Monday Coffee + Some Work-Lunch Balance

I’m definitely a fan of three-day-weekends, but there’s something a little painful about it when the short week comes on the front end of the holiday.  Adding an extra weekend day never achieves that extra rest and work catch up that would probably be the responsible time spend.  Instead, adding an extra 30% to the weekend immediately results in a 50% increase of overall wine consumption, sun exposure, and as a combined result, sunglass wearing to compensate for the consequences of both.

That being said, Monday morning brought a pretty harsh snap back to non-holiday reality, so, naturally,  I coped the only way I knew how: with an almond milk latte from Milli Joe.

fuel sweat grow: Milli Joe Coffee

And since Monday’s are tough (and this one didn’t disappoint), I decided to keep the celebration going after work with wine and a catch up friend date at Commonwealth.  I mean, it’s America kids, lets not limit our freedom celebrations to one day in July – celebrate every day and wine when you damn well please.

fuel sweat grow: commonwealth restaurant

And why quit while we’re ahead?  I was bordering on hangry driving while I was looking for parking downtown (which only took about 90 seconds, but they were 90 long seconds), so with my coveted wine I paired up two quick appetizers that proved to be a pretty awesome little meal. [Brussel sprouts and spicy chicken lollipops – try them Charlottesville, they’re both amazing.]

fuel sweat grow: commonwealth dinner

Today was another packed day, so work-life balance quickly translated into a work-lunch balance experiment of trying to eat, type, and strategically mute myself through conference calls to fit in chewing (Kale is NOT a quiet food).

fuel sweat grow: work place lunch

I had actually gotten myself up for the early am classes at MAD this morning to hopefully clear out my schedule for the rest of the day and enable myself to stay in my house with no interruptions, but of course I found myself rolling up to the 5:30 class to check in and take some much needed photos of our clients doing what they do – being awesome.

Dinner was a plethora of leftovers; kale marinated in lemon juice and olive oil, grilled flank steak, cucumber, and avocado.  I’m apparently on a kale binge, which was not intentional, but mostly just a product of some pretty aggressive fridge stocking last week.  Thankfully there’s not much I love better than some really great leftovers, so I’m all for it.

Here’s to hoping that the rest of the week shakes up a little to find some pockets of calm, but I wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway, so I might as well just hope for large periods of productivity coupled with some good food, great company, and MAD sweats.  I’m back to Charlotte next Tuesday so I’m trying to pack in as much time in MADville as I possibly can, and I couldn’t have picked a better line up of intervals than this week.


Sunday Night Dinner + Gluten-Free Options

Last night at about 6:35, when the first of the Sunday night couch club arrived at the front door, I realized that I had spent zero time planning for dinner.  So, in the spirit of throwing something together, and honoring the Sunday Night Dinner tradition, I grabbed a few staple ingredients and got creative with the rest.

Step 1: chicken breasts from the organic butcher went on the George Foreman.

Step 2: I threw vegetables in a pan to simmer with coconut oil, and put a pot of water on for the awesome new gluten free spinach fettuccine that I have been dying to try.  It’s made by a company called RP and is carried in most Whole Foods – even if you’re not gluten free, I highly recommend this brand.

fuel sweat grow - food blog
the usual suspects: onion, zucchini + yellow squash

My dad used to make a spinach fettuccine when I was little that he would toss with sour cream, salt, pepper, and parmesan.  I absolutely LOVED it, but now that I avoid gluten rich pastas and sour cream I’ve really been missing it.  Since I finally got my paws on some gluten free spinach fettuccine, the goal was to recreate the sour cream with a little twist.

I’ve done a good bit of experimenting with greek yogurt so I was pretty sure that this would turn out, at least reasonably well.

1 avacado + 1 cup greek yogurt (blended).
1 avacado + 1 cup greek yogurt
blended in the ever loving VitaMix
blended in the ever loving VitaMix
RP gluten free spinach fettuccine w/avacado yogurt 'sauce'
RP gluten free spinach fettuccine w/avacado yogurt ‘sauce’
i like to mix the spices in first to evenly distribute

 Once the pasta was done I mixed in the avocado + yogurt sauce with salt, pepper, and the sautéd vegetables together and topped it with the grilled chicken.

c'est complete.
c’est complete.

Judge rules: It was amazing.  I realize that I’m a tad partial since A) I made it, and B) I love the combination of the spinach flavor of the pasta and tartness of the greek yogurt, but I had 3 other impartial victims judges that loved it as well.  I also gave one review +5 bonus points since it came from a McDonalds drive through VIP.

I should also disclose that I had grand plans for my favorite roasted (broiled) brussel sprouts with olive oil, lemon, salt + pepper.  I even chopped them up beautifully during the vegetable chopping phase of the night.

beautiful brussel sprouts.
beautiful brussel sprouts.

Unfortunately, in the excitement of the sauce experiment, I completely forgot about the brussels, and 10 minutes after everything else was consumed I pulled the partially burned sprouts out of the oven.   I’m not ruling it a fail yet because they were surprisingly good (despite likely being somewhat carcinogenic…), crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.  I actually saved them and am going to throw them into a cauliflower mash I’m planning for later this week.  Don’t worry, you’ll be the first to know how that turns out.

After dinner Kristin came over to trial run a modified + gluten free version of her favorite cherry chip birthday cupcakes.  It was a more than successful experiment, so  get excited for the full account and recipe that will be posted soon.

happy birthday Kristin!
happy birthday Kristin!