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Protein Style

12 Aug

I love cheeseburgers. I love Southern California. Therefore, I love In-n-Out. I also love mystery (as you can tell from my excitement with the secret bakery) so it’s only fitting that I love In-n-Out’s secret menu (locals only, yo!)

I’ve tried a few things on their secret menu – animal style fries and burgers – but last night, I had my first protein style cheeseburger. Loved it!

Lovely picture of a cheeseburger animal style care of

I’m not one to shy away from carbs but I knew I wasn’t going to make it to the gym that night and I wasn’t able to go on my lunchtime walk and I was out-and-about and starving and poor so I took the opportunity to try it. Granted the cheese and ‘spread’ aren’t exactly “good for you” but taking away the bun makes this a slightly healthier burger option (only about 330 calories according to In-n-Out’s nutritional chart). And it was only about $3. Win!


Dinner for One: Teriyaki Veggie Stir-Fry

12 May

While I was pulling things out of my crisper drawer the other morning trying to put together my lunch for the day, I noticed I had a handful of veggies that needed to be eaten ASAP.

Then I noticed I had some brown rice left over. And remembered I had teriyaki sauce in my pantry. …Sounds like dinner to me! Then, the day that I planned on making this, my boss passed on a goodie basket from a catering company that’s courting the university for a contract.

Foodie Goodie Basket

Goodie Basket - olive oil, loose-leaf chamomile tea, radishes, turnip, artichoke, carrots, rosemary and greens

I’m not sure how I’m going to use the radish, turnip, artichoke, rosemary and greens (all fresh – picked THAT day) but the carrots went right into my stir-fry.


Teriyaki veggie stir-fry

  • 1/4 yellow squash, sliced
  • 1/4 tomato, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 3/4 Cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • Teriyaki sauce to taste
  • **You can add or subtract any vegetables to your preference**

I started by sauteeing the garlic in olive oil. Once the garlic was lightly browned, I added the tomato, celery, squash, carrot and red onion.

Eat your colors! Veggie stir-fry

Once the veggies became a little soft, I poured in the pre-cooked rice. After the rice was warm, I added about 2 TBSP of the teriyaki sauce (you can add more or less, depending on your preference). Total cook time takes about 15-20 minutes.

Veggies and brown rice stir-fry

Veggies with brown rice added

Stir well, serve hot and I opted to pair it with a glass of Chateau St. Michelle’s Cabernet Sauvignon (for no other reason than I’m trying to finish the bottle).

Teriyaki veggie stir-fry

Quick & easy teriyaki veggie stir-fry

I would have had leftovers for about one more meal, but I was starving and this was delish! This is also a great vegetarian/vegan (?) dish.

Quick, easy and satisfying 🙂

Dinner for One: Baked Lemon Garlic Tilapia

5 May

Part of why I started this blog is based on a comment my best friend made one night when we made dinner for a BFF night in (see recipe here). She said, “I’m not used to cooking for less than four people” because she usually cooks for her and her BF, or helps cook for her parents and three siblings. I realized that I generally never cook for more than two people and that the recipes I find are usually measured for at least four servings (leaving me with leftover meals for later – win!)

But this meal can easily be made for one serving without leftovers, or for a whole family.


Lemon Garlic Tilapia ingredients

Olive oil, spinach, lemon juice, parsley, salt & pepper, brown rice, yellow squash, garlic, tilapia

  • 1/2 Cup brown rice
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1/2 medium-sized yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 Cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tilapia filet
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • Parsley
  • salt & pepper to taste

First things first –

Barefoot Chardonnay

Barefoot Chardonnay 🙂

First start the brown rice. Bring lightly salted water to a boil and pour in rice. Cover and reduce flame to low. Let cook for about 40 minutes or until done (seriously, it takes for-ev-er).

I found frozen tilapia filets from WinCo ($4 for a bag of about six individual filets). Fresh is obviously preferred but I’m on a budget here.

I started by sauteing one clove of fresh, minced garlic in a little bit of olive oil. Once browned, set oiled pan aside (to use with the spinach).

Place the defrosted filet on a piece of foil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle about 1 TBSP of olive oil and 1 TBSP of lemon juice over the fish. I sprinkled it with parsley and topped with the sauteed garlic…

Tilapia about to go in the oven

Tilapia seasoned and ready for the oven

…then I folded the foil into this cozy packet:

cozy packet

Cozy packet - oven ready!

Bake the filet for about 30 minutes at 350, or until white and flakey (able to pull apart easily with a fork).

When the fish is just about finished, take the pan used to saute the garlic (with the remaining olive oil and garlic flavor) and place sliced yellow squash and fresh, thoroughly washed baby spinach leaves in the oil. Continue placing spinach in pan (whatever amount desired – I used about 1 Cup) as it cooks down. Turn cooked spinach on bottom over uncooked spinach on top until all mixed in. When all the leaves are wilted but still bright green (about five minutes) and the squash has softened slightly, it’s done!

spinach and squash

Bright veggies!

Voila! Dinner for one 🙂

Dinner is served!

Delish! (please ignore the plastic pumpkin ice cube in my glass - my wine got a little warm)

I actually had leftover rice that can be re-heated with just about anything else I can throw together (frozen veggies, another quick baked tilapia filet…).

The total cost for this dinner was about $8 (not including the glass of wine, which was about $6 for the bottle) and that is for the whole bag of filets (I only used one), a whole box of baby spinach (I have about half left), a full squash (I only used half) and a ton of brown rice (I get it by the pound at WinCo and only used 1 Cup).

Try it out and let me know what you think!