meal of the week

I have been trying to think about how I could blog about our meals — I enjoy keeping a running record of our favorite things and always enjoy reading other people’s favorite meals. This week, I am going to showcase my favorite breakfast: Stuffed Acorn Squash.

This recipe is from True Roots (P11) and always feels like such a decadent choice for Sunday brunch — there are only four ingredients and with sugar-free sausage, it can be Whole30 & Paleo. Sausage, Celery, Egg, and Acorn Squash complete this dish — we always sprinkle with hot sauce too.

Bonus: You get to eat out of an acorn squash!


This is one of those meals that you eat for brunch and you’re full throughout the way but there’s no guilt with any side dishes, be them fruit or mimosas because you’re putting so many nutrients in your system to start the day.

We will probably make these again this coming weekend because we enjoy them so much and we know the kids will have a nice, healthy filling meal before our family date date takes over and everyone is filled to the brim with sugar.

What are some of your favorite breakfasts?

hot toddy

When I was in college, one of my pledge sisters had a boyfriend, “Toddy too hottie” — this made the rest of my pledge class gag. Eventually she dropped from pledging, but the reference lives on in my mind and queasy stomach when I think of my favorite fall drink.

If I’m being honest, my favorite drink on its own is actually just hot cider. I typically have one non-water drink per day and nearly every single day in fall, that drink is hot cider. I’ve also somehow managed to get 3 hooked on it. He has a little two ounce mug that he sips his cinnamon cider (microwaved for :30).

Tonight, though, my husband and I are planning to enjoy a nightcap while watching the Rays take on the Astros. We greatly bond over our mutual love of playoff baseball and my vast enjoyment of brown liquor.

Now, I haven’t always enjoyed brown liquor and even the reference takes me back to a dear friend’s wedding where we had ‘the clear and the brown’ and … I almost fell out of my seat, so I’d taken a long-time hiatus from the brown unless out at a southern restaurant.

Tonight’s recipe is simple: In a pot, we like to mix cider, lemon, and cinnamon; when it’s warm, we add 1T of bourbon (correct, it’s not even a shot but my face goes numb after half a glass of wine, so I’d like to be coherent during our baseball and toddy evening). Of course, I take no pictures because I’ve not had my phone on me for much of the day.

I’m going to search Pinterest for other fall and winter night-cap ideas but am always open to other suggestions as well.


red pepper & feta eggs

I eat a lot of eggs — basically, my daily breakfast of choice and has been for years. They’re loaded with nutrition and can be made in advance (hard boiled) or scrambled, fried, or poached quickly. This past week, I discovered a combo with roasted red peppers and feta and I had it for breakfast

If you’re looking for an egg scramble that is quick, easy, and filling, you’ll like this!


2 eggs
1/4c roasted peppers
1/4c feta
Cooking Spray

1. Add peppers to a pan to heat; you may need to cut them (I just used the spatula).
2. Once they are heated and the water has cooked off, spray the cooking spray and add two eggs; scramble the eggs.
3. As the eggs are finishing, add the feta and stir to let it melt a little.

This breakfast takes less than 10 minutes to make and is delicious! I haven’t been using MFP lately because I have been trying Weight Watchers instead. This breakfast is 2 points (feta). I usually have this is with strawberries or some other fruit to round things out. It’s been a nice breakfast and is loaded with flavor.


cava bowls

When my husband and I took our staycation to Boston, we grabbed dinner at quick service place, CAVA, after the Red Sox game. CAVA reminds me of Chipotle in the sense that you choose a base, protein, and additional toppings. We both really enjoyed our bowls there and I wanted to recreate something similar at home, so I did last week. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures, and thus I had to recreate this meal again.

The ingredients list is lengthy but the cook time is quite short. I cut everything in the amount of time it took for the rice to cook.


  • Rice (we’ve done sprouted brown rice and Banza chickpea rice) — I figured on one serving per person, so this amount will vary.
  • Chickpeas (drained and rinsed; sautéed in olive oil with onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, and paprika)
  • Roasted Red Peppers (diced)
  • Olives
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes (diced)
  • Cucumbers (diced)
  • Feta
  • Tzatziki
  • Pita (I like the Joseph’s oat & flax pitas)


  1. Start the rice (beware, if you make Banza rice — it cooks like pasta; we use chicken broth instead of water when we make the sprouted rice)
  2. As the rice cooks:
    1. Heat 1T Olive oil;
    2. Add rinsed chickpeas
    3. Season with 1t Paprika; 1t onion powder, and 2t garlic powder
    4. Stir and turn to low once heated
  3. As rice/chickpeas cook:
    1. Cut roasted red peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and olives if necessary
  4. Once everything is ready, assemble bowls by layering rice, chickpeas, vegetables, and adding 2T of each feta and tzatziki atop. Serve with pita.


This meal was really filling and loaded with nutrients. I love making meals that I know my family will enjoy. This was meat free but nobody complained about that (13 usually calls out meatless meals and acts like I am trying to starve her, haha). This will definitely make its way into our regular rotation!


Now, I didn’t input this into MyFitnessPal to figure out calories. I’ve been trying out Weight Watchers to stay on mostly a low-glycemic diet (though, if we’re all being honest here, I had FOUR lemon cupcakes last weekend at my BIL’s birthday and plan to have at least two tomorrow for Father’s Day because I grabbed these cute hotdog & hamburger cupcakes from the Stop & Shop). I have more to write about with my WW experience and will sit down and do that next month sometime.

*If you are doing WW, this meal clocks in at 8 points and this includes the oat & flax pita.

**Bonus, this meal was a big hit with the kids and 13 didn’t riot about the lack of meat.

***I’ve included a picture of the cupcakes I grabbed for our Father’s Day bbq tomorrow!


charcuterie boards

I have enjoyed using my many cookbooks to put together meals when we have guests visiting. Our most recent purchase was a book titled: Boards & Platters:


I took inspiration from a couple of the boards in here and created my own spread. My family REALLY liked the tahini-coconut dip for vegetables and we will be making this regularly as the summer rolls in because vegetable trays are that much easier to have on hand than salads are to make.

We had a great spread with sourdough bread and fresh Italian; a fruit tray with raspberries, blackberries, and dragonfruit plus some sugared & baked pink grapefruit for a special treat. To that, we added a tray of genoa, napoli, and soppressata salamis as well as a nice mortadella (our local grocery didn’t have pistachio mortadella though that is my preference). Additional accompaniments to this were goat cheese, drunken goat cheese, raclette, and manchego cheeses plus orange marmalade, organic cacao chocolate spread, and grass-fed butter. Then, came olives and spicy gardinia to bridge the gap between the meats/cheeses and the vegetable tray which has Easter radishes, purple/yellow/orange carrots, a yellow bell pepper, snap beans, grape tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower (along with the tahini dip mentioned above).

This spread was fresh, filling, and delicious and was a big hit (as were the mimosas served with it).


What are your favorite spreads for entertaining?

lunch salads

I have been making salads this week for lunch; they’re great because they’re quick and loaded with nutrients. A lot of my dinner salads include fries but for lunches, I just want something easy.

My husband grabbed me some pre-cooked bacon at the store because I wanted to make ‘wedge’ salads. They were out of iceberg, so I used bibb lettuce. I cut up a handful of grape tomatoes and topped it all with a chopped boiled egg and Tahini Siracha dressing.


For my totals, I had:

.5 head bibb lettuce
9 grape tomatoes
1 boiled egg
2T dressing
5 slices bacon

234 calories / 16g protein / 8g net carbs

Now, to be clear, I am not watching my carb intake. I had this with a pear and followed it up with Simple Mills crackers and pepper jelly.


breakfast scramble

I do not claim to be a wonderful food blogger by any means: I rarely have my phone around when food is involved, so I am always forgetting to photograph meals. When I do take pictures, they’re not particularly beautiful. I remembered to snap a few pictures as I made this breakfast scramble — it’s something I’ve been eating to fuel my body when I feel I have a big day ahead or if I’m just feeling leisurely in the morning.

Serves: 1
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: ~10 minutes

Cooking spray (optional)
4-5 slices Canadian bacon (Trader Joe’s) — the meat can be anything; I’ve used WF 365
breakfast sausage as well (4 links)
1-1.5c fresh spinach
2 eggs
1-2T almond milk
Trader Joe’s Everything but the seasoning
2 Campari tomatoes
2T jalapeños (I used pickled ones)


Whisk eggs, almond milk, and TJ’s Everything seasoning in a bowl; set aside. Chop tomatoes and jalapeños if desired; set aside.


Spray pan (if needed), cook ham/meat.
Once the meat browns, add the spinach and let it cook down.
Add the eggs; scramble.
As the eggs start to cook, add the tomatoes and jalapeños.
Finish cooking eggs to your liking; plate.
I rounded out my breakfast with two kiwi and about 1/3c of blueberries.


I used MyFitnessPal to figure out the nutrition breakdown for this (including the kiwi and berries) *based on 2000kcal diet:

Calories: 432
Protein: 32g
Calcium: 16%
Carbs: 49g
Fiber: 7g
Fat: 14g

sickness & smoothies

It’s been a hectic few months. In August, our sink fell through out counter top and we quickly learned that it was not going to be simple fix, but rather that we needed to replace our entire kitchen – and floors – and walls. Fast forward to yesterday… we finally have a kitchen again! Unfortunately, with the weather changes, the chaos, and the weekend’s hotel stay (we had to be out of the house when they refinished the floors), everyone in the house got sick.

I ended up having to cancel my afternoon classes today and spent much of my day loading up on DayQuil and creating meals loaded with produce to get everyone back on the mend.

Tonight’s dinner was simple: Chicken & rice soup with turnips, carrots, and spinach. The winner of the nutrition, though was this smoothie:

Beet, Cherry & Squash Smoothie:

1C frozen butternut squash
1C frozen peaches
1C frozen dark cherries
1C orange juice
1.5C water
2T beet powder

I blended these all in the Vitamix and served a healthy dose of antioxidants to my family.

We plan to follow up dinner & smoothies with a healthy dose of Zarbees (for the kids) and NyQuil for us.