Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Savory Breakfast Bruschetta

Bruschetta Breakfast on top of a white plate in a kitchen

Mornings that begin with a savory breakfast are a foolproof way to prevent the day from going sour. Making breakfast is a routine for me. It makes me feel at home and prepares me for the full day ahead. Now, it would be a lie to say every meal in the AM is like this! Most are filled with a simple Italian bread and jam or soy yogurt and granola. I like to keep things simple. However, on the days I test my limits, I'm never disappointed when I take the extra time to treat myself.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Washington Fall Chicken Waldorf Salad

A glass bowl filled with mixed Chicken Waldorf Salad on white marble and next to apple slices

Traditional Waldorf is one of my favorite salads. They're a rarity in Seattle, despite my love. You're probably wondering what makes this salad specifically targeted to Fall and Washington State and that's a darn good question. The truth is in the apples.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Kale's got the Beets Salad, featuring baked Blackened Chicken

a plate of salad with kale, beets, vegan feta, walnuts and blackened chiecken with a small white pumpkin behind it

Happy November, y'all!

Today's post is a recipe inspired by a salad I had at a restaurant a few weekends ago. My friend, H, and I went up to Port Gamble and Poulsbo for a day trip to the other side of the Sound. Before we decided to head back to our side of the pond, we stopped off at a restaurant on the docks, named Doc! H had lobster mac and cheese, which looked divine, while I had a gorgeous Blackened Chicken Kale Salad.

This salad it not identical by any means but there are elements of the salad I've wanted to attempt for sometime. The first task was figuring out how to blacken chicken without using a cast iron skillet. Some of you maybe surprised to learn, I don't own one. This was a surprising 4 minute google search. While researching, I found an easy 8 ingredient rub where I added and subtracted seasonings to what I had on hand.

My second tackle was to bake beets. For those unaccustomed to beet preparation, wash, wrap in tin foil and place in the oven at 400* for an hour. Miracle beets! Easy as can be! And peel-able.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The "No Spend Month" Challenge Meal Planning - Week 2

Continuing on with my No Spend Month series today. This time I'm bringing you week 2's Meal Planning list. This week was a bit of fun because I got to really focus on trying something new. I stuck to my week 1's rule of trying a new recipe but the first was week so so successful financially because I noticed how inexpensive soup and salads are to make.

This realization formed the basis of my meal planning schedule every Sunday. A soup, salad, a side and another entree of my choice.

This week I went with a lovely beef soup that was chocked full of veggies. Potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, everything you love. It's super hearty and very easy to make. Surprisingly similar to a beef stew but without taking as long too cook. I found it on pinterest by another blogger. (See below for the link and week 2 plan. )

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The "No Spend Month" Challenge Meal Planning - Week 1

There's a lot that goes into planning for a week, apparently. Personally, my life doesn't contain a marriage or children or even an animal! It's really just me. You'd think it's be easy but what I've learned is that I'm a really pain in the, when it comes to food. Who the heck knew? 

My downfall? Spending money to spend money during my No Spend Month. To say this was actually a challenge for me... well, it really was an actual challenge. Being strict and honest with myself about where my money was going was tough enough so I had to create a plan that would work and keep me in line. 

I know I've spoken about this before, in another post, and this isn't a summary of my challenge. It is, more or less a type of guide on how I planned my meals. Which, by the way, was every single Sunday afternoon. Planning, buying and cooking. All of it at once. My favorite recipe guides were mostly from pinterest. I found at least one new recipe that I wanted to try and make, checked to see what I already had in the fridge or in the pantry and then set out my meals for the entire week. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Fried Egg Quinoa Breakfast Salad Bowl

White bowl with quinoa and cabbage salad inside with an egg on top, next to a blue coffee mug with fish on it.

The best thing about leftovers is that it gives you the opportunity to get creative with your meals. I'm a breakfast person but I like my meal sometime after 9 o'clock. In fact, normally around 10am is my ideal time so this might qualify me as more of a brunch person.

My ideal breakfast is granola with soy yogurt (obviously I would choose , specifically, Tillamooks Marionberry yogurt if I could. It's significantly cheaper and tastier). I'm also a big smoothie fan. I tend to leave big breakfast items for the weekend for brunch with the girls.

However, this week I had to get creative. I had left over quinoa from a salad I made and just didn't know what to do with it. So, my creativity streak kicked in. What I love about making up recipes, from scratch, is literally being able to add everything I love. This thought, in and of itself, makes me incredibly happy. Example: GARLIC

You heard it hear first, beware, it's my favorite and that's my not-so-secrect ingredient to this yummy breakfast bowl. That, and a fried egg placed right on top.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Currently Obsessed With: Anthropologie's Gilded Rim Coupe

Anthrpologie Tablesetting campaign for Spring with Gilded Rim Coupe

I've had my little green eyes on these lovely Coupe's since they first touched the beautifully finished, handcrafted, wooden selves at Anthropologie. The light pink giving your bubbles and kiss of rose gold for the night. *sigh* Dream, Dream, Swoon. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Perfect Almond Milk Iced Latte

My biggest money saving secret is in a mason jar of espresso and almond milk. I kid you not. This recipe was something one of my best roommates ever taught me. (I mentioned K before here). It was at a time when we both weren't making very much money and the only thing we had was a hand-me-down espresso machine that either we bought at the goodwill or came from one of our mothers. I don't remember but after two weeks, we quickly realized it was a money saver at it's finest.

That was around 8 years ago and it's still a recipe I stick too. Every so often I'll mix it up and go hot but NOT in the summer time. It's also one one of the reasons I was able to stick to my No Spend Month budget and so I thought it would be something wonderful to share.

At this point, you must have realized that you'll need to own an espresso machine for this to work out. After moving home, and once I was able to get my own place, my mom gave me her old one and my current roommate and I use it to this day. It's ancient but it makes coffee and that's really all that matters.

Won't lie, I'm insanely fortunate to work at a company that has multiple coffee and espresso machines. Realistically, I could make a lot of things but it's "office coffee". For those of you who don't know what that means, well, it's not very good but it's a perk so you can't very well complain about it. We also always have almond milk in the fridge. SO, do the math here... yep, you're right. My coffee is free every morning. It's also something you can order from Starbucks or your favorite locally owned shop.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The "No Spend Month" Challenge Check In

Two Safeway Receipts, My Gorcery List and Meal Plan for the week and a book called "The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me for Women" by Richard Paul Evans

If you're a reader than you know from my past Summer Goals Post that I challenged myself to a "No Spend Month" for August. I thought I would give some mid point reviews and hiccups that I've had along the way and why I decided to try it out.

This month, I've given myself a strict budget for everything. 1 meal out a week with friends (1 glass of wine and a meal). Full week's worth of meal preps combined with a grocery list to stick to a food budget. No impulse purchases at the cash rep, no extra entertainment (unless it's free or pre-paid), no additional purchases throughout the week (including my guilty dark chocolate bar buy.) Example: Girls Trip last weekend was paid for 2 months ago and saved up for by the time we went. There wasn't anything purchased as for as trinkets or souvenirs go because I decided to keep my memories with photos.

My challenge is to primarily save up some extra money to feel cushioned.

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Salad Trip Short

In college one of my favorite classes was photography. We never worked with video and there is a part of me that wishes we had so I'd feel more familiar behind the lens. So, please excuse the quality and quirkiness of this video. I was having a bit of fun.

This salad is something I came home and threw together. It was a meal that I didn't think much about but clearly my body was craving protein and vitamin K because I added Spinach, Asparagus and Ground Beef to this gem. It was a hearty meal for a salad but my regret isn't available today. It was what I needed.

Though this may surprise you, I'm not going to post the recipe for this salad because I don't think I've perfected it yet. I need a lot less and a lot more at the very same time. So, stay tuned but it's not happening today my friends. Today's post is simply to remind yourself to listen to what you need. Whether that be a type of food, a glass of wine or mac and cheese. It's possible your body may need that for the time being but remind yourself that quantity plays a big part in your food quest, as well as attention.

Good luck on your salad adventures today!

Friday, August 12, 2016

5 Ways to Destress on the Weekend

Hello Friends!

Happy Friday! Living with someone, anyone, can be such a fun lifestyle. There have been a lot of things that I have learned from each roommate that I've ever had. My parents had a major impact on my childhood life. My college roommates all taught me something, whether it's how to be a good friend, how to study or how to cook Hawaiian Pineapple Pork Chops. Later on when I moved to Florida, I had a roommate teach me how to make coffee drinks from an espresso machine (very valuable for saving money and life-pro tip!). When I lived with my cousin, I learned sometimes the person you're living with really needs a friend to help them get through something.

My current roommate, R, is totally different from me and it's the most interesting living situation I've ever been in. She's a morning person, I don't believe anyone should speak to me before 10am. She does all her chores before I even get up and I run the dish washer at 9pm. We differ but we make a great team. We were speaking to one another a few weeks ago and I was intrigued to learn that one of the reasons she agreed to live with me is because she knew she'd learn how to better take care of herself physically. She has a tendency to over do workouts, hit a plateau because she's over training or gets sick easily because she burns her body til the wick is gone.

She recently asked me what it is I do to make sure I don't burn out or get sick. To be clear, the reason this post is being written now is because there was a great deal of thought that had to go through my mind before I could give her a worthy answer. Once my wheels were done turning, I thought I'd share my results with you!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Green with Envy Pork Salad

Won't lie, this might be the greenest salad I've ever made. I love color, I always try to incorporate some type of rainbow infested mixture into my salads but this week: I've failed. 

As my legs moved me from the office kitchen, back to my desk, there were whispers amongst my fellow colleagues and silent glazes of disappointment in the air... not really. I had one co-worker come up to me and merely say "That's the greenest salad ever. It almost looks too healthy". Which I can't decide is a slap in the face or a hand shake but either way, do not be fooled. This toss came out delightful. 

I stuck with a very simple dressing of olive oil and herbs. I also added a left over pork chop on top. Nothing like left overs to save money and mix up your plain salad! 

Next time, I'll work on my color. It's been a busy month. I know I've mentioned that in a few of my posts but it's thrown me off my game! I'll be back in no time though. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Roast Beef Sandwich with Rosemary Bread and Daiya Slices

When you have a salad blog but you make a hot sandwich instead...

That's right, I went rogue. The truth is out there, people. I don't just eat salads, sandwiches have been one of my best friends since I was a nugget. Can we talk about my undying love for a quality PB&J?

As I'm sure you've figured out, this is a dairy-free sandwich with all the fixings to make a proper meal. I bought most items from a store I love but I'm not affiliated with so I probably shouldn't say where I went. (Two words, second word is Joe)

Now, as I was saying, I love sandwiches. Ask anyone. When I was a kid my mom would ask me what I wanted for dinner and I would say grilled cheese or a salami sandwich on a baguette. I know, so french. I wasn't that posh, trust me.

As I've gotten older I've grown to love tomatoes, lettuce and avocado and I love a quality warm sandwich.

This one came to me after a super hot 90 minute yoga class. I was starving but held out for this warmed up delight. It was super simple to whip up and I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Three Summer Goals

As I laid on the couch last night, after warming up a quick dinner and streaming an episode of Gilmore Girls, I'd realized it was the first time I'd taken time out for myself in months. I forced myself to lay down because my upper back was virtually on fire from the amount of pain my muscles were in. It was a stressful week. The tightness in my shoulders and lack of activity, beside my normal yoga routine, had finally gotten to me. Feeling run down and waves of exhaustion rushing over me isn't normal for me. However, there I was falling asleep during the first 15 minutes of the episode.  It's been a tough few months, that much I simply cannot lie about. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Oven Baked Pork Chop Garden Salad with Grilled Artichokes

Hi Friends!

It's Summer! Summer, Summer, Summer! It's my favorite time of year and I've been chowing down salads like it's my part-time job. Sometimes it's all I think eat besides, well, brunch.

Interestingly enough, when I was younger, I hated salads. Like, all salads. Looking back, I'm unsure if it was because they were always a boring ol' side salads or if it was just satisfaction from giving my poor Mom a hard time. Regardless getting out of my hatred was difficult and dressing is what changed my mind about salad. I started with a very specific type of ranch and I drowned my lettuce in it and then added toppings. Finding a middle ground was insanely difficult for me until I hit college, where I studied Art History. That's when I came to realized salads were about creativity, nutrition and (yes, truth) colors. Colors are my favorite part of salads.

If I haven't lost you yet, that's wonderful because there is a point to this story. Promise. This week, for me, is all about progression. Progression in yoga, in healing, in letting something or someone go. This week is about opening your heart and exploring other ways to make something your own. Inch by inch, Time with Time. It's good to stop and remember where you once started and to see how far along you've come. You will get there in your heart and mind and eventually see the colors. Even if it's just making a kick ass salad. Haha.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Pulled Pork Kalamata Apple Salad Bites

Hello Friends!

Happy Summer! That's right, it's June 20th and it's the first day of summer. I couldn't be more excited for it. Summer in Seattle is the best time of the whole year. We get amazing weather, spend whole weekends at the lake and cook nothing but savory fresh salads.

Today I've got a fun one. This salad is much more of a lettuce wrap. Mixing it up a bit today BUT let's be real here, it's a salad. I can definitely eat this meal with a fork and be completely satisfied with my meal. It does get a little messy, missy, so Ye Be Warned.

As a perk in our office, we get organic fuji apples. We get boxes of them shipped in from a vendor outside of the city and it's one of my favorite parts of working for a food magazine. We really care about our food. Thus, they are always fresh, delicious and crisp. Since spring has been here for a while, these apples were full of flavor and I couldn't help but add it to my salad today.

For those of you who are impatient, like me, this recipe is going to test you. It does take some prep work. Again, Ye Be Warned! The over all time for this to cook is around 8-10 hours, depending on how long you keep the pork shoulder in the crock pot. Afterwards, it's a simple assembly line chopping process and staging.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pepper Roasted Cashews on a Turkey Garden Salad

Full picture of the Pepper Roasted Cashews on a Turkey Garden Salad

Happy Memorial Day weekend, all! I am so excited because I am doing exactly what I want for the next three days - Getting my life back in shape AND relaxing. I can't ask for a better holiday break. Staycations are something to always consider because you don't have to put a lot of thought into them. You can explore around your state or pack up the car for a nice long hike around the mountains. Gotta love the Pacific Northwest.

Last weekend, I ended up at the wineries with one of my best gal pals and we had an amazing time just sitting and drinking a nice chilled rose. I love nothing more than 1:1 time with a great friend.

This weekend's salad is something I throw together a lot, especially for work. I generally make it in the spring/summer months because radishes hit the stores a lot more. It's super simple to make in advance and ensemble in the office. All you need is a microwave for the Turkey and you're set to go. I have had this salad when the Turkey is cold and it's honestly just as good but it's cold and rainy in the great city of Seattle so I chose to heat it up.

Friday, May 27, 2016

That Yoga Life Tho

Hard wood floor with yoga mat. Photo taken standing on yoga mat with Painted Toed Feet.

Never in my life have I considered myself a Yogini. "That would just be crazy" was literally my mantra. Though, for the past 10 years I have taken yoga classes and am fairly more familiar with the practice than most. Over the past few months, something has seriously changed in my lifestyle to where I feel my mat calling me to it. Not literally, that would probably be defined as "crazy" but its a feeling I have been unfamiliar with.

Over the past few months, I found a new studio and started practicing regularly (3x a week). Since restarting my yoga lifestyle I've progressed more over this amount of time than ever in my yoga practice. I was finally able to not only get into Bakasana/Crow Pose (aka Crane Pose)  but held it for the first time ever. It's just as hard as you think it is but once you find out where your gaze should be and when you should brace your stomach your pride boosts like none other. It's definitely an arm workout but what has really surprised me in how much it has strengthened my abs! There's a physical difference in the inches around my waist. I don't know if I've felt this strong since high school.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Healthy Cilantro Lemon Pepper Chicken Salad

Cilantro Lemon Pepper Chicken Salad in a glass bowl on white marble

Good morning, for the PNW!

This salad is super easy to put together as long as you make the chicken in the oven the day before. I tend to do this a lot. I love making the protein portion on Sunday night as a part of my meal prep for the week. My other option is to put it in the oven right after I get home from Monday morning's yoga class.

You're probably asking how I have so much time in the morning to cook chicken. Well, I tend to under estimate on a few things but I know myself and I do take into consideration how big the chicken actually is. If I have two large chicken breasts then I know it'll take about 40 mins at 375*. One large breast may only take 20-25 minutes. Not so bad when you think about what you do in the mornings. Especially when its just throwing something in the oven.

Clean up, ah yes - another question. To be 100% honest, I use a disposable pie tin. That's right! I cover it in foil so it's fool proof. The moment the tin is cool, I remove the foil, toss it, cut my chicken, throw it in tupperware and run out the door.

This chicken salad recipe is super simple for someone who needs to throw something together for a healthy lunch. I always add fresh cracked pepper to simple recipes like this one because it's a little addition that gives it a lot of extra flavor. I also didn't really use a dressing for this one! It's a clean mixture of olive oil and lemon juice. As in, I literally squeezed 1/4 of a lemon on top and called it a day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Honey Balsamic Shrimp on the Beets (with Avocado)

Bowl with the Recipe for Honey Balsamic Shrimp on the Beets Salad

I'm really excited to share this first post! I haven't always had a love for salads. It was a hate relationship for a long time until I came acquainted with dressing! Ranch dressing, to be more specific. Then I had a surgery and learned that I became dairy intolerant so I had to find an alternative way to dress my salads.

After a lot of research, trial and error, I learned to make my own ranch and make creamy dressings alone! I started thinking about the restaurants I was visiting in downtown Seattle and, overtime, came to realize that I could possibly make a version at home without the dairy or the fried bits. I began experimenting and bringing in little tasters for co-workers and family members. Until one day, a co-worker and girlfriend of mine was talking about how I should upload one of my recipes to my blog.

A lot of thoughts went in and out of that suggestion, until I came to find a solution - a brand new blog, dedicated to my beloved practice! Thus, The Salad Trip was built out.

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