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Back to Reality + Off to Chicago {This Week’s Eats}

Back to reality this week but it’s been a short one.


I am currently on a plane again but not headed anywhere tropical! I’m on the way to Chicago for a quick overnight. I’m visiting the ALDI headquarters where I’ll spend the afternoon doing activities like switch and save tastings, price challenges, a smoothie challenge, test kitchen tastings and listening to presentations, including one from an R.D. I’m excited. Let me know if there is anything that you want me to ask or info you’d like to hear from ALDI!

The beginning of this week was business as usual…teaching classes, training clients, writing and working for Metro. It’s been good although I am READY for the time change and warmer weather. I was welcomed back with freezing rain on Monday. Yuck.

It’s been nice to be back in my kitchen and cooking and I’ve whipped up some good stuff this week. Here’s a look!



Banana egg white oatmeal (recipe) topped with apple butter and peanut butter. I went 9 days without peanut butter while I was gone!


Green smoothie. I tried adding oats to my smoothie for the first time this week. It’s supposed to create a thicker texture and give the smoothie a little more staying power. Unfortunately, I was not a fan. Even with the Vitamix, it was just too “chewy.” I’ll just add more peanut butter if I need more staying power! 🙂



Quinoa bowl with baby spinach, tomatoes, feta, kalamata olives, hummus and Greek yogurt.


Salad with spinach, avocado, tomatoes, dried cranberries, pecans and leftover parmesan panko crusted chicken tenders with homemade honey mustard.


Maple roasted chicken wrap with avocado and havarti with soup and a side of honey mustard for dipping the wrap.



Parmesan panko crusted chicken tenders with roasted brussels sprouts and roasted butternut squash. I am SERIOUSLY ready to say goodbye to winter squash and hello to spring produce.


Spinach and artichoke stuffed portobello mushrooms with roasted asparagus and cherry tomatoes. I love spinach/artichoke anything. These mushrooms were awesome!


I wish this photo would have turned out better but it was almost 10 p.m. and I was dying to eat. I made turkey burgers with thinly sliced apples and brie. They were so delicious! Roasted broccoli and quinoa on the side.



Kombucha and carrot cake Luna bar snack. I’ve been all about the probiotics this week. Traveling (especially to Mexico) can be a little rough on the gut. This was my first time trying the carrot cake Luna bar and it was pretty tasty.


Pouting that I left her for a week and needing attention. This is pretty standard for her…multiple toys in range at all times. A bone, a ball and a stuffed toy, what more can she need? Her favorite thing to do is lay on top of one toy while she plays with another. She’s not rotten at all.

Have a happy Thursday!

What spring/summer produce are you looking forward to most? Hands down, TOMATOES!

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Emily Zimmerman March 6, 2014, 11:29 am

    Welcome back to Chicago, but bundle up! As you probably already know, the weather has been not the best. 🙂 Enjoy your stay, nonetheless!

    • Jen March 6, 2014, 11:29 am

      I left my coat in the car. WAAAHHH!

  • llietz March 6, 2014, 11:32 am

    Ask Aldis to carry like “SOS” pads!!! Please!! If they did it would be sooo Great! I love your blog!
    My daughter works out daily = and she did your 1000 rep work out yesterday!
    And I love Aldis!! Have a great trip!!

  • Brittany @ proteinandpumps March 6, 2014, 11:53 am

    I’ve been dying for GOOD strawberries!! And, I sont care for oatmeal in my smoothies either. Is rather eat oatmeal with a scoop of protein mixed in.

  • Shannon March 6, 2014, 12:07 pm

    All your food looks SO amazing in your photos!! Especially the parmesan panko crusted chicken salad 🙂 Yummy!

    I am so excited for ALL produce to be more abundant in the spring/summer! I can’t wait to branch out and try some new veggies this time around too! 🙂

  • Meg March 6, 2014, 12:24 pm

    I live in Chicago and I had no idea the Aldi headquarters is here! Huh, who knew. Hope you enjoy your quick stay, let us know if you need any restaurant, yoga studio, etc recommendations!

  • Tracy March 6, 2014, 12:50 pm

    Looking forward to fresh berries of all kinds!!

  • Laura March 6, 2014, 12:55 pm

    Can’t wait for fresh berries and peaches!

  • Brindi March 6, 2014, 1:17 pm

    PLEASE!! Can you ask ALDI’s if they could provide more dairy substitutes…like non-dairy yogurts and butter alternatives????!!!1 Thank you kindly and have fun!

  • eryka March 6, 2014, 1:33 pm

    I love Aldi. I grew up in St. Charles (next door to Geneva, IL) and we shopped at Aldi every week. I live in the Pacific Northwest now. Can you ask Aldi if they have any plans to expand west? 🙂

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun March 6, 2014, 2:42 pm

    All fruit! The fruit up north right now is awful and I can’t wait until the fresh stuff comes back out and we can go to the farmer’s market!

    Have a safe trip! Love Chicago – one of my favorite cities!

  • Amelia March 6, 2014, 3:36 pm

    Every meal you posted looks wonderful! I am definitely a fan of adding more nut butter to smoothies instead of oats for staying power. Plus it’s much creamier!
    That quinoa bowl looks extremely satisfying. I have millet in my cupboard that I like to use for ‘powerbowls’ whether in combination with greens for a salad or warm with roasted veggies.
    I can’t wait for our spring CSA!!! There is nothing like that first tomato of the season. Mmm!

  • Amy March 6, 2014, 3:49 pm

    Everything looks amazing! Do you have a recipe for your honey mustard dressing?

  • Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily March 6, 2014, 4:36 pm

    Reading your blog always makes me crave vegetables and salads. Have fun in Chicago, bundle up 🙂

  • Nicole March 6, 2014, 4:48 pm

    Jenn- so glad you had a nice trip. That food looks delish. It’s always nice to come back home. I have a random question. I also ordered a simliar rug from rugs usa .. same color. Has yours faded at all?

  • Matt @ Runner Savvy March 6, 2014, 7:25 pm

    All of your meals always look amazing!

  • Diana March 6, 2014, 8:10 pm

    Hope you stay warm in Chicago! Can’t wait to hear all about your trip. All of your meals looks so delicious!

  • Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate March 6, 2014, 11:44 pm

    I have been loving egg white oats and green smoothies lately, but I have to agree about the oats IN the smoothie…not a fan! Kombucha is always a staple for me while traveling, and I definitely brought a jar of kimchi with me on my last flight. Got to keep that tummy happy. 😉

  • juls @ livingblissed March 7, 2014, 6:41 am

    i can’t wait for tomatoes too! and watermelon and huge and plump blueberries.

    so ready for warm, sunny, outdoor farmer’s markets again!

  • Jenn@Mark My Miles! March 7, 2014, 7:46 am

    I can’t wait for berries to be reasonably priced again. Have a fun trip to Chi town. I cannot wait to hear about it!

  • Kim @ FITsique March 7, 2014, 10:21 am

    Have a great time in Chicago! I love spinach/artichoke anything as well! That looks amazing! I am most looking forward to WATERMELON. There is nothing like a juicy slice of it on a summer day.

  • Meredith March 7, 2014, 10:47 am

    Sorry to be redundant….but could you post the recipes for the Parmesan panko crusted chicken tenders and the homemade honey mustard dressing/dip? Thanks and have a great trip!

  • Cheri @ Overactive Blogger March 7, 2014, 11:29 am

    I don’t even eat meat and some of those crusted tenders look AMAZING!

  • Susie March 7, 2014, 8:58 pm

    Well, as much as I would love to say I am looking forward to spring, I have a feeling that it is still too far off to get my hopes up! Especially-as you will see- because it snows every Saturday here in Chicago. I am most excited about spring veg because it become summer veg and fruits. I can’t wait to drown myself in fresh (not frozen) blueberries, tomatoes, and peaches. And of course artichokes and spring peas.
    I had no clue Aldi was out of Chicago. I’ve never seen a store of theirs downtown. I’d love to try them out, but they’d need to be a bit more accessible! I hope you enjoy your time here!!

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