A Sandwich for My Solo Dinner

Hola Everyone. Hope you had an awesome day. I was off to a slow start this morning, but then I made a steaming cup of Tazo Awake tea, and I was good to go…at least for a little while.

I ended up having a pretty good day. I had a very long meeting on a project I’m heading and it went fantastic. Now I have even more work to do, but I’m so psyched about it.

For lunch, I had a very healthy salad with a bunch of goodies added in…

8.4 spinach salad


Chopped Chicken and Baby Spinach Salad

  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 oz chopped rotisserie chicken
  • 1 1/2 oz mixed cheese (I used cheddar and feta)


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

The salad was fantastic and very refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. Although the salad was pretty filling at the time, I did end up having 2 Dr. Kracker flatbreads later in the afternoon.

I was really hoping to take a walk after lunch but my husband’s car battery died and I had to be on stand by to help him. Luckily, a few nice people stopped to give him a jump. We now have a shiny new battery, but the radio doesn’t work. It needs to be “reset” – it’s a built-in security thing. I ended up taking a walk after dinner instead.

Dinner was on my own tonight (hubby working late) so I didn’t feel like making anything elaborate:

8.4 sandwich

I made a 1/2 peppered turkey and low-fat salami sandwich with cheddar cheese on multi-grain bread from the bakery. Caution, this sandwich looks much bigger in the picture than it really was! I also had a few sour cream and onion chips and a few slices of a granny smith apple on the side.

8.4 dinner

Some people need a huge dinner or at least a hot dinner to be satisfied. I literally grew up on sandwiches – they were a necessity in my house with 5 kids all active in team sports. So now, I actually find sandwiches comforting. You can also create so many different and healthy masterpieces with a sandwich. I love experimenting with them, seeing how I can make a better, tastier, and more healthy sandwich. 

And, another great thing about eating a light sandwich dinner – aside from no clean up – is that you have room for dessert!

8.4 chocolate pb

Just like the sandwich, the ice cream looks bigger in the photo because I served it in a very small “dipping bowl” dish. It was actually equivalent to about 1/2 cup.

I have an early morning tomorrow. I’m waking up at 5:45 Am tomorrow to run because I didn’t run today. Night everyone!

Morning Glory Run

It was an awesome morning for a run! It was 60 degrees, sunny, and no humidity. Perfect. So, it really goes without saying, I was so in my glory running this morning. On my way around the lake, I even threw in a few speed intervals on my 5-mile run because I had so much energy.

By the time I came home from my run, I was quite the hungry girl. For breakfast, I made a beautiful blueberry breakfast parfait…


Here’s what you’ll need to make the parfait:

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Parfait

  • 1 4-6 oz container Greek yogurt (I used Trader Joe’s nonfat blueberry)
  • 3 tbsp. chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Put a couple of heaping spoonfuls of yogurt in the bottom of a parfait glass (a glass mug or martini glass will also work), then add 1 tablespoon of nuts and about 1/3 of the blueberries. Continue to layer the ingredients in this order until all the ingredients have been used.

Serves one and is about 200 yummy calories. Enjoy!


I just love adding walnuts or pecans to yogurt, because in between all of the creaminess, you get a surprise crunch! And the colors are so pretty, don’t you think?

After breakfast, I spent most of the morning inside making the house acceptable again. Then, my husband and I headed out to do a few errands. We also made time for a little lunch at a local Italian cafe…

Chopped Salad2

I had a huge Italian chopped cobb salad which was brand new on the menu. And I do mean a HUGE salad- it could easily have been split by two people. It included smoked chicken, salami, chickpeas, tomatoes, salad greens, provolone, and tons of fresh basil. It sounds sooo good, right? Well, I thought so too. But after a few bites, the balsamic vinaigrette  dressing was a little too much for me and the basil was really overpowering the taste of all of the other ingredients.

Chopped Salad1

I ended up only eating about 1/3 of the salad. I really wanted to like this salad, but I don’t think I’d order it again.

Now, we’re packing up the car with our picnic supplies. We’re headed to another outdoor concert – this time to hear a variety of waltzes, including the Blue Danube, which is one of my favorites (ok, I’m really not that old, I’ve just heard it so many times that it’s grown on me.) 

Dinner is going to be great though – fresh chicken, hummus, and a raspberry white chocolate roll cake. Can’t wait.

I’ll post pictures later.

Split-Pea Perfection

My Barnes and Noble trip was less than productive. I had planned on reviewing a bunch of videos for a project I’m working on, but realized that I forgot my headphones. Obviously, it would have been very rude of me to listen to the videos out loud at B&N cafe. So, I worked on a few other small things then headed for home. 

On the way home, I stopped at Fresh Market to pick up a loaf of freshly-baked whole-grain bread and some garlic French rounds – both for the awesome split-pea soup my husband and I made for dinner.

Pea soup1

I thought the split-pea soup was fantastic. The ham hock I used gave it a ton of flavor and the sweet potato gave the soup some added color, and an extra boost of vitamins A and C. Even peas themselves offer great nutritional value, because they are packed with protein.

Pea soup2

I’ve loved split-pea soup since I was a kid but only started making it homemade as an adult. To make the soup, here’s what you’ll need…

RWC Split-Pea and Ham Soup 

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 14 oz dried green split-peas
  • 64 oz chicken broth/stock
  • 1 sweet potato, skin removed and cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium ham hock (about the size of a full chicken breast
  • 4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjorum
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • a sprinkle of rosemary

Heat oil in a large sauce pan. Add onion, celery, and carrots and saute on medium until just softened. Add the split peas, chicken broth, sweet potato, ham hock, and the spices to the sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 60 minutes. Remove ham hock, and slice meat off the bone, cut into small pieces, and set aside. Discard ham hock. Puree up to half of the soup mixture in a blender, then return blended soup to the sauce pan. Add ham pieces, and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with croutons or French bread rounds.

Serves 8 people.

This recipe makes way more soup than needed for just 2 people. But we usually freeze one or two quarts to make as a quick mid-week dinner.

We were especially full from dinner because, in addition to soup, we had baked feta cheese with fresh multi-grain bread.

baked feta2

I’ve had baked feta a couple times before and LOVED it both times. Tonight was the first time I made it at home. Here’s what I did:

Spicy Baked Feta

  • 4-8 oz block of feta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like it hot!)
  • fresh ground pepper

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the feta into large chunks (or leave as one big chunk if you like) and place in a shallow oven-safe bowl.. Mix oil, garlic, red pepper, and ground pepper in a separate bowl and pour over feta. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is slightly brown. Spread warm cheese on fresh bread or French rounds.

Baked feta is so much better when it’s served warm, mainly because you can easily spread it on your bread. Although my baked feta tasted good, I let it cook for nearly 25 minutes because I was preoccupied. This was way too long and the cheese was a little rubbery and hard to spread on the bread.

I have sooo much to get done tomorrow, it’s not even funny. So, I’m outta here. Hope you enjoy the recipes. Chat with you later.

Energizing Apple-Nut Oatmeal

Hello everyone! My day started with a 60-minute session of yoga at my local studio. It was fantastic! I’m so glad that our regular yogini is back. She really makes us work but also takes her time with us. 

After class, I made a little breakfast…some apple-nut oatmeal!


Here’s what it included:

Energizing Apple-Nut Oatmeal

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats (not the quick cook kind)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 shredded red delicious apple
  • 2 tbsp walnuts
  • 1 heaping tbsp all-natural creamy peanut butter

Cook the oats as directed on the package or combine the oats and milk and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Add shredded apple and walnuts and top with peanut butter. Stir until peanut butter is melted and blended into the oatmeal. Enjoy!


My Energizing Apple-Nut Oatmeal was fantastic and so filling for just 1/4 cup oats! It really is amazing all of the things you can add to plain oatmeal and have the flavor change dramatically. It’s also great for a post-run or post-yoga workout because it gives me a ton of energy with the nuts and peanut butter added it. I may try it as a pre-run snack to see if it makes me run faster or longer – ha!

With my oatmeal, I also sipped on some Tazo Refresh herbal tea…


It’s really just a fancy blend of peppermint tea, but it is good nonetheless.

After breakfast, hubby and I ran out to do some errands – one of which was going to Costco. What a zoo it was there! You would have thought they were giving something away – aside from the samples. Thankfully, we were able to get in and out in record time. It seems that everyone wanted to browse and not actually stand in line.

We headed home to make some lunch. Sandwiches are usually a weekend lunch staple in the RWC household, but today we made burgers. I had a t-burger and hubby had a regular beef burger.


I only had about 2/3 of a turkey burger, topped with lettuce and white cheddar cheese, on a 100-calorie Thomas’ multi-grain English muffin. I also threw in a few grape tomatoes as a side.


Now, after a filling lunch, I’m off to Barnes and Noble again to finish a few work-related projects.

Can’t wait for tonight – we’re making homemade split-pea soup!

Catch ya later all!

Organic Food Provides No Health Benefits

Before I get into a recap of my afternoon/evening (and an awesome freebie I had), I wanted to share with you the latest scoop on organic food.

Organic Food Is Not As Healthy As It Seems!

If you are one of the nearly 75 percent of Americans who pays extra for organic food thinking it is healthier, you may want to save your money. New evidence suggests that organic foods hold no added health or nutritional benefit compared with nonorganic foods.

Organic Marinara

In a study published this week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from the London School of Medicine found no differences in most nutrients in organically or conventionally grown crops, including vitamin C, calcium, and iron. The same was found for meat, dairy, and eggs.

Some consumers also believe that organic foods provide a significant benefit over ordinary foods because they are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and artificial fertilizers, among other things. However, some experts believe there is insufficient research on the long-term effects of pesticides on humans.

RWC Note…. Although I strive to eat all-natural foods, I don’t necessarily choose organic over nonorganic because it’s better. When I do go organic, it’s because: 1) organic food may be the cheaper option (but this is rare) or, 2) among some all-natural food brands, organic may be your only option (so was the case in my Newman’s marinara seen above.)

So, the next time you’re deciding between organic and non, you may want to base your purchase on cost value rather than health-related value.

Back to may day….

I ran more errands this afternoon but did manage to get out to a local park to stretch my legs a little more. I also made an awesome sausage-pasta dish for dinner:


I call this dish my Italian Sausage-Pasta with Leeks. It is absolutely yummy and has become a standard in the RWC household. Here’s what you need to make it:

RWC Italian Sausage-Pasta With Leeks Recipe

  • 3 links Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 small carton of button mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 large leeks (white parts only, sliced length wise, then crosswise into 1-inch half-circle pieces – rinsed)
  • 2 bell peppers (any color you like, cut in long thin strips)
  • 8 oz of short pasta, cooked and drained (rotini, shells, or campenelle)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock/broth

Add the oil to a large saute pan. Add chopped Italian sausage and mushrooms to the pan and saute until sausage is thoroughly browned and mushrooms are cooked through, stirring constantly so meat does not burn. Add leeks and bell peppers and saute until veggies are tender (but not mushy) about 8 minutes. Add butter, shallot, and broth, and cook on medium-high for 5-8 minutes or until some of the juice has evaporated a little. Add cooked pasta (that has been drained) to the sausage mixture and mix thoroughly. Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

Serves 4 people.

If you like Italian sausage, I can almost guarantee you will make this dish more than once! I have used turkey Italian sausage before and it tastes just as good (although my husband would argue this point). I also like to change up the color of my peppers to give the dish a little variety. You can really add more than 2 peppers if you like, because they give the dish so much flavor!


My husband and I were pretty full, so we decided to head up to the local outdoor mall to walk off some of our dinner. We also decided to get a little treat for ourselves – ice cream!

Cold Stone

We went to Cold Stone Creamery – which we love but don’t go there very often because it’s so expensive. I had a kid’s size French Vanilla with chocolate cake – fantastic! And, to make things even better, our ice creams were free because they made a mistake on our bill (overcharged us by more than $4.00 – how does that happen?) The manager said it’s store policy to comp the order if they make a mistake on your bill. I was very impressed by this great customer service and especially appreciate that I didn’t have to shell out $10 for ice cream.

Now, I’m off to bed. Yoga starts at 8 AM tomorrow!