What I Ate Wednesday #48: Cajun Chicken Pasta and a Giveaway

I have to admit, this week’s eats have really not been too exciting. Good thing I have some pictures from last week! And maybe a little treat for you 😉

Barr and Table What I Ate Wednesday WIAW Protein Packed TVP Oats Ezekial Tortilla Real Food Barre Cajun Chicken Maras Pasta

Breakfast
Protein-packed TVP oats with homemade pumpkin seed butter, coconut peanut spread, Sunbutter, & a little granola.

Morning Snack
Plain cho with a little stevia, cinnamon, and fresh cherries. I loveee cherry season.. which also happens to be fig season. Amazing.

Lunch
Ezekial wrap full of baby kale, red pepper, carrots, cucumber, crunchy sprouts, leftover coconut curry sauce, and grilled tofu. This is the first time I’ve tried Ezekial wraps and I love them! I wrap everything up with foil around it to hold it all together and throw it in the toaster oven for 15-20 minutes to get everything warmed through.

I also love taking wraps to work; I bring a container of all of my veggies and protein and have a little assembly line in the office kitchen. I also tend to bring too much so I end up with a little side salad too! 🙂

Afternoon Snack
Barre bars are wonderful and this Black Swan chocolate berry bar was the perfect snack microwaved for 10 seconds. I love that they are made with all natural ingredients. Any time I can have a little sweet treat and it’s healthy, I’m a happy girl!

Dinner
Mara’s Pasta recently sent me a package of a few different cuts of their whole wheat pasta; I knew I wanted to figure out a light and delicious recipe to try it out. This cajun chicken pasta came together to quickly and easily. The pasta has great flavor and the perfect bite. It was a great addition to this dish. Be on the lookout for a recipe coming soon! 😉

I’m excited to be able to offer one of my readers a package of this wonderful pasta as well. To enter the giveaway, click here!

Maras Pasta Fettuccine Macaroni Spaghetti

Maras Pasta Fettuccine Macaroni Spaghetti 2

Don’t forget to join the email list to stay up-to-date with their latest products and visit Mara’s Pasta on Pinterest for some more great recipe ideas!

Food for Thought

What is your favorite pasta dish?
Have you ever tried Mara’s Pasta before?

Disclaimer: Mara’s Pasta provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

What I Ate Wednesday #47: Weekend Favorites

Last weekend was another one for the books. We did a lot of running around and had a ton of fun but I think I’m paying for it this week. Don’t worry though, I’m catching up on my sleep at work 😉

I forgot to snap pictures of a bunch of meals so I thought I’d highlight some of my favorites from the weekend.

Kona Grill Effen Cucumber Mojito Baltimore Maryland MD

Effen Cucumber Mojito at Kona Grill

I met Nathan at Kona Grill for happy hour before a last-minute Orioles game and got this awesome cocktail. It’s on their skinny menu [I’m the expensive one during happy hour..] and is a mix of Effen cucumber vodka [best name ever], mint, cucumber, and splenda simple syrup. I skipped on the sweetener because I know I love cucumber vodka as it is. This drink was so refreshing! I’m definitely going to be making it at home.

Plantain Bread Powercakes Purely Twins Protein Plus Peanut Flour KIND Snacks Granola

Plantain flatbread topped with peanut fluff and granola

Summer Fridays at work are the best. I get to leave work at 3:30 and I love to head home and make myself a snack instead of eating a bar like I do every other day. This time I tried plantain bread. I used recipes from Powercakes and the Purely Twins as a guide and made my own. Serves 1-2.

Ingredients
– 1 plantain- 1 tbsp ground flax*
– 1/2 tbsp coconut oil*
– 1/2 cup water

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a loaf pan. Blend all ingredients together and pour into the pan. Let rest a few minutes, then bake 20-25 minutes.

I topped mine with peanut fluff [peanut flour*, stevia*, and water] and some granola for crunch.

*These ingredients can be found on iHerb.com. Use code ZAF482 to receive $5 off of your first order.

Grilled Zucchini Eggplant Corn Tuscan Ragu Parmesan Charles Shaw Merlot

Grilled veggies, Nathan’s Tuscan ragu, parmesan, & merlot. Perfect Friday dinner!

Friday night, we stayed in. I grilled up some zucchini, corn, sweet potato, and kale, mixed it with some of Nathan’s delicious Tuscan-style ragu, and topped with grated parmesan. This is one of my favorite meals lately; it’s like a big bowl of comfort! I may have also polished off the bottle of merlot.. it looked lonely. It wasn’t full when I started though!

Bobs Red Mill Protein TVP Oats Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Spread Sunbutter Zekes Coffee

Protein-Packed TVP Oats

Breakfast is always a highlight for me and my protein-packed TVP oats are the best. I always top with 3 different kinds of nut or seed butters and a little granola; this one has a homemade pumpkin seed butter, crunchy coconut peanut butter, and sunbutter. SO good!

Saturday night, we went out with Nathan’s sister. Before dinner, we took her to Brewer’s Art for some local brews and rosemary garlic fries. We went downstairs to the dark beer cave. It’s a fun atmosphere with, what we refer to as “mob” rooms. I tried to take pictures of the delicious food and drink, but it was just too dark.

Masala Dosa Indigma Indian Baltimore Maryland MD

Masala Dosa with coconut chutney at Indigma

Indigma Lamb Special Vegetable Coconut Korma Baltimore Maryland MD

Vegetable Coconut Korma & Indigma Lamb Special at Indigma

After drinks, we went over to Indigma for some Indian food. We shared the huga masala dosa, a potato-stuffed rice and lentil crepe with coconut chutney. I could pass on the potato stuffing next time and just go for the crispy crepe! It was delicious nonetheless. They also brought another flatbread to the table that tasted like it had strawberries in it.. I’m not sure exactly what it was but gosh darnit was it tasty!

Nathan and I shared two entrees; the vegetable coconut korma [which I primarily ate] and the Indigma lamb special [primarily for Nathan]. He ordered his spicy so he must not have wanted to share too much 😉 They were both so flavorful and surprisingly not too heavy. We left there absolutely stuffed and will definitely be going back! Next time, we’ll hit up the lunch buffet so we can try more 🙂

Food for Thought

What is your favorite type of cuisine? Are you adventurous or do you typically stick to American?

Fabulous Fitness Survey

Marvelous is finding something you’re passionate about. Most recently for me, I’ve found a love for food and fitness so when I’ve seen this survey floating around the blogosphere, most recently on Tina and Julie‘s blogs, and thought it would be a fun one!

1. What did you eat for breakfast?

Well that’s kind of a silly question. I practically eat the same thing everyday!

Protein-Packed TVP Oats

2. How much water do you drink a day?

I’m usually pretty good about drinking around 12 glasses of water per day. The weekends tend to vary a bit, but I try to always carry around a water bottle when I go out.

3. What is your current favorite workout?

Best Body Bootcamp! I’m currently in my third round of BBBC and it keeps me in tip-top shape. I love that the workouts change every two weeks and they are all scalable to your level. It definitely helped me get wedding-ready and also helped me to get back to my pre-wedding shape after the honeymoon.

Tina Reale Best Body Bootcamp

4. How many calories do you eat a day?

I’ve stopped counting calories but based on what I know, I’d imagine anywhere between 1500-2000 per day.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

When I’m at work, I love Greek yogurt.. the flavored kind or plain. But if I go for plain, I always add a little stevia, cinnamon, fresh fruit, and a little granola. Figs and cherries are my go-to fruits right now! I also have a slight addiction to bars. My top 3 are probably KIND Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan, ThinkThin Chunky Peanut Butter bar, and LUNA Peanut Honey Pretzel. Or the Chocolate Dipped Coconut.. or have you tried the Carrot Cake bar yet?! Ha.

I also have an apple a day and if I’m home, I like to experiment with different snacks I find on Pinterest. One of my favorite finds is this No-Grain Maple Chia Cake from STUFTmama. She’s awesome 🙂

STUFTmama No Grain Maple Chia Cake Carob Chips Almonds Peanut Fluff

No-Grain Maple Chia Cake a la STUFTmama

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

Salad. Lots and lots of salad! When I’m at work I usually do what I like to refer to as a “kitchen sink” salad.. basically I throw everything but the kitchen sink into a container and call it a day! On the weekends my schedule can get a little funky if we decide to do brunch, which ends up being around 11 am. But if that’s the case, let’s say I have eggs benedict for lunch!

Salads Eggs Benedict Vegetarian Sausage

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?

I love a good upper body workout!

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?

Legs or back. Let’s go with back. I had 9 vertebrae fused when I was in high school due to scoliosis, so the middle part of my back doesn’t bend at all. It definitely gets frustrating trying to do the exercises and my back muscles are probably still the weakest on my body.

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?

I guess chocolate and froyo.. but they’re both fine in moderation! I see nothing wrong with a little treat here or there. If anything, I tend to go crazy on healthy foods like fruit and granola. [And peanut butter..]

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?

I take probiotics, but I know I should also be taking other vitamins.

11. How often do you eat out?

We typically average dinner out Friday/Saturday and lunch on the weekends. Sometimes we’ll swap a weekend breakfast for lunch, but during the week I’m really good about bringing my lunch to work and making dinner at home.

12. Do you eat fast food?

Nah, it really doesn’t appeal to me. The last time I had fast food was our first meal in Italy on the honeymoon and I’ll never let Nathan live it down! Although, it was probably my healthiest meal of the trip.. I got a salad with grilled chicken.

McDonalds Italy

McDonalds in Italy

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

Nathan and my parents.

14. Do you have a gym membership?

No, we’re in a condo building and I’m lucky enough to have a great gym right downstairs. The only thing I miss is having classes.. I’d love to be a spin regular 🙂

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

I average around 7 hours.

16. Do you have a “cheat” day?

I don’t really plan a “cheat” day, but it often ends up happening on weekends. I usually go for the salads when I go out to eat so I can splurge on other things [cough drinks and froyo cough].

17. Do you drink alcohol?

Oh, did you miss my last What I Ate Wednesday post? 😉

Asheville North Carolina NC Wedge Pigsah Highland French Broad Brewing Chai Pani Market Place Restaurant

Brewery tours in Asheville, NC

We’re not always that crazy.. there were just too many good options!

18. Do you have a workout buddy?

Do my weights count? Haha I sometimes workout with a friend but I typically like to push through my workouts and get ’em done!

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

I just feel better in general; physically and mentally. I used to have an angry stomach but since changing how I eat, I could probably count on one hand the number of times my stomach bothers me in a year. I also love finding a good workout program. It makes me excited to get into the gym and get a good sweat!

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?

I always get my early morning workouts in, but I’m especially excited about yesterday’s run. It had been over a month since I ran so I took it slow and steady and got in 6.5 miles with a 1 mile warm up/cool down. I kept my pace slower then normal, but this is also my longest run to date! It’s only up from here 🙂

Food for Thought

What did you eat for breakfast?
What are your favorite healthy snacks?
What is your favorite body part to strength train?
Who is your biggest supporter?

What I Ate Wednesday #46: We Drank Too Much

Have you entered my Chobani giveaway?

Asheville, NC is awesome. Nathan and I went down a few years ago for a friend’s wedding and were psyched when my cousin said that’s where she would be getting married. Immediately we started looking up restaurants and breweries that we wanted to try.. turns out there were far too many for the 2 1/2 days that we would be there, but we certainly put a nice dent in ’em!

The wedding was on Sunday so we had planned on leaving Saturday morning around 7 am so we could get there around 3 pm. We wanted to have time to explore and relax. When the groom sent out an email about a brewery tour on Saturday starting at 12 pm, our plans quickly changed. Up a 4 am and out the door by 5? Done.

And so began a weekend of beer.

Saturday

Asheville North Carolina NC Wedge Pigsah Highland French Broad Brewing Chai Pani Market Place Restaurant

[Breakfast]
On the go! Friday I made 2 batches of my favorite oats and threw one in the fridge to grab and go for the ride. Best decision ever. I topped it with some nut & seed butters and we hit the road.

[Lunch]
We powered through our drive with just a couple of rest stops and made it to Asheville for lunch! Chai Pani was calling our name; we love Indian food! I got the Tandoori Chicken Salad and Nathan had the Kathi Kabab Roll. The salad itself was pretty good but the chicken stole the show. Nathan’s wrap was full of flavor.. I pretty sure he liked it because I only got one little taste.

[Brewery Tour]
First: Wedge Brewing. I had the flemish style brown ale and it was delicious. Nathan had the witbier and enjoyed it equally as much. We quickly learned that we should be ordering samplers.
Second: Pisgah Brewing. A flight of their finest, of course. Not as good as Wedge, but still quite tasty. The barleywine was my fave!
Third: French Broad Brewing Co. They had a huge selection to choose from! We got another sampler but I forgot to snap a picture of this one. I did, however, get a picture of their Eat Bertha’s Mussels bumper sticker on the wall. BALTIMORE REPRESENT!
Fourth: Highland Brewing. Yet another sampler and a blurry one at that! It may have been a little telling of how I was feeling at this point 😉 Good thing you can’t see it on our faces, right……?

The tour ended at Barley’s Taproom where we met up with the rest of the crowd and everyone had dinner. Nathan and I, however, had other plans for dinner. We do our research 🙂

[Dinner]
We were totally stuffed from all of the drinks [and snacks at Barley’s.. whoops!] but we made our way to The Market Place Restaurant for a very tasty dinner. We split an appetizer not on the menu; an assortment of fresh mushrooms baked with a crispy topper. Delish! I had the ahi tuna appetizer for my dinner and Nathan ordered the parpadelle pasta with braised lamb. Both were extremely tasty, I just wish I was hungrier so I could have ordered a full dinner!

Sunday

Tone It Up TIU Crush Cardio Brunch Eggs Benedict Wicked Weed Brewing Asheville North Carolina NC

Clearly after the first day, I needed to get in a workout. Luckily the hotel had a gym.. it may have only been one elliptical and one working treadmill, but how many machines does one person need? No drinking till the wedding. Seriously.

[Breakfast]
Eggs Benny. The beauties in the picture actually had to be sent back though.. they were practically hard boiled eggs! No worries, I got a new order and they were awesome! Served over a homemade english muffin, sauteed swiss chard, and country ham.

[Lunch]
Ok, so we lied. We ended up at Wicked Weed Brewing and had to get a sampler. I was most excited for the Coolcumber and for good reason. So good! I had their smoked turkey sandwich with grilled mozzarella, arugula, and cranberry. It was quite tasty and definitely hit the spot.

[Dinner]
Wedding! Like a bad blogger, I didn’t take any pictures, but there was a buffet of chicken, beef, asparagus, salad, and more. Plus cupcakes for dessert! Yum 🙂

Monday

Sunny Point Cafe Asheville North Carolina NC Blue Ridge Parkway Foothills Brewing Winston Salem Mekong Restaurant RVA Richmond Virginia VA Brittany Eating Bird Food

Again, I had to hit the gym! We had a big day of traveling ahead of us and I wanted to start off on the right foot.

[Breakfast]
Sunny Point Cafe. And more poached eggs! It came with 2 veggie sausage patties that tasted just like regular sausage and a nice flaky biscuit.

Before lunch we took a nice drive along Blue Ridge Parkway. It was beautiful and I wish we had more time [and better weather] to hike, but we had to get to work the next day!

[Lunch]
Foothills Brewing. We’re the worst at avoiding beer but I’ll use the excuse that it was either there or McDonalds. I got an awesome portabello wrap with a little hefeweizen on the side. I had to continue the theme of the weekend.

[Dinner]
We made a pit stop in Richmond to meet up with Brittany and her shiny, new husband, Isaac, at one of their favorite restaurants, Mekong. It’s a Vietnamese restaurant that was named the #1 beer bar in America. I ordered the tofu clay pot and started with an Allagash Curieux. The food was great but the beer was better! And Isaac and Nathan were so cute talking about beer 😉

It was so great to see Brittany again and it was fun to catch up on both of our weddings and honeymoons. It’s a shame we don’t live closer!

After a long weekend of great food, great beer, and a great wedding, it was nice to get back into the swing of things. I’m sure this is why we stayed in so much this past weekend.. no complaints here though!

Food for Thought

When you’re traveling, do you go out of your way to find the best restaurants or bars?

An Ode to Oatmeal: Protein-Packed TVP Oats

Have you entered my Chobani giveaway?

I’ve recently gotten a few requests for my go-to oatmeal recipe. I may be a bit obsessed [read: eat them every single day] but I just can’t stop! And frankly I see nothing wrong with that. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? 😉

Protein TVP Oats

Protein TVP Oats

Serves 1

Ingredients
– 2 egg whites
– 1/2 banana
– 1/2 cup almond milk + splash at the end
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/4 cup rolled oats
– 1/4 cup TVP* [If you don’t have TVP, just substitute another 1/4 cup of oats]
– Cinnamon. Lots of cinnamon!
– Your fave nut and/or seed butters [Optional.. but why wouldn’t you?!]
– Your fave granola [Optional.. see note above]

Directions
In a small pot, scramble your egg whites and put them off to the side. I add cinnamon to mine as they’re cooking, but you can just leave them plain.

Break up the banana into the pot and toss it with a sprinkle of cinnamon to coat. Add almond milk and water. Mash up the banana into the liquid until there are almost no chunks. Add the oats and TVP and bring to a light boil, then turn down to a simmer.

When the oats are almost finished cooking, add the egg whites back in with a splash of almond milk. This will make it creamier and help to incorporate the egg into the mix. When they’re done, top with 1 tbsp nut/seed butter [and another sprinkle of cinnamon!]

I can never decide which nut/seed butter to use so I typically split my tablespoon into 3 teaspoons of different ones.. it makes it that much more exciting 😉 I also throw a little granola on top for a some crunch! [Michele’s is the best!]

*You can purchase TVP from iHerb.com. Use discount code ZAF482 at checkout for up to $10 off your purchase!

Nutritional Information

Per serving, without optional toppings

254 Calories  /  4g Fat  /  31g Carbs  /  5g Fiber  /  11g Sugar  /  24g Protein

Food for Thought

What is your favorite breakfast? What’s your favorite way to dress up oatmeal?