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A Small Change for Earth Day + Recent Eats

Hi and Happy Earth Day! In the spirit of Earth Day, I wanted to talk about one small change that I’ve made recently to help the planet.


I have switched over the French press coffee. I have read so much about how much waste single serve coffee makers are creating with all of their various pods and cups and whatnot. I have a Tassimo machine that makes single serve coffees via a plastic T-disc. I felt bad every time I threw one away (I know with Keurig you can get reusable K-cups…please do that!) and I also wondered what brewing my coffee through hot plastic was doing for my insides.

Back in the day I always made my own coffee using whole beans and my grind and brew coffee maker. It went to live life in the attic after I got Nespresso and Tassimo machines. While I love the Nespresso for its shots of espresso, I never really loved the coffee that I could purchase for the Tassimo and at about a dollar per T-disc, it was also expensive. I decided to retire my Tassimo and move to French press.

I LOVE the French press, definitely even more than my old grind and brew. I’ve been using locally roasted, single-origin coffee from Magnolia Coffee. I met the owner of Magnolia, Jay, at a coffee tasting several weeks ago and have been back to my coffee roots ever since. The French pressed, local coffee tastes amazing and I actually enjoy the process of making it. It’s more of an experience now, if that makes any sense.

It’s just a small shift but lots of small changes can add up. Think about it! 🙂


This is what breakfast looked like for me on Monday morning. After my marathon teaching weekend, I needed caffeine, hydration and substance to power me through the day. Overnight oats with lots of chia seeds, water, Ultima and coffee (Magnolia!).


The last two mornings I’ve been digging this smoothie combo:

1 big frozen fig from TJs
5 frozen strawberries
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
2 cups spinach
1 tablespoon peanut butter

Top with granola and eat with a spoon!


I made this yummy combo for brunch one day. Bacon wrapped asparagus bundle topped with an over medium egg and some shredded cheese. Sourdough toast with butter and grapes on the side.


Panera Thai Chicken Salad sub spinach instead of romaine. I actually really like this salad a lot. It has interesting ingredients and a lot of flavor. The full size comes in right around 500 calories and it’s a huge portion.


This was one of the best salads that I’ve made at home in a while. Ingredients included…

Spinach and arugula
Sliced apples
Spiced toasted pecans
Deli turkey
Hard boiled egg
Roasted beets
Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette


I was feeling a little over salads and made a sandwich for lunch one day. I think I need more sandwiches in my life! Sourdough, mayo, avocado, turkey, tomato and pepper jack. All melted and warmed under the broiler, which is the best part.


I made this for Saturday night dinner. I like to kick it up a notch on Saturdays. I did a panko crusted wild salmon fillet with bacon wrapped asparagus bundles and roasted potatoes. It was really yummy. If you haven’t wrapped your asparagus in bacon yet, what are you waiting for!?


Barbecue chicken thighs with roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli. I like to get thighs sometimes to switch up the regular chicken breast purchase…and every time I am reminded how much flavor they have. You just can’t go wrong with bone-in, skin-on and dark meat.


Filet topped with blue cheese with pureed cauliflower and roasted carrots and mushrooms.


And finally, one of my all-time favorites. Fig and prosciutto flat bread. Check out my flat bread pizza tutorial in this post. I did shredded smoked gouda and blue cheese as the cheese for this one and it was all kinds of good!

What small changes have you made to help the Earth?

Do you use a single serve coffee maker? Does anyone use the reusable k-cups?

Cooked anything super delicious or special lately?

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles April 22, 2015, 6:45 pm

    I hate my keurig for breaking on me last week and I hate the new one too! I should switch, really I should.

  • elizabeth April 22, 2015, 7:58 pm

    I do pour over, fair trade coffee, but should get a reusable filter, instead of using paper.
    I used to like the grape Ultima replenisher, but I rarely need it here, because it is so cold and I usually don’t work out in the heat. Are you drinking the new cherry flavor? I haven’t tried that one yet, how do you like it?

  • elizabeth April 22, 2015, 7:59 pm

    I saw a clear plastic bag of those figs in the freezer section the other day, I didn’t realize how big the figs are!

  • Allyssa April 22, 2015, 8:04 pm

    Have you done a post about how to make your cauliflower “mashed potatoes”?! They look really good!

  • Megan April 22, 2015, 8:48 pm

    Please do a post on how you make your French press coffee!

  • Chicago Jogger April 22, 2015, 9:05 pm

    I love this – good for you Jen! It’s funny, I also recently gave up my Keurig. I got a french press for Christmas and I LOVE it – I didn’t realize how much tastier it is to grind your own beans and steep the coffee yourself. Not to mention the environmental benefit. I’m not looking back! 🙂

  • Ush April 22, 2015, 9:20 pm

    I switched to a reusable k-cup with my keurig and I love it! I got tired of making that much waste and spending a lot on regular k-cups. I see in your picture that you’re using a disposable coffee cup … I HIGHLY recommend the contigo auto seal coffee mugs. They seriously don’t ever spill (And I just throw them in my bag, sideways, upside down, whatever) and keep stuff hot or cold.

  • sarah April 22, 2015, 10:17 pm

    try ditching the plastic bottled water (pictured) too!

    • Jen April 22, 2015, 10:20 pm

      I lose all of my water bottles! It’s a struggle! 🙂 I try to use the same water bottle for a week and refill it. This is something I definitely need to get better about!

  • Cassie April 22, 2015, 11:24 pm

    I want to start preserving food waste! I actually made a DIY avocado face mask in honor of Earth Day! 😀

  • Dani @ DaniCaliforniaCooks April 23, 2015, 1:58 am

    My mom has been all about the french press for years! I’m thinking of getting a big one that can make several cups of coffee.

  • Hayley @ Full of Life April 23, 2015, 11:11 am

    I’ve been wanting a french press for so long! I use just a normal coffee maker, but I used to use a Keurig. I actually stopped using it because I don’t like the way it tastes and as you said, so expensive!

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