Chicken Salad Sushi

There’s a sushi place near my house that’s All You Can Eat everyday. It’s actually the best restaurant in the area and not just because you can stuff your face with sushi, sashimi and all the accompaniments (seaweed salad and edamame, please) but because everything is fresh, beautiful and absolutely delicious.

The only thing about eating there is that you have to be hungry enough to make it worth it. While reasonably priced for lots of special rolls, it’s not exactly cheap for an all-the-time kind of thing. Also, the magical experience doesn’t happen if you don’t eat a few appetizers, eat a few rolls, then maybe decide you’re feelin’ some more miso soup.

I was craving sushi the other day but didn’t have anyone to dine with at the time and I wasn’t quite hungry enough anyway. My practical side also reminded me that I had prepped chicken for the week and I needed to save money and eat it.

This isn’t so much a recipe as it is a “throw everything together” kind of thing but it works, and it’s delicious so it’s happening.
IMG_3972Chicken Salad Sushi (makes 2 sushi rolls):

1 piece grilled/baked chicken (this week, I prepped my chicken by rubbing it with a tiny bit of mayonnaise, seasoned with Mrs. Dash salt free seasoning and baked in the oven for about 25 minutes)
1 stalk celery
1/2 slice onion
1 tsp. mayonnaise (I used Hellman’s Canola Mayonnaise)
1/2 TBL. Franks Hot Sauce Ketchup*
1/4 of a cucumber, sliced into thin sticks
1/2 cup baby spinach
2 sheets nori
Small bowl of water

Begin by cutting chicken, onion and celery into small chunks. Place in food processor with mayo and ketchup and process until ground and sticking together (add more mayo/ketchup to taste/consistency if needed).

On one sheet of nori, arrange spinach leaves across the sheet about 1 inch from the bottom. Using your fingers or a fork, gently spread chicken salad on top of spinach.

Place cucumber sticks on top of chicken salad and press down lightly.

Beginning from the bottom, tightly roll nori over the filling and wipe across the sheet with a little water on your finger tip.

Continue rolling to the top and seal with a bit of water.

Repeat with second sheet of nori.

Slice using a sharp, wet knife.

*If you cannot find/don’t have hot sauce ketchup, you could probably use a little more mayonnaise and regular hot sauce.

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What I Ate Wednesday: Trick Your Mind

I get bored easily. Or, at least when it comes to food I do. Sometimes I just don’t feel like a salad for lunch or a protein/veg/carb plate at dinner. This week, I haven’t even felt like eating oatmeal (gasp!). So, I’ve made it my mission these last few days to simply follow what my mind is telling me and try something new. If eating the same thing every single day gets tiring, trick your mind by just mixing it up! 

Exhibit A: Make What You Crave

IMG_3972I’ve been dreaming of sushi lately but haven’t gone.  Who said that chicken can’t be sushi? This immediately crushed my craving and was a fun way to eat the chicken I prepped this week. 

Exhibit B: Go For Variety

 

 

IMG_3959I couldn’t figure out exactly what I wanted for breakfast so I decided to have a bit of everything. Spinach and tomato omelette, peach, and a piece of low carb toast with half-peanut butter, half coconut oil spread.

Exhibit C: Same Ingredients, Different Presentation

IMG_3939Sometimes I eat a Greek yogurt bowl for breakfast or a snack with a bunch of mix-ins. Instead, I took all the ingredients, tweaked the ratios a little and made a giant pancake. This made me feel like I was eating something different and kind of extravagant even though it was the same items.

 

*Thanks to Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting the weekly linkup! 

Have you made anything different recently?

 

 

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday (Finals Week Edition)

Thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting as always!

I am busy, busy this week with the last of the semesters assignments. Journalism is one of those things that can be quick and painless or long and more tedious. This week, we’re on the tedious side with some of the bigger assignments I have due.

I haven’t been very creative with meals lately and I’ve shyed away from baking anything because I know it means I will have to eat it all.

So, what did I eat these last few days?

Breakfast:

Apple Pie Oats on Repeat:

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Snacks:

I made PB&J on a waffle yesterday for my pre-workout meal. Best idea I’ve ever had.

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This damn bark. I sneak a piece every time I go into the fridge (see point above about not baking anything).

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Dinners:

This was “sweet potato nachos” obviously heavy on the veg and not so heavy on the cheese but really delicious. Just some sliced sweet potato rounds that were roasted plain, then topped with spinach, kale and cheese and put back in the oven til the kale was crispy and the cheese was melty.

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I got home late the other night and was craving breakfast for dinner so I cooked up some oats and threw them in an almost empty peanut butter jar. and then ate them in the bathtub. Is that weird?

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A plain meal of boiled veggies and chicken. Simple and delicious.

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Dessert:

When I was eating Paleo, I incorporated gelatin into my diet for some extra nutritional benefits. Plain gelatin is literally a life-saver. It helps joint pain, the immune system, your hair and skin, metabolism, digestion, sleep. EVERYTHING. I stopped eating it when I started eating more food but I recently decided to bring it back in. I have the kind that doesn’t gel and mixes with liquids so I’ve been stirring some into my favorite diet hot chocolate for a sweet treat each night before bed.

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What did you eat this week?

Why I Count Calories

This post has been on my mind for a few weeks now. Do I disclose the information or just keep it to myself?

If you’ve been a long time reader (or if you’ve just scrolled through posts), you know that I am a firm believer in living a lifestyle of eating and not living on a diet. I personally believe that diets set many up for failure because I know that when I can’t have something, I want it even more. I think that mentality holds true for most.

When I realized that my habits had become disordered, I started writing all my food down in a food journal. This was somewhat annoying and didn’t really do me any good. While I could see what I was eating, it didn’t really matter because my problem wasn’t that I ate five cookies and a pint of ice cream in one sitting, it was that I wasn’t eating enough.

That’s when I turned to My Fitness Pal to start tracking my food in the app and on the computer. This made it so much easier because I could see how many calories, carbs, fat and proteins I was eating every day and set a goal.

Since then, I’ve done a TON of research on reverse dieting, which is when you gradually increase your food intake in order to get a damaged metabolism back to normal. It’s a process used often for people coming off of physique competition prep periods so they don’t gain a lot of weight right away and it’s also used for people who have had eating disorders.

In the last few months, I’ve increased my “macros” (proteins, carbs and fat which equal up to calories) each week. Let me tell you, and I hate to say this, but I am so thankful that I started tracking my food.

Doing so makes me see how easily I got caught in the long rut of not eating enough. It’s not that I’m not hungry enough to eat, it’s that the food choices I make don’t have enough nutrients to help my body.

I don’t like counting calories. This is not permanent.

Some days I struggle to hit those numbers and other days it’s easy. Sometimes it’s like a game and I plan things out while lying in bed in the morning. Other times it’s incredibly frustrating to stay within those guidelines.

My goal is to keep increasing until I am eating enough to not only gain my metabolism back but build some lean muscle mass. I knew but didn’t want to believe it that your body cannot build muscle unless it’s in a caloric surplus. Your body also does not burn fat when in too much of a caloric deficit.  I repeat my little mantra often: food is fuel.

Whether or not you choose to count calories, macros, etc., doesn’t matter–the point is to find what works for you each and every day. Find a lifestyle you can sustain because what’s most important is being healthy.

What I Ate Wednesday

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

Thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting as usual!

I don’t know what happened this week but I went into a frenzy of eating things I didn’t make. I had to go to local pastry shops, try something from a food truck and treat myself after spending hours upon hours doing homework.

Everything in moderation though is the name of my game lately. I enjoyed and savored all the treats (in reality, two treats, one healthy food truck experience) as I wandered around my city for an hour each day taking a well deserved break from my computer.

Spending the day working was worth it to eat these things though. I love finding the places I’ve heard about but never gone to (i.e. Flour Bakery-I had sticky bun bread pudding. oh my gosh. first bread pudding experience and it was so good)Image

and trying something unique that I’ve never had (i.e. seitan).

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and of course enjoying something I hadddd to have–pumpkin ice cream with an oatmeal cookie. YUM.

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I also got my David’s Tea. Honestly, I could only drink half before the chocolatey taste got a little sickening but it was good to start with.

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Besides the treats this weekend, I actually ate most of my food at home.  Honestly, I love eating out occasionally but I definitely prefer making my own meals. I get to play around (or eat the same thing over and over), control what I’m eating and I get to go grocery shopping in order to put things together. Anyone else love grocery shopping?

Here’s a terrible stir-fry picture.

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nice big salad with a side of kabocha.

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and oats, of course.

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What did you eat this week?

Spicy Sweet Stir-Fry

As I sit to write this, it’s 4:54 p.m. and I’m eating my dinner. For anyone who says eating early dinner is wrong, well, I don’t want to be right. I’d be willing to say there’s lots of us hungry people that sit from 4:30-5:30 or even 6:00 waiting until it’s appropriate to eat something and call it a meal. Those people can join me on the quest to make anytime dinner time. Maybe not anytime, but anytime after 4:30 or when it’s close enough to 5.

I’ve actually eaten the same dinner for the last week and a half. This almost never happens because I generally get insanely bored eating the same thing over and over. Case and point: different flavors of oats every day make it seem like something fresh and new.

I’m usually not even a stir-fry person but jeez, this one has knocked my socks off. There’s so many flavors and it’s warm and comforting with a little kick of spice. It’s also incredibly versatile. Like any stir-fry, add what you have. Except the sweet potato. Keep that–trust me. Putting the sweet potato at the bottom allows it to absorb all the sauce and warm up and makes every bite a little better.

There’s no photo because I do not for the life of me know how to take a good picture of something messy in a bowl but when I do (maybe when I make this again..tomorrow) I’ll add one.

Spicy Sweet Stir-Fry

1/2 cup frozen (or fresh) broccoli
6 frozen asparagus spears, broken in half
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup baby spinach
1 baked sweet potato, skin on (put this in the fridge before hand or make it the night before so it’s cold)
1 piece cooked chicken/serving of any kind of meat you desire, or have it vegetarian style
1-2 tablespoons sriacha
1-2 tablespoons liquid aminos
1 tablespoon peanut flour (optional but encouraged +1 teaspoon peanut butter)
1/2-3/4 cups water
Chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cinnamon

Add the spinach, kale, asparagus, broccoli and carrots to a deep pan and turn onto medium heat. Pour the water over the vegetables. There should be enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.

Cover with a lid and steam for 3 minutes.

Cut up meat if adding and add it to the pan. Put lid on for another minute.

Drizzle sriacha and aminos over vegetables, and sprinkle with peanut flour and spices except cinnamon. If using peanut butter, add to the middle of the pan. Stir everything up.

Allow mixture to cook for another 3 minutes or so.

Cut cold sweet potato in half and put in the bottom of a bowl. Mash and sprinkle with cinnamon. Remove pan from heat and pour over sweet potato.

Let it rest for 1 minute, then dig in.

What I Ate Wednesday: Lots O’ Oats Edition

What I Ate Wednesday (hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons) is definitely one of my days of the week to read blogs. I love unwinding at the end of the day by checking out her linkup and finding new recipes and pages to read. So, thanks Jenn for hosting!

In an effort to keep things deliciously simple, I ate a ton of oats this week. For breakfast every day!

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Here we have apple cinnamon oats, lemon loaf oats in the next two (coming soon to a blog near you!) and banana bread oats in the last one.

It snowed a little yesterday and has been SUPER cold so warm creamy oats (and coffee) are the perfect way to start the morning.

I dont usually photograph my lunches because they’re generally salads.

Snacks are usually rice cakes, a Quest bar, it depends on the day. Post workout is usually this smoothie in a bowl though.

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Putting whey protein in the blender with something frozen makes it incredibly fluffy. 

Both these smoothies are one scoop of protein powder, a small handful of frozen spinach, 5-ish frozen blueberries, a bunch of ice cubes and a tiny bit of water. Blended until thick and volumous. 

Dinners have been veggie heavy lately. I’m usually not a stir fry lover but I’ve had stir fry three times this week.

Also a mix of breakfast and dinner for dinner (with lots of cinnamon of course)

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and my new favorite side dish of mashed cauliflower. This I sprinkled with a little nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.

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Desserts (and sometimes snacks) have been pumpkin bread and no-bake cookie dough!

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What did you eat this week?