Category Archives: Food

food: this week’s menu 5/8/17

Hi friends! How was everyone’s weekend!? My mom, Mumsy, came into town Thursday night and we spent the entire weekend just hangin’ out, chillin’, eatin’, and drinking a ton of coffee. It was sooo nice. This is the first place I’ve had in Chicago where I can actually host someone in a spare bedroom, so it was kind of a big deal.

My dad actually ended up driving to Chicago on Sunday, too, because he had something come up for work last-minute. So it was even better that I could see them both! But it also means grocery + meal prep gets moved to today (Monday), so this is more like what I’m going to eat instead of what I’m eating right now. Ya dig?


Photo Source: @thecrunchyradish

How. Amazing. Does. This. Look.

All credit goes to @thecrunchyradish on Instagram. I screenshotted this bad boy. My mouth was also kind of watering.

BUT – I am a huge fan of breakfast casseroles. They save SO much time in the mornings, all you have to do is throw them in the microwave for a hot minute (pun intended) and they’re super good.

Again I’m going to alter this recipe (the original recipe is in her Instagram post). Because I can’t eat cheese and I don’t know what “ramps” are and maybe I should but it doesn’t sound like something I would like anyway sooooo….

  • 1 pkg chicken sausage
  • 1 bag spinach, sautéed
  • 1 case baby bella mushrooms
  • 7 Vital Farms eggs
  • Himalayan Pink Salt
  • Pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Baked at 375 for 30 minutes


Monday is going to be a Sweetgreens salad since I can’t prep Sunday night, but the rest of the week I’m planning on:

  • Grilled chicken thighs marinated in my favorite-ever Shawarma sauce from Whole Foods (see my Whole 30 essentials post for the sauce)
  • Roasted beets (I’m OBSESSED)
  • Roasted carrots (they actually go really well with beets)
  • Roasted asparagus (because I need some greens)


  • Salmon + brussels + butternut squash
  • Steak fajitas w/ lettuce wraps + organic refried black beans + margaritas (because I totally missed Cinco De Mayo and need an excuse for a marg)
  • Butternut squash noodles + Whole Foods Italian chicken sausage + Rao’s Arrabbiata (one of my favorite sauces EVER, again you can find a pic in my Whole 30 essentials guide)

So… what are you guys having for meals this week? Any recipes? Any tips? Tell me everything! Xo.


food: this week’s menu 5/1/17

There’s something about the 1st of the month that I love. It’s a clean slate, a new beginning, and a chance to start fresh. So this week you’ll start to see my newly-conceptualized TWB come to life starting with my menu. Because I feel like I talk about food all the time but it’s not a true reflection of what I’m actually EATING.

So I want to use these posts as inspiration (?) – maybe there’s a better word because I’m not Mother Theresa over here or anything truly inspirational, I’m just being like yo this is what I’m eating this week – but also a place to link new recipes I’m trying and share some of my own along the way.

What am I eating this week then, you ask?


Oh – backstory here – I’m trying to get into the workout groove (AGAIN. I know. I swear I will never stop trying y’all) and I like working out in the morning but it’s such a scramble (pun intended) trying to eat breakfast on-the-go because I am a diva and like a warm breakfast. Aka eggs. And they don’t travel well.

Anyway I stumbled upon this bowl on another blog and I’m going to try to make it this week.

click photo for source

Minus the cheese & substituting barley for quinoa. And scrambled eggs for poached. And some mushrooms. OK yeah I guess it’s totally different LOL. But it’ll look a little something like this:

  • 2 eggs scrambled
  • 1 cup cooked barley (I think that’s barley in the photo, no? I cooked mine with Chicken Bone Broth for all the added benefits of the collagen and gelatin found in bone broth versus regular chicken broth – plus it packs 9g of protein per 1 cup serving which helps keep me SO much fuller)
  • 1 cup cooked asparagus
  • 1 cup sautéed mushrooms
  • 1 cup arugula, raw


Since my breakfasts are so high-maintenance I’m keeping this one SUPER simple. A grocery store near us – Mariano’s – sells the tastiest pre-marinated chicken breasts. So I’m taking advantage of this. And then tossing some veggies in the oven because I love roasted veggies & they reheat so well.

  • Grilled chicken
  • Roasted broccoli
  • Roasted beets (first time trying this, super excited about it though!)
  • Roasted carrots


Dinners are always a super-dramatic topic for Ben & I because we have different carb needs (I’m a Lion sleeper and try to avoid carbs at dinner – I will totes do a post on this soon) so we have to compromise quite a bit on joint meals. But typically we have a rule, whoever cooks gets to pick the meals. Easy enough, right?! This week…

  • Chicken lettuce wraps made with the same seasonings as my Whole 30 Stir Fry, but served up in a lettuce cup instead of with the veggies.
  • Pork chops with spinach & sautéed onion. Pork is definitely one of our favorite meats to cook. We just cover it in some seasonings, bake it in the oven at 375 for 25-or-so minutes, and serve it up with our favorite veggies.

We typically stick to 3 dinners max, because any more than that and we always end up wasting food without fail. This week I have dinner plans one night and Ben is traveling, so we only got 2.

So tell me… what are you eating this week? Do you create a menu at the beginning of the week? Fly by the seat of your pants? Eat out for every meal? Tell me everything! Xo.



Protein-Packed, 3-Ingredient Angel Food Cake Smoothie

Hi friends!! How is everyone doing today!? I’m sitting here with the window open, a nice little breeze coming in, and a HUGE mug of (much needed) coffee. Oh, and I’m also kind of running late. So this post will probz be short & sweet.

But y’all… I have some news.


(I’m totally being sarcastic here btw…)

But I’ve been WORKING OUT!

This is a pretty big deal. I eat really well about 90% of the time, which has helped me from gaining weight from sitting in a chair at work all day, but I haven’t been consistently working out for probably a solid year. (Not proud, btw). One day though I just got the itch to move and I’ve been working out ever since.

It’s been like, a week. It’s no big deal.

I’m talking cardio. Running. Rowing. Burpees (!!!!). Weights. The whole shebang.

So since I’m basically Jillian Michaels over here now, there’s something new that’s pretty important to me and that’s PROTEIN.

But those protein powders at the grocery just have too much in them for me to be OK with drinking them on a day-to-day basis. I don’t like eating or drinking stuff that I have no clue what 99% of the ingredients actually mean.

So I took matters into my own blender and found the TASTIEST little protein smoothie, inspired by my friend Katie (@therawpineapple_) who mentioned she made something similar recently and it sounded SO GOOD.


And it’s completely natural, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, sweetener-free, banana-free, and booger-free.

I was just seeing if you were still reading.


Yes, I’ve had a lot of coffee.


Let’s get to it, shall we? Because I know you totes want to run to the store and make it right now. (Because it also makes a perfect sweet treat!!)




(This part is even easier)

  • Put all the ingredients in a blender & blend it up.


(Please note: My blender broke about 2 minutes after this was taken. A few curse words were spewed. BUT – the good news is I found out my food processor is a perfect smoothie making substitute! So if you only have a food processor – it works in there too!)

If you want to get really fancy (and make it a little chunkier) you can also freeze your cashew milk in an ice cube tray and it will have a frostier consistency. Or you can add a banana. But then it wouldn’t be 3 ingredient and my title would be a LIE!!!

Ok. So that’s it. It’s really easy. And PACKED with protein. Literally 20 grams. And collagen to make you pretty (read more about why collagen has helped my skin here). The strawberries are amazing anti-oxidants, and the coconut water in the Vanilla Peptides helps you rehydrate.

So tell me… have you been working out? Do you have a good smoothie recipe that’s packed with protein? Do you use protein powders that are more on the natural side? Tell me everything!!!! I will be back Thursday! Until then. Xo.


Whole 30 Stir-Fry

Hi friends!!! How is everyone doing today?! I had a super relaxing & fun weekend in Louisville, and I actually tried to heed my own advice and slow it down a little this weekend. It was so nice and I automatically felt like my mind was “reset.” Anytime I’m feeling a little off, going home or spending some time alone is the cure for me.

So anyway.

It’s time for me to introduce you to your new favorite recipe.

I’m serious.

It’s the easiest & tastiest one yet.

And look. I get it. I say every recipe is the easiest & tastiest I’ve ever done. But that’s because a) it’s totes true and b) this recipe LITERALLY takes it to the next level in both categories. I’m talking fool-proof. You don’t even have to use a knife. You just need 2 pans, a couple of ingredients, and about 15 minutes of time.

That. Is. It.

It’s insane.

And anyone who watched my chicken burger debacle unfold on my Instagram story (it’s still on @thewindyblonde right now – worth a peek) you’ll know how important it is to me for recipes to be fool-proof, so I don’t end up coughing up a lung due to black smoke inhalation.


But seriously it’s so good and filling and delicious you will feel like you’re cheating.

And sidenote – this is what I’m actually eating and taking to work every day this week, too. It heats up REALLY well. Y’all know I’m weird about microwaved meats and before I started on my Paleo-ish lifestyle I really didn’t even eat meat before dinner.

This changes the game.

Have I hyped it up enough yet?

You guys are probably like OK WE GET IT, IT’S GOOD, MOVE ALONG.

But I have to at least fill my post with something because the ingredients and instructions are so minimal that there’s not much else to say. Lol.

Ok FINE YOU GUYS I’ll get to it.


  • Ground chicken
  • Trader Joe’s Asian Vegetable Stir Fry blend (this part is KEY if you want this to be easy and/or not spend the entire day in the kitchen chopping veggies!!)
  • Coconut aminos (I use the Coconut Secret brand from Whole Foods)
  • Sesame oil (I know this is inconvenient but don’t buy the Trader Joe’s brand it’s not good! The Eden Selected brand from Whole Foods is worth it, I promise!)
  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper flakes (optional for a little heat!)
  • Fresh ground pepper (also optional, I just love pepper)


  1. Pick out the baby corns from the veggie blend. Lol. #WHOLE30LIFE.
  2. Heat up some sesame oil at the bottom of two skillets over medium-high heat.
  3. Plop your veggies in one skillet and your ground chicken in the other.
  4. Season your veggies AND chicken with the same blend – coconut aminos, garlic powder, red pepper flakes (if desired!), ground pepper, and another dash of sesame oil. Don’t be shy with the seasonings!! I love mine super flavorful. Just keep in mind that the coconut aminos is a substitute for soy sauce, so if you don’t like salty things, don’t add a ton of this! Just use it as you would soy sauce.
  5. Stir the veggies and cover them and let them cook. Don’t stir!!! That’s how they get all brown & carmelized & delicious.
  6. Use a wooden spoon or other utensil to break up the ground chicken and continue cooking it until it breaks up like ground beef. Add your seasonings again – coconut aminos, garlic powder, and another dash of sesame oil. (Seriously.)
  7. Check your veggies so they don’t burn, stir them up!
  8. Let the chicken mixture cook on the pan until the water cooks out and the chicken starts to brown. Again, not stirring will help it get that nice carmelized color!
  9. Pour your chicken over your veggies & stir them together. I like to let mine sit in the pan for 1-2 minutes together after they’re stirred, taste test, and add any last-minute seasonings needed.
  10. Serve it up!

I like to throw mine in a few of my favorite glass bowls ever for lunches.

And then I put them in my new Scout bag & off I go!

So tell me… is this recipe something you would try? Do you think I hyped it up way too much? Do you have a favorite Whole 30 friendly recipe to share? Tell me everything!!

SIDENOTE: I know I mentioned this in my story but I LOVE getting reader suggestions!!! Let me know if you have an idea or if you’ve heard of a health or wellness trend that you are curious about!

I’ll be back Thursday with a new coffee talk! Until then. Xo.



Sweet Potato Toast

Well hello my beautiful Valentines! How was everyone’s weekend?! I kind of had an amazing weekend and there’s a reason for this. But I’ll get into this later. Right now we have another super important topic to cover and that’s SWEET POTATO TOAST.

But first a poem.


Roses are red, violets are blue.

My toast recipe is pretty sweet and so are YOUUUUU!!!!


Ok so the backstory on this recipe is that I’ve seen it on Instagram a couple of times, and I recently also saw this on Pinterest and I just haddddd to try it.

Here’s why.

Whenever I’m trying to eat healthy or do Whole 30 or stick to a mostly Paleo diet (remember? I’m Paleo-ish most of the time) I have the HARDEST TIME with breakfast. Especially on-the-go. It just doesn’t happen. I’m sorry I just cannot do a Larabar for breakfast. Or just an apple. I can’t do it. I need real FOOD.

So that basically leaves me with eating eggs every day, which is totally fine, and most days doesn’t really affect me. But since I’ve been working out (!!) it’s really hard for me to schedule breakfasts around morning workouts. Because let’s face it- eggs don’t travel well and I refuse to be the stinky girl in the office.

SO. If you’re like me. Or you’re gluten-free. Or just don’t like bread. THERE IS HOPE FOR US.

And it’s called sweet potato toast.

The beauty of sweet potato toast is that it requires such little effort. All you need is a sweet potato, a knife, and a toaster. And the rest is up to you! You can get pretty creative with it.


  1. Slice your sweet potato in 1/4-inch thick slices.
  2. Crank your toaster to the highest setting.
  3. Toast your potato slice until brown on the outside and soft on the inside. This took me 2 full toast sessions on level 6 on my toaster, and it was firm but still easily sliceable with a knife. Be sure to test with a fork AFTER you take it out of the toaster! It will be super hot. I used plastic tongs to take the slices out.
  4. Top it with your favorite toast toppings! I used Justin’s Almond Butter (the maple flavor is my fave!!) and some Purely Elizabeth honey granola on one, and sliced avocado with a squeeze of lemon, red pepper flakes, pink Himalayan salt & pepper on the other (which is also Whole 30 approved!)

You guys I was a little skeptical but it was seriously SO good. And almost too freakin’ easy.

If you don’t have a toaster, this also works with a toaster oven and a conventional oven. And if you don’t have these available at your office, you can just toast them up for the week, throw them in the fridge, reheat in the microwave, and then add your toppings after!

I’m telling you guys, you will love it. Especially if you just can’t do eggs for one more day lol.


As promised, it’s time for an announcement.

The reason this weekend was so fun was because I actually had my first photography session!

Yup, that’s right. TWB the photog is now for hire.

Pretty exciting stuff, right?!

If you guys are at all interested in hiring me for shoots, let me know! I will do blog shoots, engagements sessions, professional headshots, baby & family pics, maternity sessions, and baby announcements! I’m also doing some special introductory pricing (aka I’m cheap lol) so reach out to me directly for those inquiries! You can e-mail me for now at or direct message me on Instagram (@thewindyblonde) and we can arrange it from there.

And if you want to see some more pics, check out this gallery from the rest of this engagement session! They were the absolute cutest.

Ok y’all. Whew. Glad I got that off my chest I was a little nervous haha!!

Now tell me… what are your thoughts on sweet potato toast? Is this something you would try? Do you have any ideas for breakfasts on-the-go? Tell me everything!! I will be back soon with some tidbits & a unique twist on our usual coffee talks. I can’t wait! Xo.