Tag Archives: MorningStar farms tomato basil burger

Tuesday Tidbits

13 Mar

Good evening! Today has been a whirlwind of news for me, most notably being the new Pope and the announcement that Google Reader is going to be taken away this summer. Yes, the removal of my RSS readers is on par with the assumption of arguably the most powerful religious leader in the world – priorities.

I have been pretty here and there when it comes to my meals lately, but here are some meal tidbits that I am digging these days.

IMG_2188[1]Morningstar Farms Tomato Basil veggie burgers and roasted sweet potato fries. I can tell that I am totally ready for summer barbecues because I have been seriously loving on these burgers.

IMG_2190[1]I have been really good about this month’s goal to go to yoga at least twice a week. My yoga classes are Tuesday and Thursday mornings, so making a batch of overnight oats to grab out of the fridge and bring with me for breakfast after class. This particular batch is repping the tropics with some plain Chobani, shredded coconut, and mango chunks. Is it summer yet?

IMG_2191[1]Doing some prep work over the weekend always makes packing my lunches for the week much easier. Lately I have been into preparing these easy veggie packs to grab and go from the fridge.

Inside the pack:

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 Persian cucumber, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • grape tomatoes
  • broccoli florets
  • baby carrots

The nice thing about this combination is that there’s a rainbow of colors, which means I’m getting all sorts of different essential vitamins and minerals that is good for the ol’ bod. This girl can eat, so these aren’t sissy veggie packs either.

Held up to my face for a size comparison.

Held up to my face for a size comparison.

Throwing  a pack in with my lunch for the day ensures I get my fiber on and gives me something healthy to munch on throughout the day.

The final tidbit is not really food related, but I saw it in an issue of Glamour while I was stretching at the gym and thought, “YES!”

glamouritsokayMy little red arrows are a little light, but I hope you can see them. Favorite bands from high school? More like favorite bands from elementary school. N’Sync Pandora – no shame.

Unfortunately this post is going to be rather short as I have a little bit to do to get ready for tomorrow’s Embassy Chef event and I want to be in bed early for yoga tomorrow (my perfect eight hours is actually nine and a half, exactly like the magazines says). I hope the week is going smoothly for everybody so far, hope to check in with you tomorrow.

Lots of love,






Yoga Mornings + [Overnight Oats Recipe]

26 Feb

Well, I did it! I finally made it to an early morning gym class – hooray! I told you guys yesterday that I was going to try my darndest to get my butt to yoga this morning and so I did everything I could to make sure it was successful. After work I went scurried straight over to the gym and hopped on the treadmill. I decided to run instead of take a class because I wanted to get in and out ASAP.

IMG_2098[1]Apparently just under 5 miles appears to be my sweet spot this week. I watched an episode of the Biggest Loser on my phone while I was running and it was kind of nice because it felt like I was working alongside the people on the show. Whenever Bob would yell, I would feel a surge of motivation and keep pressing on. Whatever works?

As soon as I got home I went to straight to the kitchen and set about preparing a big pot of lentil soup for the week. I figure if I could make lunches and dinners easier by having it in the fridge already, I would be more likely to wake up in the morning.

IMG_1985[1]While the soup was bubbling away, I made some dinner – a MorningStar Tomato Basil veggie burger and some roasted sweet potato fries.

IMG_2099[1]I am majorly into burgers right now. I had two over the weekend and one yesterday and the craving shows no sign of letting up. Unfortunately, I’m out until I  go grocery shopping at the end of the week so lentil soup will have to suffice. I think one of the reasons I like them so much is because you’re supposed to take big bites and really sink your teeth into them, which makes them feel very satisfying, in my opinion.

While I was in the kitchen, I took the liberty of preparing some overnight oats to have when I got to work, because you’re not supposed to eat before yoga.

Overnight Oats

  • 1/2 cup raw oats (not instant!)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 6 oz. Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Mix it all together and put it in the fridge overnight and you’ve got breakfast ready to go!

That’s usually my base for overnight oats and then I add whatever mix-ins to switch up the flavor – this morning was a tablespoon of honey and some cinnamon.


I usually set my alarm for 6:30 AM during the week, so setting it for 6:15 this morning wasn’t a huge change. I set all my clothes out the night before (after contemplating just sleeping in them) so when my alarm went off I hopped out of bed to dress and brush my teeth and then I was out the door!

Thanks to the early morning, there was zero traffic and the bus made it downtown in just 15 minutes – perfect timing for my class that started at 7 AM. I convinced my roomie to join me this morning, but he decided to run and meet me there. I was not so ambitious.

As I was putting my stuff in my locker, I cut myself on the shaving razor I had stashed in my gym bag  and sliced my finger wide open. Sweet.

After a few attempts to staunch it, I went over to the front desk and grabbed some Band-Aids to make a pseudo-wrap to get me through class.

IMG_2102[1]Just call me Dr. Sara.

Yoga (finally!)

When I finally made it to class, it felt SO good to be in the warm relaxing room and I really concentrated on being in the moment. Sometimes I get caught up in my day and all the things I have to do so I really miss out on the hour of “me time” that I get during class.

The instructor is one of my favorites at the gym: she’s calm and knows how to instruct without being aggressive and knows the perfect balance of offering tips and modifications without being so talkative that she distracts from the practice. I let myself focus on my breath, especially when stretching out the areas where I keep a lot of my stress (hello, hips!). I don’t really realize how much sitting at a desk all day affects my body until I get into yoga and suddenly everything needs to open up.

By the time we got to savasana, I was calm and so peaceful – well, mostly. I did find my mind roaming a bit and tried to calm the thoughts that were beginning to infiltrate. It becomes more difficult for me to focus on calming the mind when I don’t have what I am doing with my body to focus on. This is why meditation is so hard for me.



[ source ]

I’m working on it.

The beauty of the morning class was that I still had an hour before needing to be at work, so I took my time getting ready without the feeling of needing to rush to be somewhere – it was lovely.

My gym offers morning yoga classes on Tuesday and Thursday morning and I am definitely committing to making those a priority in my life. They also have some on the weekends and in the evenings, so I am hoping to make it to a classes at least three times a week. Yoga does so much for me physically and mentally – I always seem to forget that until I go to a class. I am counting on you guys to hold me accountable!

I haven’t decided whether or not I will make it to the gym after work or if I should just walk the 2.5 miles home and call it a day. I guess we’ll find out!

Food For Thought: Do you practice a type of yoga? How has yoga been beneficial in your life?

Happy Tuesday, lovelies!





Cinnamon Apple Chips

20 Dec

There is only one more day between me and Friday and going home is so close I can taste it! My only hope is the winter storm that’s making its way across the nation won’t interfere with my travel plans. PLEASE, weather gods, have mercy on Christmas travelers!

After my Body Pump workout last night, I was craving a burger and fries in a major way. I am in the process of trying to eat all my food before I leave town and I knew I had some sweet potatoes that needed to be used, so sweet potato fries it was! What I usually do to make mine is slice up one large sweet potato into 1/2″ slices and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil on a cookie sheet, then top them with salt and lots of pepper.

Then I pop the sheet into a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes.

I was super hungry and had some cucumber slices and hummus to stave off hunger while the fries were baking.


After 15 minutes is up, I take the cookie sheet out to turn the fries over, then put them back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes (depending on how crispy you want them).

IMG_1652[1]While the fries were baking, I prepped my burger by defrosting two MorningStar Farms tomato basil burger patties (vegetarian) and topping a sandwich thin with mustard, ketchup, and relish. That came together quite easily and was all ready when the fries came out!

IMG_1655[1]Delicious! I love being able to make fast food items at home – you know exactly what’s in your meal and you can customize the meal exactly to your preferences.

A week or two ago, I bought a big bag of apples from Trader Joe’s that just weren’t very good. I kept bringing them for lunches, but I really wasn’t enjoying their flavor. I still wanted to find a way to use them because I abhor wasting food. That’s when the idea for Cinnamon Apple Chips came into my head. I wasn’t really sure how they would turn out, but I just decided to go for it. They turned out pretty well! The only thing I recommend now is having a mandolin for making the slices nice and thin. I had to bake mine for almost three hours to get the desired crispy texture of chips because my slices were cut with a knife and a little on the thicker side.

IMG_1653[1]All you need to do is slice (or mandolin) your apples as thinly as possible, then place them on a cookie sheet with some parchment paper (so they don’t stick), then top with a light dusting of cinnamon. I contemplated making it cinnamon sugar, but I figured that apples are already so sweet, I didn’t need to add extra sugar. Then I stuck them in the oven for an hour at 200 degrees. I kept checking on them and adding more time to the oven until I felt that they were at the texture I desire. The total time ended up being about 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Luckily, I had season 8 of Scrubs and a notebook of goals for 2013 to pass the time.

IMG_1663[1]The kitchen really started to smell like apples and cinnamon and I was tempted to just take them out and eat them the way they were! I managed to resist until they were finally ready.

IMG_1665[1]Of course I had to taste them, which is why you might notice a missing piece or two. The rest I bagged up and put them in my lunchbox for a sweet snack today! While they do take quite awhile, most of that time doesn’t involve being anywhere near the kitchen, so it’s not that time consuming. Next time, I will make a big batch and save them as go-to snacks when I’m craving something crispy.

Food for Thought: Do you ever try to make a fast food favorite at home?

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