a balanced plate with room for dessert


Copy Cat Burrito Bowls

TGIF!! Even though I’m loving my rotation in school food service, I’m still so so so very happy that it’s Friday. So, here are my Friday Favorites for this week.

Favorite Fitness Must Have: Garmin Forerunner 910XT with HRM. Ok, calling this $450 fancy watch a “must have” is a bit of a stretch. Maybe I should say it’s a “Lust Have” instead. The watch is seriously awesome. The price is a little steep for a student budget, though. Eh, maybe when I get out of school and find a job I can reward myself with one of these babies with my first paycheck.

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Favorite Cold Treat: Kemp’s Java Chip Ice Cream. Oh boy. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this stuff. A bowl full of this + some espresso chocolate chip cookies = the best dinner ever.

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Favorite Make-Me-Smile Read: 10 Reasons Running Doesn’t Suck As Much As You Think on Hello Giggles. Part of me really wants to print this out and stick it on my fridge.

Favorite Restaurant Meal Copy Cat: Burrito Bowls! I made these on a night where I had a craving for burritos. They were so good that we made them again the next night with different toppings. The best part? They were SO easy to make! Seriously, we put them together in the time it would have taken us to drive across town, wait in line, and drive back home. It’s an added bonus that they were so cheap to make, too! Now that’s my kind of meal – delicious, quick, and cheap.

Copy Cat Burrito Bowl

3 cups brown rice
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped, divided
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Other optional toppings:
Sour cream
Hot sauce

  1. Cook brown rice according to package directions. I use a rice cooker and use a 1 cup brown rice: 2 cups water ratio. When rice is cooked, mix with 1/4 cup cilantro, lime zest and lime juice.
  2. Meanwhile, mix chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano together and sprinkle generously over chicken breasts.
  3.  Heat olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over high heat. Cook chicken until cooked through. Remove to cutting board and chop.
  4. In a separate bowl, make the pico de gallo. Combine tomatoes, 1/4 cup cilantro, red onion, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
  5. To assemble: place rice in bowl and top with black beans, chicken, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, and any other toppings you desire. Enjoy!



Friday Favorites (& Granola Bars)

Happy Friday everyone! Hope everyone had a fabulous week. While my week was better than usual, I’m still looking forward to the weekend. I’m starting something new – Friday Favorites. Read on for little moments from the week that grabbed me as well as a delicious new recipe!

Favorite blast from the past: school lunch. Yup, that’s right. I started my 1 month school food service rotation this week and they are feeding me lunch!  This is my first rotation to offer me food, so I’m pretty psyched. Some menu items that brought me back to my elementary and middle school days? Pizza dipper, mini corn dogs, and the good ol’ chicken nuggets. Don’t worry, they’ve got some amazing fruit and veggie spreads along with some other healthier options. Also, for the first time in a loooong time (quite possibly years) I’ve had a cup of skim milk every. single. day. My favorite part of eating school lunch? The spork.

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Favorite  can’t-live-without-it workout equipment: Foam Roller. Best $20 I spent. You can find me rolling around on it for a good half hour after all my runs and cycling workouts.

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Favorite breakfast inspiration: overnight steel cut oatmeal. I’ve been eating old fashioned oatmeal for breakfast day-after-day. I love it, but it’s getting a little… boring. I finally went out last night and bought some steel cut oats and I can’t wait to give this recipe a try!

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 Favorite kitchen find: olive wood salt keeper. I’m drooling over this. I’ve seen so many salt keepers and I still haven’t snatched one up. Someday…

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Favorite jewelry find: “asymmetry” earrings from Paon Blanc. I love big, dangly earrings. I love sparkly things. Check and check. These earrings are perfect.

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 and finally, my Favorite new holiday: National Granola Bar Day. There will never be a shortage of bizarre “holidays”. Celebrate National Granola Bar Day with me on January 21, 2012 with these delicious, no-added-sugar granola bars!! These granola bars are chock full of goodness – cranberries, bananas, pecans, oats, and flax. They were so easy to whip up and they taste a-maaaaazing.

Low Fat Granola Bars with Bananas, Cranberries, and Pecans
recipe from Cookin Canuk via Prevention RD 

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
3 large, ripe bananas
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons ground flax seed (or flax meal)
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a 9×13 baking sheet with parchment paper, with about 1 inch of parchment paper overlapping the sides.
  3. Spread out the oats and chopped pecans on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until they are lightly toasted, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with the back of a fork. Stir in applesauce until combined.
  5. Transfer the oats and pecans to a large bowl and stir in dried cranberries, ground flax seed (flax meal), cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  6. Stir the banana mixture into the oat mixture until well combined and starting to clump together. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and press down evenly.
  7. Bake until the bars are golden brown and starting to separate from sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  8. Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Let cool to room temperature, then cut into 15 bars. Serve or store in an airtight container.