salads

On The Lake

I had the pleasure of a girl’s weekend with my bestie, Rachel! Last year we rented an Airbnb on the water in Shelton (very remote, very peaceful). This year we rented a place on Lake Steilacoom in Lakewood, Washington. It’s between Olympia and Tacoma. I’ve honestly never been–I’ve just seen signs off the freeway. 😉

The place we rented was the basement apartment of a house right on the lake.

I arrived a little before Rachel on Friday afternoon and after unpacking, I sat outside in the sun and read my book next to the lake. It was peaceful and quiet and beautiful.

When Rachel arrived we got some food at the nearby Trader Joe’s and then cooked dinner while catching up. We made goat cheese ravioli topped with Autumn Pumpkin Alfredo sauce–sounds a bit weird but it was tasty! Not too overpowering in either direction.

We drank wine, we talked late into the night, we ate the homemade popcorn the owners gave us and then went in the hot tub. It was a really nice, relaxing evening!

Saturday we both slept in (amazing!) had breakfast and lots of coffee:

And then I went for a run. The place we rented was right on the water and the neighborhood was very nice, but the streets were narrow and windy and not safe to run on. I asked the owner if there was any where I could go and she recommended Fort Steilacoom Park.

Apparently it’s a nice place for all kinds of activities and when I showed up there were tons of people doing stuff. There was some kind of event going on, then there was a soccer tournament and there was a huge dog park area, which looked cool.

There were a bunch of trails. I ran on the gravel/dirt trails a bit until I found the paved path:

It was a beautiful fall day, slightly crisp but not too cold. The sun was out, the leaves were turning. The paved path went around the lake and it was flat and clean and very nice. There were lots of other walkers, runners and bikers. It kind of reminded me of Greenlake in Seattle.

 

It was a nice run. I felt pretty good. I wasn’t in a rush, either, just enjoyed the scenery. Rachel was going to the store to get a few things and she said no rush, so I looked around a bit and found a cool old ruin:

I did a little more running and then headed back to the car. I did just under 3 miles and felt great!

I stretched and then drove back to the house (about a mile or so away), showered and then we kicked back with Pandora tunes and played board games a bit. Then Trader Joe’s honey goat cheese on crackers and some soup for lunch. We played a few rounds of Ticket to Ride.

Then chick flicks on Netflix! We decided to order takeout for dinner and picked up Italian food at Casa Mia. It was pretty close to where we were staying, so that was nice. Rachel got the mushroom risotto and I got spaghetti noodles with pesto and Caesar Salad. The portions were pretty big so we had lots of leftovers. It was a weekend full of carbs!

Then more hot tub time:

And bed. Sunday I hit the gym and then drove home to Portland. It was a fantastic weekend! I really needed the girl time and time to catch up with Rachel (and time to relax and do NOTHING) but I was feeling a little homesick. I missed my boys! I got home just in time for Logan to wake up from his nap!

It felt good to be home. 🙂

Sun Basket Week 1

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that we tried the “Imperfect Produce” weekly box subscription. We tried it for a little over a month and I ended up cancelling it. I didn’t like that I felt so much pressure to use up the produce quickly because it was often on the verge of going bad.

A few years ago, Michael and I tried Blue Apron a few times and we really liked it. We liked the recipes we tried but in the end, the cost was a factor for me so we didn’t continue it. Since then, I’ve been seeing the “meal services” options get a lot better. Now there are ones that are diet-specific, which is cool. I decided to give Sun Basket a try because I liked that we had the option of doing gluten-free or Paleo diets.

I signed up with a discount code for the first week. I downloaded the app, which is nice and very easy to use. A bonus with the app: you can choose your three meals for a month out. I already have the next month of weekly deliveries all planned out.

When I tried to decide which meals to pick, I chose this way:

  1. An ingredient that is something we haven’t tried or something that isn’t “Common” on my grocery list.
  2. A recipe that is simple but is a little more interesting than a dish we could come up with ourselves (for example, I saw a few “bean and rice bowl” meal options and I skipped those because that’s not very creative and that’s something we can do on our own.)
  3. Gluten-free/Paleo/Low Carb option.

Week One

The first meal we made from the box was a Moroccan dish: Moroccan lamb merguez patties with warm carrot salad

630 calories,  Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free

I’m not sure how long it actually took to make because I did a bunch of prep and then a little while later Michael made the lamb patties and started cooking. But it felt like a fairly easy recipe to make.

The verdict: delicious! We were both really happy with it. The arugula salad with raisins, chopped almonds and tahini dressing felt light and healthy. I loved the roasted carrots, so did Michael and he’s not a fan of roasted veggies. The lamb patties were good, too.

It was a great dinner for a first time out.

Next up:

The second meal was salmon with broccoli:  Roasted salmon and broccoli with almond-date tapenade

470 calories, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Lean & Clean, Mediterranean, Diabetes-Friendly

This was a good dinner for a busy weeknight meal. It was pretty quick and easy to make. It wasn’t all that different than our typical dinner (we do salmon and broccoli all the time) but it was nice trying it with toppings!

The date-almond-dill-mint tapanade was really good! It was not something I would have thought to put with salmon but it had a nice flavor and a different texture that went well with the dinner.

The harissa sauce was interesting. It wasn’t spicy–it was kinda smoky? Overall it was a good meal but not super impressive, basically because we do salmon and broccoli once a week. 😉

The glass of rose went nicely with dinner, though!

Lastly: Superfast Southeast Asian chicken salad with sesame-lime dressing

490 calories, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Lean & Clean, Diabetes-Friendly

This was another easy and quick recipe. I prepped the salad and everything and then Michael cooked the chicken while I put Logan to bed and read him stories. The meal was good and low in calories. My opinion was that it wasn’t anything special. It’s not that far off from meals we make on our own (we do a lot of salads like this) but I did like the unique flavors (the toasted sesame oil dressing with apricots and cashews).

Michael liked the meal but thought it would be better with seared ahi tuna. We could easily make it on our own and try that.

The first week of meals was overall pretty good. The lamb dish was my favorite. We are going to keep trying Sun Basket to see how it goes but I am also on the fence about doing it long term because it IS rather spendy. Stayed tuned!

What’s cool is that in the box they send a recipe book of all that week’s meal options so you can make some of the other recipes on your own if you want. I marked a few of them to try.

I have a discount code, if you want to use it!