Sunday is usually restaurant post day here at Chattavore, but this girl isn’t feeling so hot. If you aren’t a Chattanoogan, then you may not be able to relate, but if you are, you’ll understand the next four words: Very. High. Pollen. Count. It doesn’t usually get me down, but it hit me like a ton of bricks last weekend and hasn’t let up. Yesterday I told Philip I just wasn’t in the mood to “think” about where or what we were going to eat. We picked an old favorite for which we had a coupon and gorged ourselves on bar food. Since I’m on spring break, though, we’ll probably go somewhere new for lunch tomorrow, so look for a restaurant post on Tuesday (3/26/13: yesterday’s lunch was disappointing. Not enough nice things to say to write a blog post, so maybe later in the week? We’ll see.).
It probably seems I’ve been pretty absent from the blog lately. I haven’t done a whole lot of posting. I’ve had a lack of motivation and energy (amazing how getting out of the routine can mess you up for so long). I’ve also been seriously missing my macro lens. I didn’t realize how much I relied on it for my photography until it was gone. I’ll be purchasing one for my new camera as soon as I can convince myself to spend the money. The honest truth, though, is that I haven’t been absent at all.
If you are a regular reader I’m guessing you’ve noticed some changes around here. If you haven’t, check out these screen shots from Ready to Blog’s website:
I love, love, love what Bobbi has done for my website. It’s so clean and pretty and it’s all mine. She did social media stuff for me too, and she has consulted with me on growing my following. And if you’re looking for some blog designs, her prices are über-reasonable. Check her out.
Updating the blog has resulted in some work for me too, though. In order to showcase my photography, Bobbi created a single-column design and recommended that I size my images to fit the entire column. Because I am a perpetual perfectionist/overachiever/obsesser, this means that I am going all the way back through my archives and resizing the images. Not a quick process, people. Add to that the fact that before I even changed my design, a WordPress update rendered my old recipe plug-in dead. on. arrival. Except that I didn’t realize that until some readers started complaining about the lack of a printable recipe on some recipes that I felt quite certain I had already added a printable recipe to. Oh, guess what? Your printable recipe is gone. Sorry. So, I’ve been updating recipes too.
Anyway, this may seem like a lazy way out, but if you’re anything like me you’re always looking for some non-sandwich lunch ideas that don’t make you want to rip your hair from its follicles at 7 p.m. the night before. I’m a perpetual night-before-lunch-maker because I just can’t be bothered with it in the mornings. I like to buy a set of ingredients and find two or three different ways to use them up, which is why the two salads below have a lot of the same ingredients. Since January, I’ve been using my handy-dandy Vita-Mix to blend up fruit & veggie smoothies for breakfast every morning, and I throw those together the night before as well (my Vita-Mix jar fits into my fridge so I just put the ingredients-except for the frozen banana-in and keep in the fridge till right before I leave for work). Here are a few quick & easy ideas.
Left: 1/3 cup water, 1 pear, 1 orange, peeled & sectioned, 1 cup green grapes, 1/2 cup pineapple, 1 cup kale. I add 1/2 frozen banana before blending. This makes 2 servings and no, you don’t taste the kale. I promise.
Right: Fill a quart-size Mason Jar about 1/2 the way with chopped romaine. Add 1 ounce cheddar cheese cubes, 1 crumbled strip bacon, 1/4 cup sprouts (these are clover sprouts), and 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds. I made 2 of these jars so one lunch was made ahead of time…you could make more if you wanted to. Refrigerate the jar and in a separate container pack 1/2 cup grape tomatoes. When you are ready to eat just dump onto a plate (or a cafeteria tray if you’re me) and add your favorite dressing. For this salad, I used homemade ranch (yep. I’m a food blogger and I like ranch dressing. Because it tastes good.). I’ll share my recipe for homemade ranch soon, I promise.
Left: 1/2 cup water, 1 cup grapes, 1 pear, 1 cup pineapple, 1 orange, peeled and sectioned, 1 carrot, scrubbed and coarsely chopped. I added 1/2 a frozen banana before blending. 2 servings.
Right: For 2 servings, boil 5 ounces of pasta (these are tiny whole wheat shells) according to package directions and rinse with cold water. Allow to drain thoroughly. Toss in a bowl with 3-4 tablespoons of ranch dressing and divide between 2 bowls. To each bowl, add 1 ounce cheese cubes, 1 slice bacon, crumbled, 1/4 cup frozen peas, 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, and 1/4 cup sprouts. Refrigerate till ready to serve.
I get some strange looks carrying my green and orange smoothies in to work. I also get asked a lot if they taste good and my answer is yes! I know a lot of people think that kale, spinach, and carrots in a smoothie sounds strange, but the fruit definitely provides the primary flavor. I do get some questions about the amount of fruit and how much sugar is in it, but I don’t really eat much sugar other than fruit so I’m not too concerned about it.
So, who has some other great breakfast and lunch suggestions for me?