What I Ate Yesterday

Happy Wednesday! Like most Wednesdays, I’m sharing a full day of eating! Hopefully, it’ll give you some healthy food inspiration and give you an idea of something new to try. Let’s jump in!

blueberries and granola

Breakfast was a bowl of vanilla Greek yogurt with some frozen blueberries and a handful of this grain free walnut granola. I love yogurt bowls with lots of texture so this was perfect!

cereal

I snacked on some cereal around 10:30. I’m considering it a win that this cereal actually lasted more than a week. Honestly, I’ve eaten entire boxes in just a few days. Does anyone else do that?! I typically can’t even buy cereal. This is the Special K protein kind so it actually does fill me up, unlike most cereals.

couscous feta and cucumbers

I’m not sure why I suddenly went on a lunch-packing kick but I did some meal prep on Sunday so I had lunch packed for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. This was whole wheat couscous with feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, and a herb blend. I had picked up veggies at the farmer’s market on Sunday so the couscous was a nice way to turn it into more of a meal.

blueberrries cheese

My afternoon snack was a little random but I’ve been trying to clean out what’s in the fridge. I had some fresh blueberries and cheddar cheese. (I know, it kind of looks like butter. I promise I’m not buttering my blueberries.) This cheese was so good. I don’t normally think to have cheese as a snack but I’m glad I had it because I think it kept me more satisfied than just fruit.

shakshuka (1)

For dinner, I wanted to try something a little bit different so I made shakshuka, which is a tomato and egg based dish. I’m trying to get myself to like eggs…but it didn’t really work. I liked everything about this except for the eggs so I basically just ate around those. (But if you like eggs, you’d probably really like this!)

After dinner, I painted the sunroom. We painted it a couple of months ago and what was supposed to be a purple-gray turned out straight up purple. It was driving me crazy so I finally painted over it with a real gray. It looks so much better. It was a hassle moving the ladder around a couch, a treadmill, and all my workout supplies, but it was definitely worth it! Once it’s all put back together, I’ll share some pictures!

What’s your favorite way to eat eggs?

I’m linking up with Laura & Jenn for What I Ate Wednesday!

Grain Free Walnut Granola

This grain free walnut granola is sweet, crunchy, and full of healthy fats & protein. It’s gluten free, vegan, and easy to make!

This grain free walnut granola is sweet, crunchy, and full of healthy fats & protein. It's gluten free, vegan, and easy to make!

As I was leaving my parents’ house yesterday, my mom packed up a bag of walnuts for me to take home. She had gotten a huge bag at Costco and had plenty to share. Since I’m not one to turn down a giant bag of walnuts, I gladly accepted. On my drive home, I was thinking about what to do with them and I just couldn’t get granola out of my head. As soon as I walked in the door, I preheated the oven and started playing around with different combinations.

My favorite of the bunch was this grain free walnut granola mixture of walnuts, coconuts, and almonds. I just loved the crunchy texture and since this granola is full of nuts, it’ll actually keep you satisfied!

walnut granola

5.0 from 2 reviews
Grain Free Walnut Granola
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • ½ cup almond slices
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp chia seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300
  2. In a small bowl, combine all nuts and stir to mix.
  3. If your coconut oil isn't already melted (mine was) just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds until it becomes a liquid.
  4. Stir in the coconut oil, maple syrup, and chia seeds.
  5. Make sure all the nuts are coated with the oil and syrup.
  6. Spread on a baking sheet lined with foil. I kept it in a fairly thick layer, so it would be a little clumpier. If you spread it out in a thinner layer, it won't be as clumpy but it'll cook a little faster.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes.

Just in case you’re curious, here’s the nutritional info!

coconut walnut granola

I almost burned my tongue because I kept grabbing bites as soon as it came out of the oven. That’s the sign of a winning recipe!

So Mom, thanks for sharing your walnuts with me. (And Dad, thanks for sharing red wine with me all weekend.) Can you tell I’m enjoying having my parents living in Richmond? It’s pretty great, and not just for the free food. 😉

Don’t forget to pin this recipe so you can make it later!

This grain free walnut granola is sweet, crunchy, and full of healthy fats & protein. It's gluten free, vegan, and easy to make!

You could also customize this granola by adding chocolate chips, dried cranberries, dried cherries, or pecans! (Just make sure you add the chocolate chips or dried fruit after you bake it.)
Don’t have any walnuts? Try this simple grain free granola instead!

What’s your favorite granola mix-in?

Roasted Carrots with Harissa and Honey

If we were together in person and you weren’t reading this on a screen, I’d be jumping up and down, tapping you on the shoulder and telling you to pay attention because you just have to meet Arielle. I’d tell you about how her blog will inspire you both in and out of the kitchen. This girl is a design genius and she’s also the queen of cocktails! I asked if she’d be willing to share one of her favorite veggie recipes with you all today, and she knocked this one out of the park! Ok, without further ado, meet Arielle, a local Richmond blogger & friend of mine!

Hi all! I’m Arielle. On most days I can be found over at Scotch & Nonsense, where I share my love for bold home design, great food, and kicky cocktail recipes. While I’m not a vegetarian like Liz, I do eat meat-free most days, and I definitely heart vegetables.

I have a few requirements for the vegetable dishes that go on heavy rotation in our house. They have to be nutritious, obviously, but I don’t like feeling like I’m depriving myself. If I have the prospect of a bland or unsatisfying meal ahead of me, chances are high that I’m just going to order pizza instead. Which kind of negates the whole nutrition goal. So yes, I like to keep it healthy, but I’ve got to have some heartiness and plenty of flavor to keep me interested.
roasted carrots with harissa and honey
This all leads me to today’s recipe for roasted carrots with harissa and honey. This dish is super easy to throw together, and it’s got plenty of good flavor. If you’re not familiar with harissa, it’s a North African spice mixture that’s smoky, a bit spicy, and absolutely divine. It’s not too spicy when mixed with honey and the natural sweetness of carrots, so don’t be scared. Instead, you get a simple, healthful dish with a deliciously complex flavor. Plenty to keep your interest.

4.8 from 6 reviews
Roasted Carrots with Harissa and Honey
 
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Recipe type: Side dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs harissa paste
  • 2 tbs honey
  • Bunch carrots, trimmed and rinsed
  • Pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oil, harissa, and honey and stir to mix well.
  3. Toss in carrots to coat.
  4. Lay carrots flat in a single layer in a rimmed baking dish, and pour remaining harissa mixture over them.
  5. Roast carrots for about 40 minutes, turning once, until browned and slightly tender.
  6. Remove from oven and season with salt. Enjoy!

roasted carrots with harissa and honey

Thanks Liz for hosting me today! I definitely enjoyed it and I hope you all did too.

Don’t forget to pin this so you can make it later!

These roasted carrots with harissa and honey are the perfect healthy side dish! Easy to make and packed with flavor, they're a delicious vegetarian dish!

What’s your favorite way to use carrots?

What I Ate After Vacation

After a long weekend in the Outer Banks, I was kind of excited to get back into my regular routine. I guess I’m a creature of habit? Or maybe I was just happy to sleep in my bed? Anyways, I shared a few tips for getting back into a healthy routine after vacation and I’ve been putting those ideas into practice!

I had just restocked the fridge with yogurt and fruit so breakfast was this yogurt bowl topped with frozen blueberries and fresh strawberries.

yogurt bowl breakfast

This was so yummy. I might have to add yogurt bowls back into the regular rotation.

The morning was filled with many cups of coffee and around 10:30 I started getting hungry for a snack. I generally try not to buy cereal because I can seriously eat a whole box in one sitting, but I grabbed a box of Special K protein cereal because I was craving something crunchy.

cereal

I munched on this while answering emails. Does anyone else eat dry cereal or am I a total weirdo?

Once lunch rolled around, I went down to the cafeteria to make a giant salad.


Veggies, chickpeas, black beans, feta, pita, and hummus made this salad super filling. The afternoon flew by with lots of meetings and work to do but I managed to grab a quick snack from my desk drawer.

I always have random snacks on hand. If I don’t eat something in the afternoon, I’m practically starving by dinner. #dramatic

mini larabar
This was a mini peanut butter and chocolate chip Larabar.

After work, I stopped at my parent’s house for dinner! I mentioned last week that they moved here and we had our first family dinner on Monday night!


We picked up dinner from Panera and I had the vegetable soup with the kale and quinoa salad. I really love their vegetarian options! The kale and quinoa salad has a nice crunch to it.

I ended up having some nuts and a few pieces of dark chocolate before going to bed. I just have to have something sweet! As much as I loved vacation, I’m glad to be back in my routine.

Are you an afternoon snacker?

I’m linking up with Arman for What I Ate Wednesday!

How to Get Back into a Healthy Routine After Vacation

We’ve all been there. You’re working out consistently, you’re eating healthy food, you’re feeling great… and then you go on vacation. When you come home, you spend the next 3 weeks trying to get back into a routine but you can’t seem to find your groove. Workouts are sporadic. Meals are hit or miss. Your whole routine seems to have gone out the window. But vacation doesn’t have to throw you off your game! Here are my tips for jumping back in after you’ve taken a break.

Back from vacation? Here are a few tips to get you back into a healthy routine!

Get plenty of sleep

While vacation is often packed with fun activities, we often think it’s going to be more restful than it actually is. Traveling can throw off our sleep schedule thanks to time zone changes, late nights, and sleeping in. Once you’re back home, head to bed early. Even if you’re not going to go to sleep at 9pm, take a break from your phone screen and read a book to help your body relax! If sleeping doesn’t come easy, check out these tips for a better night’s sleep.

Stock up on groceries

I think one of the hardest parts about getting back on a healthy track after vacation is your empty fridge. You cleared everything out before vacation (or you didn’t… and now it’s all rotten!) so there isn’t any fresh produce to eat. I typically order my groceries online through Relay Foods so I don’t have to hit the grocery store on my first day back. But however you do it, ensuring that you have lots of fruits and vegetables on hand is a great way to get back into eating healthy!

Drink plenty of water

If you’re feeling a little bloated, drink up! For me, I’m great at drinking in my normal routine. But on vacation? Not so much. I just don’t always think about keeping a water bottle with me! So one of the first things I do when I’m getting back into a healthy routine is fill up a huge bottle of water and take it with me everywhere! Here are a few more ideas for how to stay hydrated.

Let go of vacation splurges

Vacation is meant to be enjoyed! So stop beating yourself up over that slice of key lime pie or those sweet margaritas! A week of unhealthy eating isn’t going to undo a year’s worth of progress. Sometimes you just have to let it go in order to move on. It’s easy to get caught up in the mindset that you’ve already “blown it” so why keep trying? But hello, this is about moderation! Some days are salad, some days are pie!

Now that I’m back from the beach, I’m restocking my fridge and hitting the gym for a sweat session! Let’s start the week off on the right foot!

What are your tips for getting back into a healthy routine?

Quick and Easy Purple Green Beans [Guest Post]

I’m so excited to share today’s guest post with you because Anna is a local blogger here in Richmond! She’s a food lover like me and she offered to share her recipe for quick and easy purple green beans! Please welcome Anna to the blog!

quick and easy purple green beans

Farmers Markets. I love them. Even when they are busting with people and you just want to scream, “FIRE!”, so that the crowds will part and you can lazily stroll the stalls, touch all the fresh fruit and veg., and just dream up the recipes. But, creating mass chaos so that you can get the choicest of basil stems is not the best socially minded action. Thus, I show decorum and just fuss at people under my breath.

My local Farmers Market, South of the James, is open year round and it might be the Mrs. Yoder’s Donuts that keep me coming back rather than the abundance of beautiful organic produce, put to the public, it’s the beautiful organic produce. And maybe the country style sausage biscuits. Maybe. On my last trip I looked upon a sea of green beans and saw these amazing deep purple ones. My hand went straight for the deep purple hue. Because, different is beautiful and also- eat the rainbow!

purple beans

Earlier this year, I learned my favorite way to prepare green beans through one of those home delivery deals. It was either Blue Apron or Home Chef, I can’t remember. The preparation is so simple, so quick and so stinking delicious that it has me chomping down a double (let’s face it- all of them) size portion into my mouth. While like Liz, I heart vegetables, sometimes I other stuff myself on cheese and carbs and, Ack- meat. But, not with these green beans. And the ease and short time preparation make them a no brainer weeknight go to for busy people who need a vegetable side dish. And if you have some leftover, they’d make a great addition to a salad, but who are we kidding? Leftovers. Pah!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Quick and Easy Purple Green Beans
 
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Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6 cups green beans
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Wash your beans then snap the ends off of all the beans. You are taking off about ¼-1/2 inch
  2. depending on how long the skinny tales are. Discard the ends.
  3. Heat the olive oil and water a heavy bottom, large pan or dutch oven over medium heat.
  4. When the oil is hot, add the green beans. Stir to coat.
  5. Let them sit for 5 minutes or so. You should start to hear them pop.
  6. When you hear some popping, stir, then cover the pot and let them cook for 5-7 more minutes.
  7. Uncover, check doneness (the longer they cook, they less crisp they are).
  8. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  9. Serve warm and try not to eat all of them as you bring them to the table.

easy-green-bean-recipe

*Who knew that purple green beans turn green when you cook them? I didn’t either. You learn something new every farmer’s market.

These quick and easy green beans can be on the table in 15 minutes! It's a perfect healthy side dish!

-Anna of Sugar and Sassafras

What’s your favorite vegetable to get at the farmer’s market?

What I Ate Yesterday

I feel like the past week just flew by. Maybe it was the short work week? Maybe it’s just because it’s summer and the days are going by way too fast? I don’t know. But I managed to remember to snap a few photos of my meals yesterday so I’m sticking with the Wednesday tradition of showing you what I ate!

banana smoothie with about time whey

I kept breakfast super simple with a protein shake. Alex and I were meeting a couple of the pastors from our church for coffee, so we had to be out the door earlier than normal. No time to decorate this with beautiful toppings!


We met for coffee at Sugar & Twine, a little coffee shop in Carytown. I’ve only been there a few times but I really like their vibe. It’s very well curated and the coffee comes in really unique mugs.

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

It was nice to start the day with a huge mug of coffee.

Since I ate breakfast so early, my stomach was rumbling around 10:30. Luckily I had some of these cashews in my desk drawer.


I picked these up on a whim at Target and they’re so good. Almost too good. I grabbed a handful and zipped up the bag, tucking it out of site. If it’s in view. I’ll just keep going back for more!

Around noon, I went down to the cafeteria to grab lunch. I’ve raved about the salad bar at work before, because it’s pretty incredible.


I made this massive salad and it was only $4. That’s like half the price you’d pay at Whole Foods!

The salad was really satisfying and I didn’t get hungry again until around 4:00.


I had one of these mini Larabars to hold me over until dinner. They’re only 100 calories each and they taste amazing.

Once we got home, I had to make dinner pretty quickly because Alex had a softball game. I managed to whip up Jenn’s tomato soup with mozzarella balls in about 20 minutes. This is one of our favorite meals. I know summer isn’t exactly soup weather but this soup is so good that I don’t even care.

easy creamy tomato soup

I took the photo before we added the mozzarella balls on top because truthfully I burned them a bit and they didn’t look so pretty. Luckily they stil tasted great!

All in all it sounds like a normal day but actually some big stuff is going on! I didn’t want to say anything because there was always the potential for things to fall through but… my parents moved to Richmond!!!!

family

This photo was taken almost exactly a year ago, at our family reunion. Now we won’t have to drive 8 hours to be together!

They spent most of the day yesterday driving a giant moving truck from Columbus to Richmond and today they’re unpacking! I’m so thrilled to have my parents close by. It’s kind of funny that my brother moved to Richmond, I followed a year later, and now my parents are here 6 years after that! We’re so excited!

Do you live near any of your family members?

I’m linking up with Laura for What I Ate Wednesday!

Pineapple Chia Ice Pops

I’m so excited to share this Pineapple Chia Ice Pop recipe with you because summer is in full swing and these temperatures have me craving something cold. Rather than reach for a high fructose corn syrup sweetened treat, try these naturally sweetened ice pops!

healthy-pineapple-popsicles

The best part about this recipe is that it takes literally 2 minutes to put together. Maybe 1 extra minute to clean your blender. That’s it.

The secret? Bolthouse Farms® juice! I recently had a chance to try a whole bunch of the new Bolthouse Farms juices and smoothies and the Pineapple Mango one just might be my favorite. It contains coconut, pineapple, mango, & banana. Naturally, I had to try it frozen… but I wanted to give it a fun little boost with more pineapple (so you get sweet chunks in the popsicle!) and chia seeds, for a boost of healthy fats and fiber.

bolthouse-farms-popsicles

<g class="gr_ gr_1108 gr-alert gr_spell gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="1108" data-gr-id="1108">Pineapple Mango</g> Ice Pops
 
Prep time
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Note: The number of popsicles will depend on the size of your molds.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 16 oz Bolthouse Farms Pineapple Mango Smoothie
  • ½ cup frozen pineapple
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • Optional: For a protein boost, add 1 scoop of protein powder
Instructions
  1. Blend everything just slightly. You want to keep the pineapple a bit chunky.
  2. Pour into ice pop molds and freeze overnight or until firm.
  3. Run water over the molds to easily remove the pops!

chia-pineapple-popsicles

You can even add in a handful of spinach if you want to get a veggie boost! Or try the Bolthouse Farms Green Goddess flavor for an extra dose of greens! (You can follow them on Instagram for more healthy ideas!) I’ll be packing some of their juices with me for a beach trip so I know I’ll have a way to get some fruits and vegetables in my system, without having to bring my whole fridge!

I actually made half of these ice pops without protein powder and half of the batch with a scoop of coconut protein powder. It was a fun way to get in a little extra protein!

mango popsicles

These are a summer treat you don’t have to feel guilty about! Honestly, I think it can be hard to make healthy choices in the summer (hello vacations, parties, cookouts, reunions…) so I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to make healthier choices! Little snacks like these are the perfect healthier treat!

These pineapple mango ice pops are a sweet treat with NO added sugars! Just lots of fresh fruit and chia seeds!

What’s your favorite summer treat?

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Almond Butter Peach Toast

It’s Friday. And a summer Friday at that. So how about we keep things nice and easy with a breakfast recipe that will take you less than 5 minutes to make. Ok? Easy. Plus, once you make this, you’ll probably want to make it over and over again until peaches go out of season. Seriously.

ingredients for peach toast

Can we please talk about how peaches and almond butter is one of the most amazing combinations ever? I’m kicking myself for not trying this sooner!

peach toast breakfast

This is one of those kind-of-silly-to-write-a-recipe posts but honestly, these are my favorite kind of recipes! You don’t need to really measure anything. You don’t need to fill up your grocery cart with ingredients you’ll only use once. You just have to throw a few things together and- voila. Breakfast is served.

I’ve actually eaten this for lunch too, because why not?

5.0 from 4 reviews
Almond Butter Peach Toast
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 4 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 large, ripe peach
  • 8 large, fresh basil leaves
  • Pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Toast the four slices of bread.
  2. Divide the almond butter up evenly between slices.
  3. Slice your peach into thin slices.
  4. Top the bread with the peaches.
  5. Slice your basil into ribbons and sprinkle on top.
  6. Sprinkle sea salt on top and serve.

 

basil peach toast

The first time I made this, it was actually for lunch. In my opinion, breakfast foods should really be enjoyed as often as possible. Before Alex and I got married, smoothie bowls were a routine dinner. I basically didn’t cook anything unless it was specifically for the blog. And even then… sometimes it was lazy recipes like this. What can I say? I like easy meals. Don’t you?

peach toast

Besides, when easy meals are that gorgeous, do you need any more excuses to make this? No. So whip this up for your next Sunday morning brunch or Monday morning breakfast!

This almond butter peach toast will be your new favorite breakfast! It only takes a few minutes to put together so it's perfect for Sunday brunch or Monday morning breakfast!

What’s your favorite toast topping?

What I Ate Saturday

This weekend went by way too fast. Even though it was a long weekend, I felt like it flew by! I already shared a few of the bites that I had on Friday, I thought I’d give you the highlights of what I ate in a day over the weekend.

I’ve been rocking the smoothie bowls. I seriously can’t stop. Just expect these on repeat until forever. (Or until I can’t find good strawberries anymore.)

smoothie bowl

I’m all about the toppings. And adorable bowls that don’t stack properly with the rest of our bowls. Sorry, Alex. (Last night, Alex discovered that I’ve been hiding more decorative bowls inside the other decorative bowls. He’s on to me.)

black bean soup

I hadn’t gone grocery shopping and I didn’t feel like fighting the crowds over the weekend so I was relying on pantry staples for lunch. Easy black bean soup to the rescue!

I did have some ripe avocados on hand so I made some of Mark’s famous guacamole.

guacamoleIt’s definitely better when Mark makes it, but this one was pretty good!

We actually got a lot of cleaning and yard work done in the afternoon, so I think we were both pretty hungry for dinner. We went for a walk around Carytown and then stopped at The Daily for dinner.

img_0775

They have one of my favorite kale salads! It’s topped with apples, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate, and pecorino cheese. The bowl is like twice the size of my head. I ate every bite because it’s so good. After dinner, we grabbed an iced coffee at Sugar & Twine, which we shared on our walk home.

Since we ate an early dinner, we had room for dessert later. We took a trip to Sweet Frog with a couple of friends.

sweet frog

Fun fact: When Alex and I first started dating, we literally went to Sweet Frog like 3 times a week. It was dangerous. I think we’ve dialed it back to more realistic levels but we’re still regulars. I just love frozen yogurt! Ice cream is one of my favorite desserts and I love all the fun toppings! I usually go for a cake batter + chocolate frozen yogurt base with cookie dough, Oreos, Reese’s, & strawberries on top. So I guess the day started and ended with a delicious bowl piled high with toppings!

What’s your favorite dessert?

Linking up with Arman for What I Ate Wednesday!