Spinach

Roasted Red Pepper and Chickpea Burgers

Oh man do I have a good recipe to share! My salad from yesterday’s lunch was so tasty, so I wanted to make something to go along with those ingredients. I got to thinking and realized I hadn’t made veggie burgers in ages, so I decided to whip some up and these turned out incredible. You can see my recipes for Easy Homemade Veggie Burgers and Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers, but these may be the best ones yet.

Ingredients (for 2 burgers – 2 WW Points each)

  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and dried off (1 pt)
  • 1 roasted red pepper, pressed in a paper towel or cheesecloth to remove moisture
  • Handful of spinach
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (2 pts)
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (1 pt)

Directions:

1.) Combine chickpeas, roasted red pepper, spinach, and basil in a food processor:

2.) Pulse until well mixed and tranfer to a bowl.

3.) Add oats and parmesan to the bowl and combine all ingredients by hand

4.) Form into patties

5.) Cook as desired. If I was home I would have cooked them in a pan to get the outside crispy, but since I’m at my office I baked them in the toasted until heated through and they were awesome! You could also microwave them or bake them but pan searing is probably the best.

I ate both of the burgers for lunch (4 pts) open faced on a toasted light english muffin (1 pt). I also had cucumber on the side (0 pts) but it was on its way out and parts of it were soft. ick!

This is a recipe I will definitely be making again, and you can totally switch up the ingredients based on what you have. I was thinking about mixing feta into the burgers too which could be awesome… play with the recipe and let me know what you come up with!

Today was also CSA day. I went before work to pick it up and here’s the loot:

In today’s box:

  • 5 peaches
  • 6 donut peaches (!!!)
  • apricots
  • 2 zucchini
  • 3 yellow squash
  • 5 ears of corn
  • Lemon Basil plant

I was so excited to see donut peaches in the box this week! Remember when I went to the Asian mart two weeks ago and took a picture of these because I’d never seen them before? Well now I have some to try! So excited.

That’s the donut peach on the left and a regular peach on the right. The donut peach is basically a smushed regular peach but I’m not sure if they taste any different or are any different texturally than regular peaches.. I will let you know!

Have you tried any new-to-you produce recently?

It’s OK to Cheat (Sometimes)

Hey! Whew this day has flown by even though I got out of work early. I ended up making the 5:30pm Bikram class and it was amazing. I think after taking a few days/over a week off, my body craves it and I have such a good time. At first I thought my body would be angry for taking the time off/in shock from the heat, but as soon as I got in the room I was just happy. I found myself actually looking forward to some of the postures and surprised when the standing series was over. I go back and forth with that – sometimes I can’t believe it’s over, and sometimes I can’t believe it’s not time to lie down yet!

After Bikram, I headed to the grocery store for a much needed trip. I got a bunch of produce and some other random things so I can make it through the week making all my meals. I had gotten out of cooking for a bit leading up to my trip and I have been missing it! When I got home from the store, it was already after 8 and my boyfriend actually beat me home so we just decided to whip up something quick. I bought a pound of deveined shrimp, so we boiled them with some white wine, water, blackening seasoning and some bay leaves.

 Then I whipped up a salad with spinach, shredded carrots, roasted red peppers, and garlic sprouts.

And we pan fried some polenta with a little romano cheese for a starch with the meal.

This meal was delicious and SO easy. It’s OK to cheat sometimes… For one, we used bottled dressing (which we never do).

And the polenta was in a tube so we just had to cut it up and pan fry it. Plus, the shrimp were Easy Peel, so they were already deveined so all we had to do was cook them. We usually do most things from scratch but sometimes its nice to just have to take a few minutes to heat things up rather than take the time to do it all – – especially when you’re famished from Bikram!

I’m off to watch a little TV and get to bed early. Be back in the morning!

What’s your favorite cooking shortcut? I looooove canned beans and use them almost exclusively. It cuts hours of soaking and boiling the dried kind, even though I know those are better for me because they don’t add as much salt/preservatives.

I’m Baaack

Hello! Sorry for the blogging hiatus, but I’m back and plan to be on regular schedule going forward, blogging after breakfast, lunch and dinner. As I mentioned during my trip in OKC, the powercord for my laptop broke, so my computer died and I had no way of charging it. It made it really tough to blog because typing long entries on my phone was semi-painful, plus having to take all the pictures on my droid instead of on my camera. I basically gave up after Saturday morning, but wanted to share a few highlights of the trip.

First, the frozen yogurt place. It was called Peach Wave, and was SO cute and delicious. Here’s a picture of the inside of the shop:

It was a self-serve frozen yogurt place, and they had 16 flavors of frozen yogurt to choose from!

Plus tons of different toppings, from fresh fruit, nuts and granola

to every kind of candy you could ever want

I went there twice during my trip to OKC. The first time I went the healthy route:

Plain tart yogurt with raspberries, kiwi, mochi, and organic granola. It was sooo good and the fruit was super fresh. The next night (no picture) I went the candy route, and got cookies and cream frozen yogurt with oreos and cookie dough. SO good, but definitely not the healthiest.

Instead of recounting every detail from the last four days, I’m just going to summarize what went right and what I need to work on for my next business trip (one in July and a big one in September coming up).

Good things:

  • I went to the gym 2x and got in great workouts and strength training
  • I ate a lot of fruits and veggies the whole time I was there
  • I ate a healthy breakfast every single day, either egg whites and veggies or oatmeal, plus lots of fresh fruit
  • I ate at the buffet for several meals, and didn’t overdo it ONCE (This one is HUGE for me)
  • I got back on track after indulging on weekend meals yesterday and ate really healthy even though I was traveling/in airports all day. Breakfast at the hotel of egg whites with veggies, skim milk, fresh fruit, and an english muffin. Lunch was at Moe’s and I got the Personal Trainer, which was basically a salad with black beans, veggies, rice, and pico de gallo. I opted out of cheese and the tortilla bowl, but did get chips on the side. Dinner was a Grilled Veggie Wrap and a fruit cup that I bought at the airport and ate on the final leg of my trip.

Better luck next time:

  • I overindulged on dinner for the last three nights of my trip – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Friday night was the crab feast, Saturday we went to Mexican and I had way too many chips and salsa, a margarita, and shrimp fajitas for my meal, and Sunday was the worst. We ate at the hotel bar and ordered chips with blue cheese melted on them, crab mac and cheese, and some other random snacky items – everything was shared but it was way too much and way too unhealthy and I woke up HURTING yesterday)
  • I only went to the gym the first two days – I should have tried to squeeze one more trip in over the weekend to get myself refocused
  • I didn’t drink enough water after the first few days
  • I overpacked (not a huge deal, but my suitcase was really heavy and I only wore 1/2 of what I brought!)
  • I drank too much coffee and now I feel myself craving it again when I hadn’t had it regularly for a few months before this trip
  • I had a few too many drinks on the trip – I’ll leave it at that

I have another major highlight of the trip to share – a trip to an incredible art gallery (and I’m not really into art but this was amazing). I’ll save pictures of that for another post so this one doesn’t get out of control!

Today I am back to the grind. I still have to unpack since I didn’t get home until almost 10 last night, as well as go grocery shopping and just relax a bit so I can get my life back in order. I had an egg white puff breakfast sandwich this morning for breakfast.

I used 1/3 cup egg whites and microwaved them in a bowl for 1 minute. I added a bit of spinach which wilted from the hot eggwhites, and then some sriracha, all on an arnold thin. It was really good but I was hungry a bit later, so I dug into a banana that I bought yesterday for a snack on the plane and didn’t end up eating.

Back to work to sort through my millions of emails and catch up on everything I missed from being out of the office!

I know I’m a day late, but what was the highlight of your weekend? If nothing exciting happened, what are you looking forward to NEXT weekend? I have one of my best friend’s Bachelorettes on Saturday night in Atlantic City! We are staying at the Borgata and will be living it up and I can’t wait. All our best friends from college will be together for the first time in a while.

So Far So Good

Thank you so much for all your encouragement and ideas from this morning’s post on my goals for the month of June! I think I will do a weekly check in rather than monthly so I keep closer track of how I’m doing with the goals, and so that I will be able to adjust them a bit if necessary. The first week may be a little tricky for me since I’m traveling, but I plan to go back to WW next week, still count points as much as possible, not drink too much (except water!) and try to get 2-3 workouts in while out of town. There is supposed to be a pretty nice gym in the hotel so I will try to go there as much as I can when my schedule permits (not likely on Saturday + Sunday since I will be working 12+ hour days and busy from early morning to late evening).

Lunch today was awesome, and very point-friendly! I’m trying to use up as much as I can of what’s in the house since I’ll be leaving tomorrow, plus eating as many fruits and veggies as I can to cleanse out my system and start the month off right.

Doesn’t that look so good and colorful!? Plus, the whole enormous salad had only 4 WW points.

Onto my plate went:

  • 2 cups baby spinach (0 pts)
  • microgreens (0 pts)
  • garlic sprouts (0 pts)
  • Corn (raw cut off the cob) (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas (1 pt)
  • 1 roasted pepper (0 pts)
  • 1 serving Doctor Kracker Hummus Maximum (2pts) broken up

Check out all those toppings!

They made the salad fun to eat and delicious since there was so much going on. I’d never broken up crackers on my salad before, though the idea doesn’t seem too revolutionary, but it made for a nice crunch on the salad! Plus the fresh corn added a little soft crunch and sweetness, and the garlic sprouts a spicy garlicky flavor. On the side I had some grapes (1 pt):

So a total of 5 points for a really delicious and colorful lunch. I’ve also already had my 8 cups of water today and plan to keep on drinking, so so far so good for the first day of the month!

Question: What is your favorite low-ish point/calorie lunch? I’ve mentioned this many times before, but I LOVE baked sweet potatoes (3 pts for a large one) with 1/2 cup black beans (1 pt) with a big salad on the side loaded with veggies (0) – total of 4. This lunch was pretty awesome, too, so comes in as a close second.

Leftovers!

Hey! Today is FLYING by. I loved reading all your comments on today’s Yoga Pose May post about your favorite types of yoga/positions. One funny little story is that my friend Kara read it, and she saw the first picture and said “That looks SO easy. I could totally do that!” before scrolling down and realizing giving yourself a yoga hug isn’t the WHOLE posture, just step 1. Ha!

Today’s lunch was leftovers from Wednesday night’s Chinese food plus a little office leftovers mixed in! I had the rest of the Mooshi Veggies with the hoisin sauce on two of the pancakes.

These are so good. I have no idea what the nutritionals are but they can’t be TOO bad since its mostly veggies and a little egg. They are kind of doused in the sauce but I’m going to pretend its really good for me. 🙂 My boyfriend had ordered Schezuan Jumbo Shrimp with Veggies and had some leftover veggies, so I added in 1/2 cup of black beans and threw it over a bed of spinach on the side.

It felt good to use all the leftovers because a lot of times we don’t use them all before they go bad, and I hate wasting food! This was really delicious – the Schezuan sauce was spicy but it was evened out by the beans + spinach.

For dessert I had the rest of the Farmer’s Market strawberries.

But then I was told there were leftovers in the conference room from a work lunch, so I had to check it out! I grabbed all the fruit that was garnishing the cookie and sandwich plates, and added it to my strawberries.

Some starfruit and kiwi, and one strawberry. The strawberry was not good compared to the fresh ones from the farmer’s market! It was firm and not sweet at all. I also had to snag one of the cute little cookies:

How cute is that!? Yum.

Now I’m off to wrap up the day so I can get ready for this long weekend!! Does anyone have any fun plans? I’m just laying low and lounging by the pool if weather permits, but cannot wait to just relax and hopefully get a little less pasty!

Surprises! (And a New Winner)

Happy Friday afternoon! Today has been an awesome day for a few reasons.

First, it’s amazing outside. Mid 80’s, sunny, and not at all humid. Awesome.

Second, I had a fabulous lunch but did a really bad job photographing it.

This mega salad had:

  • Tons of farmer’s market spinach
  • 1/2 cup wheat berries
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar

Look at all those toppings!

The fail part of this was that I had some Baked Tortilla Chips that I forgot to take a picture of (1 serving) and made an awesome dressing to go with the salad. I mixed together salsa + greek yogurt and drizzled it all over. It wasn’t very pretty (the color of the dressing), but it tasted great. This salad was awesome, huge, and so filling. I couldn’t even finish it all and that rarely, if ever, happens to me.

Third, my boyfriend surprised me at work with flowers!

And some veggies from a new Farmer’s Market that just opened in DC!

He know’s me pretty well, eh?

He brought microgreens, red and white radishes, black bok choy, and two bunches of kale!

Good job!! 🙂

And to follow up on the post from this morning, here are the answers to which wins for each, diet or exercise.

1.) Lose Weight – Diet – As research makes clear, trimming calories from your diet is the most direct route to a smaller size. It’s much easier to cut 500 calories from your diet every day than it is to go to the gym and burn 500 calories. Both diet and exercise are essential for keeping weight off, however.

2.) Boost Energy – Exercise – Exercise causes the brain to pour out invigorating neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. People who train consistently report surges in energy.

3.) Reduce Risk of Heart Disease – Diet – Omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish lower hear disease risk by up to 64 percent. Working out does strengthen your cardiovascular system, though.

4.) Prevent Diabetes – Exercise – Achieving a healthy weight through diet and exercise is the biggest defense against diabetes, but exercise has a slight edge. Active muscles gobble up glucose from the blood for fuel, which helps keep blood-sugar levels stable.

5.) Prevent Cancer – Both – Eating a mostly plant-based diet and exercising regularly remain the gold standard for warding off cancer. The more consistently you workout, the greater the protection.

6.) Improve Mood – Exercise A 20-minute session can perk up your mood for up to 12 hours! It may also be as effective as mediacation for treating depression in some people. And exercise can lead to changes in the brain that strengthen your resolve against stress.

What do you guys think? To me it seems like each thing has an element of both exercise and diet, but its good to know that making healthy lifestyle choices can make a huge difference in your overall health. I found this information pretty interesting!

And the NEW KIND BAR Giveaway Winner is… #18, April, who said:

“I’m already a subscriber and have never tried KIND before! The Almond and Coconut sounds delish!”

Congrats April!! Please send me your shipping info to bethklein at gmail dot com and I’ll have the KIND Bar people get you out those bars to try.

Whew this post ended up being longer than expected, hope your Friday is going great too!!

Eggplant Parm Wrap and Wheat Berry Salad

OK so I know I named Tuesday’s lunch post “Best Lunch Ever” but that was before today and there was no way I could know this was coming. I knew I wanted to use the leftover eggplant from last night but do something different than just having it with the cheese and sauce. I have a few of those Light Flatout Wraps left (which by the way are only 1 Weight Watchers Point and just 90 calories) so I decided to make a healthified version of an Eggplant Parm Sub of sorts.

I microwaved some spinach with a little water in the bottom of the container for 30 seconds so it would wilt and toasted the leftover eggplant rounds while that was going. I put the flatoutwrap down, added the spinach, put the toasted eggplant on top, and then added some cheese and threw it in the microwave for another 30 seconds.

I added some of the heated leftover sauce on top.

And wrapped it up to eat.

This was cheesy and warm and melty and just amazing. On the side, I had two large carrots.

And this amazing Wheat Berry Salad. In a tupperware this morning, I mixed:

  • 1/2 cup cooked wheat berries (whole foods bulk bins)
  • chopped green onions (farmer’s market)
  • chopped green squash (farmer’s market)
  • dried sour cherries (nutsonline.com)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

It was AWESOME. Since it sat together for a few hours, the sour cherries soaked up the liquid and got soft, and all the flavors in this went together so well. Unfortunately I am out of sour cherries but I have more of everything else so I may or may not make this for lunch again tomorrow… mostly may.

The only bad part of this lunch was that it’s now over.

Question: What’s one of your favorite lunches of all time, either that you cooked for yourself or got out at a restaurant?

Wrap it Up

I found these Flatout Wraps in the depths of my freezer and have been loving them lately. I have a ton of groceries right now due to all my excursions to farmer’s markets and the asian grocery store, so I’m trying to use up what I have before going to the store again. So today, I got a little creative with my lunch and it worked out great.

To start, I had a flatout wrap with spinach from the farmer’s market and 1/2 serving of soy tempeh. When I was packing my lunch this morning, I wanted something else for the wrap to give it some flavor and fun when I spotted the leftover breakfast corn and potato hash from Monday morning. I grabbed it and decided it would make a good addition to the wrap because it tastes so good!

I had two large carrots on the side, but forgot toothpicks to hold this massive wrap together.

My fingers worked just fine. 🙂

I also threw together a random little radish salad last night, where I took 6 radishes (also from the Farmer’s Market) added some rice vinegar, a little salt, and a tiny drizzle of evoo. Because it sat overnight, the red from the outside of the radish bled into the insides, so the whole salad was pink.

It was delicious, but next time I’d make it in the morning so it was easier to look at.  For “dessert” I had some fresh strawberries.

It was a delicious, satisfying, and colorful lunch!

What did/will you have for lunch today? Looking for some inspiration. 🙂

7 Reasons to Bike

Hiya! I found a really interesting article on Womens Health Magazine’s website about biking and why its good for you. I’m trying to break myself of this mentality because I know it’s good for me, but I find biking to be a lot easier than running. Sometimes I let myself feel guilty when I bike instead of run, which is ridiculous! It’s easier on your joints, its FUN, you can go so much faster and cover more mileage, and its an awesome supplement to my workout routine. Knowing all this though, I sometimes feel like I don’t get the same quality of workout that I do with running. This article was good for me because it solidified a lot of what I already knew but also taught me some new things (#3 and#6).

7 Reasons to Start Bike Riding

  1. Calorie burn – The average woman burns 488 calories biking 12-14mph.
  2. Good for On the Go – If you live within 5 miles of work, biking to work 2x a week burns an extra 3,000 calories a month, which is almost 1 pound of fat you could lose just from using your bike to commute.
  3. Total Body Workout – Obviously your legs, quads, calves and glutes are working to keep the pedals going, but you work your upper body too with controlling the handlebars, so you get toned all over.
  4. Boosts Energy & Fights Fatigue – A study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that bike riding improved energy levels by 20 percent and decreased fatigue by 65 percent. This is because biking causes your brain to release dopamine which is directly related to energy.
  5. Easy on Joints – It puts a lot less pressure on your knees, ankles, and joints than running or walking.
  6. Every Muscle Feels It – Biking uphill, 1/2 sitting 1/2 standing, engages your core and your triceps in addition to your legs and upper body.
  7. Protects your Heart – It lowers your blood pressure and LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases aerobic fitness, all big fighters against heart disease.

I’m going for a bike ride tonight after work so in an effort to pump myself up, thought I’d share this with you all. 🙂

Lunch today turned out to be better than I anticipated. I just wasn’t that excited about it, but it ended up being really delicious and satisfying! I had a bowl of leftover soup from last night

This soup was really chunky and delicious, and held up really well over night. It was perfect to contrast with the crappy weather here in DC. 🙂 Along with the soup, I had an awesome Strawberry Mango Salad.

This salad had:

  • 2-3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 mango, chopped
  • 5 large strawberries, chopped
  • 1 serving light feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 green onion, chopped

It was SO good! The green onions made such a difference and I almost forgot about them after getting them at the Farmer’s Market last week. I still have a ton left and love using them with eggs, in quesadillas, and on salads. I asked my boyfriend (the chef) if I could eat them just as a veggie, and he said they grill them whole at the restaurant and eat them just like that! I’ve yet to do that, but could be tasty!

Ciao for now!

Old Standby

Hey and happy hump day! We’re officially over halfway through the week, woohoo! Also the weather in DC is holding up really well, so keep you fingers (and toes!) crossed that the thunderstorms don’t come so I can do a run or a bike ride tonight! 🙂

My OIAJ from this morning kept me full until 2pm!! I think it was the combination of 2 tbsp chia seeds and the peanut butter in the jar… whatever it is, I liked it. I wasn’t even starving by the time 2pm rolled around, it was just time to eat! I am loving these chia seeds, and loving making “overnight” oats with milk and vanilla extract instead of yogurt and milk. All good things!

Lunch today was my old standby, a sweet potato with black beans. Whenever I’m in a rush to pack lunch and/or haven’t cooked dinner the night before, I love to have a microwaved baked potato with black beans with a salad on the side. It’s so easy, filling, and delicious! To “bake” the sweet potato, I wash it really well, then poke some holes it in with a fork, and then cover it with a damp paper towel. I throw it in the microwave and hit the “Baked Potato” setting, which is my scary strong microwave at work is only 3 minutes, but will be more like 5-6 in normal microwaves.

On top, I put 1/2 cup of canned black beans. I used to rinse my beans thoroughly, but lately I’ve stopped rinsing them and just pour them over the sweet potato as is. The extra wetness from the bean juice (nasty!) actually gives it a good flavor and helps the beans stick more to the potato.

On the side, I had a spinach salad with strawberries and goat cheese.

Which made for a very colorful and satisfying lunch!

I also had a few extra strawberries on the side that wouldn’t fit on my salad.

Yum! I still have another container of strawberries at home because they were buy one get one free, so I’m trying to think of a fun way to use them up other than just eating them plain/chopped on salads. Any ideas?

What are some of your standbys when you don’t have leftovers?

Also, don’t forget to enter my KIND Bar Giveaway if you haven’t already!

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