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Recent Eats: Lunch Bowls, Lots of Mexican, Pizza & Ranch

Hi and happy Tuesday! It’s the most beautiful morning here in Charlotte. It’s 73 degrees, sunny and the humidity is low. It was like this yesterday too and I went for an awesome four mile sunset run to soak it all up…before it’s 97 degrees again on Friday. This is how we roll in the south and I love it! Random cooler days during the summer, random 70 degree days in the dead of winter. (And isn’t it funny that 70ish is both the “cool” and the “warm” temperature! :))


Apparently I need to move to Southern California if I wan to enjoy this weather all the time. What do y’all think? I don’t know if I’m cut out to be a California girl? It is my lifelong dream to live somewhere where it never gets cold. I’m telling you…that yoga/fitness studio in the Virgin Islands might happen one day…

So it’s been over a week since I’ve shared any recent eats (although I’ve sprinkled some into other posts) so here’s a rundown.


I don’t even take photos of my smoothies every day anymore. It’s repetitive and they’ve been more brown than green lately due to the combo that I can’t get enough of. Literally every day I’m drinking…

1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
3-4 frozen figs
2-3 dates
Big spoonful of chunky peanut butter
2 cups spinach
1/2-1 cup almond milk (depending on how I want the consistency…lately I’ve wanted more milkshake than runny)
1/3 cup 2% plain greek yogurt (let me take a moment to promote 2% greek yogurt over nonfat. SO MUCH BETTER in taste and texture)

It’s an addictive combo.


I have been back on the lunch bowls. This was spinach and arugula tossed with basil infused olive oil and sea salt and then topped with quinoa, tomatoes, avocado, feta, lemon pepper deli chicken, hummus and greek yogurt.


I packed this one to take to the office with me. These bowls hold up well to sitting for a while without getting soggy. This was TJ’s Cruciferous Crunch, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, leftover roasted squash and eggplant, feta and then drizzled with aged balsamic and olive oil.

Lots of Mexican-inspired dinners lately!


While we’re talking bowls, I made a burrito bowl one night last week that was pretty delicious. Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch with sauteed chicken and hatch chili peppers, quinoa, tomatoes, avocado, queso fresco, salsa and a fresh lime.


Chips and guac at dinner out with a friend.


Along with this salad of chopped romaine, jicama, avocado, corn, chick peas, queso fresco, tomatoes and grilled shrimp.


And then I got on the Mexican train at home and made chicken and green chili enchiladas from scratch at 7:30 a.m. on Monday after my AM training clients. I knew it was the only time of the day where I could block out an hour to make the recipe.


Sorry for the less than stellar iPhone photo but I took the enchiladas over to a friends house to eat while we watched the Emmy Awards. I cooked some black beans and corn on the side. I used this recipe from Tyler Florence and ended up making a bunch of changes to it. I’m not going to blog the recipe because I don’t think it’s perfect quite yet but they were really good. The best part was homemade salsa verde!


Non-Mexicanish eats include lemon parmesan salmon. I usually cook salmon once  a week. I buy frozen wild caught individual portions at Whole Foods. They defrost really quickly. I take them out and put them in water while I walk Sullie and they’re ready to go when I get home 30-45 minutes later. I love salmon for its health benefits, versatility and ease of preparation.


And finally, leftover pizza with ranch and a salad on the side . I must confess that one of my favorite guilty pleasures is to dip pizza in ranch. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out!

Favorite Mexican dish? I can’t decide between chips and guac, fish tacos or enchiladas!

Pizza + ranch? Yes, no, never tried it? 

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Betsy August 26, 2014, 11:40 am

    Where do you find frozen figs?

    • Jen August 26, 2014, 11:43 am

      trader joes has them sometimes but these are picked from friend’s trees. my stash is running low!

  • allie@sweetpotatobites August 26, 2014, 11:40 am

    Pizza and ranch is the best! Even cold pizza and ranch is delicious.

    I haven’t tried figs in smoothies yet- I need to give it a go.

    • Jen August 26, 2014, 11:43 am

      i can’t get on board with cold pizza but i’ve heard that many love that combo. you must try the figs. so good.

  • kristin @ W [H] A T C H August 26, 2014, 11:53 am

    i’ve been loving the cooler temps in virginia too — so crazy for august!

  • meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles August 26, 2014, 12:07 pm

    I never loved ranch dressing – except for when dipping pizza crust into it! So good. Although, dipping the crust into any dressing is always good to me!

  • Amber August 26, 2014, 12:08 pm

    Pizza + ranch – YES. So much yes!

    Favourite mexican food – burrito’s!

  • tara August 26, 2014, 12:42 pm

    im not much into pizza + ranch, but i do love mexican food !!! very hard to choose though between something like loaded nachos and a huge plate of cheesy enchiladas for me !

  • Jackie August 26, 2014, 1:02 pm

    I lived in Pittsburgh, PA my whole life (all 23 years…hah) and was used to the hot and humid summers, brutally cold winters, unexpected downpours and other weather randomness. I just recently moved to Southern Cali and CANNOT get over the perfect weather…every. single. day. I never thought I was cut out to be a California girl, but you never know until you give it a shot! 🙂

  • Erin August 26, 2014, 1:41 pm

    I feel like a bad sorority girl (because it seemed like all my friends loved that combo after a few drinks!),but I NEVER like pizza and ranch! Or anything with ranch, for that matter

    I moved from Kansas City to Scottsdale 3 years ago and the affect constant warm weather has had on me is astounding. I’m so much happier and active with year-round warm (and HOT!) weather!

  • Sam @ PancakeWarriors August 26, 2014, 1:56 pm

    Thank you for giving the 2% greek yogurt a special shout out! It is SOO much better. My boyfriend didn’t think he liked greek yogurt until he had the 2%. If you haven’t tried it you should! I just finished my box of figs and am already craving more! Haven’t thought about having them in a green smoothie – I’m sure it’s delish! Thanks for sharing – everything looks amazing 🙂 YUM

  • Amy August 26, 2014, 3:11 pm

    love pizza and ranch! so hungry after this post…lol.

  • Chicago Jogger August 26, 2014, 3:31 pm

    Goodness pizza + ranch is the best. I grew up in Iowa and it is a Must. Have. there 🙂

  • Linda August 26, 2014, 3:49 pm

    Hey Jen! Having spent most of my live in Southern Cal and falling in love with No Cal when my husband and got married in Napa 3 1/2 years ago, I can pretty much tell you it’s not too hard to adjust! Besides the great weather, the local and organic vegetables and healthy food options, fantastic restaurants, and fitness galore, toss in the pacific ocean, well, there you are! Going home in a week! 🙂

    • Jen August 26, 2014, 8:52 pm

      must admit it sounds pretty fabulous!!!!!

  • Anna August 26, 2014, 7:04 pm

    You need to try Catalina on pizza!!! It’s so amazing and began at Hugo’s on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (where I am from!!)

    • Jen August 26, 2014, 8:51 pm

      now you’re just talking crazy! i’ve never heard of that. so different!

  • Cameron August 26, 2014, 11:22 pm

    You need to move to California. I just returned from LA and Santa Barbara and it is spectacular! You would love it, I think! 🙂

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt August 27, 2014, 8:29 am

    I love all Mexican food. It’s my vice really… that and ice cream… 🙂
    I have never tried pizza and ranch but I really don’t see why that would not be fabulous

    • Jen August 27, 2014, 3:23 pm

      yes to the ice cream. it’s a must!!!

  • Tara | Treble in the Kitchen August 27, 2014, 10:17 am

    Pizza in ranch is something I haven’t done in quite some time, but it is pretty darn tasty!!! That smoothie combo sounds delish…I’m going to have to try it! I usually don’t put dates or figs in my smoothies, but I am always up to trying something new!!

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