WIAW: Thoughts on Food Prep

I have no patience when it comes to food.

Scratch that…I have no patience. Long lines, traffic and slow walkers drive me crazy. The last one is odd because I’m a really slow walker.

So when it comes to food, when I want it, I want it now. Or preferably 5 minutes ago.

Food prep

Breakfast: 2 bowls of oatmeal with Barney Butter and strawberries + green tea (almost finished by this point)

This is where food prep and simple meals come in handy. Make a lot at once and reheat when needed? Sounds good to me. I end up cooking three or four times a week and, for the most part, I’m pro-food prep. However, there are instances when I want a fresh-out-of-the-oven meal instead of a microwaved dinner.

Watermelon- food prep

Mid-morning snack: Already cut-up watermelon (thanks, food prep) after the oatmeal.

Meals taste a little more like home when they’re eaten right after cooking. The warming, familiar smells fill my apartment and overpower the remnants of any foods my roommates (or I) have eaten that don’t have a pleasant smell.

Yet food prep, even if it’s just making lunches or the “base” of meals in advance, is extremely helpful. I feel like I really have my life together when I can grab my already made lunch, stuff it in my Lululemon lunch bag and head to campus without much thought. Especially when it’s early in the morning.

Salad- food prep

Lunch before mixing…

Salad- food prep

Lunch after mixing…1/2 avocado, deli turkey, tomatoes, sliced almonds, spinach and a coconut balsamic dressing

I’d prefer to always prep food on the weekends but, as we all know, life happens. Yet, sometimes, that “life” is me being lazy or not having all the ingredients on hand. For example, last Thursday I made a batch of roasted vegetables and planned on making quinoa at the same time. Not having any quinoa in my pantry threw a wrench into my plans so I made it on Friday. It was less overwhelming and I still got it done.

Snack- food prep

Snack: Almonds + my new favorite flavor of kombucha

Salmon- food prep

Dinner: Dijon salmon + baked sweet potato + roasted mixed vegetables. Everything was made the night before.

My only other so-called complaint with food prep is the clean-up. When I’m home I have a deal with my mom…every night she makes dinner I will clean up completely. I think if you cook, you shouldn’t have to clean. Right? Good deal in my mind.

Well, because I’m on my own most of the time, I have to put on my big-girl pants and hand wash lots of bowls, pots and pans. My apartment kitchen is really small so I feel a cramped when I’m cooking and cleaning. But that’s a third world problem that I’m more than willing to live with.

Snack- food prep

Snack: Apple + almond butter

As of now, I have a small list of “food prep foods” (sweet potatoes, quinoa, roasted vegetables, some baked protein). One of these days I will branch out and prep something crazy like a full Thanksgiving turkey dinner.

Just don’t hold me to it.

Thanks for hosting, Jenn!

Do you prep food in advance?

When Food Looks (& Tastes) Good

The number of good meals I’ve had over break have made up for all my failed attempts in the kitchen. Food has been GOOD lately. Bonus points that it looks prettier than normal, at least I think so. If you’re looking for me I’ll be over here happily riding this home-cooked-meal train for a few more days.

*Visit Jenn’s WIAW link-up for more food ideas*

Breakfast: Two bowls of oatmeal with Justin’s Maple Almond Butter (obsessed) and Barney Butter + strawberries + a handful of almonds + a bowl of watermelon (I was too happy to eat it to take a picture)

When food looks & tastes good

Lunch: Sushi bowl. Quinoa salad with dried cranberries (the quinoa was cooked with half almond milk and half water…so good), zucchini noodles, sushi grade tuna with ginger, 1/2 avocado.

When food looks & tastes good

Un-pictured snack: carrots + almonds + kombucha

Dinner: Fresh Kitchen, one of my favorite spots in Tampa because everything is gluten-free.
In my bowl: sweet potato noodles, kale slaw, citrus chicken, grilled steak, honey roasted carrots and coconut cauliflower. My mom and I ate dinner outside. It was perfect.

When food looks & tastes good

Snack: Apple (with a side of dog) and peanut butter

When food looks & tastes good

What was the best thing you’ve eaten this week?
Sushi: love or hate? LOVE.

Post-Race Meals

I should have titled this “Post-Race Grazing” because that’s a more accurate description of my how I ate after the half marathon on Sunday. A few different factors came into play:

1) Even though the race started so early, by the time everyone finished and we got back to the hotel it was 11 a.m. and I wanted breakfast. But I also wanted lunch soon after (you’ll see).
2) Immediately driving 4 hours after a race requires food to prevent falling asleep at the wheel.
3) My body was not prepared to run 13.1 miles and, therefore, I was beyond hungry. I think during marathon training my body adjusted to the long runs and the “runger” wasn’t always so intense.

Thanks, Jenn for the link-up!


Immediately after the race I ate a banana and almond butter. I licked that squeeze pack clean.


When we got back to the hotel I had breakfast. 2 bowls of oatmeal with (more) almond butter and berries.


Followed by a bowl of grapes (eaten out of the same dirty oatmeal bowl).


Then, two hours later, I ate everything on this plate (chicken, sweet potatoes, quinoa salad, zucchini noodles and spaghetti squash) except the chicken. I decided to save the chicken as a snack for the drive back to Miami. Yes, I know that’s weird. My mom brought so much delicious food from home and my stomach was very happy.



Not my typical road trip snack


The very necessary kombucha and an un-pictured apple mid-drive.


We drove straight to Whole Foods to hit up the salad bar for dinner. I got a salad with avocado, random vegetables, a sweet potato and watermelon.


I ended out a very long day with some spoonfuls of peanut butter and an apple.


Lots of good food to refuel. But, as I predicted, I was even hungrier the day after the race. No complaints :)

How many servings of fruit do you have per day? What’s your favorite? 

What’s your go-to snack for long car rides?

Learning to Love the Kitchen

*Linking up to WIAW to share my recent dinners and journey in the kitchen*

Before I started cooking for myself the kitchen simply, but very importantly, housed food. Let me rephrase that, the kitchen housed already made food. I would walk in, open the fridge, see nothing prepared – only ingredients – and declare there was nothing to eat. Ok, sometimes I still do that. Anyone else?



I was intimated by cooking. Boiling water, a hot oven, tons of sharp tools and raw meat did not appeal to me. Plus, when I did help my mom with dinner, it was stressful, exhausting, I asked a billion questions and still nothing ever came out perfect.


Lemon tarragon chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, zucchini noodles with almonds, basil and broccoli in a dijon dressing.

When I first moved into my apartment sophomore year, most of my meals did not taste good. Basic chicken came out dry, burnt, undercooked or flavorless. I ruined my baking sheet and sautéing pan because I didn’t use enough oil and they got overheated. As a result of these “failures,” I ate at Whole Foods multiple times a week. Goodbye, paycheck.


Dijon-lemon salmon, roasted broccoli with lemon, roasted sweet potato topped with coconut oil and cinnamon.

After a year and a half I still have a long way to go, but I’m improving. I’ve gotten to know the levels of my stove, when the burner is ready, and what temperature works best for baking in my oven (although I still have many mishaps with that). I’ve ventured into the spice aisle, tried new-to-me foods and purchased what I consider “extravagant” kitchen gadgets: multiple sizes of knives, a spiralizer, and soon, a food processor.


Honey mustard salmon (which broke when transferring to the plate), roasted sweet potato, roasted cauliflower with turmeric

I still eat generally the same things for reasons of price, taste preference and skill level, but slowly I’ve branched out.While I still have a lot to learn, particularly how to cook protein other than chicken and fish, I don’t get bored with my meals like I did last year. I add flavor, oil, and sauces as well as vary cooking technique. Things actually come out edible…major win!

It takes an effort to get in the kitchen, yet it’s not stressful. When I’m in the mood to cook I really enjoy it. Let’s not jump to conclusions and assume I’m going to cook for myself when I’m home for spring break (sorry, mom) but I might experiment more ;) I’m proud of how far I’ve come but most importantly, I’m excited to learn more, try more and eat more. Who’s with me on that?!

What is your must-have kitchen gadget?

What is your go-to spice (other than salt and pepper)? Rosemary.