Leftovers

Can we have a conversation about how good leftover thanksgiving turkey sandwiches are? Okay great. Because they’re delicious and I can’t say it enough. I know Ross from Friends is on the same page as I am {I’m crossing my fingers that a lot of you get that reference and instantly laugh thinking of him FREAKING out over his boss eating his leftover thanksgiving sandwich at work}.

Everyone has their own style and preferences when it comes to their leftover thanksgiving turkey sandwich so I’m not even going to tell you how to make one. I know you know how.P1030208

Mine is: lightly buttered multigrain bread (from Lyon’s Bakery here in DC) topped with a slice of provolone cheese, turkey, and cranberry sauce– toasted in a pan on the stove. Simple yet one of the best sandwiches of all time.P1030212

I’ve also been enjoying leftovers over greens- roasted vegetables and turkey over spinach with a cranberry sauce dressing. Side of stuffing- because it’s one of the greatest foods of all time. Basically I’m just having thanksgiving dinner all over again… but over spinach, calling it a “thanksgiving salad,” and feeling better about life. It’s fine.2013-11-29 13.37.25

And even though the leftovers are delicious as is without any recreating or remastering- it’s fun to play and make new things out of original recipes. SO I present to you some other delectable thanksgiving leftover options…

For breakfast time- try out pan frying your stuffing and topping it with an over easy egg. All that yolk goodness seeping into crunchy but still slightly soft mushroom stuffing? Yes please.

Tonight Will and I are having turkey with some brown rice and roasted green beans with mushrooms and topped with a beet pesto I whipped up tonight (recipe to come- I promise). Still a very thanskgiving-y dinner, but different than what we had on thursday.P1030220

Tomorrow we have a roasted fall vegetable pizza on the menu. It sounds like a weird combination- putting roasted vegetables on pizza dough… but man, my girl Martha knows whats up. I’ve made this pizza before and it’s wicked good.

If you’re looking for fun things to do with your leftovers still, check out this really cool article by Brightest Young Things about how local DC Chefs use up theirs!

Hope you’re all recovering from your turkey comas and gearing up for the start of December. Christmas is so close- it’s insane.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 was low key, not stressful in the slightest, and overall- very very relaxing. I got to spend a day dedicated to food with Will and even got in a 5k. Food, love, and running- the makings of a great day.2013-11-28 09.49.12

Will and I rolled out of bed relatively early for some quick breakfast before the turkey trot downtown. The weather was COLD but we were sure to bundle up. Other people did us one better and dressed up in full out turkey costumes. I was jealous- but only because they looked so warm! Well yeah, they also looked pretty boss.

And while the route was pretty standard for your usual DC 5k (starting from Freedom Plaza and headed toward the Capitol), it always does make me feel pretty lucky/special when I’m casually running a race in our nation’s capital and running toward one of the most iconic/gorgeous buildings in the country.2013-11-28 09.48.10

The 5k was a success! Not only did Will survive his first ever 5k- he totally kicked butt… and he even beat me (that little rascal… I point to his longer legs and stride).2013-11-28 09.48.18

But even I technically hit a PR for my 5k! The only measured 5k I have was my first ever one in October 2012 and that was done in 28:52. With this race, my time was 27:19. Woop! I’m glad I’ve gotten slightly faster.2013-11-28 09.48.34

After the race, I was just all about getting some hot coffee, getting the Macy’s Parade on, and stretching. Thanksgiving morning without Matt Lauer is just unheard of for me.

Will and I tag teamed a delicious brunch and watched the Parade and the Dog Show (another Thanksgiving tradition for me). He took on the eggs and bacon (yum) and I made these amazing sweet potato cinnamon citrus home fries with toasted pecans. Make these. Do it. So good.P1030178P1030180P1030181

The rest of the day, the two of us just lounged around, made calls to our families, worked on our Thanksgiving dinner, and watched Bond movies (a Thanksgiving tradition for Will and his family- there’s a marathon on the SyFy channel every year). P1030189P1030187P1030176P1030185P1030186P1030184

And then of course came our feast. There was lots of turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and roasted vegetables {brussels, butternut squash, red potatoes, red onions, and carrots}. Accompanied by some hilarious Bill Clinton sax music. Don’t even ask.P1030193P1030196P1030195P1030198P1030192P1030191P1030197P1030202P1030205

We ended the evening with a walk around a very quiet and still DC (there are definitely a lot of people out of town… or just in turkey comas and staying indoors), apple pie, and Friends reruns. The two of us were in bed early and just like that- Thanksgiving 2013 had come and gone.P1030200P1030204

And now, the focus turns to Christmas and I couldn’t be more psyched. I can’t wait to decorate the apartment this weekend and continue squirreling away gifts for everyone.

I most certainly am NAHT participating in Black Friday shenanigans. It’s just too much. I get it- steals and deals wahoo! But I don’t know. I’d rather take my time, find those perfect little things for the people I love, and shop small/local. DC is filled with such great local vendors- it’s a shame not to hit them up before turning to the big guys. Power to anyone out there battling the crowds. I went out one year with my sister and it was just… a mess.
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Even though I’m all about Christmas, I still pretty all about Thanksgiving leftovers and the endless combinations I can come up with to use them all. AND on that note, it’s time for a big ol’ turkey and veggie salad.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Wicked Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (and happy 16th birthday to my sister, Angie!!!)

I’m grateful and thankful for so many things- I could write a book. I swear.

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Instead of spending the day writing them all out- I’m going to go enjoy life with the love of my life in our little apartment.
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How can you be blue on a day dedicated to eating food?!trot2

And if you can’t tell- the 5k this morning was a success. COLD but a success nonetheless

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Keep it wicked healthy xoxo (and remember, everything in moderation- including moderation 😉 it is thanksgiving after all)

All the Fronts

Time flies when you’re… extremely busy. That’s the expression, right? Not that I’m not having fun over here- for the better half of most of my days I’m having fun for sure. But my days lately have been booked solid- minute by minute. Running from shenanigans to shenanigans. And while I know I can handle it, I’d be lying if I were to say that I wasn’t a little bit tired.

This morning I wasn’t in the best mood- I was feeling pretty bogged down. But then I called my mom on the way back home from the gym and she made me realize how silly all my worries are. She successfully made me feel a whole lot more relaxed and calm about getting ready for thanksgiving and balancing all the other life craziness {which is no easy task!}

All the important stuff will get done and I need to stop sweating the small stuff.

Anyway- I apologize for being off my blogging game. I haven’t had much time to spare and, well, when things get hectic, one of the first things I cut out of my schedule is computer/online/blogging time.

But I’m here now! So let’s catch up on all the fronts of my life, shall we? I think about my blog everyday and it’s so frustrating when I don’t have time to write write write.

Work Front

Work has been insane! Working in a grocery store at Thanksgiving time is just out of control- lemme tell you. There are turkeys and pies all over the place.2013-11-21 12.44.342013-11-21 08.27.18

While Healthy Eating Specialist duties have been sort of pushed to the side to lend a hand with the Thanksgiving madness- there is a fun new addition to the store I work at… GUYS my face is on the wall!2013-11-26 15.11.00

Home Front

One of the big reasons why I’ve been so preoccupied and not blogging these days is that WILL IS HERE THIS WEEK and isn’t traveling for work because of the holiday! Thus, I’ve been trying to enjoy the rare and precious time I have with him while I got him. It’s been really really nice having someone around to help me do Thanksgiving things and tag team apartment chores. And to you know, be my boyfriend live in person during the week.

And um- well- the apartment has definitely been cleaner. Between groceries for thursday and regular cooking stuff… the kitchen is a little crazy.P1030162P1030161

We’ve been adding to our Thanksgiving food collection every day- slowly acquiring everything we need to cook our dinner. It’s exciting but at the same time- I’m a neat freak so it’s a little unnerving having so much stuff in our tiny kitchen.P1030163

But I’m not going to complain about food. I love food. And I’m grateful that I have the money to buy all this delicious stuff.P1030167

Also… I bought whole wheat pizza crusts for some easy pre-thanksgiving dinners and had NO place for them. So I hung them on a spare nail on the kitchen wall. Normal? Maybe not. Space saver? You betcha. And it makes me laugh every time I walk in the kitchen.P1030165

ALSO sitting in my apartment is a brand new shirt sent to me from one of my best friends from home, Kelly. She was so kind and bought me this wicked awesome Red Sox shirt: P1030166

It’s so obnoxious in the best way possible. I’m obsessed. She’s the best 🙂

Cooking Front

Kath’s Chicken and Bean Bake and Tina’s Spaghetti Squash Bake {plus mushrooms} have made dinners and leftovers for lunch wicked easy. Exactly what I needed. I’ve made them both before and chose them for this week’s menu because they’re yummy and simple.

Thanksgiving Front

Will and I are keeping things pretty simple and pretty similar to last year. He’s in charge of the turkey and the stuffing. I’m in charge of the veggies and cranberry sauce. I’m doing a roasted vegetable mix medley {using this Martha recipe + brussels} and a simple, low-sugar cranberry sauce recipe. Whisked! is making our Apple Pie mmmmm. Last year we got one from Dangerously Delicious Pies- which was great! But we wanted to switch things up and try a new place.P1030164

Will was also kind enough to pick up our turkey trot 5k race bibs tonight after work! Wahoo! I’m pumped they gave us long sleeve tees- this girl needs all the warm clothes she can get her hands on.P1030168

Post 5k and pre-dinner, we’re planning on having a little brunch with eggs, bacon, and THESE cinnamon citrus spiced sweet potato home fries. I can’t wait for them!

Before I go… I have a confession to make… I’ve been listening to Christmas music {before Thanksgiving, eek!} Usually I really stick to my guns and don’t allow Christmas music until Thanksgiving has passed. But I can’t help it! It puts me in such a good mood and I’ve really been feeling the holiday season these days. So I’m just going with it. I’m not pushing through Thanksgiving or anything- trust me- I can’t wait for Thursday- but I also just really really really like Christmas. And it’s less than a month away soooo…2013-11-25 08.36.01Okay. I have a date with Will and these bad boys {aka the only thing I want on a cold, rainy night like tonight}. Time to sign off- I promise I’ll return soon.P1030170

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Lunchbox as of Late

When I’m not devouring dinner leftovers for lunch, I’m usually eating some type of sandwich. I try to make one new type of sandwich each week to keep things interesting. I’m just one of those kind of people that loves trying new things and with so many food thangs that I want to try- I have to be switching things up all the time. Some people can be satisfied by eating the same lunch day in and day out- I’m not one of those people.

So please let me introduce to you the star sandwich of this week- smashed chickpea and avocado salad sandwich. P1030141

It’s brilliant.P1030139

All you have to do is mash one can of rinsed/drained chickpeas with one avocado. Then mash in some salt, pepper, cilantro, lime juice, and onion. Done. In my opinion, this mix makes enough for 2-3 sandwiches.P1030140

Throw it on a sandwich (you all know I’m a big ezekiel bread fan) with some spinach and you are ready to rock.P1030142

Usually I’d pack my sandwich with a greek yogurt and a piece of fruit… but I’m still loving on weird baby food snack purees (go ahead- judge- they’re delicious. the banana + beet + blueberry blend is out of this world) so I threw one of those in my lunch bag to squirt half of into my greek yogurt. Yum.P1030143

And of course I need an afternoon snack- honeycrisp apple + almonds. Simple and goood.

What are your favorite kinds of sandwiches? I’m always looking for more recipes.

In addition to Thanksgiving dinner leftover sandwiches (uhhhhh the best kind of sandwiches)- I’m looking forward to making this avocado beet pesto sandwich. It needs to happen soon because it looks to die for. And let’s not even TALK about how I needed THIS pumpkin reuben in my belly like… yesterday.

In other news, it’s Friday! Wahoo! I got home and ran five miles to celebrate 🙂 I had a lot of vibes and energy to get out of my system. My tried and true Nsync pandora station was on point tonight too- it didn’t play any slow songs like This I Promise You or God Must Have Spend a Little More Time on You. It was all, Genie in a Bottle, It’s Gonna Be Me, I Want it That Way, What a Girl Whats, Senorita, Toxic, and Oops! I Did it Again.
And for the first time in a handful of weeks- I don’t have work tomorrow on a Saturday. Will and I are picking up our Thanksgiving turkey (!), going to bootcamp together at our gym, and then he’s taking me to see CATCHING FIRE.
I don’t think I’ve told the blogosphere how much I love the Hunger Games series. Well. Let me put it out there. When Will said he would take me to the movies tomorrow afternoon- man oh man- I was amped! I friggen love everything Hunger Games and have been anxiously awaiting the release of this movie.
I went and saw the first one at midnight but knew I didn’t have it in me to do that again. I’d rather go in the middle of the afternoon when I’m wide awake and can actually enjoy it. Lord knows I can barely stay awake till 11, let alone midnight and then 2.5 hours after for a whole movie. YEAH RIGHT.
Happy weekend, everyone!

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

My Favorite Color

My favorite color? Is that even a serious question? Red. Hands down. Yeah yeah I know- you might be thinking how original, a Red Sox fan who loves the color red. While that crazy team may play a role in my favorite color selection, it’s still just my number one shade! I swear I tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth {always}.

It’s bright, it’s strong, it’s powerful- a good red is straight up gorgeous. It’s bold, it’s symbolic of so many intense emotions (and I’m an emotional lady), and please let me be girly for a second here- I think it’s so pretty and classic. It compliments my dark hair and eyes too he he. Red’s the best, man.

I like to color coordinate my food and channel what I find pleasing into what I’m cooking up SO besides the copious amounts of apples and cranberries I’ve been consuming per usual, I purchased two red items for the first time this weekend and experimented.

The first new grocery item was: a pomegranate. I’ve been lazy and just bought the arils before… but I had yet to attempt to buy a whole fruit and get the arils out myself. It was way easier (and cheaper!) than I thought it would be. It took all of ten minutes to get all the delicious seeds out. I didn’t use this method exactly- but the Washingtonian recently published a fun video about how to get out those little arils. Check it out if you’re curious!P1030100Pomegranates are weird… beautiful… but weird. I feel like they’re an under appreciated seasonal fall beauty. And they’re not around for much longer! Get em while they’re HAHT!P1030109P1030110P1030111P1030112P1030113P1030114P1030115P1030116P1030117Add these bad boys to salad, yogurt bowls, oatmeal…P1030118

The second new item I purchased was: radishes! I’ve eaten plenty a radish but I had never bought them and cooked with them before. This week I changed THAT. I thought they would be hard to cut- literally. Like I thought I would need to use force to cut them. Nope. They’re really soft. And wicked easy to slice up. Who knew? Not this guy.P1030098P1030106

Don’t they look like candy?! I think so!P1030105P1030107P1030108

So how did I use my pomegranate arils and my sliced radishes you ask? Even if you weren’t wondering- I’m telling you anyway…

The pomegranate arils topped a roasted harvest veggie bowl with coconut rice and curried avocado. And yes, that elaborate creation is in fact a real thing.P1030124P1030126

Even if you don’t want to make the whole dish- I highly recommend making the curried avocado. It was like Indian style guacamole. curry powder + honey + thai red chili paste + ginger + jalapeno + cilantro… so ridiculously good. I want to make it again just to eat with pita chips or something fun {or just straight out of the bowl with a spoon}.P1030122P1030123

But if you do make the whole dish… well… you’re welcome. It’s TOTAL comfort food in a bowl. It required a lot of effort to make, but I made enough for four servings so it was worth it. I just wanted to cradle the bowl of food in my arms and snuggle with it on my couch. Too far? Okay. I’m done now.P1030120

Moving on to the radishes {for your sake and mine}… I used those to make a side dish recipe called, radish and feta snap peas to compliment some oven roasted chicken thighs and whole wheat rolls.P1030156

I had been on a fall veggie, squash, lentil, chickpea sort of kick- but I would be lying if I were to say I wasn’t CRAVING some good old Mediterranean style summery deliciousness. A cuisine style that I give two huge thumbs up to.P1030150P1030151P1030152

The thing that took the longest with this recipe was just boiling the water. Otherwise- so quick. Blanch those snap peas, combine them with radishes, and coat them in a sauce made of minced shallots, lemon juice, lemon zest, dijon, olive oil, feta, salt, and pepper {I omitted the sugar and I didn’t have any fresh mint to use feel like shelling out extra cash for fresh mint}. The leftovers were even better today because they were able to soak in the “marinade” overnight.

One of the ways to have healthy happy holidays is to keep eating all the delicious produce out there. Whether you’re putting veggies at the center of your plate, making them the star of a meal, or using lovely fruit to accent an already healthy dish- get in your fruits and veggies my readers!

It’s a lot easier to get in your daily servings when you choose veggies and fruits that are easy on the eyes 🙂 Aesthetically pleasing food is just better. In my humble little opinion.

And with the holidays here- how could you say no to these stunning reds?

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Check Yo Self

Monday night I was on top of the world. Everything was great. I was tired, but other than that, life was absolutely fine. Great dinner- ten mile run- boom. I was obnoxiously thinking, man I rock!

Tuesday morning you would have thought I was an entirely different human being. I felt awful. Mentally and physically. My stomach was doing crazy things, my legs felt like trash from the ten mile run I did the night before, and I felt so exhausted. Being tired I’m used to. But this- this was like that kind of tired where you just cry into a cup of coffee and every minute of the day feels like a force. I got my usual amount of sleep {7ish hours} but my body was naht happy. I kept making to do lists- trying to get my head in order- but all it did was made me feel more frantic.

I left work and headed to the gym- hoping it would make me feel a little better. Nope. If anything, the whole time I just questioned why the hell I was even there when I knew how tired my body was. I went home, ate my burger dinner leftovers, took a bath, watched project runway reruns, ate some chocolate, and went to sleep ridiculously early knowing that the upcoming day was a day off from work (so I didn’t set my alarm).

I wanted to wake up today and feel back in the game. But I didn’t. I felt just as crap-tastic as I did the day before. As I laid in bed at 7:30am {lol apparently that’s my body’s “sleeping in” time}, so many thoughts ran through my brain am I overworking myself? am I trying to do too much? am I getting weird with food again? am I exercising too much? what’s wrong with me? why am I unhappy? why do I feel this way? why do I feel like I need twenty bajillion hours of sleep and a new pair of legs? why can’t I just feel fine? 2013-11-19 06.58.53

In my planner on Sunday, I had written in the morning section for Wednesday- gym time. I laid in bed knowing that it was written in blue ink out on the kitchen table. It taunted me. But I just knew that the act of me going to the gym and forcing that upon myself would not only be flat out stupid- but the breaking point in my mental breakdown sort of state. No Allison. Just no. You’re not doing that- I don’t care if it’s scheduled in sharpie and written in size 48 font. You need to rest. And that’s the way it is.

I hate when I push myself to the point of everything being too much. I need to acknowledge the warning signs (my body feeling tired, my brain fizzing out, my desire to cook dwindling, my desire to write non-existent, tears) and not keep going forward when I know I need to halt and be in the present. And just be. And not try to be everything all at once for all the people. I say this all the time here on my blog and I never cease to forget. I am my own worst enemy a lot of the time.

But today was a day where I really checked myself. I stopped myself from overdoing it. And I listened to what my body and mind needed.

It needed bright produce.P1030137

It needed a long walk with some Chris Bathgate music and a large coffee.

It needed the time to cry.

It needed time for my legs to stop running.

It needed a phone call to my sister.

It needed some just me + the kitchen time.P1030149

It needed to get some errands done.

It needed rest and continuous reminders that what I’m doing is enough.P1030138

It needed the assurance that I’m enough.

With the holiday season in full swing, taking care of YOU is more important than ever. It’s easy to get swept up and stressed out and bent out of shape. It’s easy to run yourself into the ground trying to balance your usual routine with everything that the holidays bring. It’s a lot. I’ve been trying to do this WHILE adjusting to a new job, career, schedule, and a whole host of other thangs.Screenshot 2013-11-20 at 8.41.37 PM

Dear Allison, slow your roll. Love, me.

It’s difficult to take a step back and make time for you. But try and take a walk in the sunshine, keep eating lots and lots of bright veggies and produce, keep eating well and balanced, stay active, take real breaks, take long hot showers on especially cold days, treat yourself to your favorite coffee, do something nice for someone else before lunch (because then at least you’ve made a difference in one person’s day if nothing else- you can feel good about that), and never stop telling yourself that you’re doing a GREAT job at this whole life thing.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself and

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo