Posts Tagged ‘barley’

Man, I was hungry today!

First, lunch.

I packed a simple salad of romaine + roma tomato


and then dumped a serving of my veggie and barley risott-no on top to maximize the veggie goodness.


Plus some watermelon! It’s still going, and going…


I have at least 2 cups left! Watch out for more tomorrow  🙂

Work was pretty normal this afternoon, but my stomach was super hungry for some reason.

I had this cookie I picked up at lunch


It definitely looks bigger than it was – just a regular-a-little-smaller-than-my-palm chocolate chip cookie.

Of course, that didn’t put a dent in my hunger so I had the snack I packed for today – one serving of kashi sunshine + about 1/2 cup milk.


I love this cereal! It tastes like a mix of Capn’ Crunch and Kix. It’s Just Sweet Enough 🙂

Finally, my belly was happy. I drank some water and made it through the day.

Nick had a chiropractor appointment today, so I came home and did 2 20-minute yoga downloads – the Power Vinyasa Flow and a Hip Opening Flow. What a great way to spend 40 minutes winding down and breaking a sweat after work! I was only going to do one download, but the laundry was still in the dryer and Nick wasn’t back yet, so I just went ahead and kept going. I’m glad I did, because that hip opening download felt ah-mazing.

Plus, it’s always easier for me to spend more time working out when I know I have easy leftovers in the fridge.


We heated up the leftovers of the Hawaiian Chicken dish from last night, and I think it was even better!

Dishes with flavors like ginger, soy, and chile/garlic seem to get better after they sit. Tonight’s meal definitely proved that point – it was so spicy and the ginger really stood out tonight.


Makes me want to say aloha 🙂

I’ve been pretty productive tonight!

  • Yoga – done
  • Laundry – folded + put away
  • Dinner – eaten and enjoyed
  • Pajamas – on  😉
  • Fun breakfast plan for tomorrow – done
  • Hard boiled eggs – cooking right now
  • Lunch packed – about to do that

Now the only things left are to have some popcorn + watch Top Chef Masters tonight! The guest is Neil Patrick Harris, aka Barney from HIMYM, aka Doogie Howser.

Do you have random super hungry days? Are there tried and true foods that satisfy you on days like that?

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Pluggin’ Along

I’ve just been pluggin’ along today at work, getting stuff done and working through my emails.

I was very ready for lunch when it was time to eat! Funny how some days I could wait a while longer and some days, I’m ready to chew my arm off waiting for Nick to get over here and eat.

I brought some of my risott-no from last night plus a little leftover chicken.


A sliced tomato


And some watermelon. This is from a personal watermelon, just like the one Heather has. And yes, the label and sign actually said “personal watermelon”. It still had a lot of fruit, though, once we cut it up – way more than I could eat in one sitting.


Back to work I go, but here’s some fun stuff for you!

Happy Birthday Mark!

MixMyGranola is having a contest in honor of National Picnic Month (July)!

And of course we want to know what is in your Picnic Granola Mix and are giving away a $25.00 Gift Certificate to MixMyGranola! All you have to do is to create your ideal Picnic Granola Mix on MixMyGranola.com and email us at sweepstakes@mixmygranola.com to let us know what ingredients are in your Picnic Granola. We will randomly pick a winner from all entries that we have received by Friday, July 10th!

– Did you know today is National Strawberry Sundae day AND Chocolate Day? Nicole from Real Simple tipped me off to this, so I’ve got my thinking cap on for tonight. Here’s a few sundae recipes to get the creative juices flowing:

– Make sure to check out Zesty’s post on strawberries today, too! He’s got some great ideas on how to use them and you can add your own!

– Um…and I am the only one sad that Jenna Fischer (aka Pam) is not engaged to Jim in real life? They’re so cute together on the show – they should just carry that over and be cute together all the time.

Are you going to have a sundae today? If so, let me know and I’ll post it! We can have a Strawberry Sundae special in honor of this super important holiday.

What’s your favorite sundae topping?

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No Focus Here

Happy end to your Monday! I’m so happy today is over – I’m sitting in my pajamas with my feet up on the ottoman watching HIMYM with Nick  🙂

Nick wanted another rest day today, so instead of running, I came home and did some yoga + my summer glow boot camp stuff from yesterday. I did the 20 minute Gentle Hatha download, but I just could not get into it today. I finished it, but my mind was just going everywhere and I couldn’t focus at all. After I finished the yoga + boot camp stuff, I came back upstairs to start on dinner.

Since our fridge is bursting at the seams, I wanted to use up some leftovers with dinner tonight before adding too much more to our stash.


I heated up part of Nick’s dad’s leftover chicken and zucchini/squash from the other night for my plate, and Nick had the last caribbean chicken thigh from our cookout.

Nick’s  mom brought a bunch of veggies with her this weekend and some didn’t get used with the meals we made, so I had to use them tonight.

I’m calling this Barley Risott-no:

  • 1/2 yellow and orange pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1-2″ pieces
  • 1 cup fresh peas from our garden (could you frozen)
  • 1 1/4 cups quick cooking barley
  • 2.5 cups water
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley
  • 1-2 Tbsp parmesan (I used soy parm)
  1. Heat pot over medium heat with a little oil.
  2. Add in diced peppers, carrots, and scallion and let cook until softened.
  3. Take pepper mixture out of pan and add water to pan.
  4. Bring water to a boil and add barley and peas.
  5. Let cook about 5 minutes, then add the asparagus.
  6. Stir in the seasonings.
  7. Stir in the parm once the barley is cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed.


This risott-no turned out great! I wanted to do the whole add-the-hot-liquid-slowly to draw out more starch, but eh….I was already in my pjs while cooking, so I just let it do its thing while I packed my lunch for tomorrow.

Alright, one more load of laundry is calling – see you in the morning!

Have you ever made real risotto?

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Manic Overflowing

I am happy to be sitting down! Today has been a doozy.

Work was super busy this afternoon, just as I expected. I had a bunch of last minute things to get ready, copied, stapled, etc, that need to be mailed out tomorrow, so most of my afternoon was spent finishing those up and getting the rest of the packets ready.

I took a quick break around 4 for a little shot of protein:


Hard boiled eggs are some of my favorite snacks! They’re easy to carry in my lunch box and the perfect little snack when you’re not super hungry but need a little something.

More work followed and I was working right up until 5 pm.

Nick has his crazy biking/kayaking/running race on Saturday, so he’ll be training some more this week to get ready for that. I know we’ll run 2-3 times, but we were trying to figure out the schedule for the week, which proved to be harder than I thought.

I decided to let him do a bike ride tonight and we’ll run tomorrow – I just had too much to do tonight after being gone all weekend.

I’ve got one load of laundry done (and will be folding that as soon as I’m done blogging my awesome dinner), I made a dish for my lunches this week, made dinner, and packed the rest of my lunch.


Nick’s parents gave us a pork loin to bring home, so I took half of that, made a spice rub and roasted it in the oven.

For the spice rub, I used:

  • 1 Tbsp of jerk seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder

I rubbed it all over the pork, then popped it in a 425 degree oven for about an hour or until the internal temperature is 155-160.

While the pork was cooking,  I cut up a ton of veggies I needed to use and got started on my lunch dish + laundry.


I did one sheet pan with red onions, rutabaga, and orange and yellow peppers.

The other sheet pan had asparagus, 2 yellow squash (for lunches) and cremini mushrooms. We also had just some simple quick cooking barley on the side, topped with a little cilantro to bring out the flavor of the coriander on the pork.

I love roasted veggies!  This was also my first time trying rutabaga – and Nick’s! We both loved it. It’s kind of sweet, but not as sweet as a sweet potato – hard to describe, but I really liked it!

I was hoping to do this meal on the grill, but it just didn’t work out for tonight since Nick needed to do his bike ride. It was still very tasty – I don’t have roasted veggies much in the summer since we do grill so much, so it was a nice reminder of what fall is bringing in a few months  🙂

What’s your favorite veggie to roast?

I think mine are a tie between asparagus, broccoli, and butternut squash. Yum. I could make a meal out of just that!

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Shake It, Saturday

Man, I don’t think I should have caffeine in the afternoon any more! It’s been a while since I have had any after lunchtime, and I have been going, going, going since I made this earlier:


I tried to make a homemade frappuccino and it turned out pretty well! This was –

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup cold coffee
  • 1-2 cups ice
  • nesquik powder  🙂

it was good, but I’ve been so hyper! I also had about a cup of Lesser Evil popcorn (plus a few more small handfuls right out of the bag).


This stuff is so good! It’s a good thing the bag I have isn’t very big.

I got one load of laundry washed + dried + folded + put away, and I have one more in the dryer right now.

As that stuff was washing, I decided I needed a toenail color change:


So cute and light! I got this in a sweet little care package from Nicole at Real Simple, along with a super cute purse organizer and a magnetic notepad – it’s like she read my mind on what I use the most: notepads for making tons and tons of lists and huge purses where I can’t find anything   🙂

Of course, the name of the polist was just as cute as the color –


Real Simple – cute huh? They have their own nail color  🙂  Thanks so much Nicole!

I just got back from finishing up grocery shopping and Nick just finished cutting the grass, so dinner tonight is some big & easy gumbo-laya leftovers.


Mmm…just as good as last night  🙂

I haven’t made the shakes yet, but I’m making them based on this recipe that I got from Nicole at Real Simple the other day. I knew I had to make them as soon as I saw the recipe.

I’ll only be making 2 and I’m planning on using almond milk, frozen mixed berries, and slow churned vanilla ice cream. I think they’ll be good.

If they look as pretty as their pictures, I’ll post one in the morning – just to prove we had them.

We’re about to watch Taken and I’m excited about it! I’ve seen some good reviews, so I’m hoping it’s as good as I’m expecting.

Hope you’ve had a great and less-klumsy day than me!

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Happy Friday!!! I am so excited the weekend is here!

This afternoon was busy, busy, busy at work – that helped the day go by faster, that’s for sure.

My stomach started feeling like it was eating itself around 3:45, so I broke into this:


My first ever Luna cookie! I cannot buy these anywhere around here, so the awesome Allison from Clif sent me a sample.


I’m kinda’ sad I liked it so much, because no stores carry them here. This chocolate mint one was so good – it was like 2 z-bars put together, but a refreshing chocolate mint flavor. I hope some stores start getting them soon here! If you haven’t tried the Luna cookies, you should.

The weather today actually turned out pretty nice by the end of the day, so I’m hopeful for our kayaking trip tomorrow.

Nick also finished some stuff today in the lab, so since it was also Friday, we had to have a fun dinner + brews.


Now, I may not like their football team (Jess)  🙂 , but Charlottesville does make some good beer. Nick and I really love all the Star Hill ones we’ve tried, but I think this one is our favorite.

I had one while making dinner tonight and it was the perfect way to end the work week.


I give you Gumbo-laya!

I made a dish that’s not really gumbo, not really jambalaya, but close to both so that’s what I’m calling it.

  • 2 sweet pepper chicken sausages, diced
  • 1 bag frozen veggies: red pepper, onion, corn, okra, celery
  • about 1 lb. kale
  • 1/2 lb. shrimp
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quick cooking barley
  • smoked paprika (KEY!)
  • pinch cayenne
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  1. Heat large pot over medium heat and add sausage. Let cook until browned.
  2. Add in bag of frozen veggies and seasonings.
  3. Once veggies are heated through, stir in tomatoes and water.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Stir in barley, turn down heat and let simmer 10 minutes or so until barley is cooked through.
  6. Stir in kale and let cook a few minutes.
  7. Drop in shrimp, stir and let cook 3-5 minutes until shrimp is done.


Alright – What Not to Wear just came on and I have a date with that, Nick, and my pjs.

I hope to see you tomorrow morning – Nick and I have a pretty exciting yet ridiculous breakfast planned  🙂

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Thank you for all your tips!

The sad thing? My alarm clock is already in a place where I have to get up to hit snooze/turn it off! I guess I’ve gotten used to getting out of bed to hit snooze and jumping back in. We’ll see what else works, though – I got some  great ideas from your tips and suggestions!

I don’t know why I’m so cold today, but I have been freezing all morning in my office. I was starting to get hungry around 10:30 so I got out my green smoothie for today and drank it as fast as I could. I really didn’t want a cold drink, but I wanted my smoothie so I tried to get it over with as fast as possible!


The normal mix, lately:
•    1 cup almond breeze
•    ½ banana
•    2-3 cups spinach
•    ½ Tbsp flaxmeal

It was good, and it got me through until lunch.

All I can say is I’m glad I have a lunch that I can heat up – I’ve sitting here in my favorite granny sweater trying to keep warm while eating – at least I’m thawing out a bit.

Lunch may look a little familiar, but a little prettier – at least I tried to make it look a little different.


The last of the tex mex barley stuff since Nick brought some today, too, with added roma tomato and avocado.


The last of the broccoli, too. I don’t know what I’m going to have tomorrow for lunch!


Plus an orange.

I have a substantial snack packed for this afternoon because I’m going to a yoga class at 6 tonight! I am so excited to be going – I don’t know how often I’ll be able to go since it’s about 40 minutes from my house, but I am psyched for tonight.


There’s a Sunshine Burger coupon giveaway going on over here!

I had a fun dessert guest post on ZestyCook today – check it out!

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Green Is Good

Thank goodness today is already half over! I’m ready for the middle of the week to be here – we have another fun / exciting weekend coming up, and I’m tired of waiting!

My eggs/grits/fruit held me over until around 10:30 so I drank my green smoothie to hold me over until lunch. Perfect! I can’t really explain why I like them so much or even really explain the flavor, but I love them.

Sorry for the lunch repeats, but you might as well get used to them for this week  🙂 I’ll try to switch some stuff up just to keep it interesting – the pictures may look monotonous, but I love the flavors going on!


Today I brought some of the barley/corn/bean/tomato mixture and topped with a sliced roma tomato and 1/4 avocado. The bites with big hunks of avocado were the best, so I saved a few to have with my last couple of bites.

I also had more broccoli today. I cooked one of those steamer bags of the broccoli and it makes a lot! I have more to use for lunch tomorrow, too. That makes it easy for me though – I just bring this container in on Monday, heat up what I want and put it back in the fridge for the next day. One less thing to worry about packing in the morning!


and another apple – this was okay. Not the best apple I’ve had, but it did give me some crunch.


So far, I’ve had a lot of green in my day!

  • green smoothie
  • avocado
  • broccoli

These green smoothies I’ve had the past 2 days got me thinking.

I am going to try to have a green smoothie every day that I can in June and see what differences (if any) I see.  I say “every day that I can” because I know we’ll be out of town a few weekends so I probably won’t have the materials/equipment to make one. But, I want to see if these really do make me glow! Plus, they taste great and I love that I’m getting in a good dose of nutrition in such an easy way.

Are you drinking the green? If so, have you noticed any differences?

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System Failure

This afternoon may prove to be pretty crazy for a Monday – apparently, our system at work has run out of space! They’re working on it, but it’s a good thing I have my other normal Monday tasks to keep me busy in case it takes a while to fix.

My breakfast cookie held me over really well! I do like having some cold breakfast options that are filling, especially when it’s warm in the house and hot outside.

I was really looking forward to lunch today and it proved to be a good one.


I made a big batch of a tex-mex barley salad yesterday so I could have that for lunches this week with different add – ins and toppings.

The barley salad is just 1 cup of quick cooking barley cooked with chili powder, cumin, garlic, and a little cayenne. Then I mixed in a can of drained/rinsed black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes. Easy! and it made a LOT.

This morning, I added a little rotisserie chicken and then topped it with some avocado for lunch. I love avocado so much! I should have some everyday.

I also brought some steamed broccoli for a little more green


Plus an apple for some crunch


I love making a big batch of something on the weekends for lunch options – it makes easy to pack something quickly if you don’t have other leftovers or don’t want a sandwich.

Do you make stuff specifically for lunches during the week?

I have to, to keep my sanity during the week. Since I have to eat at work every day, I need to have quick options in the fridge and know  that there will at least be something easy to grab!


I guess I missed it with all the anniversary festivites, but check out my guest post on KERF! I should make those again…

Polly’s Yoga Video is ready for ordering today!!! Make sure to check out the info.

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Blend Me Up, Scotty

First – I apologize in advance if my posts today aren’t super cheerful or funny.

My mom went back to the ER last night with symptoms that sounded (to me) like a heart attack. Apparently, all her bloodwork so far is normal, but she is going to have a stress test done sometime this morning, so we’ll be waiting all day for those results. Any prayers/good thoughts are welcome!  I love you Mom!!! Watch some FoodNetwork for me today  🙂 Hi Dad, Mammaw, and Melissa! Give her a hug from me  🙂


This morning was my first experience with blended grains. When I made the chicken barley chili the other night, I had about 1/3 cup dry barley left, so I just went ahead and cooked it that night for later this week. This morning, I decided to use Katie’s Almond Joy Oatmeal as my inspriation, making substitutions for what I had.


Um…what have I been missing out on? Look at that creamy deliciousness.

Here is what I ended up using:

  • 3/4 cup cooked barley
  • 2 Tbsp oat bran, cooked in microwave with 1/2 banana
  • about 2 Tbsp leftover cooked sweet potato
  • splash of milk
  • salt
  • cinnamon!
  • about 1 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 2 tsp mini chocolate chips

I cooked the oat bran/banana for 1:30 in the microwave, heated up the barley and sweet potato and put that all in the blender with a little milk.

Dump into bowl, add cinnamon, pinch of salt, and  top with almonds and chocolate chips  🙂


The only problem? I don’t have a VitaMix, and I don’t think my regular ol’ blender would be happy doing this every day. It was still super tasty, though!

I just had a cup of water with my breakfast this morning, since I was bringing a green smoothie with me to work.


I had about 1/2 cup of coffee this morning before switching over to this, which is what I’m having right now:


I didn’t take a full on shot of this one – it’s not the beautiful green color, but it sure is tasty!

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • about 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 2-3 cups kale
  • 1 tsp flaxseed

Back to work I go – at least it’s Thursday! AND the last Thursday of WINTER!!!

And Let’s Go Hokies!  What a great game last night – I missed most of LOST because of the double over time, but how exciting.

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