Monday, September 28, 2015

Lemon Pistachio Salmon

Happy Monday! What an absolutely beautiful weekend we had! The weather was picture perfect, and even though I had a ton of homework and studying to do I managed to squeeze in some time with a friend. It's important to take time for yourself during the semester. I need time with friends to relax and get away from school. Mental breaks are as necessary as vacations.

I needed a quick dinner because I have class until late. Salmon is probably my favorite food, but I only have it once in awhile because it's expensive (college budget struggles). I decided to make salmon, but kick it up a notch. This salmon was inspired by the Purely Elizabeth cookbook, which by the way is AMAZING and you should definitely go order a copy (or 12). I liked the idea of pistachios, but I made it my own because I'm not a giant pesto fan and because I think lemon makes everything better! 

Lemon Pistachio Salmon
  • 4 oz salmon fillet 
  • .2-.3 oz ground pistachios
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • dill seafood seasoning, to taste

Line a baking sheet and spray with nonstick cook spray.

Place salmon on baking sheet.

Pour lemon juice over salmon. To get a more intense lemon flavor marinate the salmon in lemon juice overnight. 

Grind pistachios (I ground about 1.5 tablespoons to get .2oz of ground pistachios) in food processor until finely ground, but a few chunks remain.

Sprinkle ground pistachios over salmon fillet coating the entire fillet. 

Sprinkle garlic salt and dill seafood seasoning to your liking over the salmon fillet.

Bake at 400F degrees for 17-20 minutes. The salmon should be tender and easily fall apart when it is done. 

This recipe easily double and triples, so you can prep it for a week or make it as as single serving for yourself! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Nutrition (for single serving):
MACROS: 4C/13F/22P
Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 221
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13 g21 %
Saturated Fat 4 g22 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 46 mg15 %
Sodium 206 mg9 %
Potassium 46 mg1 %
Total Carbohydrate 4 g1 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g2 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 22 g44 %
Vitamin A0 %
Vitamin C23 %
Calcium0 %
Iron2 %

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


I want to try to catch up on posts so I've got to do a few backposts, hopefully they'll make sense and won't get you all jumbled up. 

Over the summer I got really into porch sitting. Maybe it's because I'm really an old lady stuck in a 20 something body, but I really came to enjoy ending the day sitting on the porch watching the sun set over the lake. A lot of times I'd have a snack with me and often it was fresh fruit. One of my favorite fruit "salad" combos is lemondrop melon, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. It was my go to over the summer, plus it's a healthy sweet treat! 

A few days before I left for school I was driving back from the gym and the sun was just beginning to rise (it's rising so late now!). It was an absolutely breathtaking view that I just have to share. No photo could do it justice. I wanted to pull over and just soak it in.

One of the last days I was home I gave Cora a new toy. I figure if I'm abandoning her (not by choice) then she should at least get a parting gift. Her toy box is already overflowing, what can I say I spoil her rotten, but she needed something else. I have a secret stash of toys where she can't reach them that I will pull one out for her every once in awhile- crazy dog lady status I know. Every time she gets a new toy she does a "sniff test." No joke she will sniff the toy until it is soaking wet and then start playing with it- she's a nut I know. 

Cora definitely approved of her new toy and was pulling the whole "I'm not going to look at the camera" thing. Normally she's a ham in front of the camera. She always knows when I have my iphone camera up because she will get right up in it and sniff or cock her head, such a diva. Needless to say I miss her hamming it up for me...hehe :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Meal Prep: Pan Seared Lemon Tempeh

Happy Monday! I suppose it's definitely fall now, but the weather has made it feel much more like summer than fall. I for one am NOT complaining as some of summer was too cold and rainy for my liking. Besides, I know snow is eventually coming and I am NOT looking forward to that. 

This weekend was packed with homework. Tons of reading, writing 3 papers, and writing/editing a news story. If anyone wants to volunteer to do some homework let me know :) I haven't been in the kitchen a ton because I've been so busy with school and what I have been whipping up has been rather basic. I took a few minutes out and cooked up some lemon tempeh. 

Tempeh is a vegan source of protein. It's great because it's very plain so you can use any spices and seasonings you desire and it will take on that flavor. I use 3 types of lemon because you can never go wrong with lemon!

Lemon Tempeh
  • 1 package tempeh (make sure it's gluten free) 
  • 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • 2 teaspoons Spice Islands lemon peel seasoning 
  • 1 teaspoon Weber zesty lemon seasoning
  • pinch garlic salt

Spray a skillet with nonstick cook spray and heat to medium.

Cut the tempeh out of the package, cut it into proper serving sizes (about 3.1oz I used a kitchen scale to measure), and place it on a plate.

Take the freshly squeeze lemon juice and pour it over the tempeh. Make sure lemon juice gets on both sides of the tempeh. 
*TIP: If you want the tempeh to be extra lemony juice 2-3 lemons and place the juice and tempeh in a ziploc bag in the fridge overnight. The tempeh will absorb the flavor.

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Spice Islands lemon peel seasoning to each side of the tempeh. 

Then, sprinkle the Weber zesty lemon seasoning and the garlic salt on the tempeh. 

Place the tempeh in the skillet and cook each side until golden brown. Repeat with each piece of tempeh. 

I like to eat the lemon tempeh by itself or in a salad. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Tempeh easily heats up in the microwave.

Nutrition per serving (serves 3):
MACROS: 10C/4F/13P
Nutrition Facts
Servings 3.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 121
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4 g6 %
Saturated Fat 1 g4 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0 %
Sodium 97 mg4 %
Potassium 253 mg7 %
Total Carbohydrate 10 g3 %
Dietary Fiber 6 g24 %
Sugars 0 g
Protein 13 g27 %
Vitamin A0 %
Vitamin C12 %
Calcium5 %
Iron8 %

Friday, September 18, 2015

Halo Top Review

Ice cream and I just don't mix. In fact frozen yogurt and I don't mix so well either. Whenever I eat ice cream or frozen yogurt I get a horrible stomachache and probably pop enough Tums to keep them in business for a long time. On occasion I will have frozen yogurt, but I try to keep it far and few between because I don't enjoy stomachaches.

There are lots of frozen desserts that claim to be a healthy replacement for ice cream, but I've found that they come up incredibly short when compared to the texture, flavor, and creaminess of ice cream. Halo Top reached out to me and asked if I'd be interested in trying their product and of course I said yes! 

I tried the vanilla bean and chocolate flavors, as did my mom (she's an ice cream aficionado). 

Opening the container I was surprised- it legitimately looked like ice cream! We tried the vanilla bean flavor first and HOLY AMAZINGNESS! The flavor was spot on! It was rich, creamy, and perfectly vanilla. The creaminess was what got me- I literally did not think any non ice cream product could be that creamy, but let me tell you it was! 

Next we tried the chocolate. I am not a chocolate lover, but my mom and dad are so we got it as well. This pint was attacked and demolished very, very fast. The chocolate flavor was rich, the ice cream was creamy, and I even got my dad to try it! It got his seal of approval, which NEVER happens!

Aside from the yumminess the macros are pretty awesome, so let's talk about them. Both pints are 240 calories for the entire thing! If you can't eat an entire pint for a 1/2 cup serving is 60 calories. Per serving size the macros are 14C/2F/6P. That's a whopping 24 grams of protein for the whole pint, let alone only 2 grams of fat! All of Halo Top's pints are gluten free, contain no corn syrup, no artificial sweeteners, no synthetic growth hormones, and are vegetarian friendly. Halo Top comes in 7 yummy flavors and if you read about them all here

Overall, both pints get a 10/10 in all categories for taste, texture, and creaminess from my mom and myself (Dad also approves!). The only downfall of Halo Top is it is pricey- a container is $5.99 which is a lot for a pint. However, for a special treat that you don't have to feel guilty about eating I think it is well worth the price!

*I was given free pints by Halo Top, but all opinions are my own. I would never advocate a product I did not like or believe in.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was filled with homework, yuck. That is the one thing I am looking forward to the most about post grad life- no homework! Anyway on Thursday while I was walking on campus there was a pregnancy center handing out roses to students advertising free pregnancy testing. I happily accepted the rose because who doesn't want a free rose?! I don't need the testing, but I like pretty flowers so it's now in a vase on the counter. 

Friday morning was the usual grocery shopping after my workout. For whatever reason I just haven't been hungry recently so I had a light lunch. I made a paleo english muffin and topped it with PB2 and half a banana. This is going to seem crazy, especially coming from a self proclaimed nut butter addict, but I've been having an aversion to peanut butter. Ever since I wasn't able to have it for a few weeks it makes my stomach turn. Hopefully that will change soon (fingers crossed). I also had a plain Siggi's yogurt and added in some Purely Elizabeth granola. Siggi's is by far my favorite plain yogurt. It's so thick and it's not sour at all like other plain yogurts. I actually prefer the plain to the vanilla, craziness I know. Later on I munched on some green grapes. 

I know it's passed, but I think it's important to mention. Friday was the 14th anniversary of 9/11. In some way it seems like a lot longer than 14 years, especially since I was so young when it happened, but whenever I see the videos it always makes me tear up. I still can't comprehend it all. My heart goes out to the families and friends of all those affected.

Saturday and Sunday were fairly lame days, both involved homework and not much else. Saturday night I lost track of time and before I knew it it was way past dinner time and I still hadn't eaten (again not hungry). I knew I needed to eat something, so I popped some salmon in the oven, steamed some veggies and cut up a little watermelon and called it good. 

Not an overly exciting weekend I know, but hey at least I got some of my homework done. Now if only I could catch a break from homework that would be fabulous! Have a great Wednesday everyone! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


I finally did it this morning and by IT I mean run! I haven't been able to run in over a year, per doctors orders, but this morning I needed to run. 

Running was my outlet. Something about pounding it out on the pavement and focus on nothing but pushing forward feels so good. It allowed me to clear my mind and spend however long thinking about absolutely nothing. I'd also use the time to put on some worship music and just pray. 

However, over a year ago my doctor ordered me to stop running. Looking back I understand why. I was pushing myself way too hard. I wasn't fueling my body properly. My lupus wasn't under control and my body ached, but I'd run anyway. Maybe I was trying to run away from the problems or try to fool myself into thinking I was fine, I don't know, but having running taken away from me made me realize I had started to run for the wrong reasons. I would be in horrible pain, but I'd run anyway.

A year is a long time and I've had a lot of time to think about running. During the winter months I didn't miss running so much because I hate winter, but when the weather started to turn warm I missed it. I think there's something inside of you that once you start running it literally becomes a part of you. I dutifully obeyed and didn't lace up my shoes. Instead I found myself in the weight room. I did a little bit of lifting before, but now it was my one outlet and I found out I loved lifting. I love how empowering lifting is and I love beating my personal records, but I still missed running.

This morning I was up way too early (insomnia lives) and while I was at the gym my heart just wasn't feeling lifting this morning. I did what I haven't done in far too long. I stepped on a treadmill and ran. I didn't run my fastest or super far but I ran! It felt beyond liberating. I did intervals of running and walking and made sure to listen to my body on when to stop.

I don't know what it means in the long run- haha no pun intended- and of course I'm going to talk to my doctor, but right now I'm focusing on how amazing it felt to just run. Do I hope to get back to training for a half marathon (and eventually a marathon)? Absolutely, but at the end of the day I ran. And it felt darn good <3

Monday, September 14, 2015

Meal Prep: Lemon Chicken Kabobs

Happy Monday!! Long time no see (or post?) I know. Between the first week of classes, labor day weekend, and another week of classes I have hardly had time to breathe. With it being my last semester of classes (YAY!!!) I have been extra busy and the homework has been piling up. Can we rewind to summer please? 

I'm hoping this week to start getting back into the swing of things with classes and posting. I have some recipes I'm really excited to share and a few reviews I'm also excited about. Now that that's out of the way lets get to the food!

Meal prep this semester is definitely going to be quick this semester with everything going on. This week I planned chicken kabobs because they're quick and easy to make, they're healthy, and I can dekabob (is that even a word?) them for the nights I'm on the go. Normally I'd add veggies to the kabobs, but this time I went for max flavor so I went with lemon between the chicken chunks. The lemon kept the chicken moist and gave it a delicious flavor. Between the lemon and the seasonings my tastebuds were very happy campers!

Chicken Kabobs
  • 1 lb. organic chicken, cut up into chunks
  • 2 lemons, sliced thin
  • oregano, to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • sesame seeds, to taste
  • 4-5 kabob sticks

Line a baking sheet with tin foil or a silicon baking sheet and spray with nonstick cook spray.

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.

Wash the lemon and then thinly slice it. Stack the slices into a pile and set aside.

Cut the chicken in chunks or cubes and try to keep thickness of the meat relatively even. 

Once the chicken has been cut up begin to assemble the kabobs. Place 2 chunks of chicken on each skewer then place a lemon ring. Repeat until each skewer is assembled wit 6-8 pieces of meat. 

Line skewers on baking sheet. Before placing the kabobs in the oven sprinkle the seasonings over the meat. I used a relatively heavy hand with the seasonings, but feel free to use more or less to taste. I also a few left over chunks of lemon, with which I squeezed the juice over the meat.

Bake the kabobs at 375F degrees for 15 minutes- you can also grill the kabobs. Check to see if the meat is done by slicing into a few pieces of the chicken. If the juice runs clear it is ready.

I served the kabobs with mixed steamed veggies and fresh watermelon. 

Place any leftovers in a container or ziploc bag in the fridge for up to five days.

Nutrition (based on 4 kabobs):
Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 167
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3 g4 %
Saturated Fat 0 g0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 84 mg28 %
Sodium 98 mg4 %
Potassium 58 mg2 %
Total Carbohydrate 4 g1 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g5 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 34 g68 %
Vitamin A0 %
Vitamin C40 %
Calcium4 %
Iron7 %