Mediterranean Cannellini Couscous Salad

Holy yum.

Mediterranean Cannellini Salad 2

I stumbled across this book when I was working with a dietitian on a Mediterranean nutrition class. I’m still focusing on a soft diet with my dislocated jaw (sounds worse than it is.. basically, don’t get stressed and don’t grind your teeth, people), and we made this salad at each of the classes and it’s so.good. I adapted it a little but it’s super simple and great to throw together before work.

Mediterranean Cannellini Salad 1

Allow me to let you in on a little secret. The Mediterranean diet is what’s up. Studies are revealing its incredible protective benefits against heart disease and cognitive decline.

Mediterranean Cannellini Salad 3

Do the right thing for your head and your heart. Make a big bowl of this for salads for the week.

Mediterranean Cannellini Couscous Salad

Adapted from The Oldways 4-Week Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan

1 cup couscous
1 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups spinach, chopped
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup kalamata olives, halved
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup crumbled feta

Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Dash of garlic powder

  1. Cook couscous in vegetable broth according to directions (hint: adding olive oil may help keep couscous from sticking together and to pot).
  2. Combine remaining salad ingredients with cooked couscous.
  3. Whisk dressing ingredients together and toss into salad.

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A Peek Into My Life II

Over 4 years ago I posted this. I would say a lot has changed in almost 4 1/2 years, don’t ya think? Let’s see what my life looks like now. Also, for fun, let’s compare.

A is for age: I’m 20.
A is for age: I’m 24.

B is for breakfast: Bowl of Great Grain Crunchy Pecans cereal with soymilk and a sliced banana.
B is for breakfast: Old-fashioned oatmeal with a Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter packet, plain greek yogurt, and raspberries.

C is for currently craving: Nutella. Duh. Always.
C is for currently craving: Wine and chocolate.

D is for dinner tonight: I had some leftover chickpea and tofu spaghetti with cilantro pesto and a cinnamon-banana smoothie.
D is for dinner tonight: Whole wheat rotini with alfredo pesto and parmesan.

E is for my favorite type of exercise: Cycling!
E is for my favorite type of exercise: BodyFlow!

F is for an irrational fear: Being under deep water. I call it “aquaclaustrophobia.”
F is for an irrational fear: Same as above, and spiders.

G is for gross food: Meat. Sorry, carnivores of the world. You knew it was coming, though.
G is for gross food: Okay, obviously meat. Ew, and okra.

H is for hometown: Winston Salem, NC.
H is for hometown: A hometown is always a hometown, same as above.

I is for something important: Health. I’m pretty sure health is one of the most important things ever. Also, music, family and friends. These 4 things keep me sane.
I is for something important: Friends and family. Find your people and never stop loving them.

J is for current favorite jam: Good Girl by Carrie Underwood.
J is for current favorite jam: Needtobreathe’s new CD. Replay erry-damn-day on the way to work.

K is for kids: Um. They’re cool? Definitely not on my radar.
K is for kids: Furchild! Caribou, my tabby cat.

L is for current location: Elon University!
L is for current location: Apartment.

M is for the most recent way you spent money: Research. My life has been completely enveloped by research. All I do is buy chocolate milk and chocolate soymilk and bagels and OJ and cream cheese and gift cards and measuring cups for research. Yeah. If you’re sensing bitterness, you’re correct. But that’s not with my money. It’s funded by Elon. The last thing I bought was a ticket to the Hunger Games! Guys. Seriously. You need to see it. I thought it was totally overrated because it’s all “trendy” now to ready it but One of the best movies ever. Go. Now!
M is for the most recent way you spent money: Yesterday I went to Target to get the ‘Boo-tterscotch’ M&Ms for our dietitian office and might have gotten side tracked in the dollar section. Hello adorable file folders!

N is for something you need: Sleep. Okay. I mean, I get plenty, I guess. I need things to work out with summer and graduation and all those fun things so I can graduate on time. Hi, life. You don’t need to be this stressful.
N is for something you need: NEED?! More water. Always. I am terrible at hydrating. WANT?! A tropical vacation. Duh.

O is for occupation: Student! And part time yogurt slinger/server over summer and Christmas breaks.
O is for occupation: I can PROUDLY say that I am a registered dietitian!

P is for pet peeve: When people talk really loudly on the phone or turn the TV up way too loud or drive slowly or pull out in front of you when no one is behind you.
P is for pet peeve: Gum smacking. My mom taught me that one. I think pet peeves are learned like fears are. Someone was smacking today and I wanted to smack THEM.

Q is for quote: “Never regret anything because at one point it was exactly what you wanted.” So. True.
Q is for quote: ‘Everything in moderation including moderation.’

R is for random fact about you: I can bench my body weight.
R is for random fact about you: I’m left handed. Also, I cannot bench my bodyweight anymore. Womp.

S is for favorite healthy snack: Celery and peanut butter. Nommm.
S is for favorite healthy snack: Larabars. Or hummus & snap peas.

T is for favorite treat: Favorite?? Oh man. I’m not sure if this is my all-time favorite, but I do love Coldstone’s banana ice cream with chocolate chips.
T is for favorite treat: Menchie’s. It’s a yogurt shop that is SO YUM.

U is for something that makes you unique: I make velociraptor sounds when something goes awry in the kitchen.
U is for something that makes you unique: I have a tattoo of a spider on my foot that I drew.

V is for favorite vegetable: Homegrown tomatoes.
V is for favorite vegetable: Snap peas.

W is for today’s workout: 1 hour of power yoga and 1 hour of cycling.
W is for today’s workout: Taking the stairs at work?..

X is for x-rays you’ve had: My left foot, twice. Both were fractures or something minor like that.
X is for x-rays you’ve had: Do MRIs count? I guess not.. Aforementioned + back and jaw if MRIs count.

Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Holding my friend’s bunny, Blue. She’s beautiful and super soft.
Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Yesterday? Good lawd I can’t remember yesterday. OOH the Target school supplies!!

Z is for your time zone: Eastern Standard Time.
Z is for your time zone: SAMESIES.

So different! So fun. Let’s do this again in 4 years, what do you say?

Chocolate Espresso Protein Smoothie

What is it about 3pm that requires something sweet and a little bit of caffeine?

Chocolate Espresso Protein Smoothie

Even on weekends, I feel like I need a pick-me-up. I try to stick to one cup of coffee on weekdays but sometimes I drink two on weekends when I’m relaxing in the mornings. This morning, though, I skipped the second cup of jo’, which gave me full permission to have caffeine in the afternoon.

I made this a couple weeks ago as a breakfast smoothie and added almond butter, flaxseed, and skim milk. Today I made a lighter version to act as a snack. Careful, smoothie lovers. Some smoothies can pack a whopping 400 calories!

Chocolate Espresso Protein Smoothie
The following ingredient amounts are approximations; I didn’t measure anything because smoothies are flexible like that.

3/4 cup milk (I used coconut milk because we had it handy)
1 scoop protein powder (I used Vanilla Latte from but chocolate or vanilla work; this just has caffeine in it)
1 tsp ground espresso
1/2 frozen banana
1 tbsp dark cocoa powder

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Crunchy Coconut Tofu

I used to be so witty.

coconut tofu 1

I actually glanced through old posts to see what I used to write about to see if it would inspire a spark of wittiness. Nothing. How was I so witty back then?

I think that these days there is so much running through my brain AT ALL TIMES that there isn’t enough room for wittiness. Maybe once I get settled into my new job, I will be able to relax a little and the wittiness will start flowing.

coconut tofu 2

I feel like I want to spit nutrition facts at you. How boring am I?! The boringest. Yes, that’s a word.

Okay, let’s steer away from the wittiness and onto tofu. For the next post, I’ll try to jot down some material so I can post something more interesting than blabbing about how my brain never stops. Well, except when I binge watched Army Wives. I think it might’ve turned off a couple times. Also, Claudia Joy? Life goals. She’s perfect.

coconut tofu 3

Tofu. Let’s go. So there’s this magical thing called thai food. Combine peanut butter and coconut and it passes as thai. Right? I don’t actually know but it feels thai to me. Are you supposed to capitalize Thai? All the time or just sometimes? [See, there goes my brain again…]

This recipe is neat because it’s four ingredients. FOUR. That is beautiful. I hate those recipes that drone on and on about a million ingredients, most of which you don’t have and have to substitute and then who the heck knows if your recipe will turn out.

coconut tofu 4

This one will. Four: tofu, peanut butter, oil, coconut. BAM: meal. Well, protein. Maybe add some veggies next to it.

Crunchy Coconut Tofu
Inspired by Tone It Up’s Nutrition Plan

1 package tofu, cubed
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped coconut flakes (the hard kind, not the sweetened kind)

  1. Cut tofu into medium-sized cubes and press between paper towels and with something heavy on top (like a cutting board and textbook) or a tofu press for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once oil has heated, sauté tofu, turning over every few minutes, until tofu is lightly brownish-tan and slightly crunchy. This may take 10 minutes or so.
  3. Add peanut butter and stir in until melted and the tofu is covered.
  4. Take the tofu off the heat and mix in the coconut flakes.


What’s for Lunch?

Okay, I have been thinking long and hard about what I want to blog. I have a couple recipes [Sweet Potato Fritters, Chopped Thai Salad] that have been sitting in the draft section of my blog posts [FOR MONTHS], and I just haven’t taken the time to search for the photos or remake the recipes to make sure that everything is right.

So, I am showing you some of the meals I had during my internship.

Oh. Backup. Update. I’M A DIETITIAN! Yes. A registered and licensed dietitian in the state of North Carolina. [Insert party emoji] How the heck does that sound!? Pretty stinkin’ good. I finished my internship in early May, took my exam late May, and a few weeks ago I accepted a job in the area at a hospital. I will write a post on all of that soon, but I wanted to throw a food post in first.

During my internship, I had to pack lunch almost every day. This was a struggle sometimes but a great learning experience and let’s just say I was eating pretty dang well!

Here are some ideas for lunches and snacks. I eat a morning snack and afternoon snack, so that’s why it looks like so much food, haha! I find lunches to be hard (as well as dinners.. planning can be tough!) so hopefully you can find some inspiration.

Oh, and here’s how this is going to go down: M = meal, so there’s M1-5 (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner). That means if M2 = morning snack, M3 = lunch, and M4 = afternoon snack. Lastly, please excuse the photo quality. I packed these bad boys at night when there is no sunlight.


M2 .. Okay, I’m really trying to remember how this one went. Hah! We will say M2 grapes & nuts, M3 asian cucumber salad & sweet potato chips, M4 hummus & peppers [and this was probably a Monday, on which I did spin at 6pm and usually ate a banana beforehand, hence TWO M2s!]


M2 Larabar [the best flavors are Coconut Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Brownie! OH and the Mint Chocolate Brownie is TO DIE FOR], M3 salad with all the fix-ins like black beans, tomatoes, edamame, spinach, carrots, etc. & grapes, M4 granola bites at my internship and a banana on the way to the gym!


M2 Larabar & apple slices, M3 salad & tortellini with homemade sun-dried tomato pesto [holy yum], M4 yogurt & banana [can you tell how much I like bananas yet?]


M2 Clif bar & pear slices, M3 wrap & sweet potato chips, M4 grapes


Pictured above is meal prep madness! This is 2 days worth of food: M2 Larabar, M3 Chopped Thai Salad & pears with cinnamon or mixed berries, M4 banana!


M2 yogurt + clementines, M3 salad [with sun-dried tomato pesto!] & pears, M4 tomatoes


M2 mixed fruit, M3 salad & cucumber with guacamole, M4 banana!


M2 trail mix, M3 salad & apple, M4 not pictured – WHAT?! Maybe a banana?!


And lastly, snack edition! On Wednesdays, I would get a shrimp burrito bowl [Burrito Bowl Wednesdays!] so I only packed snacks. M2 nuts & pear, M4 guacamole & celery!

Hope you all enjoyed this peak into what I’ve been eating. Despite not blogging, I’ve documented a lot of my meals and might incorporate some into posts but I do like an official photoshoot with my food to make it pretty for the blog. Hang tight for that and tips on how to become a dietitian (and how to stay sane while doing it!).

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