Hidden Talent

So, do you want to know what I’m really good at? You might be good at it too! It’s really not something that I’ve heard a lot of people talk about, so I can’t say if it’s common or not. Well, let me just get it out in the open:

I am really good at making WAY too much pasta. It doesn’t matter if I’m cooking for just myself, for two, or for five – I just can’t nail down the portion sizes! Inevitably I am always left with a bunch of cooked pasta, and not enough sauce. Whenever I’m dumping the box into the pot of rolling bubbles I contemplate shrinking the amount I’m adding. And then I talk myself out of it because I don’t want to come up short. There’s no way around it: Hi my name is Melissa, and I am a pasta portion overestimator.

Tuesday evening I combined two half-empty boxes of pasta into a pot. I think every box of pasta in my pantry is half empty. Weird. When it was done cooking, I added it to the pan of sauce. Well most of it. I tossed leftover pasta (about 1/4 of what I made) into a Rubbermaid container, and put it in the fridge. Generally I’ll heat it up later in the week with some pasta sauce or olive oil & garlic. But when I put it in the fridge between the pints of grape tomatoes and container of shelled edamame, the lightbulb went off: pasta salad!

 Whole wheat pasta, edamame, grape tomatoes, walnuts, gorgonzola cheese, and a garlic & herb vinaigrette drizzled over it. So delicious, AND super easy!

We’re halfway there

Wednesday is almost over, and I couldn’t be happier. This week has literally sucked the life at me. 50% of my meals this week have been on point, but the other half? Not so much. I wake up exhausted everyday, no matter what time I crawl in bed. I struggle to stay awake during the day, despite being insanely busy at work. I haven’t finished attempted one single workout this week, and I have to say I am pretty disappointed in myself. I am just in such a FUNK.

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I have a 10k on Sunday and I haven’t ran since the half marathon on the 2nd. Fresh legs are a good thing, of course, but I was hoping for a PR. I don’t think this goal is attainable since I haven’t hit the ground running in almost two weeks.

I’ve reassessed my goals, and I’ve decided I’m going to power through the rest of the week and start Saturday strong. I didn’t expect getting back on the horse fitness-wise was going to be easy, so I’m not going to stress over it.

In other news, remember the bruschetta I made earlier in the week? I found a new way to use it! I started with a pita pocket lined with romaine lettuce and thin-sliced turkey breast. Next, I added the bruschetta mix, caramelized onions, and crumbled garlic & herb goat cheese. The romaine/turkey combo kept the bruschetta from making the pocket soggy. It was DELICIOUS!

 

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After you finish stuffing the pitas, fold the turkey slices over the filling to keep it from falling out. Several people in the breakroom commented how great it looked and how jealous they were. I’d definitely recommend giving this one a go! I’m going to switch out the turkey tomorrow for chicken salad, I think that would be a tasty variation 🙂

Alright, only TWO more days to go until the weekend!!

Bruschetta

Have you ever stopped to think about what a homemade bruschetta could be used for besides a topping on crusty French bread? The possibilities are endless!

Skip the regular pizza sauce and use the bruschetta mix as the base for your pizza. Then finish it off with fresh mozzarella and a few sprigs of basil.

Pizza isn’t your cup of tea? Grill up chicken, zucchini, red peppers, and onions, and toss it together with the bruschetta and whole wheat linguine for an easy pasta.

Need a quick appetizer to bring to a friend’s dinner party? Whip up the bruschetta and serve it with pita chips. Here’s a quick and easy recipe to follow:

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2 pts grape tomatoes

5 cloves of garlic (adjust to your own garlic amount preference. I LOVE it)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

fresh cracked pepper

green onions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Halve the tomatoes and chop the garlic. Combine in a medium sized bowl.

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Next, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and the cracked pepper. Toss to coat.

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Spread the mixture on a baking sheet in an even layer.

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Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until they begin to shrivel up like this:

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Smash the tomatoes down flat using a fork.

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Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove the tomatoes from the baking sheet. This will allow most of the tomato juices to stay in the pan, thus keeping the bruschetta from becoming watery. Be sure to scoop up the garlic though!

Toss with chopped green onions, and put the in the fridge overnight to allow all of the flavors to combine and intensify.

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Enjoy!

Sunday Grocery Run

I hit Target for a light grocery run this morning since from 12pm on I will be completely submerged in football 🙂

Here’s what I hauled away:

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I’ve never bought a large container of Fage, only the individual ones. It seems like it’s a smarter move to go larger – more bang for your buck!

Target brand Archer Farms had individual packets of granola for 99 cents, so I picked up a few different varieties to try out before committing to a large package.

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I love Sabra hummus, so good! It’s even better in the pre-portioned containers with pretzel crisps for dipping.

100 calorie packs of Cocoa Roast almonds and a walnut/almond mix. They were on sale; otherwise I would have just bought the larger container and portioned them out myself.

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I love the broccoli florets that you can just steam right in the bag, so convenient.

I’ve been searching for this new Laughing Cow flavor for awhile, Mozzarella Sun-dried tomato & Basil. I’m pretty excited to try it. Also, goat cheese is a staple in my fridge either crumbled or in log form as shown here.

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We ALWAYS have the produce drawer stocked with apples. Today we went 75% Pink Lady and 25% Honey Crisp. The Honey Crisp ones are so expensive though, otherwise we would have done a 50/50 mix.

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And that’s it! Time to switch back to football 🙂