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What I Ate In A Day + Recent Eats + Formulaic v. Creative

Last week’s recent eats post with the “what I ate in a day” was a hit so I’m going to stick to that format this week. I think it’s helpful to see the whole picture of everything that goes into a day’s eats versus the breakfast/lunch/dinner highlights. I feel fortunate that I really enjoy cooking and prepping food and I love sharing it with you.

I tend to be pretty formulaic about breakfast and lunch. Nine times out of ten breakfast is a smoothie, chia pudding, a sweet potato bowl or some combo of eggs/toast/avocado (weekends). And lunch is usually a salad although I do switch up the combos daily. I have never been a leftovers for lunch kind of girl. For whatever reason, dinner food doesn’t sit great with me in the middle of the day. I like my bigger/heavier meal at night. Dinner is when I like to get creative and switch things up a lot. I like to eat something different every night and play the “what can I make out of what I’ve got” game.

Tuesday in Meals

Chia Pudding

Breakfast was a big bowl of chia pudding made with homemade almond milk. I’ve been lazy lately and using canned coconut milk instead of making almond milk and I finally made a batch of it this week using this recipe and was reminded how amazingly creamy and delicious it is. Back on the wagon. I also had black coffee.

Rice cake and hummus

Pre-lunch snack was hummus on a rice cake.

Salad with canned salmon, veggies, fruit and nuts

Lunch was a salad combo including…

Spinach
Arugula
Tomatoes
Golden beets
Avocado (half)
Radishes
Dried cranberries
Pistachios
Canned pink wild Alaskan salmon
Olive oil
Fig balsamic

Cherries

After lunch I had a handful of cherries x2.

Coconut and almond milk latte

It’s been a week of early, early mornings and I hit a serious wall at 3 p.m. on Tuesday. I rarely drink caffeine in the afternoon but I whipped up this homemade coconut and almond milk iced latte to power me through.

Banana with cashew butter

Around 4:30 p.m. I had half of a banana and several spoonfuls of cashew butter. I was in the middle of making the stuffed spaghetti squash recipe that I promised to post on the blog (tomorrow!) and also had a few bites of the filling to taste for seasoning.

Roasted kabocha squash

I roasted a big pan of kabocha squash to go with dinner but it seemed really dry. I roasted it in coconut oil just like I normally do and even added some water to the roasting pan but it would not soften up. We both tried a few bites and agreed it was pretty inedible. I hate wasting food. Has anyone else had this happen with winter squash? I’m guessing maybe it was old? I got it at the farmers market last week.

5.25plantainchips

While dinner was cooking I had a glass of wine and some Trader Joe’s plantain chips (<– we are obsessed with these things!).

Trader Joe's Plantain Chips

Dinner was a different spin on sausage and peppers. I sauteed shishito peppers sauteed with the Asian-Style Pork Sausage with Ginger and Scallions from Fork in the Road that I got last week. I love eating shishito peppers because they’re pretty mild in general but every now and then you get a really spicy one. You never know when one is going to sneak up on you. I served the sausage and peppers with mashed sweet potatoes that I had prepped in the fridge for sweet potato breakfast bowls. Good save for the squash fail.

Ginger Dark Chocolate Bar

And one square of dark chocolate after dinner on the couch.

Recent Eats

Avocado toast, eggs and sauerkraut

Sourdough toast with butter, mashed avocado, scrambled eggs and sauerkraut.

Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Salad with arugula, baby kale, apples, dried cherries, toasted pecans, hardboiled egg and cucumbers. Topped with Tahini Turmeric Dressing.

Lemon Thyme Baked Risotto

Baked lemon-thyme risotto packed with mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. I love this recipe. I left the parm out this time and definitely missed some of the creaminess but it was still tasty!

Grilled filet with baked risotto and roasted brussels sprouts

Grilled filet with risotto and roasted brussels sprouts.

Baked Chicken Thighs with Roasted Potatoes and Sauteed Zucchini

Baked chicken thighs that I marinated for a few hours in a lemon/garlic/herb mix with roasted potatoes and sauteed zucchini. I am crazy for crispy oven roasted potatoes dipped in ketchup!

Salad with kombucha

Another salad with cucumbers, dried cherries, pecans, avocado, strawberries, spinach, arugula and leftover shredded chicken thighs. Gingerade kombucha on the side (<– my fave flavor).

Honey Balsamic Glazed Chicken Breasts

Honey balsamic glazed chicken breasts with leftover risotto and collards cooked with bacon and onions. This chicken recipe is one of my go-to’s and turns out so well every time. It’s simple, healthy and super flavorful.

Baklava

And finally, one of our yoga students brought us homemade baklava on Monday. It was gone by Tuesday morning! 🙂

So that’s what I’ve been eating recently!

Are you a “tried and true” kind of  breakfast and/or lunch eater or do you mix it up a bunch? 

Do you like dinner leftovers for lunch?  

{ 31 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Rachel May 25, 2016, 1:49 pm

    I love this post! I get so many ideas from your meals, they all look so good! I lI’ve to have different breakfasts, but I have stomach issues so got to be careful. I’m also trying to loose weight, yet reducing carbs makes me more hungry and snack more!

    • 2
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:23 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad you find it helpful. Yes, I bet you do have to be careful with your stomach and breakfast since you have a whole day ahead of you!

  • 3
    Katie H May 25, 2016, 1:56 pm

    I am definitely a creature of routine when it comes to meals. I have been eating the same weekday breakfast and lunch for the nearly four years I’ve been at my current job! Dinners I change up though (although it’s usually some version of chicken and veggies). Weekends are the only meals I don’t plan or have a routine for!

    • 4
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:23 pm

      What is your go-to weekday breakfast and lunch?

  • 5
    Rebecca May 25, 2016, 3:02 pm

    I go through phases with breakfast. I’ll eat the exact same thing for months and then all of a sudden I’ll get tired of it and switch to something else… for a few months. Right now it’s an egg (made in the Easy Eggwich, which was an impulse buy that I’ve really gotten my money’s worth from!) on a wheat English muffin with about half a slice of pepper jack. Yum! It’s very filling.

    I (almost) always eat leftovers for lunch. In fact, a lot of times I’ll make a big batch of something on Sundays to take for lunch that whole week! This week it was zucchini/squash/spinach enchiladas. Soup is a good one, too, because it just gets better and better! Your salads always look so good, I need to eat more salads.

    • 6
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:22 pm

      I also get stuck on things for months (or years) at a time and eat them almost every single day. I crave it right when I wake up in the morning! Your breakfast sandwich sounds YUM as do your veggie enchiladas!

  • 7
    eliz May 25, 2016, 3:04 pm

    Lately, my basics are oats for breakfast, smoothie bowl for lunch and big salad or veggie loaded soup, (both with some grain/bean) included for dinner.
    Love gingerade, but good thing I live in the boonies and can’t buy one often because I would want one everyday.
    How do you make your crispy oven roasted potatoes?

    • 8
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:21 pm

      Yes, a kombucha habit can get expensive quickly!

      Potatoes…I slice them fairly thinly and roast at 400 with olive oil, kosher or sea salt and fresh herbs if I have them on hand. A lot of times I’ll cover the potatoes with foil for the first 10 minutes or so and then take it off and keep cooking. Be sure to flip them a few times so that both sides get contact with the pan. That’s were your maximum browning comes from.

      • 9
        eliz May 27, 2016, 9:23 am

        Thank you, I’ll give it a try.
        Thinking of you and Sullie. I have a vet appointment with one of my dogs today. My youngest one is 11, so they are all getting old. I like taking care of older dogs, but more issues are coming up and I worry! I don’t want them to experience any pain. Don’t think I’d ever sleep well or relax if I had kids.

  • 10
    lindsey May 25, 2016, 4:47 pm

    oh my goodness those salads look killer! i tend to get stuck in a routine when it comes to meals and meal planning. especially when there aren’t a ton of fruits/veggies that are in season. but now that summer is rolling around i plan on hitting the farmer’s market weekly to mix it up a bit!

    • 11
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:19 pm

      YES! I try to hit the market all year but the summer market is by far my favorite!

  • 12
    Amanda May 25, 2016, 8:17 pm

    I stick to the same basic breakfast ingredients: banana and nut butter–then I mix in yogurt and granola, rolled oats, toast, rice cakes…the possibilities are endless! Your salads always looks so amazing! They’re so well rounded 😊

    • 13
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:18 pm

      I rarely eat a breakfast that doesn’t somehow include a banana and nut butter as well! 🙂

  • 14
    C May 25, 2016, 9:02 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes to be youthful sometimes and eat my super crispy potatoes with ketchup 🙂

    I have had that problem with kabocha squash several times and every time it has happened is because it was old. Even tried drizzling honey to make it more edible but no bueno. Such a shame because kabocha is my favorite!

    I’m tried and true with everything just because I’m on a grad student budget and know exactly how much money I’m spending each week for meal prep…I’m excited to be adventurous with my food when I have a real income!

    Can’t wait for your new recipes!

    • 15
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:18 pm

      That’s so smart of you to stick to a meal plan that you know fits exactly in your budget. It definitely is a little more fun when you can branch out at the store and try new ingredients/make some impulse purchases. I’m not a clothes shopper though and I’d rather allocate fun money to buying food and eating out occasionally! 🙂

  • 16
    Emily My Healthyish Life May 25, 2016, 9:12 pm

    Your meals always inspire me to get more creative in the kitchen. I’m such a creature of habit, mainly with breakfast. I do have “fun” with my lunch salad combos.

    • 17
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:16 pm

      Your meals are gorgeous and I love all the colors you include in them!

  • 18
    Michelle Keller May 25, 2016, 9:58 pm

    I have had so many bad experiences with winter squashes, especially kabocha, that I’ve completely stopped buying most varieties. I am exclusively a butternut/acorn squash girl. Sad because there are so many other varieties, but I haven’t gotten any of them to work for me. So glad to hear that someone with such great cooking skills has similar problems!! I was thinking I just stink! 🙂

    • 19
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:15 pm

      No, definitely not just you! It’s such a bummer because when I get a good one they are so good but I hate spending $4-$5 on something that’s 50/50 shot of being inedible!

  • 20
    Rebekah May 26, 2016, 12:06 am

    I’m about 50/50 with kabochas turning out like that. Oddly enough I don’t mind it this way..Ha! It doesn’t taste bad to me; just takes a little longer to get down. 🙂 What I tend to do a lot with kabocha though, is slice into fairly thin wedges and roast flat so that they crisp up like fries.

    • 21
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:14 pm

      Yes, definitely takes longer to get down…that’s for sure! With a lot of water! Thanks for the tip about the thin slice/fry-like method.

  • 22
    Brittany Holtz May 26, 2016, 9:16 am

    I’m definitely a “tried and true” kind of gal when it comes to breakfast and lunch. I just go with what works! haha. I have to say though I’m really looking forward to eating salads more for lunch now that I’ll be home. I always hated packing salads, they’re never quite the same when they aren’t prepared fresh.

    • 23
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:09 pm

      I know, when I worked in an office I’d usually come home to make lunch. Salads really aren’t the same at all when you pack them. I’ve always been intrigued by the people that do the mason jar salad things that they prep at the beginning of the week and eat all week long. I don’t see how it could all stay crispy and fresh.

  • 24
    ACKTIVE LIFE May 26, 2016, 1:04 pm

    I can’t do dinner for lunch either…it’s too heavy for me, but I can have it for dinner again. I love leftovers! And I don’t change up my breakfast much at all…Lately it is smoothies, sweet/savory eggs, nut butter…I am getting a craving for some eggs/bagel/avocado toast tomorrow morning…YUMMY!

    • 25
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:08 pm

      I totally agree with you! I also find it too heavy but have no problem eating leftover dinner for dinner.

  • 26
    Laura May 26, 2016, 1:08 pm

    I don’t bother about breakfast much. Mostly I have it for the sake of it, not because I enjoy it. I really dislike eating for the first hour or so after I get up, so a smoothie will do me.

    Lunches I do like to have a lot of variety. I love to have leftovers that I can take to work. I have to have my lunch break at 12:30, which is way too early and means I need something filling to make sure I don’t end up eating too many snacks in the afternoon. Leftovers from dinner are usually enough to do the trick!

    • 27
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:07 pm

      I wake up starving! It’s always interesting to me how different everyone is! I agree that it’s nice to have a substantial lunch that doesn’t leave you snacking all afternoon. It’s a long time to go between lunch and dinner!

  • 28
    Erin May 26, 2016, 3:56 pm

    Bummer about the kabocha squash – I love those! My breakfast is pretty much always the same – banana with nut butter, sometimes with toast or a bagel. And coffee. Always coffee.

    Lunch is my least favorite meal of the day because I don’t seem to have an appetite for anything. I’ll usually have something like eggs on toast with some carrots or fruit. Lunch for me is basically breakfast part 2.

  • 29
    Bella May 26, 2016, 5:24 pm

    LOVE these posts! So inspiring! One question though; you never count calories, right? And yet you look so lean and healthy! Any advice on how to ditch the fear of food/calories, and trust your body?

  • 30
    Meah May 27, 2016, 11:42 am

    I’m like you, I’m a meal repeater, no shame. I’ve been on a hard core toast and eggs kick for about two months. Mornings just don’t feel right without having them! I sometimes will do leftovers for lunch, but I usually prep all my lunches for Monday-Friday on Sundays. I love these “What I Eat in a Day” posts! They give me such good inspiration for snacks and meals.

  • 31
    Giana May 28, 2016, 5:33 pm

    I’m like you, Jen, and eat the same things pretty much daily at the exact same times, and cannot eat dinner food (or anything that I call “real food” hahaha) for lunch time! I always wake up starving too! I work out first thing in the morning though so I have to wait till I get back from the gym to dive in.

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