I will get back to blogging about food soon 🙂
Here is a Memorial Day Weekend cocktail recipe that uses one of our favorite products, Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka! Before we started our “real jobs,” Meaghan and I took a trip out to Wadmalaw Island, SC (45 min from Charleston) to the Firefly Distillery and Irvin House Vineyards. I believe our actual words were “why go wine tasting when you can go vodka tasting?!” We had a blast at the distillery, it is a very quaint farm with lots of dogs and wildlife. Bonus: they give you a free Firefly shot glass for tasting! Since 2011, I have been quite a few times, and may now have a complete set of Firefly shot glasses. Ok maybe I like Firefly a little too much…
Meaghan & Brittany at the Firefly Distillery June 2011
So many Firefly shot glasses
We hope you enjoy this delicious cocktail that uses Firefly Skinny Tea and LaCroix sparkling flavored water, totaling in only 96 calories per drink! Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!
Mint & Lime Skinny Sweet Tea Cocktail
Ingredients for 1 drink:
- Add the mint leaves and Firefly Vodka to the bottom of a small mason jar. Muddle the mint to infuse the Skinny Tea with the natural flavor.
- Add 6oz of La Croix Lime to the mason jar. Fill the rest of the jar with ice.
- Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy by a bonfire on a warm southern summer night.
Has anyone else been to the Firefly Distillery? Which flavor is your favorite?
Hey winter – enough is enough!
If you saw our Facebook post on Friday, the weather in Greenville, SC vs. Boston, MA is very different right now. Ranging 30-50 degrees! For those of you in the Northeast .. I am so sorry. You have put up with enough snow, ice and cold.. you all deserve spring!! I grew up in upstate NY and went to ‘Cuse, so I totally get it. March weather is seriously the worst.
Today I thought I would bring a little hope for spring through food. Check out my springy tasting avocado strawberry salad with goat cheese and walnuts. This salad is a great meal for one, whether it be for lunch or dinner. You can add some lean protein to it too to make it heartier (think grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon). The strawberry brings a refreshing sweetness, while the goat cheese and avocado give a welcomed creaminess to the salad and the walnuts give the perfect amount of crunch. The avocado also gives some “meat” to the salad, as it is full of healthy good fats, and also keeps you fuller longer. Remeber: don’t be afraid of fats!! While I totally and completely love everything about the 90s, I do hate how fat phobic it made everyone. Incorporating good fats in your diet (like nuts and avocados here) will help reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Bonus: They have a much better full factor than carbs, which make you crave more and more.
Enjoy, and don’t worry, spring is coming!!
Avocado & Strawberry Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
- 2-3 cups arugula
- 1/4 medium size avocado, sliced
- 3-4 medium sized strawberries sliced
- 1 oz goat cheese
- 1 Tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Fresh ground black pepper and dried herbs to taste
- Add the arugula to a large bowl.
- Top with the sliced avocado, sliced strawberries, crumbled goat cheese and chopped walnuts.
- Dress the salad with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, 1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and fresh ground pepper and a small amount of fresh dried herbs (such as basil, if desired).
- Toss and eat!
What are your favorite spring foods?