Healthy Lunch Prep: 3 High Protein Salads

The past couple of weeks have been really tough on my sanity. Long work days  = less time to plan healthy meals and go to the gym. However, I realized if there is a day to prep for my entire week it's Sunday. So that's what I did. I prepared 3 healthy protein-packed salads that I can quickly pack for lunch in the morning, or even eat for my dinner if I get home late.

There is a bit of prep involved with these, but if you do it all at once in this order, you will only use 1 cutting board, 1 pot, and 1 bowl!

The salads are:
Crunchy & Light Egg Salad
Sweet & Savory Chicken Salad
Puttanesca Tuna Salad

Here are the ingredients for each salad:

Crunchy & Light Egg Salad
- 1 carton eggs (week old eggs are easier to peel)
-2 green bell peppers, chopped (change up color of pepper for a prettier salad)
-2 tablespoons dijon mustard
-2 tablespoons light mayo
-salt and pepper to taste

Sweet & Savory Chicken Salad
-4 chicken breasts (boned and skinless), *poached and shredded
-2 celery stalks, diced
-1 fennel bulb, diced
-1 granny smith (green) apple, diced
-1/4 cup toasted walnuts OR pecans, chopped
-2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup light  mayo - depends on your taste
-salt and pepper to taste

*For the poaching (this is optional, you can just use water and salt but this really adds flavor to the chicken.)
-1 carton chicken stock, or water (enough to cover chicken 1/2 inch. you can do 1/2 and 1/2 too)
-1 lemon, halved
-1 onion, peeled and halved
-2 garlic cloves, smashed
-1 tablespoon pepper corns
-2 sprigs rosemary
-5 sage leaves
-2 sprigs taragon
-2 teaspoons salt

Puttanesca Tuna Salad
-5 cans sustainable tuna (Wild Planet is a great brand)
-3 celery stalks, diced
-1 pint cherry tomatos, sliced
-1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
-2 tablespoons caper
-2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
-1/4 cup light mayo
-salt and pepper to taste

Here is the order and instruction on how to prepare each salad. Have tupperware or plastic ziploc handy to put salads away as you finish.

Before we get into the Crunchy & Light Egg Salad, let's toast the walnuts/pecans for the chicken salad in the pot first. Put a large pot (which you are going to use for the eggs and chicken later) on med-hi heat. Roughly chop nuts and add nuts to pot. No oil necessary. As you start to smell the nuts cooking stir them around. They should be nice and toasted after 3-4 minutes on the hot heat. Transfer to small bowl and set aside.

Now we can begin the egg salad!
Rinse pot with cold water so it's not too hot when you place eggs in.

Crunchy & Light Egg Salad

1) Place 12 eggs into a large pot. Cover with water, about 1 inch from top of the eggs.
2) Bring water to a boil.
3) Turn off heat and let eggs just sit in the hot water (pot covered) for 15 minutes.
4) Dump hot water, and run cold water into the pot to cool the eggs off. You can let them sit there for a bit to chill.
5) Take all eggs out of water and peel them.
6) As you add peeled eggs into a mixing bowl, decide how many yolks you want. I only added 4 but you can add more or less depending on your diet. Yolks are very nutritious, so you should keep some!
7) When your eggs are peeled and in the bowl, begin mashing with a fork.
8) Add chopped pepper to bowl
10) Add the dijon and mayo, salt and pepper
11) Continue to mash and stir the salad with a fork until everything is mixed in and the consistency you like
12) Taste test! Add more salt, pepper, or dijon or mayo if you need to
13) Put salad away, rinse out bowl, put pot back on stove for the next salad!

Sweet & Savory Chicken Salad

Poaching process... to save time, you can also use left over chicken (grilled or roasted) in this recipe.

1) Add the following, in this order, to your large pot:
Onion, lemon, garlic, herbs, peppercorns, salt.
2) Cover all ingredients in pot with stock or water... over 1/2 inch to 1 inch above ingredients
3) Bring to a boil
4) Add the chicken and let simmer for 3 minutes
5) Take pot off heat, cover pot, and let chicken sit in hot water for 15-18 minutes... flip halfway through
6) Take chicken out and place on cutting board.
7) Shred chicken with fork

Salad process...

8) Place shredded chicken in clean mixing bowl
9) Add chopped ingredients: fennel, apple, celery, nuts
10) Add mayo and salt and pepper
11) Mix all ingredients together
12) Taste test! Add more salt, pepper, or mayo if you need to
13) Put salad away, rinse out bowl... you don't need pot anymore!

Puttanesca Tuna Salad

1) Drain any water from each tuna can before you place tuna in bowl.
2) Break up chucks of tuna with a fork (good tuna is VERY chunky)
3) Add in your chopped ingredients: cherry tomato, olives, celery, parsley and capers
4) Add in mayo and salt and pepper
5) Stir up salad
6) Taste test! Add more salt, pepper, or mayo if you need to
7) Put salad away

When it comes to bringing these salads for lunch, take about 3 large spoonfuls to 1 cup of salad in a leak free container. Pair these salads with some healthy sides like carrots, whole-wheat crackers, or whole wheat toast if you have a toaster at work. If carbs are not a problem, you can also add the chicken and tuna salads to pasta for a cold pasta salad... I would even say you could add the tuna salad to warm pasta at night for dinner.

Hope you enjoy these healthy lunch recipes that can be made ahead so that you eat healthy all week with no fuss!


Become an Italian Foodie by Learning about Some Delicious Dishes

Blogger appreciation time! 

My good blogosphere friend Sierra has an amazing blog called Ocean Dreams. You'll always find great articles here about beauty, fashion, tips, and of course, pictures of the Pacific! Please take the opportunity to visit her blog. She also took the time to write about one of my favorite places on earth: Italia!

I’m excited to be guest posting on Kristen’s blog yet again and I’d like to introduce myself if this is the first time we’re meeting. I’m Sierra from Ocean Dreams blog and I’m happy to be guest blogging today. Whenever I’m over at Kristen’s blog I’m always thinking of food, because she has the most amazing recipes and yummy food that I see when she travels! Well that’s what is prompting me to write about food today because even though I’m on a diet (okay let’s be real here), that doesn’t mean I can’t discuss tasty food, right? Right.

As we all know Italy has amazing food. If I ever visit there you better believe I will enjoy their food, even though I can’t eat cheese or dairy products. I know, that’s a story for another time but let’s just say I survive. For the sake of mentioning mouth watering food, here are some well known dishes in Italy that I think we all must try, whether we plan on going to Italy in the future or not.

Pasta Dishes:

I can just picture myself enjoying the Tuscany villa rentals while eating a gourmet meal near the patio overlooking a grape field and green rolling hills. Of course I will be eating pasta! A few of the main pasta dishes in Italy that you may or may not have heard of are Agnolotti and Bigoli. Agnolotti is half-circular shaped pasta that’s stuffed with ground beef. Of course it includes yummy spices such as garlic, spinach, tomato sauce, nutmeg, and more. Bigoli is similar to whole wheat pasta, except it is thicker and it came from the Veneto region. It is excellent with smoked sausage and anchovy sauce (or so I’ve heard since I don’t care for anchovies).


Mmm who doesn’t love gelato? It’s so tasty I can’t even begin to describe it! You may or may not know this, but gelato in Italian actually means “frozen” and this delicious ice-cream of sorts is very very tasty in Italy. Plus it has fewer calories than “real” ice-cream that we eat in the U.S., making it a low fat dessert that’s rich in taste. A few yummy flavors include Limone, Cioccolato, and Panna. Translation: Panna is vanilla, Limone is lemon flavored gilato, and Cioccolato of course is chocolate but can also be served as dark chocolate. Yes, please!

Let’s Not Forget About Pizza!

And of course, let’s not forget about pizza! Even though I can’t have pizza doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have plenty of it! There are a few things you should know about pizza in Italy, besides the fact that it is delicious. There are two main types of pizza: tomato-based pizzas are known as “red pizzas,” and tomato-free pizzas are called “white pizzas” or “pizza Bianca”. The toppings of course vary and make a delicious meal you can’t pass up. There are also several types of crusts that make pizza unique and yummy too.

I can’t wait to travel to Italy one day not only to stay at the romantic villas there, but also to eat some delicious food. Of course I’m not going to let my food allergy get in the way, even though I’m going to have to say goodbye to cheese. However I’m excited to greet Italy (and its food) with open arms when that day comes!

Thanks for the guest post Kristen! 

Disclaimer: Please note that I will only accept guest posts from Bloggers who want to talk about their blog and experiences, or local vendors looking to advertise their work and products. I will not accept content articles!

The New Fulton Fish Market – Bronx, NY

I am all about supporting local business in my city. There are so many wonderful places to visit and contribute to in New York. That's why this expo on the Fulton Fish Market from one of the local vendors is a must read! Get the inside scoop here:

Local New Yorkers may not always want to travel to experience something unique and entertaining although it is nice to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. With rich history and culture less than a half-hour by car or mass transit, I welcome you to experience a day at the New Fulton Fish Market, located in the Hunt’s Point Section of the Bronx.

My name is Andrea; I work at a family run business called ShopFresh Seafood. We are a seafood distributor for restaurants in New York City but have made it possible for individuals to get fresh seafood online, cutting out the middle man and giving them the ability to enjoy seafood fresh from the market. If you are from New York, you’re in luck! You can visit us at any time.

A Brief History of the Fulton Fish Market

The Fulton Fish Market is the oldest fish market in America and the second largest in the world to Tokyo’s Tsukiji wholesale seafood market. The new facility, renamed the New Fulton Fish Market is located in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, New York. Despite the size, selection and accessibility to the most diverse selection of seafood, many New Yorkers are unaware that the facility even exists!

A Typical Day at the Market:

Our “normal” hours of operation are from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. although the market opens at midnight. Before most New Yorkers are even out of bed, you can find us wide awake in the fast-paced environment of a fully-functioning fish market preparing for the day and managing orders.

I love what I do and have been working in the industry my entire life. From hand-filleting fish and packaging orders for shipment to seeing the look on customer’s faces when they taste the fish we cleaned, it may not sound pleasant but to me and my family there is no better feeling.

Take a Trip to the Market—At Any Time of Day…or Night!

We welcome foodies and fellow New Yorkers alike to experience something they never have before—it can make for a fun family trip, or date!

One of the most common questions we receive is from people asking if they can visit the facility. The answer is, yes! The New Fulton Fish Market is known but not too well known. It’s like a hidden gem in the rough. The facility is a public building and can be visited at any time which is a unique trait for local New Yorkers who have a hectic schedule to begin with. 
If you ask me, the best time to visit the facility is between midnight and 6 a.m. where you will be able to catch a glimpse of the “fully-functioning” market in action. 
Come visit us and learn about a little piece of New York’s history. While you’re here, take a bite of the freshest seafood selection in the country and don’t be scared to spend the day!


Friday Videos: The Client List, Dove Campaign, and True Love

Finally! I seriously cannot wait for the weekend to begin. Work this week was intense. For those of you that do not know, I work as a Writer/Producer at Lifetime. This means I write and facilitate the creative execution of the commercials you see on TV for the shows on Lifetime. What does that really mean? I write what the voice over is saying, I pick what scenes go where, etc.  So, selfless promotion, for over 2 months (and a few late nights) I've been working on the launch campaign for The Client List. I worked with someone who actually edited the video together (Ultrabland/Jessica- amazing talent) and also worked with graphic designers, creative directors and other folks to get it to a good place.

And now that that's done, I have to share these two other videos that I came across today. One is a genius campaign for Dove. I will say no more you have to watch this. Marketing at it's finest in my humble opinion.

And then there is this lovely story of two artists who have not seen each other in well over 30 years. As the story goes...

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s. When they felt the relationship was ending, they walked the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again.

At her 2010 MoMa show Marina shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened.

So moral of the story for the weekend is... love your partner (your cat counts too), love your body, and (for my sake) love Jennifer Love Hewitt Sunday night at 10. Ta Ta!


I {heart} February Favorites

Another month gone by, and I have some new favorites that heart } in the beauty department!

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

I've tried many times to get on the BB Cream band wagon but I can never stick to a product. Eventually my skin gets too oily from them. But then, I read a lot about Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. It's not tinted, but acts as an amazing brightening base before applying make-up. It helps you look rested, relaxed, and fresh. Along with some of the other beauty products I've been using, I honestly do not even wear foundation anymore. Just powder and whatever blushes!

M-A-C Sheer Pressed Powder (Shade NC25)

This powder goes on so light and smooth and it looks natural! I've tried the M-A-C Studio Fix Powder but it's way too heavy for me. Looks very cakey on my skin and melts off in blotches (I am sweaty Italian). That's why I love this powder, and if you want a lot of cover you can just build it up. After using the below skincare, I usually put the Clarins Balm on, let it rest a touch... then I use this powder.

I am going to be the big 3-0 in July this year, and I'm getting more and more obsessed with aging. While I don't really have too many fine lines, they are not really the things that I'm worried about... it's the dark spots. I got very tan when I was younger, and lately I've been an umbrella chick. But I do still have freckles on a once non-freckled face. I've been using this dark spot corrector for only a few days and I already see a more toned, less spotty complexion. It's kind of a miracle.

To help prevent wrinkles, laugh lines, crows feet, whatever you'd like to call it. I've started to use this eye cream. I really like this cream because it is super think, but it's not greasy at all.

I need to find a good moisturizer with SPF and a nice cleanser too... any ideas?

I've only used this twice, but I had to talk about it. I saw this video and thought I had to give it a shot. Apparently just applying raw honey to your face like a mask makes your skin glow and look awesome...   After both times, I can feel a difference in the smoothness in my skin. I tend to get red and blotchy and this stuff calmed me down completely. You should watch the video and read this blog post for more information. I can't take credit for this little secret. I'm exciting to see what using this more will do for my skin.

Other things i  heart }

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