Buffalo Chicken Flatbread “Panini”

Hello everyone! I had another busy weekend; I went to the cape with friends and my boyfriend, then to the Zac Brown Band concert at Fenway! I can’t believe tomorrow will be July. Time is flying!

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Wallpaper at my hotel on the cape…need this in my future home!

Last week was pretty busy, so I needed something quick and easy to make for dinner. I bought these flatbreads at Wal-Mart and they made the perfect quick dinner! You can make pizzas, paninis, sandwiches…so many options!

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I decided to make buffalo chicken paninis with them…I cooked some chicken breasts, shredded them, and threw it in a flatbread with buffalo sauce, soy cheese and reduced fat blue cheese crumbles. Grilled them in my quesadilla maker (you could also use the stove top or a George Foreman grill) and they were ready! I made a side of Ranch dipping sauce, which was just plain Greek yogurt with ranch dip mix and dill flakes. Voila!

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Weekend Recap: Pineapple Print and Sushi

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you had a great weekend. I had a fun-filled few days including a bridal shower, a grad party, a frisbee tournament, and a sushi lunch. Now it’s time to begin the countdown to Friday again! Just wanted to share a few pictures from my weekend.

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Just picked up this pineapple print dress at Savers for $10! It was perfect for the bridal shower, which was an afternoon tea. I paired it with a yellow cardigan, a statement necklace, and gold flat sandals.

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Sunday I met up with Gary for sushi and Mai tai’s. We went to Cheng Du in Westboro this time, where we ordered an assortment of rolls and of course had a few too many Mai tai’s. Everything was delicious! They also had the comfiest chairs at the bar; it was like sitting on a couch…while being served drinks and sushi. A big win in my book!

Is it Friday yet??

Shrimp Fried “Rice” with Quinoa

Happy Friday! Earlier in the week I decided to finally make the quinoa I had bought at Trader Joe’s ages ago. I had all the ingredients to make a shrimp and veggie fried “rice”, so I went for it. I had never made or had quinoa but I really liked it! It’s a little more soft and chewy than rice, but it was really good with the soy sauce, veggies, and shrimp. I will definitely be making more quinoa dishes in the future – recipe suggestions would be much appreciated!

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Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) quinoa (I used Trader Joe’s fully cooked organic quinoa, which is frozen and you can just microwave/cook it!)
  • 1 bag steamable broccoli cuts
  • Onions and peppers, cut into strips (I use the convenient frozen strips)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 3 eggs
  • Frozen shrimp
  • Soy sauce
  • Garlic powder and red pepper flakes (to taste)

Directions:

1.) Cook quinoa per package instructions. For the frozen quinoa, I used both packages and added water, according to the box, until it had fully thawed on the stovetop.

2.) Steam broccoli cuts in the microwave per package instructions. Also thaw frozen shrimp by running cold water over them until soft.

3.) Meanwhile, cook frozen corn, onions, and peppers over medium high heat with olive oil until soft.

4.) When broccoli is steamed, add to skillet. Then crack 3 eggs into skillet and mix to scramble with the veggies. Then add in shrimp.

5.) Add in quinoa and stir. Add soy sauce, to taste (be careful not to make it too salty!)

Veggie Pesto Pizza

Earlier this week I needed to make dinner, but wanted something relatively quick. I had bought frozen organic pizza crusts from Trader Joe’s awhile back, so I decided to make one for dinner! I had veggies and cheese, then added some pesto when I cooked the veggies to boost the flavor. The crusts are about 10″ around, so they are personal sized. I had half for dinner and ate the rest for lunch the next day. It was just as delicious reheated!

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Veggie Pesto Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Personal-sized pizza crust (I used Trader Joe’s organic)
  • Pasta/marinara sauce
  • Mozzarella balls
  • Onions, peppers, cherry tomatoes (and any other veggies!)
  • Shredded Italian cheese
  • Pesto (I used sun-dried tomato basil)

Directions:

1.) First, let crust thaw per package instructions (about 15 minutes). Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2.) While the crust is thawing, cut cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls in half.

3.) Next, saute onions and peppers until cooked. Add in cherry tomato halves and pesto and cook until soft.

4.) Put a thin layer of pasta sauce on pizza crust and top with shredded cheese.

5.) Then add in the pesto veggies and top with mozzarella balls and more shredded cheese, if desired.

6.) Bake for 12-15 minutes until toppings look bubbly. The crust was a little soft on the bottom of mine, so I probably could have cooked it a little longer. It may have been because I had a lot of toppings!

Lightened-up French Toast!

Sunday morning I decided to make myself something a little more interesting for breakfast than the usual cereal or peanut butter and banana on toast. So I decided to be adventurous and make French toast! However, I will admit that I have never made French toast myself (it was something my mom always made for us as kids). I did a search for “healthy French toast recipes” and tried this one – it tasted delicious and was much healthier than the traditional version. Win win!

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Lightened-up French Toast

Adapted From: The Mayo Clinic

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 slices bread
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

1.) In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites, vanilla and nutmeg. Dip the bread into the egg mixture, coating both sides.

2.) Place a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Spray with a little cooking spray or olive oil, then add the bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook until both sides are golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.

3.) Top each slice of toast with powdered sugar and maple syrup. Enjoy!

 

Fitbit Flex Review!

So I think I mentioned that I got a Fitbit Flex for my birthday, and I have to say that after about 3 weeks of wearing it, I still love it! Now that I know how all its bells and whistles work, I wanted to put up a review of what I like and don’t like about it. I know that when I was looking at different fit trackers I thought reviews were helpful, so hopefully this will inspire some of you to try the Fitbit (or another tracker)!

So this is what the Fitbit Flex looks like. It’a a thin rubber armband that snaps on; it comes with a larger and a smaller armband, which I assume is supposed to be men’s/women’s, so I use the smaller one for my little wrist. The small “chip” goes inside of the armband, and this is what you charge on a USB to keep the Fitbit going (I usually charge it once every 4-5 days). You can wear the Fitbit in the shower if you want to and the chip still works (but not in the pool)!

Basically the chip sends all of your info (steps, calories, miles, active minutes) to your phone via an app or your computer via a USB. I solely use the app because it’s more convenient, since I almost always have my phone. If you tap the Fitbit twice, 1-5 circles will light up. Each circle represents 20% of your daily goal. So the more circles, the closer you are! You can set your daily goal on the app to be a certain number of steps, calories, etc. Mine is set to 15,000 steps a day. Once you reach your daily goal, the Fitbit will vibrate! I also check my stats on my phone throughout the day to see how I am doing.

You can also add in a certain activity and its duration, which I do at the gym, and manually add calories if you wish. You can look at a chart of your day for each stat (i.e. miles) and see how far you went in 15 minute increments. For example, one day I took a walk with my coworkers but didn’t bring my phone. When I got back to the office, I was able to look at the chart and see how long our walk took, how many miles, how many calories, and how many steps. Very cool! It also tracks sleep – simply put it on your non-dominant wrist, go into the app, and add sleep log…then it will log sleep data until you wake up. Then simply press “I’m awake” on the app and it gives you a sleep summary!

PROS

The armband isn’t huge, so it’s not bulky or super noticeable.

I like that it doesn’t look like a watch, because I already wear a watch and don’t want to look like I’m wearing one on each arm!

You can see how close you are to your goal right on the Fitbit, in case you don’t have your phone/computer handy.

I love that it vibrates when you meet your daily goal – such a feeling of accomplishment!

I think the best part of the Fitbit is just seeing it on my wrist, which is a constant reminder to KEEP MOVING! I find myself thinking “I’ll take the stairs, because I need more active minutes!” It’s all in my head, but it works!

When I add an activity (i.e. elliptical), I can click one button and have it tweet out my stats to Twitter.

It analyzes how long and how well I sleep!

You can look at a chart of your day for each stat (i.e. miles) to break down your stats into 15 minute increments.

Fitbit sends you emails with new badges (i.e. First 10, 000 steps) and weekly progress reports.

You can sync up with friends who have a Fitbit (unfortunately I have none) and challenge each other!

You can add in calories consumed and water consumption for the day (I don’t do this, but some people love calorie counting- it can all be done in the app!)

The battery life is really good, usually 4-5 days, and you can see the battery level on the app. It also sends you emails when it is low.

CONS

You have to go to the app to view all stats (except percentage of goal completed). Not a big inconvenience, but sometimes I wish the armband had a little screen that told me steps, miles, etc. without having to check my phone.

The USB won’t sync with my computer. Not sure why. But at least I have the app, so I use that to track my info!

The Fitbit didn’t come with a user manual, just said to go to a website to set it up. Therefore, I had to surf the internet to find out how to do certain things, or just figure them out myself.

The Fitbit has a hard time recording some stats while on certain gym machines. For example, the Cybex arc trainer doesn’t seem to be detected…if I do half an hour on the machine it only recognizes about 3 active minutes. Not a big deal, since I add in my gym activities manually anyways, but I wish it could more accurately measure my workouts.

Doesn’t record heart rate.

Overall I love the Fitbit! I like that it keeps me motivated and is very easy to use. It came with a black armband but you can get other colors to snap the chip into. I’m thinking the Tiffany blue or hot pink?? Maybe my next purchase 🙂 Also a Tory Burch collection is supposed to be arriving soon…can’t wait to see what patterns they will have! Let me know how you like your Fitbit/activity tracker or if you want to get one!

Avocado Salsa Breakfast Sandwich

This past weekend I had some friends over for drinks, so the next morning I was feeling a little fuzzy and in need of some heavy breakfast food. However, rather than go out and get a greasy bacon egg and cheese on an everything bagel (which I love), I decided to make something for myself at home and save some calories. I had an avocado that I had been meaning to use for something, so I whipped up a Mexican breakfast sandwich that was soooo good!

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Avocado Salsa Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (I used 3, and as you can see only about half fit in the sandwich!)
  • 1/4 avocado, cut into thin slices or cubes
  • Whole wheat English Muffin (or toast if you prefer)
  • 2 tbsp salsa
  • 1 tbsp butter (I use Earth Balance organic)
  • Shredded cheese, if desired
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.) Cut avocado into small cubes or slices.

2.) Scramble eggs (I add a little milk to make them fluffy), adding cheese if desired.

3.) While cooking eggs, toast an English muffin or bread.

4.) Spread 1 tbsp butter on muffin/toast. Layer eggs and avocado onto toast and top with salsa. Enjoy!

Here’s an article about why it’s important to actually EAT the egg yolks!! I rarely make anything with egg whites, because if I’m going to have an egg, I want the healthy cholesterol and protein too!