Happy Monday, friends!
So I’m sure most (all) of you hate Mondays-you are not alone there, trust me. But, in a moment of sweet introspection yesterday, I was thinking about how much I absolutely love Sundays. Like LOVE them, people. Even though I know some of you probably disagree, there’s something so fun, relaxing, and comforting about a Sunday. Sometimes we’re hungover and P and I plant our fat, gross asses on the couch and watch 25 episodes of Weeds/Parks and Rec-we obvi fight over which show to watch, can you guess who prefers which? Don’t be wrong…. And the binge watching is also accompanied by binge eating-if you can’t relate to that you should probably stop reading my blog. Kidding, but there will be plenty of posts like that to come. But I’m getting OFF TRACK. What’s new?
Anyway, my usual Sunday consists of grocery shopping, cleaning the house, maybe some yard work, food prep, and I try (emphasis on TRY) to cook an amazing dinner because I actually have time-like seriously, what’s not to love about that? Aside from working Monday morning, that I do understand. BUT it got me thinking about two very different kinds of Sundays-the “I binge drank last night and I’m going to lounge and lazy around and eat every greasy, sweet, fatty thing I can find,” type Sunday, and the “This is the dawn of a new fucking day and I am a healthy queen greeting the coming week by storm,” type. I have been to those poles and everywhere in between, and I am going to give you a play by play of what I did yesterday because, wait for it, I think I MET IN THE MIDDLE. That’s right, all of you are probably amazed at the BALANCE in my life. Don’t be fooled, though, it’s definitely not all the time. But I’d like to celebrate this one time with all of you. So, I’m going to walk you through my day, meal by meal (snacks not pictured/discussed, to save time and energy). Here it GOES….
So I know most people say not to grocery shop on an empty stomach-sometimes I agree, but most times I actually LOVE doing this. Why, you ask? Because I feel like I’m most in tune with my body when I’m hungry-not starved, just hungry. Normally, I need to down a cup of coffee (or two, I know, I’m bad) first thing in the morning, and postpone food for a bit.
DISCLAIMER*****I am NOT, by any means, a nutritionist-I have just spent years of my life listening to my body and trying to do right by her. What I do works for me, and might not work for you. Because we’re all different people…imagine that!! Ok, back to it…
Since I usually stick to coffee for an hour or two after waking up, and I hardly ever wake up starving (exceptions, of course), I LOVE to grocery shop early in the morning. It doesn’t hurt that Wegmans is an actual war zone after 10am, so all these things combined is all the motivation I need. I always go in with a list that contains the basics-eggs, almond milk (and regular milk), vegetables, fruits, cheese, meat, etc. BUT I find that if I have a little pang of hunger, I’m more likely to buy things that my body has a visceral reaction to. And, wait for it, these choices are mostly good and healthy. Like, I know I want fruit, but when I have to swab drool off my chin after smelling ripe nectarines, that’s probably a move. When I see blueberries and want to dump the container into my mouth, that’s another good sign. When I see fresh squeezed OJ or lemonade (this is crack, FYI) and want to bathe in it, I know I probably should buy some. You get the picture. AND, believe it or not, both the time of day and my hunger usually prevent me from buying naughty things. LIke, as much as I love cookies, chips, whatnot, I don’t want them at 8am. So I hardly ever buy them (except when I buy them for P, because he’s a growing boy), or if they’re on my list-see how it works!? I totally feel like you guys are getting it, and that you get me, so we’re going to move on to Phase 2 of my day.
So I don’t meal prep, per se. I never create entire meals, or cook up all the food I buy in advance. I know this totally works for some people, but I have a weird thing about reheating food, especially vegetables, more than once. Or even once, to be honest-P makes fun of me. BUT what I do do (lol) is cook up things I know i’ll want to snack on/eat on the go throughout the week. I try to cook or make dinner every night, but as far as breakfast, lunch, snacks, I want them to be easy and quick, especially right now on my quest to be a beautiful (toned, skinny, etc.) bride. So here’s what I usually prep:
Hard boiled eggs-I LOVE EGGS. Especially hard boiled. I usually buy about a dozen to cook to eat (I can’t get enough of a good over easy, runny yolk egg) and a second dozen to hard boil and eat in salads, by themselves, however I want. I ALWAYS buy cage free and organic-I had chickens growing up (P and I are working on a brood of our own) and for me there’s a huge difference in taste, not to mention how fucking cruel these poor guys are treated in most facilities. Cage FREE people, get after dat DARK YOLK.
Chicken/other meat for salads/snacks. I always buy lunch meat (usually roast beef, turkey, and some kind of sliced cheese) both because P likes sandwiches, but also because it’s easy, yummy, etc. I also, however, like to have some chicken or the like ready to plop on a salad or eat by itself with some veggies as a lunch or snack. P has this pet peeve about hot meats on salads, which is hard on our relationship because I almost love nothing more than steamy hot steak or chicken over cold salad greens. But you get the picture, yes?
Cut up fruit. Or vegetables. Or both. During the summer this means cut up watermelon. I eat a watermelon a week, and I’m not joking. P dips into my stash every once in a while, but hardly ever. I don’t have much more to say, other than that I LOVE WATERMELON. Substitute any other melon, pineapple, etc., and you’ll be good to go. This helps me not only with food waste, but also encourages me to go for the fruit rather than something else.
Freeze fruit from last week-I’ve gotten into this habit recently, and I have no idea why I’ve never done it before. The almost-on-their-way-out berry, melon, etc. is a MAJESTIC addition to your smoothie-just freeze it and you have this perfect, ripe, bag of deliciousness ready for smoothies, margaritas, whatever you fucking want. AND it cuts down on food waste. Amazing.
Sweet potatoes. I can’t get enough and I never will. I chop up, bake until crisped up and almost black on one side. I’ll snack on these like crack and I don’t even care because they’re SO GOOD FOR YOU. Enough said.
So, as I meal prep, I’m getting hungry, duhhhh. I’ve been in a smoothie phase lately because of P, and it’s been a billion degrees. SO here’s what I made-it’s super easy and you can substitute basically all the ingredients to fit your dietary restrictions/needs/preferences. Keep in mind I’m BAD BAD BAD at measuring, and I’m sorry, and will try to be better. Promise.
Heaping handful of spinach-I like to rip it up a little to help things blend
1 banana-the riper the better
1 cup (ish) of Wegmans vanilla almond milk-I brand plug here only because theirs is the best I’ve ever had
About a cup of any frozen fruit of your choice-I used strawberries and peaches on this particular occasion
Blend that shit up in your blender of choice (I have a Ninja and am obsessed with it)
Sprinkle granola on top-totally optional, and I don’t always do it, but when I do, it’s awesome-Purely Elizabeth cannot be beaten (Ancient Grain is the best flavor)
I change this recipe up all the time, but I always keep the spinach, almond milk, and banana as the base. It’s so versatile and you can add kefir, yogurt, protein powder, literally anything to make it suit your needs.
After I guzzle down this smoothie it’s time for some yard work with P-I’ll spare you the details, but he got mini-excavator over the weekend, so let’s just say we’ve been doing a lot of digging. And raking. And picking rocks. SoOoOoO fun. Let’s skip ahead to lunch time…
So remember before when I was talking about balance? Here’s where it comes into play (also with dinner, but be patient, I’ll get there!). Whenever I have a salad, I want something that is healthy, but also feels hearty. On Sundays, it’s always extra important for it to feel a little more luxurious, and indulgent, because half the time, and I’m often coming off of a weekend of drinking and eating like idgaf. So it’s kind of like I want to feel like a health queen but also need a little hair of the dog-foodwise, not alcohol wise. Cue this salad. I picked the lettuce from my garden (stay tuned for some posts about gardening, I’ll get there) and used all the delicious food I got from the grocery store, PLUS my amazing cousin’s homemade prosciutto. Crisped, of course, because I (and you) deserve it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am SORRY that I’m bad at measuring-I will try and do better, but for now, here is my best guestimation…
2ish cups of lettuce of your choice-I like arugula or the mesclun mix I have in my garden-slice it tear it, whatever you want to do to get it into bite sized pieces
1 ripe nectarine or peach-RIPE RIPE RIPE or it’s no fun-cut it up into bite sized pieces, you’re done, baes
Generous sprinkle (lol oxymoron, anyone?) of blue cheese or gorgonzola
Sprinkle of toasted pecans (it’s pecAns not pecAHns, FYI)
4-5 slices of prosciutto, crisped* and crumbled
*You can crisp one of two ways-stick it in a pan like bacon until it’s crispy, or in the oven-oven def works better, but takes longer, so I used a pan because I’m IMPATIENT when I’m hungry
Dressing: this is important because I used a derivative of Ps favorite caesar recipe-will do that recipe first then will get into how I doctor it up
1ish (I’m so sorry) cup mayo
Generous squeeze (1.5 tsp ish) anchovy paste
Juice of half a lemon
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
2-3 cloves garlic
3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1.5 tbsp large grain Dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil-optional, I prefer it with this but P does not
BLEND that shit up and taste/adjust when necessary-I generally just plop all of this into my ninja and go from there. A great variation is to sub half the mayo for avocado, YUM. So for the dressing for my salad I just changed it as follows:
Took like 2-3 tbsp of the caesar and put it in a bowl with balsamic vin, a little maple syrup, teeny bit more lemon juice, mix mix mix. VOILA. So easy, especially because I always keep that caesar in the fridge anyway…
Now i’m running out to get dog food, see my dad, my aunt, and plan some rehearsal dinner stuff (EXCITING). Came home to more yard work and started working up my appetite for dinna.
SO, we are now moving on to dinner. I always like a good homemade pizza, burger, pasta something on a Sunday, because it’s delish, indulgent, and comforting. Yesterday, because it was so hot and I’m trying to be healthy, I decided to go with the salmon burgers I bought at Wegs. Also always a good idea to eat or freeze seafood within a day or two of buying it.
Sunday Salmon Burgers (I hope you guys have noticed the alliteration by now-I DID NOT PLAN IT, I’m just that good)-keep in mind this recipe is for both P and me, aka it feeds 2
2 Wegmans salmon burgers, pre-made: THESE ARE CRACK. They are amazing, I’ve tried so many salmon burgers in my lifetime, these are the best. Forever and ever. Amen.
2 brioche buns (amazing no matter where you get them)
2 sweet potatoes, cut however you like-I made “fries” and baked them to my liking (425 for like 20-25 mins)
Special Sunday Sauce: mayo, sour cream, hot sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper, in whatever proportions you like
Sliced tomato (optional)
Lettuce of your choice (I used spinach, also optional)
Best part is these are SO EASY-cook salmon burgers as directed, plop sweet potato fries on the plate, spread the sauce on your (hopefully) toasted bun, add tomato and lettuce, you’re done. I DO NOT have a picture of this from last night because we wolfed them so quickly. I am so so so incredibly sorry, I’m a bad person for not sharing this with you. But trust me, they were amazing. And the perfect thing to scratch the itch to indulge on Sunday evening, without having a greasy Five Guys burger that makes you feel like you want to go into a food coma. I know from experience. I also love Five Guys.
That’s all she wrote, folks! For now, at least. Stay tuned for more to come, and hope you enjoy these recipes next Sunday OR, better yet, before then. Because they’re amazing any day of the week.