I had a plan today.
After my workout with Kenny this morning I had planned on going straight to my brother’s to shower, change and then hang around near his place to run errands (my car is in major need of being washed and serviced and I also needed to grab some groceries at Trader Joe’s then head over for a meeting with my mortgage lender). Since I currently live in the middle of nowhere, driving back to my parent’s house adds about an extra hour to my commute so when I head out for any reason I usually prefer to just stay out and take care of business.
I was halfway to my brother’s place when I realized I had forgotten my key. Plans foiled. I knew I definitely needed to shower before I went to see my mortgage guy (I mentioned he’s cute right? ;)) To make matters worse, my brother called and asked if I could pick him up from work because his car battery had died. Double foiled.
Let’s just say my plans were rearranged. It didn’t wind up being such a bad thing though. In the end, I was able to help my brother out and got to do a few things that weren’t originally on my to-do list.
Three things I didn’t plan on today:
Getting to hang out with these guys.
Tuesday is my day off and it’s usually the day I plan hair appointments or do my grocery shopping, etc. Since I’ve been staying with my parents it hasn’t been as easy to just pop home in between appointments. As a result, I don’t get to spend as much time with the dogs on my day off as I’d like to and it makes me feel a little guilty so it was nice to come home in the middle of the day and hang out with them, even if it was only for a little bit. Having more time at home is definitely one of the things I’m most excited for about moving.
Sitting down for lunch.
Since I’m usually running around on Tuesdays I rarely get to sit down and have an actual meal for lunch (instead I pack random snacks for eating on the go). it was nice to be able to have a *real* lunch for once, especially after an intense workout.
(I made a salad of mixed greens with shrimp, black beans, goat cheese and leftover pumpkin quinoa from the other night and 1/2 honeycrisp apple sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice)
Stocking up on lara bars
When I took my brother to get his new car battery the auto parts shop was right across the street from a Fry’s. Since I hadn’t had a chance to hit up Trader Joe’s I decided to head over for a few essentials and discovered lara bars on sale for $1 each!
BBMak’s ‘Back Here’ playing when I walked in the store.
Side note: I love grocery shopping, quite possibly as much for the grocery store music as for the act itself. So for me, between the lara bar deal and music selection it was pretty much like hitting the grocery store jackpot. 🙂
So anyway, it was a random day but a good one. Here are the recipes I promised from Sunday:
Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Quinoa
– Cook 1 c quinoa according to package directions
– When quinoa is close to being finished (about 5 minutes from when you would take it off the stove) add the following:
– 1/2 c cooked butternut squash (I buy mine packaged and pre-cut from Trader Joe’s and bake in the oven for 35-40 min), 1/2 c canned pumpkin puree, 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice blend, 1 tsp sage, 1 Tbsp maple syrup and salt and pepper to taste
– Mix all ingredients together, remove from heat and garnish with chopped pecans
Roasted Fall Vegetable Salad with Fennel Vinaigrette
(For this salad I used eggplant, zucchini squash, red bell pepper and fennel but any combination of fall vegetables would probably be lovely)
– Place cut vegetables (it doesn’t really matter how you cut them as long as the pieces are roughly the same size) in a casserole dish and drizzle liberally with olive oil, pepper and sea salt, bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes
– Arrange vegetables on a bed of mixed greens and dress with vinaigrette
For the vinaigrette: Whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1 Tbsp apple juice. Add 1 tsp finely chopped fennel (use the dark green leafy ends) and salt and pepper to taste
– Prepare 4 chicken breasts for stuffing (there area a few different methods for doing this but I found this video helpful)
– Chop 1/2 of a large apple (I used honeycrisp – ***these are my favorite apples and I love them for this recipe because they have a crunchy texture similar to a Granny Smith which holds up well for baking but they aren’t as tart) and sautee on medium heat for 5 minutes
– Add 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 c chopped fresh spinach to apples, sautee two minutes more
– In a bowl, combine spinach and apple mixture with 8 ounces of goat cheese and 1 Tbsp finely chopped walnuts. To season this I used just a pinch each of pepper and sage (I skipped salt because the goat cheese already has a salty taste)
– Stuff each chicken breast with 1/4 of the cheese mixture and secure (see video for methods, I used toothpicks)
– Drizzle olive oil over chicken, season lightly with salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (cooking time may vary depending on thickness)
I somehow spaced on taking a picture of the finished chicken but here they are pre-bake.
(A little scary looking – remove toothpicks before eating, but you already knew that ;))
I hope you enjoy the recipes. Let me know if any of you try them or any variations that you come up with.
Have a great rest of your night and I’ll see you tomorrow. Alan is having her teeth cleaned so wish her luck. 🙂
Any favorite fall recipes to share? Definitely send them my way – I’m always on the lookout for new ones. 🙂