Category / Good Eats

for those of us who can’t eat avocado…

broccamole-su-l

…I have life-changing news! Read on πŸ™‚

I’ve had delicious guacamole just often enough to know how much I LOVE it…and also how much it does NOT love me back.

I never ate avocado growing up. It just wasn’t ever on the menu. Then, I tried guac for the first time. Ah-maz-ing. But I got terribly sick afterwards and didn’t draw a connection. I had it a handful of times after, with the same result. Then, for the longest time, I thought I couldn’t eat sushi because I’d feel awful afterwards…until I put it together and learned that there are tiny bits of ‘cado in the rolls!

So once I figured it out, I sadly gave up on avocado. It’s just not going to happen. I can order my sushi sans the fruit, but it’s guacamole that I continue to lust after at every Mexican restaurant we go to.

Then, this weekend, my friend, Sarah, CHANGED. MY. WORLD. She brought a guacamole with NO avocado — it’s made with broccoli! Broccamole.

Seriously. I died.

Find the recipe here – allergy or not, it’s DELICIOUS, nutritious, and tastes like the real thing!

(image: myrecipes.com)

Easy, Healthy Lunch: Turkey Cranberry Wraps

turkey cranberry wraps

It’s been a while since I posted an Easy, Healthy Lunch idea. (You can check out previous ones here and here). But in the spirit of a new year and resolving to cut back on added sugars/simple carbs (I’ll never be free of either but hey I’m trying!) I’ve been checking out some new, portable ideas for weekday lunches to take to the office.

I love the FLAVOR and freshness of this easy wrap recipe. I don’t even use the whole tortilla – once I roll this up and slice it, I toss the ends, so calorie-wise I log it at about 3/4 of a full tortilla.

Turkey Cranberry Wraps

1 spinach tortilla
1 wedge light Laughing Cow swiss
1/8 c. blue cheese crumbles
1/8 c. craisins
1-2 oz. turkey breast
handful of fresh spinach

Spread the Laughing Cow across one side of the tortilla edge to edge and layer all other ingredients. Roll tightly (the cheese will help it stay rolled up) and slice into mini roll-ups, discarding the ends.

(According to LoseIt, these log in at about 410 calories – and are very filling!)

Yum πŸ™‚

 

New Years Eve Tablescape (and my favorite cocktail!)

New Years Eve dinner www.lifeinyellow.com

I am a HUGE fan of New Years. I love the idea of fresh starts, hitting the reset button, and of course…it’s a reason to celebrate!

The only new things I bought for this look were the “Auld Lang Syne” banner and a 12 ft. strand of tinsel garland from Target — I love how lush this garland is and that it has both silver and gold intertwined. It adds some fun texture along the sequined runner. At the very *end* of photographing, I decided on a whim to add some gold washi tape on the white frosted candle holders…so yes, it only shows up in the first picture, but you get the gist! πŸ˜‰

New Years Eve tablescape www.lifeinyellow.com

I love to plan a tablescape and thinking about our New Years Eve dinner in this year with good friends (and some delicious surf ‘n’ turf) has been no exception. Thanks to some fun paper elements from the “Midnight Magic” collection from Tiny Prints to pull it all together, I love the way this turned out. The invitation sets the tone for a festive evening and the labels adhered to some gold cardstock wish each guest a happy 2014.

New Years Eve tablescape www.lifeinyellow.com

New Years Eve tablescape www.lifeinyellow.com

New Years Eve tablescape www.lifeinyellow.com

New Years Eve tablescape www.lifeinyellow.com

No get-together is complete without a great cocktail (and no New Years celebration is legit without champagne!). One of my very favorite cocktails is the oh-so-simple but delightfully festive “Pom Pop” – champagne with a splash of pomegranate juice, and garnished with a few pomegranate arils.

Pom Pop cocktail: champagne + pomegranate | www.lifeinyellow.com

Cheers to a fabulous 2014!

New Years Eve tablescape www.lifeinyellow.com

Cookie Exchange Boxes

cookie exchange | life in yellow

What better way to check some baking off the list and catch up with your neighbor gals than to host a cookie exchange?!

cookie exchange 2013 | life in yellow

You know the drill – everyone brings a dozen, two dozen, however many, of a favorite Christmas cookie. Everyone swaps so you leave with an assortment – you bake one recipe and come home with a variety. Easy peasy. My kind of baking. πŸ™‚

IMG_3254

This get-together was another great excuse to use some Tiny Prints goodies from their 2013 holiday collection. The labels were perfect for adhering on take-home boxes for each of the girls, and of course, every get-together needs an invitation!

cookie exchange invitation | life in yellow

I loved the softer green in this Holly Jolly Joy design – it has kind of a watercolor feel to it. I just happened to stumble on some Washi tape at Target (it’s made by Scotch) that matched perfectly, and the boxes came from Etsy. I feel a holiday tradition get-together in the making!

Neighbor Gifts: Holiday Coffee

coffee gifts | life in yellow

Our neighborhood is very much into exchanging treats around the holidays. It is not uncommon to come home from work on any given December evening to a plate of cookies or a tin of homemade fudge. (Mmm…fudge…)

I love sugar as much as the next gal, but I like to give something that isn’t necessarily sweet, just to balance things out a little. Last year, we handed out these oh-so-yummy-smelling packets of dried fruit, cinnamon sticks, and other spices to boil on the stove for a great-smelling holiday house.

holiday coffee | life in yellow

This year, when I got a note from the fabulous folks at Tiny Prints, asking about upcoming holiday DIY projects we might be able to partner on, neighbor gifts were at the top of my list!

holiday invite | life in yellow

Perusing the various holiday items, I fell in love with this Night of Noel design. I found the coffee bags on Etsy, and we picked up a favorite medium roast coffee in bulk at Costco. Voila! No-bake neighbor gifts that we could personalize with Tiny Prints’ custom labels (and I’ll used the leftover labels on packages!). I also loved the postcard invitation design that coordinates – perfect for including with the coffee to invite everyone over for a Baileys-laced cup of hot chocolate merriment. πŸ™‚

Hello Yum | Bestowed Box

When Bestowed contacted me to ask if I’d like to try and review one of the company’s monthly subscription boxes, I couldn’t hit “reply” quickly enough to say yes. I had seen advertisements for the company and while I’m a fan of subscription boxes, I hadn’t yet tried one for any of the natural/healthy snacks that are out there. I’m always on the hunt for new healthy snack and meal ideas, and the more “ready to eat” options I can learn about, the better. And a company whose mission is to help teach people to eat better is right up my alley.

Bestowed boxes

The first thing that struck me about the box when it arrived was the weight – this thing was literally loaded with goodies. Some were from brands I’d seen in the health section and others were new to me. I design for a food ingredients group through my day job, so I found myself scrutinizing the labels perhaps a bit more than a typical consumer, but was impressed to see lots of familiar labeling I’ve worked with before including Certified Vegan, USDA Organic, and Non-GMO Project Verified.Β Here’s the rundown of the contents and some notes on my favorites:

Bestowed-August-2013-Box

 

Lundberg Family Farms Santa Fe Barbecue Rice Chips.Β My box arrived right at lunchtime in our office. My coworker and I took these down, well, instantly. I don’t have a need to go gluten-free, but for no other reason than switching it up, I liked the nuttier taste of a rice based chip than a corn or potato one. The flavor was delish – I do love a BBQ chip!

Living Healthy World Flax & Chia Stick.Β I recently discovered chia and have been adding seeds to my cereal and yogurts, and drinking kombucha with chia floating in it (I know, sounds weird, but YUM). I also regularly make homemade protein bars for Page and me using milled flax. I’d use this product in either application – it was really fresh (no clumps!) and I liked the convenient grab-and-go packaging. I added some to my yogurt with a touch of cereal at the office one morning – very yummy.

Mighty Leaf Sunburst Green Iced Tea Pouch.Β I made a pitcher of this for the weekend and it didn’t hang around long. Very refreshing with the heat we’ve been having, but I’m lazy when it comes to my iced tea and for convenience alone, would probably keep buying the pre-brewed jugs from the store (we’re mildly addicted to our Trader Joes tea).

Cascadian Farm Crunchy Oats & Honey Granola Bar. I know some people don’t like these super-crunchy bars because they ARE messier, but they are my favorite kind! Reminds me of the Nature Valley ones I’ve been eating since I was a kid, but the healthier/organic kind! This served as a quick breakfast one morning last week and got me to lunchtime with no problem!

Miracle Noodle Angel Hair Noodles and Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar. I haven’t used these yet, but I expect them to be some of my favorites in the box. I often make a dinner that uses both of these items, a veggie and steak stir-fry. I always start with a rice vinegar when I’m cooking meat in my wok, along with a little sesame oil. I did taste a little of the vinegar out of the bottle and was pleased that it tasted fresh and very flavorful (some can be more on the bland side). I have bought these ZERO CALORIE (!) noodles before, not understanding that they expire, well, more quickly than regular pasta. πŸ™‚ I love any noodle and especially one with a fraction of the calories!

And to keep it real, I did have a least favorite item — the seaweed snacks. I’ll just leave it as a simple, “no thank you.” πŸ˜‰

My husband, Page, the less health-food-prone of the two of us, did immediately call dibs on the Reboot supplements, which are more his thing than mine. The packaging was especially cool on these, with a seam separating the water from the dissolving powder, all in one packet. The purpose of the supplement is to combat oxidative stress, and you can drink right from the packet, on the go. (Perfect for after workouts!)

Aside from the items themselves, there was a booklet detailing all of the contents, along with recipes for ways to use them, and coupons along with suggestions for places to buy more of an item I liked. Especially with items I wasn’t certain what to do with, the booklet was especially helpful.

If you’re curious to try this subscription for yourself, you can receive $5 off your first box with code:Β 5OFFBESTOWED03. Just click their logo below to be taken to their site. Thanks to Bestowed for the opportunity to try a box!

logo

 

foods I’ve been eating (and loving) lately…

I’ve been trying to incorporate more of the clean eating thing lately, and have been in the mood to try some new things outside my “same old” recipe routine. Here are a few things I’ve been munching on lately, if you’re looking for meal or snack ideas!

kale chicken pasta

 

KALE CHICKEN PASTA
(adapted from Martha Stewart)

Half box of medium pasta shells
Half bunch of kale, removed from thick stems and chopped
1-2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 container part-skim ricotta
1 Tbsp butter
salt, pepper
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup grated parmesan, more to top

Cook the pasta while simmering garlic and butter in a separate skillet. Add the chopped kale to the skillet and cover for 5 minutes or so. Drain pasta and stir in cooked kale, adding ricotta, lemon juice, parmesan, and chicken. Spread into 9×9 baking dish and top with extra parmesan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until top bubbles. YUM!

 

Tazo chai latte

 

TAZO CHAI LATTE

Okay, not a recipe – well, you do mix with milk – but that’s it. I loooove iced chai lattes in the summer, but not all the calories. I like that I can opt for skim with this Tazo concentrate (a Costco find), and keep my overall serving at about 110 calories, versus 200+ for a small at the coffee shops.

 

Chopped Chicken Salad

 

CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD

My sweet neighbor brought this recipe over last week and I barely snapped a photo of it between scarfing bites. SO good and the recipe makes a lot!

1 lb boneless chicken – cooked and shredded
1 head cabbage shredded
handful of carrots shredded
handful of red cabbage shredded
4 scallions – chopped
Mandarin oranges – as many as you like
top with toasted sesame seeds and almonds

Dressing
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tbls dry mustard
6 tbls white/rice vinegar
1/2 tbls fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbls soy sauce
1 teas grated fresh ginger
1/4 tbls minced garlic
1 1/2 tbls sesame oil
1 tbls vegetable oil
salt & pepper

ZUCCHINI CHOCOLATE CHIP VEGGIE MUFFINS

I don’t have a photo for these. Ready-to-go veggie muffins you keep in your freezer. I love the Banana-Zucchini one with a few chocolate chips mixed in (couldn’t find it on their website, but Costco has them), for 120 calories total. They suggest heating them but I don’t mind them at room temp – I just let one thaw on my drive to work and eat it at the office for breakfast.

DARK CHOCOLATE PRETZEL CRISPS

I don’t have a photo for these, either, but these pretzels are yet another Costco discovery. I’m not sure who loves these more – Page or me. Sweet and salty, all natural, and a couple handle my sweet tooth.

Have any good recipes or snack ideas to share? I’m always on the lookout to switch it up! πŸ™‚

lately…

chillin

Lately, I haven’t been tackling projects at the crazy pace I usually prefer to…and I’m embracing more chill out time with my moving-slower-lately hubby. πŸ™‚ I made a resolution to myself this year that I would learn to slow down a little and chill out more…like, REALLY chill out, not pretend to watch a movie with Page while making my next to-do list.

living room palette

That said, I haven’t abandoned my to-do list altogether, just attacking it a bit more slowly right now. Starting with playing with some new colors in the living room…

camera pillow

…and loving my new camera pillow as part of the new colors! And speaking of cameras, this black beauty showed up at my door this week. Spending a lot of quality time together learning the new bells and whistles that came with upgrading a bit!

new camera t3i

Page and I have both been feeling the urge to get back to some healthy habits now that holidays and then his surgery are behind us. While he’s phasing back into some workouts mixed with physical therapy, I’ve been getting back to running at the gym. It’s a love hate relationship right now, but I know it will get better! We are also tackling our eating habits and for me the key is to PLAN AHEAD so I’m not starving without a healthy option, or eating out for lunch because I forgot to pack something to take to the office. One of my favorite dishes right now is a veggie-heavy frittata, that I can cook ahead of time, cut into wedges, and reheat for breakfasts on the go.

veggie frittata

So that’s what’s been going on around here lately, in a nutshell. Call it mellow March. It’s been a nice change of pace…but I could really use some time outside soon. Come onnnn, Spring. We have trees to plant! πŸ™‚