Rainy Days and Mondays…

Ah Monday, the beginning of the week. A time to get back to routine.

I hate it. Okay, maybe I don’t hate it. But it was definitely hard to get myself in the groove this morning…

I had an amazing weekend. Here’s a little recap:

Friday: Worked at job 1. Scored a super sweet groupon deal with Canvas on Demand. Then headed to the restaurant. We had a local band playing, so it was a fun…and slightly crazy night. I was bowled over by something that was said to me-more on that later-and had a really good night. I ended up doing a little bit of everything, including getting to enjoy the music!

After work, I headed out for a quick 3 mile run. I had wanted to get in a few more miles,  but it felt good to let loose after a semi-stressful week. And I was surprised by my time.

Saturday: Ben let me sleep in. This was glorious. When I dragged my butt out of bed at 9:45, we headed to one of our favorite breakfast places. It’s about a twenty minute drive from our house, but they have the best homemade roast beef hash I have ever had. Worth it. After filling up on coffee and hash, we decided to check out our last legs for the ragnar relay, as they were only about 10 miles away.

My last leg is going to be gorgeous, it runs along the Ausable River and is a relatively flat, winding route. Ben’s is going to be a bit more difficult. He not only starts at the bottom of a small hill, but most of the run is heading up a steep hill, with no relief at the end. We have some work to do.

After our little drive, we headed home to relax for a bit before work. Then we had tacos for lunch. Win.

There was a crazy storm in the early evening and the result was a beautiful, full double rainbow over the lake. Gorgeous!I have a few decisions to make in the next few weeks and I took this rainbow as a sign that He’s got my back.

I ended up getting out of work early, so I did some errand-running and then waited for the hubs to get out of work. We enjoyed a glass of red wine and went to bed after watching some little gems on YouTube.

Sunday: What a great day! Ben and I got up and went to church. We also enjoyed a bagel with lox and cream cheese for breakfast. I really enjoyed the sermon, it was one of those times when I felt like He was speaking directly to me…it definitely has me prepared for the week ahead.

After church, we took a short nap and then headed out for a five mile run. The first couple miles were hard, but I soon found my stride and went on auto-pilot. It really helped to clear my head.

I felt so good after our run, that I did some planks. My body is protesting a bit today, but I know it’ll thank me later!

After the run, I dropped Ben off at work and then I headed to job 1 to do some catch-up work. It’s amazing how much I can get done in a few hours when left by myself.

I stopped into the restaurant and enjoyed an absolutely delicious dinner of steak and veggies over pasta with a glass of one of my favorite red wines. It was the perfect end to my weekend, and was a nice opportunity to just relax. I waited for Ben to finish work and then we headed home. After catching up on my food journal (this was a bit painful), I drifted off to sleep.

Today, Ben and I are heading down to tackle that Ragnar route. I’m a bit nervous about the hill, but I am looking forward to a night off and the chance to run with Farmer Ben. It’ll be a great way to start the week and get some hill-work in!  I can’t wait!


Dirty Little Secret (Boxed Mac and Cheese)

Hi Friends!

Hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was a win for the most part. Saturday consisted of sleeping in, going shopping and having a giant lunch.

I was pretty excited because I am finally creeping out of “in between sizes” and settling into the smaller size. I also picked up an awesome new t-shirt, along with some work pants and a sports bra. All were much needed!

Sunday was my day off with Farmer Ben…and let me tell you, we both needed it! We started out with church, some napping (okay, I was the only one who napped…but who’s keeping track?) and an amazing lunch.

It was the kind of lunch that you have when you want something hearty but don’t have a lot of time….or just don’t feel like “cooking.”

As you know, I’m not big on boxed foods…but I have a serious weakness for Annie’s Mac and Cheese…especially with greek yogurt. So good!

Sorry for the lack of photos… I was in too much of a hurry to stuff my face. Oops.

Anyway, here is what I call “the Dirty Little Secret.” I justify it by telling the world that everything was local/from the garden except for the mac and cheese mix and olive oil.

Dirty Little Secret (Or Lunch in a Pinch)

Ingredients

  • 1 box Annie’s Mac and Cheese-choose your own adventure on this one.
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 2 Jalapenos, seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • about a tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Optional:1 lb ground beef (or chicken sausage, turkey, beans, bacon, etc.-again, choose your own adventure)
  • Optional: shredded cheese

What to do:

Cook your pasta as directed on the box of mac and cheese (to save time, boil water while you are prepping the rest) and set aside. Reserve cheese packet for later.

Roughly chop onion, jalapeno and garlic.

Throw them in a hot pan with some olive oil. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn/stick.

Add in ground beef (or whatever you decide on)

Cook until your beef is browned, stirring occasionally to break up any big clumps.

If necessary, drain out excess oils/fat (we used a 90/10 grass-fed beef, so there wasn’t really anything to drain).

Add cooked macaroni and seasoning packet, along with some Greek yogurt…or sour cream if you’re feeling naughty. Stir until well combined.

We ate our’s like this, BUT if you want even more crazy goodness, pour your beefy mac into a casserole dish and top with shredded cheese. Cover with foil, removing for the last few minutes of bake time. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 until cheese melts/begins to bubble-maybe 15-20 minutes.

This will serve 4 people (better with a salad) or two extremely hungry people. We ate our’s in two sittings.

Again, this is just a quickly thrown together option, you could add in bell peppers, diced tomatoes, olives, whatever you want!

Enjoy!


Lentil Burgers

Lately, I haven’t been eating as well as I would like. It’s partly because I’ve been eating on the run and partly because I’ve been lazy about planning ahead.

It’s been all about beef, bacon, nachos, potatoes and cupcakes. Granted these are all grass-fed/local/from the garden…but I admit, I have been over-indulging.

Don’t get me wrong, I love greens but I have just wanted something a little more… meaty and cheesy.

So, in an effort to cut down on my carnivorous binge, I made some veggie burgers. I served them over greens with a quick yogurt sauce (greek yogurt, lemon juice, honey, dill and garlic powder).

These are super easy to make AND go really well with salad….so you’ll have plenty of room for shredded beef nachos later on… I’m only sort of kidding…

So much color and goodness!

Lentil burgers are also totally good for you-packed with iron, protein, potassium, fiber and good fats!

Anyway, I used orange lentils in this batch but I would advise using black lentils instead–they are a bit firmer and will hold up better to mashing/mixing. You’ll need to rinse your lentils before cooking them to make sure any little stones are picked out.

Lentil Burgers:

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

2 cups cooked lentils (I cooked mine with our favorite Thai Stock from Wegmans)

1 15 0z can beans –I used great northern beans- garbanzos, black beans or pinto beans would also work

4 large eggs

1 to 1-1/2 cups bread crumbs

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

a few good cranks/pinches of black pepper and sea salt

Parsley-I used about a tbsp

A few squeezes of lemon

1-2 tsp. Smoky Paprika

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

Optional:

  • Olives–Ben and I stumbled upon Lindsay’s Naturals Green or Black Olives and they are amazing! We had a can in our cabinet so I threw some in for some added texture.
  • Jalapenos–I’ll probably make these again just so I can throw in some fresh japs from the garden! YUM!
  • Your favorite cheese-I used about 1/4 -1/2 cup of Cabot Mozzarella

What to do:

Combine lentils, eggs and salt in a large bowl– use your trusty dough blender or a fork to combine until your mixture is still slightly runny but chunky-it’ll look like really wet/chunky hummus.  (You can also use a food processor).

Add in remaining ingredients (except olive oil), stir until just combined. Let sit for a few minutes so the breadcrumbs absorb excess moisture.

Your mixture should be wet, but still able to be formed into patties.  If necessary, add in more breadcrumbs a little bit at a time. Or, for more moisture, add in more water/egg.

(I mentioned using black lentils instead of orange-I found my moisture to be REALLY wet/mushy with the orange and was out of breadcrumbs, so I added in some unbleached flour-it worked just as well).

When you have the right consistency, heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat, form patties and add to skillet.

Cook covered until bottom begins to brown-this took about 7 or 8 minutes. Flip and cook another 7 minutes until other side is lightly browned. 

Serve over your favorite salad or on a bun as a veggie burger.

Makes about 12 burgers ~177 calories per burger. You can store uncooked patties in the fridge for up to a week.


Honestly…

It’s Friday. The Friday after a crazy week . Finally Friday. The last thing I want to do today is work…let alone work at both jobs. But…here I am!

I’d really love to be laying on the beach right now, margarita in hand… or sitting on a patio with a bloody mary. These both sound infinitely better than working all day.

On the bright side, the hubby drove me to work AND we stopped for coffee.  It was so needed.

In other news, my waist and hips have whittled down to the point where I can take off numerous pairs of pants/shorts without unbuttoning or unzipping them, meaning that I desperately need to go shopping so I have something to hold me…

Even though I can accomplish this fancy trick, I don’t feel like I am that much thinner. I kind of feel like I am the same size. But 20 lbs is 20 lbs.  And it’s gone!

Another plus: People are actually noticing, so it must be true!

This morning I woke up approximately 50 minutes later than I had planned. What happened, Alarm C lock?! We have a standing date and you broke it!  I don’t know whether to be relieved or upset.

Even though I woke up late, I was still able to haphazardly get ready and make it to work on time… but I can’t guarantee that my hair is brushed. No big deal.

I was so planning on mailing out my foodie penpal package this morning… but I have to do it tomorrow because I left some of the items at home. Le sigh.

Our garden is out of control… I am waiting with bated breath for the avalanche of tomatoes and basil that will come in the next few weeks… we’ve gotten a few currants but I am waiting for the main event! Ah! And cucumbers… and beans … and potatoes… Yes! Life is good!

Ben made kimchi and we had it over soba noodles yesterday… it was pretty delicious but my stomach was on fire for about 4 hours after lunch. Talk about feeling the burn!

I cannot wait to soak up some sunshine tomorrow and Sunday. Bring on the SPF 50!

I also see some granola making in my future.  And napping. Definitely napping.  And running. Yes. All good things!

Happy Friday!


It’s Just Not That Serious

Sometimes, you can’t take life too seriously. Things happen.

You’ll drop a plate.  Your hair will decide to stick straight up in the air instead of carelessly across your forehead in that just-so manner and you’ll sweat profusely instead of glisten. You’ll get in fights with the people you love over something silly, whether it be taking something out of context or using the last of the milk in your coffee. You’ll smash your shin on the corner of your car door (Please don’t do this, it hurts) and then you’ll fall up the stairs. Or break some piece of equipment at work.

No big deal.

Days like these, there’s really only one thing to do. And that is lunch. 

I’m not talking anything fancy. I’m talking simple and delicious.  Seriously. Things like (local, free-range) chicken salad, tortilla chips, homemade pickles, greens from the garden, a chilled quinoa salad and pickled peppers (Courtesy of Farmer Ben)….Mint iced tea from a mason jar is optional-but highly encouraged.

Something that looks like this:

A Seriously Good Lunch.

This is another “random assortment of food” lunch that just works. Use your imagination, dine family style with your favorite lunch partner-utensils are totally not necessary. Remember, this isn’t serious.

I bet after this meal, you’ll feel ready to take on the world, crazy hair, scraped shin and all.