Post-vacation salad + all the things green

Hi! Hope you’re enjoying your Monday <3

Bella and Caro wanted me to tell you how much I missed them.

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(Bella did not want me to tell you that you can see marinara sauce in her beard from the lunchtime pizza she “borrowed” from Liv’s plate while I was upstairs putting her down for her nap.)

My favorite people in their St. Patrick’s Day green:


(The Pilot and his mustache are always festive. Livi’s shirt says, “Daddy’s pot of gold”)

As much fun as everything was this past week, it feels sooooo good to be back home. I missed hanging out with my little sidekick, walking around the house with disheveled hair and unmatched socks (which I could technically do at the hotel, but we were never there!), taking time to drink coffee and enjoy homemade breakfast, work out (!! that fell off the radar the past few days), and salad. 

Salad is totally a verb. It’s a sport, too.

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In the spirit of the holiday (and because my mom asked me to “make something green” to contribute to tonight’s feast), I decided to take it over the top with an “all things green” roasted veggie chopped salad.

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(This could also be dubbed “the stinky salad.” Broccoli alone has a very fragrant smell, but combined with asparagus AND brussels? Oooooh wee. There’s a 72-hour period until we can have visitors.)

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I also grabbed some of the Trader Joe’s holiday goodies to share with the fam:

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 As far as the salad goes, here’s the combo:

I roasted chopped asparagus, bussels sprouts, zucchini (3), and a bag of organic broccoli (still frozen), drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder for 30 minutes (flip and re-season halfway through). Next, I stirred in two cans of artichoke hearts (drained and sliced), the juice of half a lemon, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, and a sprinkle of cayenne.

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The whole thing was topped with grated manchego cheese. I think it will be a nice side for the corned beef and grilled cabbage the madre is making tonight πŸ™‚

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For the first time in a few weeks, I was actually inspired while I was grocery shopping today!  Lately, I’ve felt pretty blah about grocery shopping and meal planning, and feel like a vacation (with new sights and new tastes) yielded some much-needed inspiration.I always come back from trips with new ideas for flavor combinations and ingredients I’d long forgotten. 

Here’s what I’m excited to make this week:

-A berry-banana bread with a crumble topping (inspired by the baked goodies that surrounded me for the past week)

-Potato, egg and veggie frittata (inspired by our tapas meal at Boqueria)

-Sweet chili grilled chicken (inspired by the breakfast buffet at the MGM. You can have sushi and comfort food with the usual breakfast suspects.)

-Sweet potato gratin (inspired by the Mesa Grill menu, even though I didn’t actually order it)

What do you do when you’re in a meal planning rut? Are there any trips that inspired you to make or try a new dish?

Favorite green recipe?? πŸ™‚



PS. If you’re looking for a cocktail to make tonight, this one is THE BEST.

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  1. jess t on March 17, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    when i’m stuck in a meal planning rut i ask my husband to look at my pinterest food boards and pick some stuff out. in fact, he picked out the chipotle chicken and corn chowder that i made tonight for dinner.

    oh, and in my world “wine” is also a verb. : )

  2. Jackie on March 17, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    That salad looks fantastic!

  3. Megan @ The Skinny-Life on March 17, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    That salad looks so good. I love brussels sprouts and artichokes together. When I’m in a rut, I usually have recipes clipped from magazines in the pantry that I pull out. I make my own twists of them. The other thing I do is take dish from one of my favorite restuarants and re-create it. I recently did that with Pita Jungle’s Spicy Chicken Wrap. It’s seriously the best! Have you been there? They opened one at Ina and Oracle when I moved to Phoenix last year.

  4. Emily on March 17, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    That looks awesome! I wish I was eating it right now…

    When I’m sick of cooking/meal planning I just give myself a break and do a lot of take-out and convenience foods (frozen chicken strips and sweet potato fries, anyone?) It usually doesn’t last longer than a week or so, and by the time I’m all, “ugh, I am so sick of eating out all the time” I’m usually refreshed and inspired to get back into things.

    • Fitnessista on March 18, 2014 at 2:10 am

      i like that plan πŸ™‚

  5. Masala Girl on March 17, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    favorite green- KALE! or green smoothies. and eating green bell peppers or cucumbers with salsa… even though thats red. also ROASTED brussel sprouts πŸ˜€ (actually had a whole bunch of roasted green bveggies tonight too! my fav!)

    But for Gina or ANYONEEEE,

    I am going to ATLANTA, Georgia, and NEW ORLEANS next week! Does anyone have recommendations on places to eat/sites to see? any fitness activities? THANKS in advance!

    • Fitnessista on March 18, 2014 at 2:10 am

      have you been to seasons 52?? do it if you haven’t! flying biscuit in atlanta is good for bfast πŸ™‚

      • Masala Girl on March 22, 2014 at 11:09 pm

        ohmygosh i have to go to seasons52!! i remember hearing your rave reviews πŸ™‚

        • Fitnessista on March 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm

          you will LOVE IT

  6. Meg @ A Dash of Meg on March 17, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    GIRL, i cannot wait until we meet for REAL πŸ™‚

    I’m gonna give you the biggest meg hug ever and then do the same to that little precious gem of yours. Seriously. Look at her. I can’t get enough of her. And that story about Bella. HAHA! Too funny. Oh I love her too. So happy you got some inspiration while you were away! Don’t you love that!?!? I also wanted to share this sweet potato gratin recipe with you. I love all of Kristen’s recipes and she just posted this –

    • Fitnessista on March 18, 2014 at 2:09 am

      i can’t wait too! i hope it’s sooner rather than later πŸ™‚
      thank you for the recipe! i’ll definitely give it a try

  7. Katrijn on March 17, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    That salad sounds BOMB. I am f-in’ making that!!!

    Thank you for your wonderful culinary contributions to this world. I love them very much. πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on March 18, 2014 at 2:09 am

      haha thank you so much! let me know if you give it a try πŸ™‚

  8. Livi on March 17, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    A green smoothie!!

  9. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on March 18, 2014 at 12:07 am

    I’m obsessed with brussels sprouts. That salad looks amazing!

    • Fitnessista on March 18, 2014 at 2:09 am

      i used to be, but stopped making them for whatever reason. they are SO GOOD

  10. Ari@The Diva Dish on March 18, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Sweet Potato Gratin?! Oh yum!! I live in Las Vegas now and Mesa Grill is hands down one of my favorite restaurants thanks to you! I have yet to try the gratin though! I still dream about the goat cheese queso :).

    And what a cutie Liv is! I’m jealous how much hair she has! My one and 3 year old have less hair than her lol!

  11. Lucie@FitSwissChick on March 18, 2014 at 5:15 am

    That salad sounds amazing. I love all these veggies and Manchego cheese is one of my favorites!!
    Being away always inspires me to cook new things at home and it also shows me that it is great to be ‘off-plan’ for a while and that nothing changes just because I don’t eat my chicken every day.
    Other than that, reading blogs and checking out my blends recipage always inspires me and gives me new ideas for my meal prep!

  12. emma @ be mom strong on March 18, 2014 at 6:38 am

    How is it with two dogs and a toddler?? We are about to have baby #2 in August but I really think our dog would love having a friend. Just don’t know how to handle both! He’s a 30 pound mini schnauzer with LOTS of energy…

    Sorry very random question unrelated to your post but just wondering!

  13. Runner Girl Eats on March 18, 2014 at 6:45 am

    Anything with avocado is instantly my favorite meal. But sweet potato gratin?!?! drool.

  14. Cara's Healthy Cravings on March 18, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Whenever I travel I always come home wanting to recreate what I ate. This was a recent thing on my arrival home from Cuba, all I wanted to eat was rice, black beans and roasted squash!

  15. Jess on March 18, 2014 at 8:59 am

    That salad looks wonderful! Thank you for sharing : )

    Going to Italy a few years ago for a masters course on the Mediterranean diet definitely gave me a lot of inspiration. I actually feel like that trip changed the way I thought of food and cooking in general. I came home wanting to recreate so many of the beautiful things I ate there.

  16. Jessica on March 18, 2014 at 10:06 am

    YUM to that drink recipe.
    My favorite green recipe is avacado egg salad. Which I realize is gross sounding. But it’s not gross, I promise.

  17. the delicate place (@misathemeb) on March 18, 2014 at 10:19 am

    just returning two weeks ago from tokyo and the philippines has completely transformed our eating. we haven’t been inside of a trader joes/traditional chain store since! our mecca right now is a huge asian grocer with fresh cut still warm tofu from the back of the house/crazy greens/produce that we never would have utilized in our cooking in the past. i can get 3 huge box sized blocks of tofu for $1 !?!

    lots of ‘tops’ of greens (mustard, broc, beet, burdock roots), pickling our own radish varietals in our basement and getting our local butcher to give us beef bones for the most savory beef broths. slow cooker pho is so nourishing and the gelatin from it is literally making my skin and hair glow!

    my favorite green lately is mung bean pasta! i toast some sesame seeds & throw some seaweed in with a dash of mirin or tamari and it’s delicious warm or cold!

  18. Cassie on March 18, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I am definitely changing things up too. I think it’s a natural cycle that we all go through.

  19. Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on March 18, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    That veggie recipe sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing. I’ve also been in a bit of a food rut lately because we’ve been so busy and it seems easier to just go with our stand-bys than be creative. My brother just texted me a picture of a black bean burger that he made, and given I probably have the ingredients at home, will plan to try that one soon!

  20. Deanna on March 18, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    So I know this is made with squash and not sweet potatoes, but this recipe is off the hook. (Do people still say that? Doesn’t matter because it is). My family never eats the squash at Thanksgiving (more for me!) and they were fighting over it last year. Seriously, soooooo good. And I’m sure you could come up with a substitute for cream super easily.

    Seriously, Livi is the cutest thing ever. I would probably die of cute overload if you posted a video of her talking or her doing yoga with you.

  21. Alexa on March 18, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    that salad looks amazing!! i just wrote down the ingredients on my grocery list πŸ™‚ just wondering, at what temperature did you roast the vegs? thanks!

  22. Alexandra on March 18, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    just made a Tortilla (the spanish kind πŸ˜‰ last week! I lived in Barcelona for 2 years and ate SO.Much.Tortilla. It’s so simple but so easy to burn, i’ve learned after several attempts that the key is to cook on super low heat. Enjoy! (also makes nice filling crumbled inside a breakfast taco πŸ™‚

  23. Jay on March 18, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Making that salad TONIGHT!

  24. Christina on March 18, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I didnt recognize The Pilot with the mustache haha…he looks so much older!!! That salad looks so good I just bought the ingredients to try and make that tonight…Hope you had a great St. Paddy’s Day πŸ™‚

  25. Laura on March 18, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Do you have a simple and short reciple for that salad? It looks amazing and would be perfect for my post vacation detox meal plan right now. xoxo

  26. Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit on March 18, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Yum, that looks delish. After the past weekend festivities, I could use some green in my life, too! When I’m in a meal planning rut, I always take it to Pinterest, Eating Well, and other blogs. πŸ™‚

  27. Julie on March 19, 2014 at 2:27 am

    I love Irish soda bread!

  28. Yvonne on March 19, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    This is totally off subject but I just saw this and had to share!

    So stinking cute!

    • Fitnessista on March 19, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      i love this so much! thank you for sending it along πŸ™‚

      • Yvonne on March 19, 2014 at 1:53 pm

        Welcome! I cannot imagine my squirmy 14 month old being good for this but I am still going to try it!

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