Category Archives: Lunch

Spinach Ricotta & Roasted Tomato Toast

Spinach, Ricotta & Roasted Tomato Toast

Hey guys!  Long time no speak!  I just recovered from a nasty stomach bug so needless to say I didn’t have any exciting eats to share.  Toast and a few bites of broth was about all I could muster for a few days.  Fortunately it has since passed and I’ve moved on to more exciting toast, like toast topped with creamy ricotta, caramelized onions, spinach and roasted tomatoes.

BirthdayParty

This past weekend Tom & I had a delayed 30th birthday party at a bar in Boston and we had SO MUCH FUN!  We rented out a room that had its own bar and music system, we rocked out to some 90s hip hop and threw back some cocktails and miller high life 🙂  I feel so lucky to have such a great group of friends, thanks to everyone for coming out to celebrate with us!

RicottaTomatoToast3

When I go back to cooking meals after going a while without spending much time in the kitchen, its SO nice to just spend time chopping and prepping for a meal.  There is something so meditative about it, its  my zen zone.  I’ve just been having trouble finding the motivation to cook lately.  I’m hoping my work schedule will slow down a bit so I have more time to cook up elaborate meals again 🙂 Stay tuned…

Spinach, Ricotta & Roasted Tomato Toast

Anyways, about this toast.  It makes the perfect light lunch, I was trying to imagine eating it outside on the patio on a nice warm summer day.  Warm summer days feel so far off after a week of rainy cold weather but maybe it will come some day.  Until then, a girl can dream can’t she?

Spinach, Ricotta & Roasted Tomato Toast

To make this I just roasted some sweet cherry tomatoes at 425 until they started to explode 🙂  Then I sautéed some onions, garlic, spinach and ricotta cheese .  Stirred in some salt, pepper and thyme, drizzled with some olive oil and called it a day!

Spinach, Ricotta & Roasted Tomato Toast

I know we’re not knocking down culinary boundaries with this one but it was delicious & quick and hopefully you’ll get to enjoy it outside on a patio with warm summer weather, someday…

Have a great weekend!!

 

 

 

 

Smoked Salmon & Dill Grilled Cheese

Smoked Salmon & Dill Grilled Cheese

Hey guys! Long time no speak!  Sorry for the lack of posting last week.  I was crazy busy with work and Tom was away for a few nights so there wasn’t much exciting cooking going on over here.  I had full intentions of doing a WIAW post but when I sat down to write it on Tuesday I realized that I hadn’t photographed any of my food for the day; um whoops!  Just shows you how fried my brain was.  I feel refreshed after a nice relaxing weekend so I’m ready to dive into another busy week.

Smoked Salmon & Dill Grilled Cheese

Speaking of diving…let’s take a look at this delicious grilled cheese diving into some roasted red pepper soup.  Since we seem to be living in the arctic tundra these days I’ve totally been craving warm cozy lunches like soup (and grilled cheese of course).

Smoked Salmon & Dill Grilled Cheese

I think some of my favorite food ends up being a result of limited items in the fridge.  I have usual go-to meals for lunch but when I didn’t have anything left for a big salad or leftovers, I was forced to dig a little deeper.  I saw the smoked salmon I’ve been enjoying for breakfast and then I saw the havarti dill cheese and this grilled cheese was born.

Smoked Salmon & Dill Grilled Cheese

I layered some slices of havarti dill cheese and smoked pacific salmon between two pieces of sesame ezekiel bread.  I lightly buttered the bread and then cooked in a pan until the bread was browned and the cheese was melted.  I like to put a cast iron pan on top while it cooks so it has a little weight on it.

This was the perfect lunch for a winter day, I’ll definitely be having this again sometime soon!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

When I saw this super cool owl the other day, I was so excited!

smowy owl

A few days ago I was sitting eating lunch when I looked out the window and noticed this MASSIVE snowy owl on our neighbors roof.  I ran upstairs and took the screen out of the window so I could snap this photo.  We had a staring contest for about 10 minutes until I lost and decided to go back downstairs to finish my lunch.  How friggin’ cool is THAT?

See?  More proof that we live in the arctic tundra.

 

 

 

 

Greens, Eggs and…

CollardGreensAndEgg

…no ham.  But that IS a great book and if you want to add ham to this, you totally could and I’m sure it would be delicious.  I had this for lunch yesterday because we didn’t have any leftovers and I had an entire bunch of collard greens in the fridge I had to use up.  I love sautéing greens because you can literally eat an entire head in one sitting without even realizing it.  In this case I ate half a head of collard greens, I’m saving the rest for a delicious omelette today.

Collard Greens with Egg Nest

I realize we’re not reinventing the wheel here but I figured I’d share it as an easy lunch or paleo breakfast idea.  Its super easy, super healthy and super delicious.

Collard Greens with Egg Nest

Simply sauté the collard greens in olive oil until they are nice and wilted.  You could obviously use kale or swiss chard or any other dark leafy greens.  Then season it with salt, garlic powder and LITTLE cayenne pepper, I used some of that whoop ass seasoning I got.  Make a little hole for the egg to cook in the middle and crack the egg into the center of the greens.  Cook the egg a little more by placing under the broiler for a few minutes or putting a top on the pan.  I finished it off with a little parmesan cheese and it was delicious!  I couldn’t believe how filling it was for such a healthy meal, I’ll be coming back to this one again.

Collard Greens with Egg Nest

Ok, so I have some questions for you people who work out at night.  I usually work out in the morning but this week I’ve been working out mostly at night.  I love how much stronger I feel in the evening and how much more energy I have for the work out but I’ve run into a few issues.  Number one – what do you eat and when?  I obviously don’t want to eat a big dinner before I work out but then when I’m done I’m not all that hungry and its late and I don’t feel like cooking.  What’s a girl to do?  Issue number two is getting to bed.  I usually pass out the second my head hits the pillow (which totally pisses my husband off since he has troubles sleeping sometimes).  BUT, when I workout in the evening I’m all energized and I find myself lying awake in bed for an hour or two before I can get to sleep.  Maybe I need to start adding a little sleepy time tea to the bedtime routine on these nights? Let me know if you guys know of any tricks to make this work!

Happy Friday, eat those greens!!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Being tourists in your own city.

Boston

It’s so easy to get caught up in everyday life that you forget to enjoy the beautiful place that you live.  Last weekend Tom & I drove into Boston and walked around with zero agenda.  We discovered some cute little shops and walked along the beautiful seaport. We heard an amazing 12-year-old girl playing the piano on one of the public pianos that was installed for the installation.  And we even got our picture taken in true tourist style.  Sorry guys – no fanny packs here (although the thought crossed my mind).

 

 

 

 

Lemon Poppyseed Detox Salad

Lemon Poppyseed Detox Salad

You know you’ve been eating too much bad food on vacation when you start CRAVING vegetables.  Like lettuce, and broccoli, and tomatoes, you see them and crave them like you might crave a bag of chips. My body was telling me, get some of those things in me, NOW!  It is so incredibly difficult to eat healthy while you’re traveling.  I’m not making excuses because its very possible to do so, I’m just saying that I have a hard time with it.  When you’re in an airport, often the “healthy” items have been sitting and browning for so long, you’d rather eat a cardboard box than that smelly iceberg lettuce.  So you end up a the Mexican place and order a burrito bowl and eat the whole thing and then your stomach hates you. So, after a few days of episodes like this, I decided to listen to my body and made a huge salad for dinner our first night home.

Lemon Poppyseed Detox Salad

You can really add anything to this salad, I’m giving you the recipe for the lemon poppyseed dressing below.  For ours, I chopped up some spinach, apples, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, avocado, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds.

Lemon Poppyseed Detox Salad

I also cooked off a few lobster tails to serve on top, but I didn’t put that in the photos because I didn’t want to make you too jealous.  By the way – lobster tails are totally a rip off, just buy the whole damn lobster.

Lemon Poppyseed Detox Salad

Ok, have we seen enough green yet? No? Ok, here you go…

LemonPoppyseedDetoxSalad5

Now go eat em!!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Being sore from a workout.

I’m soooo friggin sore from our workout yesterday.  Being sore isn’t necessarily fun but it gives me a sense of accomplishment and I have these visions of my muscles actually repairing themselves and making me stronger.  Ok YES it hurts to sit on the toilet and I can’t walk down stairs right now but hey, no pain no gain right??

Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Condiment
Misc Serve Cold

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium lemon (juiced)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Directions

1. Mix together all of the ingredients (except poppy seeds) in a blender or with a whisk.
2. Stir in the poppy seeds and pour over your favorite salad. Garnish with more poppy seeds.

 

 

 

Avocado Hummus Egg Salad & A Quick Look Inside My Fridge…

Avocado Hummus Egg Salad

Holy mother of all hot days.  Yes, I realize that most of the country deals with these temperatures all summer long, but up here in Boston where some of us (cough, cough) don’t have air conditioning, 95 degree days are pure torture.  95% of the year, the cool ocean breezes are enough to cool down the house but then there are those days. Like today. When its 95 degrees. And there is no breeze. And I want to die.

I’m currently sitting on our first floor at the kitchen table since its a balmy 88 degrees instead of the 92 degrees in my office.  I have a fan blasting me in the face and an ice pack on my feet and I still feel like the movement of my fingers on the keyboard is making me sweat.

Avocado Hummus Egg Salad

We’re supposed to have another repeat tomorrow so I might have to go to Starbucks to “get a coffee” and stick around like, I don’t know…ALL DAY.  I know what you’re thinking, “Stop complaining and go buy an air conditioner.”  Oh believe me, I would, but we have those wonderful crank windows that air conditioners don’t work with.  We’ve done some scheming about getting a room unit and creating some sort of plexiglass contraption for the vent but then we’d also have to deal with the wonderful fact that our bedroom doesn’t have a door, and well… yah. I guess you can see why nothing has happened yet.

Ok, I’m done complaining.  On to some food…

You may have seen this one as my lunch on WIAW last week but I figured I’d give it a little extra shout out because it was super easy, and healthy, and delicious.  I simply made some hard boiled eggs in the morning and then for lunch I mashed them up with some ripe avocado, garlic hummus, salt and pepper and then drizzled with a little dressing.

Avocado Hummus Egg Salad

It was delicious on its own as a salad or you could make a sandwich or wrap out of it.  The creaminess of the hummus & avocado was so good, you didn’t even miss the mayonnaise! BTW – totally loving Tessemae’s Dressings.  I knew it was a good sign when I saw them on ice at the store. Its always good when you have real ingredients that can spoil!  Sounds kinda crazy but a good rule of thumb is to go for the stuff that can spoil.  If it doesn’t spoil, there’s probably some scary ingredient keeping it from spoiling.

A LOOK INSIDE MY FRIDGE…

Am I the only one with a weird fridge peeping obsession?  A few years ago I came across this project that a photographer had done where he photographed a ton of people’s refrigerators.  I don’t know why but I was strangely intrigued by the photos and found myself going through each one examining every single item in each fridge.  Whenever I see an article about “What’s in So and So’s fridge” I get all excited to see it.  Everyone has such different tastes and families and habits, its really interesting to see what people have in their fridge.

Well, if there are any other fridge peepers out there, here’s a look inside our fridge:

fridge1

This happened to be after a trip to the Farmer’s Market but its a pretty typical look inside our fridge.  Staples usually include eggs, almond milk, onions, garlic, spicy pickles, half & half, egg whites, guacamole, hummus, cut peppers, shredded cheese, fruit, baby spinach, kale and of course hundreds of condiments.

fridge2

The fridge door is a little crazy since this is where we store all the random stuff.  Dressings, nut butters, maple syrup, chopped garlic, sauces, butter…

fridge3

I bought a huge bag of peas at the market and they are SO good, I’ve just been eating them raw but I’m hoping to make something delicious with them later this week (stay tuned).

fridge4

The crisper is full of spinach, peppers, radishes, cauliflower, strawberries, blueberries, peaches & cantaloupe.  I also picked up a bunch of beets which I’ll be juicing later this week with some fresh fruit.

What are some of the staples you always have to have in your fridge??

 

 

Lemon Pesto & Avocado Chicken Salad

Lemon Pesto & Avocado Chicken Salad

Ummm, did Spring just arrive in one day??  I’m pretty sure it was 35 degrees yesterday, cold and rainy and then this afternoon I emerged to a sunny 65 degree day with green grass and flowers blooming everywhere!!  Its amazing how Spring arrives in New England. One day you’re looking at brown branches and dried leaves and the next day the trees are full of light green buds and flowers of every color are blooming wherever you look.

springflowers

I took a walk this evening as the sun was going down and it was SO GORGEOUS!  I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.  The kids were out on the baseball field, the birds were chirping and the smell of BBQ was in the air.  Hello Spring. Nice to see you again. It’s been a while.

Lemon Pesto & Avocado Chicken Salad

So I’ve made chicken salad before with avocado but I’ve always sneaked a spoonful of mayonnaise in there, thinking that it just wouldn’t taste as good without it.  But this time I resisted and just used avocado.  It was creamy and delicious and I didn’t miss the mayo AT ALL. To bump it up another notch I added some fresh squeezed lemon juice and basil pesto.  I literally just ate it out of the bowl, no bread needed.

Lemon Pesto & Avocado Chicken Salad

I can’t wait until summer so that I can just go out on the patio and pick some fresh basil to make pesto.  BUT, since we’re not there quite yet and I’ve gone through my frozen stash, I picked up a bottle at Trader Joes.  Homemade is always better but this one is pretty damn good!

LemonPestoChickenSalad4

I also cheated and used some canned chicken but you could always use leftover roast chicken or even better, grilled chicken!

Lemon Pesto & Avocado Chicken Salad

This just gets me excited about all of the amazing light summer foods.  Fresh juicy tomatoes and strawberries from the farmers market.  Simple grilled meats and as always, lots of salads!! Can’t wait!

Lemon Pesto & Avocado Chicken Salad

Hope you enjoy this as much as I do, it makes for a killer lunch!!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Those beautiful little green buds that pop up on the trees in Spring.

buds

You know that once you see these little guys, its only a matter of time before the landscape turns from brown to a vibrant green. They also mean that I’m going to have a miserable few weeks of itchy eyes and runny nose, but that’s ok, its worth it, I’ll deal with it if it means summer is coming…

Lemon Pesto & Avocado Chicken Salad

Serves 2-4
Prep time 5 minutes
Meal type Lunch, Salad
Misc Serve Cold

Ingredients

  • 12-15oz chicken
  • 1/2 Medium hass avocado (ripe)
  • 1/2 Medium lemon (juiced)
  • 1 tablespoon pesto (jarred or homemade)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions

1. Cut the chicken up into small pieces and mash together with avocado, pesto and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mediterranean Tuna & Egg Salad

Mediterranean Tuna & Egg Salad

Holy moly, I am a complete stress ball right now.  I seriously feel like my head might explode. I’m actually writing this right now with the hopes of getting a little relaxation and transporting myself back to where I got the inspiration for this salad.

Mediterranean Tuna & Egg Salad

When we were in Spain we spent an afternoon at the beach and we had a fantastic picnic with crusty bread, ham & cheese and a few bright delicious salads.  Maria made a tuna salad which was absolutely delicious.  I can’t remember exactly what was in it so I created my own version using hers as inspiration.

Mediterranean Tuna & Egg Salad

As I sit here, I’m trying to transport myself back to that moment, leaning my head back to soak in the sun, taking in the sights of the Mediterranean sea and breathing the fresh air.  ahhhh…. no stress. no stress….

Mediterranean Tuna & Egg Salad

Feel free to put your own spin on this but the basic idea is to mix tuna with hard boiled eggs and use olive oil & a little vinegar instead of mayonnaise.

Here’s what I put in mine (makes 2 HUGE servings)

•  1 can of tuna
•  3-4 hard boiled eggs (diced)
•  handful of diced cherry tomatoes
•  a few banana peppers (diced)
•  a drizzle of olive oil
• 1 T red wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon honey mustard
•  salt & pepper

You can eat it on its own or over a salad like we did.  It was so filling it would probably be great on its own but I was trying to squeeze some extra greens in there.  I finished the salad off with a few green olives and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

You may want to eat this one at home or at your desk. Your coworkers will probably not like you if you subject them to tuna & hard boiled eggs all in one meal.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Smoked Salmon & Red Pepper Salad

Smoked Salmon Red Pepper Salad

So I have to admit that this isn’t really an original idea but instead me trying to recreate a delicious (but expensive) salad we picked up at Whole Foods a few weeks ago.  The result?  Not exactly like the one they had but still ridiculously delicious nonetheless.

It’s kind of funny being a food blogger.  More often than not you end up eating your meals in weird fake photograph settings because you’re too hungry to put everything away before you eat your lunch.  So take a look at this picture and then imagine me sitting at the table directly behind this photo, shoving salmon salad in my face while staring at the cutting board and can of salmon, my camera sitting off to my left.  As much as I really love sharing beautiful photos with you, I don’t really have the luxury of making fake meals all day to photograph.  These are real meals that are being devoured minutes after their moment in the spot light. Please tell me I’m not the only one?

Smoked Salmon Red Pepper Salad

Fortunately this one was behaving for the camera so I only had to waste a few minutes before enjoying my lunch 🙂

Smoked Salmon Red Pepper Salad

This salad is a mixture of smoked salmon and fresh cooked salmon.  The pieces of smoked salmon add a real nice depth of flavor.  I used this canned Alaskan Salmon from Trader Joes but I have to say I’ll never buy it again.  It was FULL of bones.  I literally spent 10 minutes combing it with my fingers trying to pull little bits of bones out of it.  Next time I’ll be making this with some fresh cooked Wild Alaskan salmon.  If you can, try to avoid the Atlantic Salmon they sell in the store.  There is no such thing as Atlantic Salmon, it is actually farmed salmon which is really bad, read more about it here.

Smoked Salmon Red Pepper Salad

Enjoy!!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Going through old mementos.

cards

This weekend while cleaning out our office I went through a pile of old cards and mementos I’ve saved since I started college.  It made me really happy reading all these sweet notes from people in different times in my life.  I found a card from my mom from the weekend she met Tom for the first time and some really cute notes from my students back when I used to teach dance.  I try not to save too much stuff that I don’t need but these are things that always put a smile on my face and don’t take up much room so they’ll be staying!

Smoked Salmon & Red Pepper Salad

Allergy Egg, Fish, Milk
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad
Misc Serve Cold

Ingredients

  • 4oz wild smoked salmon (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup shredded cooked wild salmon (cold)
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper (finely diced)
  • 1-2 tablespoon red onion (finely diced)
  • 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • salt, pepper & curry powder (to taste)

Directions

1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until combined well. Season to taste with salt, pepper and curry powder.

 

 

Chicken, Apple & Guacamole Salad

Chicken Apple Guacamole Salad

So you know when you get on a kick? Like you eat the same thing over & over again and you just DON’T get sick of it?  Well Tom & I have been on a salad kick lately.  These are not your normal boring salads but salads chock full of veggies, toppings & AMAZING flavor.  They are so filling and leave you feeling fantastic!  Plus there are a billion different combinations you can play around with.  It’s possible some day I’ll get sick of them, but for now I’m going to continue riding the salad-lovin’ train!

Chicken Apple Guacamole Salad

These are our recent favorite salad elements:

•  Spinach, spinach and more spinach
•  Grape tomatoes
•  Marinated beets
•  Carrots
•  Sprouts
•  Hummus
•  Feta cheese
•  Mozzarella cheese
•  GUACAMOLE (SO MUCH GUACAMOLE)
•  Chicken
•  Steak tips
•  Apples
•  Pears

Chicken, Apple & Guacamole Salad

I was busy working yesterday and hadn’t even had time to think about lunch yet and my wonderful husband whipped this one together for me, it was SO good!  Simply combine:

•  diced cooked chicken breast
•  finely diced apple
•  guacamole

Enjoy by itself, in a wrap, on a sandwich or on a big green salad like we did.

Chicken, Apple & Guacamole Salad

It’s a great alternative to your normal chicken salad, it’s healthier but still creamy & delicious!

What’s your favorite salad combo? I’m always looking for new topping ideas!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Fancy Dinners.

MeTom

We used to go out to dinner much more often and we’d end up spending lots of money on multiple mediocre meals.  Recently we’ve been enjoying a majority of our meals at home and then occasionally going out for a fancy, amazing, omg, eat-small-bites-with-your-eyes-closed dinners.

Radius

We went out this weekend with some family and enjoyed an amazing dinner at Radius in Boston.  It was phenomenal.  The best part of which was this deconstructed carrot cake for dessert.  I’m salivating just looking at it!

 

Asian Crab & Avocado Salad

Asian Crab Avocado Salad

Holy Moly, yesterday was GORGEOUS!  I took a nice long walk with Oto and I was sweating in my light sweatshirt. Is that why them call them that? hmm…  Yah so it was 60 degrees yesterday.  And it was January.  Now THAT makes me happy!  I guess I’ll just start off with WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY today.  Here is a pic I took on our walk.

walk

Can we say GORGEOUS!?  After I took this photo I stood there for a little bit, tilted my head back, closed my eyes, felt the warmth of the sun on my face and took a deep breath of ocean air.  If that isn’t enough to make you happy I don’t know what is.  What an amazing lunch break!

Asian Crab Avocado Salad

Ok, now on to this delicious salad.  I decided I to get a little creative with some crab this weekend since I usually just turn to crab cakes every time I buy it.  I’m sure this would be even more amazing if you used some fresh crab meat but all I could find was the packaged stuff in the seafood section.

Overall, it was the perfect light lunch.  I was only able to finish 1/2 of it, it was surprisingly filling!

Asian Crab Avocado Salad

You like my new piece of slate?  Is it sad that I get excited over slate these days?  I found an old slate shingle at the salvage place the other day for $2 and I felt like I had hit the jackpot.  This isn’t the last you’ll be seeing of this guy, he’ll be making a regular appearance in my shots now.

Asian Crab Avocado Salad

Enjoy!

Asian Crab & Avocado Salad

Allergy Fish
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad
Misc Serve Cold

Ingredients

  • 8oz lump crabmeat
  • 1/2 avocado (diced)
  • 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • sprinkle ground ginger
  • sriracha (to taste)

Directions

1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl until combined well.
2. Garnish with sesame seeds (optional).