daily eats: 7.9.14

Oh, hello! Are you surviving the post- long-weekend week of work? My week has been busy (newsletter time at work) so I’m kind of ready for the weekend! You?

workout: 45 minutes walking on treadmill. I’m still really content with low-key exercise, so that’s what I’m doing! Lots of walking, 7-Minute and barre workouts. Every once in a while, I think about signing up for a race so I’ll start running again – and then I decide against it.

beverages: coffee + 1/2 & 1/2, per usual

breakfastblueberry bliss smoothie + a few kale cubes thrown in for good measure!

Daily Eats | A Nutritionist Eats

snacks: almonds + fresh fig. It was my first time trying a fresh fig and I’m still undecided on if I like them or not. The flavor was nice, but the texture was not my favorite.

Daily Eats | A Nutritionist Eats

yoga: 30 minutes of gentle yoga/stretching. One of my coworkers has been leading yoga every Wednesday over lunch and it is such a wonderful break in the day/week.

lunch: romaine + cucumber + kale (last minute addition) salad + my favorite cilantro dressing (trader joe’s!) with tuna + mayo + celery + onions. Lunch was supposed to be served with toasted pita and goat cheese, but the pita was moldy, so I turned it into a snack with crackers instead…

Daily Eats | A Nutritionist Eats

snackscrackers + goat cheese (at work) and a glass of shiraz (not at work).

Daily Eats | A Nutritionist Eats

dinner: I went into dinner not having any clue what it would be because we were headed to house/dog sit. We found some burgers (with cheese) + sweet potato puffs + pickles + onions + ketchup. At least I had vegetables at lunch! (Check out instagram to see the cute pup we watch!)

Daily Eats | A Nutritionist Eats

approximate nutrition stats: 1,898 calories, 104 grams fat (52%), 123 grams carbohydrates (28%), 18 grams fiber, 55 grams sugar, 89 grams protein (20%)

thoughts: Of course I always try to include vegetables at dinner, but it doesn’t always happen. Life goes on! Also, these posts stop me from mindless snacking – Richie was snacking on chips and salsa before dinner but I didn’t want to deal with a picture so I didn’t have any. :)

4th of july inspiration

Um, can someone please explain what has happened to June?! I do NOT understand how the 4th of July is next week.

It’s quite disturbing, especially because we haven’t done anything on our summer to-do list. (And I mean that we haven’t even made the list yet.) I do know that we want to spend some time at the beach, see a few outdoor shows but beyond the food + drink below, I have no idea!

At least this is a good place to start…

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Sip: Berry Kombucha Sangria. I haven’t made sangria yet this summer, but this version is at the top of my list. Recipe and image via Edible Perspective.

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Spread: You can tell me that there is a food better than grilled bread, but I won’t believe you. This Bruschetta Bar idea is genius and totally my type of meal: wine + bread + cheese. Oh, and it’s beautiful. Recipe via What’s Gaby Cooking, photo via Matt Armendariz.

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Simple: Grilled Watermelon and Feta Stacked Salad is the perfect example of a simple – yet delicious – salad that combines sweet and salty over bitter greens. Recipe via Cooking for Keeps.

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Splurge: Adding bacon to hot dogs is a splurge in my book. These BLT Hot Dogs are topped with bacon, tomatoes and lettuce dressed with a caraway-pickle mayo. (Please tell me hot dogs are on your menu next week!) Recipe and image via Food & Wine.

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

Side: 4th of July = Summer and Summer = Pasta Salad. This Blue Cheese & Olive version is a staple in my family and great because you can make it a day ahead of time. And that = more time for fun and sun!

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Sweet: All these Red Velvet Cupcakes need is a few blue sprinkles and they’ll be red, white, blue and delicious! Recipe and image via Satisfy My Sweet Tooth.

What are you making? (Link below!)

blue cheese & olive pasta salad

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

(I’m bringing back an old favorite today, for new and necessary pictures and fresh words.)

If I can be really honest with you all (my closest internet friends that is) I’ve been having a hard time being so far away from our family and friends. After a super fast, unexpected trip to Wisconsin, having some of our best friends in town and spending a quick weekend in Florida with Richie’s family, I was missing everyone.

EVERYONE! Even though I’m pretty laid back, I was dramatically asking why we live in California, why we moved away, why I can’t see everyone as much as I like and every other dramatic question I could think of. Apparently even I, have my moments more often than I’d like to admit. I was, in a word, homesick.

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

And this salad brings me a little closer to home. It’s one of my mom’s standard pasta salads and like I mentioned in the original post, she is the queen b. when it comes to pasta salads. Even the words “pasta salad” remind me of summers in Wisconsin, al fresco dinners (in the screened-in porch, because … mosquitos) consisting of chilled pasta salads and fresh produce.

Summers and a life when my hair turned a greenish hue from spending most of the day at the pool, biking home only for lunch. Summers and a life in Minneapolis that was packed with warm-weather rejoicing and grilling out with friends any time we could. Summers and a life in Los Angeles that’s different, but still so full and delightful.

Sometimes you just need to sulk a little bit…but homesick or not, I’ll never sulk about food and definitely not this pasta salad.

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

It’s the ideal side for your grilled main courses of the summer season. It’s got bites of chewy pasta, salty olives and blue cheese, sweet, green grapes and flavorful green onions. It’s really simple, but also complex when bites include a taste of every flavor.

The dressing is also simple: just some mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt & pepper.

Simple, delicious, satisfying. Food like this is what I love about cooking.

And family + friends are what I love about this life!

nutrition facts: 333 calories, 15 grams of fat, 39 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, 10 grams protein

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: entree salad side high protein sugar-free vegetarian cheese pasta spring summer

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 8 oz fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup chopped green onion (about 4-5 onions)
  • 4 oz gorgonzola (or any blue cheese), crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced green grapes
  • 6 oz can of black olives, drained and sliced in half

Instructions

Prepare pasta as directed.

Set aside.

Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt & pepper until smooth.

Prep remaining ingredients: chop green onion, crumble blue cheese, slice grapes and olives.

Toss all ingredients together until combined.

Chill for a few hours before serving.

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lemon feta dip

Lemon Feta Dip | A Nutritionist Eats

If we have met in real life, there is about a 95% chance that we’ve eaten cheese together.

If we have never met in real life, there is about a 95% chance that if we were to meet, we would eat cheese together.

Why? Because it’s kind of my thing. Friends know that if they come over, they can always count on a good cheese plate.

Family knows that at a get-together, you can find me at the cheese plate.

Lemon Feta Dip | A Nutritionist Eats

I think it’s in my blood. I was born and raised in Wisconsin, fondly known as America’s Dairyland, and I grew up drinking milk, eating yogurt and snacking on cheese and crackers on a daily basis. Oh, and playing on dairy farms. Just like my mom, it would be a bad day if my fridge had less than three varieties of cheese at any given time. (And parmesan doesn’t count, that is a staple food, not an “eating” cheese.)

It’s why there is no shortage of cheese talk on this site. And I promise that I’ll never go dairy-free on you. You can count on that. (I do love some almond or coconut milk, but when it comes to half & half, yogurt and cheese, it’s real dairy all the way.)

Lemon Feta Dip | A Nutritionist Eats

This lemon feta dip is a variation on one of my favorites, Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip. It’s made in a similar way, but with a totally different flavor profile. While the roasted red peppers mellow out the feta in the Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip, the lemon brings out the pungent feta flavor in this version. It’s quite tasty.

In addition to the flavorsome feta and lemon, garlic and red pepper flakes give the dip a nice bite. The chives are totally optional, but give it nice color and fresh flavor, so I recommend them.

Serve this Lemon Feta Dip with pita chips and some kalamata olives or add it to your favorite sandwich.

Lemon Feta Dip

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: blender appetizer sandwich snack gluten-free vegetarian cheese Greek spring summer fall

Ingredients (about 2 cups)

  • 8 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 8 oz block of feta cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • garnish: minced chives, red pepper flakes, olive oil

Instructions

Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over low heat in a small pan. Add minced garlic and heat until garlic starts to sizzle, about 2 minutes. (Careful not to burn the garlic!)

Remove from heat and add red pepper flakes to oil.

In a processor, pulse together cream cheese and feta cheese.

Add the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, juice and zest from lemon and garlic oil to processor and pulse again until combined.

Spread onto a plate or bowl and top with garnishes if desired.

Serve with pita crackers and kalamata olives.

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