≡ Menu

This Week + Eats + New Lunch Ideas

Happy long weekend Friday! 🙂

We’re sticking around Charlotte this weekend since we have so much coming up in June. I’ve got a hair cut/color scheduled that I’m excited about as well as hanging out with friends and a Memorial Day cookout. Luckily, many of my friends are also in town this weekend.

Remember how I was in a lunch rut? Well, I got myself out of it this week! Check out these lunches!

Mashed sweet potatoes topped with braised collards, a perfect egg, avocado and Be Runa Garlic Cayenne Seed Salt

Mashed sweet potatoes topped with braised collards, a perfect egg, avocado and Be Runa Garlic Cayenne Seed Salt.

namastay kitchen vegan salad

A salad with arugula, almonds, dried cranberries, shredded cabbage, sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado and a sweet potato falafel at Namastay Kitchen.

mashed sweet potatoes, collards, scrambled eggs and avocado

Another sweet potato and collard bowl, this one with two scrambled eggs and avocado. I had several people ask on Instagram if I have a recipe for braised collards on my site. I don’t, I’ll get on it though. Good to know y’all are interested in this southern veggie! (There is bacon involved in the cooking of the collards!)

kale, quinoa and roasted chick pea salad

And finally, a kale, quinoa and roasted chick pea salad. I made sure to photograph all the steps for this recipe so that I can share it next week…I am totally hooked!

This week seemed to pass in a flash. After last Friday’s post about this busy season of life I’m happy to report that while this week was jam-packed, I was able to add a good amount of rest/chill/relax into it. We had torrential rain the first part of the week (see how full the creek is behind the girls?) but the weather has cleared up the back half of the week. Me and the girls have been able to get our walks in the last two days and we’ll be heading out again after I finish writing this post. It’s 65 and sunny out there!

There was a time when I didn’t really enjoy walking. I was like, “if we’re not running…what are we doing!?,” but it’s honestly become one of my favorite ways to relax and unwind over the last few years. It just feels so good, mentally and physically.

Here’s a glimpse at the rest of our week from a dinner/social standpoint.

braised collards, smashed roasted potatoes and chicken sausage with grain mustard

On Sunday night I made braised collards, smashed roasted potatoes and chicken sausage with grain mustard. This was a complete hack of a Blue Apron meal. Funny story…Tanner unpacked the Blue Apron box this week and didn’t realize that the protein was under a separate piece of cardboard/cooler packs and accidentally threw away all of the protein! I felt so bad for him when he realized what he’d done. This was supposed to be a beef knockwurst with some sort of “quick sauerkraut” and potato mix and I just went my own direction with chicken sausage we had in the fridge and collards that needed to be cooked. Basically the only thing I used from Blue Apron was the grain mustard. Haha. I’ll use the potatoes and cabbage for something else later.

shrimp and squid ink pasta with peas

On Monday night I made the Blue Apron recipe for squid ink pasta with peas and shrimp. We had shrimp in the freezer that I defrosted to make this dish.

chicken tostadas blue apron

Tuesday night brought chicken tostadas a la Blue Apron. We both agreed this was kind of like a Mexican pizza and ended up cutting it into slices and picking it up. Roasted squash with a chili powder blend and cojita cheese on the side.

On Wednesday night we had a 50th birthday party for one of our yogis at Namastay Kitchen. This plate is just a small sampling of the damage I did to the truffle fries and sushi platter. 😉 I have been so hungry since teaching these extra strength classes!

Italian Napoleon Cake

The cake was amazing! Our friend really enjoys Italian culture (she lived in Italy for a while) and her favorite dessert is this napoleon pastry which features layers of puff pastry with marscapone and custard topped with a sweet icing. (I googled the history of this dessert if you’re interested in reading more.) This cake was special-ordered from Amelie’s here in town. It was such a non-traditional birthday cake but I LOVED it!

 leftover chicken tostada topping over brown rice with salsa, avocado and a squeeze of lime

And finally, last night I ate this bowl of leftover chicken tostada topping over brown rice with salsa, avocado and a squeeze of lime. I attended a meet and greet for the women on our street and then heated this up when I got home. It was SO awesome to meet everyone and we’re forming a monthly women’s group. I’m grateful for the spirit of community that my neighbors have. <3

Okay, off to walk those girls. I hope you have the best weekend!

Do you enjoy going for walks? Do you walk as part of your commute? Or do you live in a walkable city?

Have you ever tried collards? Do you like them?

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Kate Nightlinger May 26, 2017, 10:28 am

    I LOVE walking. I do a lot of HIIT, long runs and weight training, so on rest days I take the dog for a long walk. I enjoy a good 4-6 miler on the trail that runs by our house. Oddly, my favorite season to walk is in the winter (I live 45 minutes west of Chicago) when it’s snowing–so peaceful.

    • Jen May 30, 2017, 8:29 pm

      YES! Isn’t walking just the best and smartest counter to HIIT and more intense workouts. I think it’s so important to move your body every day and walking is such a kind way to do it. Although I cannot get on board with your love for winter walking, although I can see how it would be peaceful. 🙂

  • Juliette | Namastay Traveling May 26, 2017, 10:52 am

    Ooo that squid ink pasta looks amazing! This makes me want to step up my game on the dinner front. I’ve been slacking recently but hoping for some more time to cook over the long weekend!

    • Jen May 30, 2017, 8:27 pm

      Definitely recommend trying a meal delivery service, checking out a new cookbook or Bon Appetit or Cooking Light if you’re looking for inspiration!

  • Janelle May 26, 2017, 11:05 am

    Jen, have you ever been a macro counter? It amazes me your ability to eat intuitively and treat yourself here and there without letting it spin into a wine/sugar binge. Have you always had such a healthy relationship with food naturally? I feel like its all or nothing for me, and I SO want to be like you 🙂 I’m dying for “food freedom”, but every time I think I can do it without logging my good I go out of control with the “treat yo’self” mentality and gain weight and feel gross (not even gross in an “I’m so fat” way, just in an “out of control sluggish and tired from bingeing on processed food kind of way”). I’ve done Whole30, but ended up eating jars of almond butter and millions of Lara bars. I always have the most success at losing or maintaining a healthy weight when tracking, but I simply cannot weigh out every piece of chicken for the rest of my life. Even through the incredible hardships you’ve face lately, you never turn to food as a crutch. Any advice? Thanks!!

    • Jen May 30, 2017, 8:27 pm

      Hey Janelle – no, I haven’t. I have really found that I don’t do well with counting any numbers whether that be calories, macros or pounds on a scale. I would definitely love to write a post about finding food freedom and SOON! Look out for that and thanks for the excellent conversation starter. xx

      • Erin May 31, 2017, 11:05 am

        I’ve been checking these comments, hoping you would reply to this. I’d loooooove to read a post on this. 🙂

  • Emily A May 26, 2017, 11:47 am

    My husband did the EXACT SAME THING with the protein in the Blue Apron Box this week, so Tanner is not alone. Luckily, it was pouring rain so my husband just set the box by the door to take out to the apartment dumpsters later, and then I got home and started cooking and realized what had happened. Blue Apron should print a message on the divider to give the boys a hint when they “help” us by unpacking the box.

    • Jen May 30, 2017, 8:25 pm

      Emily – this makes us both feel so much better. Haha! It is tricky packaging if you don’t know what to look for! 🙂

  • tara May 26, 2017, 12:11 pm

    i to have enjoyed walking more lately. especially at lunch. sometimes i just go to the parking deck at work and do laps ! talk on the phone or listen to pod casts. i prefer the park but if i only have a short time a walk does so much for my mood.

    • Jen May 30, 2017, 8:22 pm

      AGREED on the impact even a short walk can have on your mood. I fully believe that moving your body = shifts in your mental/emotional state for the positive. It creates so much good energy!

  • JennyV May 27, 2017, 1:45 pm

    I LOVE walking! Like you, I used to think there wasn’t a point of walking (ie “I’m going to maximize all of my time outside –> RUN!”) I was encouraged to walk more for stress purposes and it’s been so therapeutic. There is a park near our home that I’ve had to have walked 100s of miles around at this point. It’s a haven of mine — sometimes I walk listening to music, other times I’m talking to my family and friends, and often I’m only listening to nature around me. (Always with my pups!!) I’ve learned terrible news on the trail, I’ve walked and prayed, I’ve had moments of deep gratitude… it’s such a nice addition to my weekly routine and workout schedule. I would encourage everyone to slow down and walk.

    • Jen May 30, 2017, 8:21 pm

      Yes, yes, yes to the benefits on stress and anxiety and the therapeutic benefit. My walking routes have been full of laughter and tears and a lot of personal growth. I’ve also loved learning to love something that is so much gentler and kinder to my body. It’s been such a blessing to discover.

  • Amanda May 27, 2017, 2:35 pm

    I love walking! (so much so my post before last was on it, lol). But it’s funny because I used to be the exact same way. If I wasn’t running i didn’t get it. Now a brisk morning walk is the best thing ever. or walking the dog at night. I don’t know if I could live in a walkable city, though!

    • Jen May 30, 2017, 8:19 pm

      I am totally going to check out your post about walking! 🙂

  • Emily @ Pizza & Pull-ups May 29, 2017, 11:01 pm

    Looks like an awesome week of eats! I love walking, I have a group of ladies I take walk breaks with at work, but I also love walking alone to clear my head.

    • Jen May 30, 2017, 8:13 pm

      Hey Emily! I love that your office friends get together for walk breaks. I can see where that would be very helpful in helping you pry yourself away from work for a few minutes!

Leave a Comment