Buffalo chicken pasta salad

I think this is the summer of all things buffalo. I have had a recent obsession with green onions, and they pair perfectly. Monday was a rough day, having been off the four days prior, and this was definitely a bright spot in my day.

Celery, tomatoes, shredded carrots, green onions

Chili lime oven baked chicken

Mixed together with pasta, ranch dressing, plain Greek yogurt, and Frank’s Red Hot.

This came out so much better than I imagined. I went a little light on the hot sauce, but you can add more depending on your taste.

Did you know you can regrow your green onions in water? I’m kinda obsessed, I think this time I’m going to try to replant them in a pot outside. You just stick the ends in some water, in the sun, changing out the water every day. They grow back quite quickly too!

Advertisements

The best fricken-chicken salad

I’m serious guys! I’ve made a few variations of chicken salad in my lifetime, but this one takes the cake. And it’s healthy! Can you get any better than that?!

I have a short week at work this week, because I took two days off to celebrate my 30th birthday (and by celebrate I mean watch Dirty Dancing and drink Starbucks). This recipe made exactly enough for three meals, so it was perfect for this week.

Shredded carrots, chopped cucumber, fresh Italian parsley, chopped green onions
Baked chicken with lemon pepper seasoning and dried dill
Mixed together with plain Greek yogurt and more dill

The tangy-ness from the yogurt and the fresh veggies and herbs really knock this dish out of the park. Honestly, such a better flavor than mayo, my usual go to since it’s always in the fridge.

This would be best on croissants or crackers (I vote for croissants personally).

After lunch I was able to get The Beard to take me to Lowe’s to get supplies for my first balcony garden.

Patio tomatoes, peppermint, lemon balm

And my most favorite part, the yoga gnome!

How cute is he?

Chili lime chicken burrito bowls

I’ve been trying to write this post all week, but let me tell you, it has been a busy busy week! So let’s cut right to the chase, shall we? I tossed this together from some staples at home (rice), some Trader Joe’s items (roasted corn, Cuban black beans) and some chicken! And it’s the bomb dot com.

Chili lime rub from Aldi’s, so good and not too spicy! I picked up this 4-in-1 for The Beard (because he loves spicy), but he doesn’t do chili lime. Luckily for me, it’s my jam! I sprinkled this on the chicken, then baked in the oven.

I tossed the chicken together with the roasted corn, Cuban black beans, and green onion. All this went over some cooked brown rice and portioned up in the fridge.

Warmed up at work with some yummy ranch dressing and some hot sauce. Also good with cheese, Greek yogurt, or avocados.

So that’s what I’ve been rocking this week, how about you?

Trader Joe’s favorites

Now that I’ve made Trader Joe’s part of my shopping routine, I’ve found some favorites that make it into my basket every week (and some favorites for special treats.) Let me know if you’ve tried these and if any of them make it on your list!

  1. Taco seasoning. It’s really good and really cheap ($0.79 for two servings) It has a little bit of a kick, compared to other store bought options, but it’s free from additives. img_20190419_175828239-11663260974.jpg
  2.  Mint Watermelon black tea. This stuff is my jam. It.is.so.good. Try it, I dare you. The combo is unexpected, but so refreshing. My sister and I drank it on our balcony and it was perfect. img_20190505_084054226819093919.jpg
  3.  Chocolate covered bananas: Gone Bananas! Ok these are probably for children, but they are so addicting. The creamyness of the banana with the dark chocolate is just a match made in snack food heaven. These are kept in the freezer and really step up to fill a chocolate craving. They also have chocolate covered strawberries I may need to pick up on my next trip. img_20190518_1314203281670499114.jpg
  4. Tarte Aux Fruits mixed berry tarte. My mother-in-law served this at Easter and it was love at first bite. It’s sold in the freezer and it’s as easy as defrosting it the fridge overnight. img_20190518_1313456781122180467.jpg
  5.  Cuban Style Black Beans. These are so good and cheaper then a can of black beans from Kroger or Aldi. Jazz up your dishes a little bit. img_20190518_131458787_hdr1310147446.jpg
  6.  Roasted corn. SO good. Use it for tacos or soup.  img_20190518_1315153241058232846.jpg

What are your favorite things to pick up from Trader Joe’s?

Mondays are hard

Ok, anyone else struggling today? I had a busy weekend away from home, and just

barely got my meal prep done for the week, whew!

First, happy late Mother’s Days to my mom & my mother-in-law, you guys rock!

fb_img_1526177842079-11612797490.jpg
Love this photo

I spent the weekend in Lexington, MI (near Port Huron), for a friends bachelorette party weekend. The weather cooperated just enough that it didn’t rain, but it sure was cold!

A few of my favorite pictures from our adventures:

img_20190511_150436450319979448.jpgimg_20190511_1503257201365691033.jpgfb_img_1557612228138877487899.jpgimg_20190511_1501435311389053379.jpgimagejpeg_0_071027949514.jpg

For dinner this week I tossed together some soup ingredients and let it simmer on the stove while I finished cooking dinner for Sunday night and putting together The Beard’s meal prepped dinners for the week.

img_20180903_0909335691387218658.jpg

I mixed together about 1.5 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Soup Mix, 2 cups vegetable broth, 2 cups water, seasonings, fired roasted diced tomatoes, and leftover ham from the freezer. It cooked for about 1.5 hours on the stove, and then I divided it up into containers after it cooled. It is surprisingly chilly today, so soup was perfected to warm up with.

img_20190513_1645146101363634460.jpg

What’s on your menu this week?

 

Desk job life: tips and tricks

If you’re like me, and you sit all day at work, you know how hard it is on your body. I’m at work for 53 hours every week (counting my hour lunch every day). And if I don’t make it a point to get away from my desk at lunch, I feel like I’m chained here. Here are some tricks and tips to help you get through your work day.

  1. Drink lots of water. The more you drink, the more you need to get up from your desk to use the restroom (and stretch your legs). Also, you skin will thank you. Office air is so dry. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces every day. If that sounds like a lot, try flavoring it. Pop in a tea bag, fruit, mint leaves, or lemon (mix and match). Get yourself a cute reusable water bottle.
  2. Sit up straight. Your back will thank you. I get incredibly stiff and restless after sitting for so long, sitting up straight definitely helps.
  3. Leave your desk for lunch. Go outside, sit in your car, take a quick walk, meet up with someone, or run some errands. Nothing makes a long day longer than not leaving your desk for 10 hours. I feel so much better when I can get away for a little while. When the weather is warm enough, I take my book out to the car or will run out to the grocery store. When my husband and I worked together, we walked several times a week, it was great for decompressing the workday.
    img_20180315_133042142721388401.jpg
    Lunch-time walk views

     

  4. Pack healthy snacks. I don’t know about you, but I like to snack when I’m bored! I also use snacks to motivate myself during the work day. Pretzels, fruit, veggies, yogurt, or popcorn make excellent healthy-ish snacks for work. I keep applesauce, oatmeal, and any dry snacks handy in my desk. 

    (Fruit, carrots, Pressed Kind bars)

  5. Decorate. I have a few small keepsakes on my desk, they make me smile and add some personality to my office.

    img_20190507_0907141351266506971.jpg
    Center piece from a friends birthday party, salt lamp, gnome I painted with  my mom
  6. Crank the tunes. But don’t be that person whose music is so loud you can hear it outside your office. Unless it’s a Saturday (and relatively quite), I keep my music low – as not to disturb others around me. But it definitely helps with the boredom of sitting at your desk all day. Listen to a pod cast, playlist, or just the radio.
  7. Ignore the office bully. We’ve all got one. Mine works in the office near mine, is incredibly passive-aggressive, and gets off on talking down to others. I know that whatever this issue is, it’s with him, not me. Don’t let negative people bring you down, avoid him if you can, and don’t let him rain on your parade.
  8. Take a day off it you need it. Sometimes you just need a break. Sometimes when I’m feeling a bit burnt out and unmotivated I try to take a personal day. Even though my boss once said to me (about another employee) that we don’t take “personal days”, they are still important for your mental health. Enjoy your weekends too!

That’s it! I can’t believe we finally made it to Friday. Have a good weekend and happy Mother’s Day to all the mommas out there

Meal prep: Wild rice & chicken salad

If you’re like us, you’re still recovering from last night’s Game of Thrones episode. We are usually in bed by 8:30 PM, so GoT nights are late for us! We also saw Avengers: End Game (no spoilers here, but it was great!) yesterday morning, and grabbed lunch afterwards at our favorite Mexican restaurant. I had the most amazing breakfast skillet with refried beans, hash browns, ham, cheddar, cilantro, and two poached eggs. The Beard got a chorizo burrito, which looked equally as awesome (even if I don’t like chorizo).

So my meal prep routine was a little out of wack this weekend, but I still managed to get everything done before settling on the couch for the night. But we made it, Monday has arrived. Bring it on, week!

I used up some more of the wild rice from Trader Joe’s to make a quick salad with roasted chicken, chick peas, and green peas.

img_20190428_161706383684095145.jpg

I roasted both the chick peas and chicken breast in the oven until cooked/crispy. Tossed that together with the cooked rice, green peas, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Roasted chick peas make a great snack as well! Just season and roast until crispy, wait until they are cool enough that you don’t burn your fingers, and devour. I usually season mine with Greek seasoning and/or lemon pepper.

Served up with cherry tomatoes and chopped cucumbers, yum!

Goals for the week: re-screen some more windows (surprisingly satisfying), clean the shower, caulk the shower, finish my book I’m reading, switch out winter clothes for warm weather clothes, stretch every night this week, and make a decent dent in the baby blanket I’m working on for a friend.

What I’m looking forward to this week: my sister coming to town, participating in my work’s 5k, and a visit to Frankenmuth