WIAW 5: Pumpkin Spice Latte, My Favorite Salad + Irish Nachos

Happy WIAW!

I have to give thanks to Jen for putting this whole WIAW idea together. It’s always fun to snoop into other people’s lives and see what they eat! I don’t know what took me so long to get on board, but now I’m hooked!
I chose to document Tuesday (the 11th) as my WIAW post for this week- mostly because I was planning on making something pretty spectacular for dinner. More on that later…

Tuesday mornings start early. I’m usually up by about 4:50 am so that I can slowly come to life, throw on some clothes and go teach my 5:30 am Spinning class, followed directly by Core Strength at 6:30. Luckily the gym is only a few miles away, so I can leave at 5:15 and make it with plenty of time to spare. I can’t stomach too much that early in the morning, but grabbed a quick bite of banana with Peanut Wonder, some Fitmixer Aminos and water and headed out the door.

I love my Tuesday morning classes. I’m sure I’ve said that before, but Tuesday mornings are my favorite of the whole week. Sure, the getting up early kind of stinks, but it’s so worth it. I adore the people who come to that Spinning class in particular (although the people at the other classes are great too!), and the Core Strength class that I started teaching this summer just compliments the hardcore cardio from the Spinning so perfectly. A good amount of my Spinners also come to Core Strength, and we do about 25 minutes of abs, obliques and lower back exercises followed by about 10 minutes of yoga poses and stretching. It’s only scheduled for 30 minutes and always seems to end so soon. Everyone has a big smile on their face (and is usually ready to go back to bed) when it’s over.

After a 24-mile ride and about a million plank exercisers, some fuel was definitely needed.

I’ve been really good about bringing a protein snack with me to eat immediately after my workout (I’m out of the gym around 7:15). A single container of yogurt is really easy to grab, and I just keep it in my car in a little cooler with an ice pack.

Dunkin Donuts is right by my house (oddly enough, I’ve only been there a handful of times), and I swung through the drive-through to surprise Greg with a pumpkin spice latte. I had a few sips of it, but wasn’t too impressed. From what I remember, Starbucks’ version tastes way better. When I got home, I also made my own version- using more coffee grounds/less water in my French Press to make really strong coffee, which also contained a generous sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice. I heated up some almond milk and mixed in a spoonful of pumpkin puree, along with the strong coffee. Sweet jeebus, this was good- and I enjoyed it slowly, while catching up on some blog reading.

Are you familiar with Cassie’s blog? If not, you should be. I love her!

After showering up, it was time to hit the books for some studying. I usually end up eating my “real” breakfast around 9:00 or so when I teach early in the morning, but I didn’t really get hungry until 10:30. And oddly enough, by that time I wasn’t craving anything sweet (I am such a sweets breakfast person). I also didn’t feel like putting much effort into anything, so I toasted a whole wheat English muffin, spread on some whipped cream cheese and topped it with a tomato. I also had some kale that I roasted for a few minutes.

Most boring breakfast ever.

After about 3 more hours of studying, I gave into the hunger pangs and went downstairs to make lunch. I’ve been obsessed with making this salad lately- and based it off of the ingredients that are in my favorite salad from Great Sage. I order that salad every time I go there, and said last time that I was going to start making something similar at home (it’s not like it’s that complicated, after all!)

I started with a bowl of mixed greens

And added in the following ingredients:

Various sprouts, diced carrots and beets (I diced up a bunch in my food processor on Sunday to store and use for the rest of the week), cucumber, grape tomatoes, mushroom, baked tofu (inspired by Laura‘s recipe- but mine is just coated with a little salt and pepper and baked- but man, it’s good!) and some homemade guac (which is avocado, onion, garlic salt, lime juice, tomato and a tiny bit of Veganaise blended up).

I mixed it all together, along with a few chopped up seeds/nuts (pistachios, sunflower seeds, peanuts and almonds) and finished up a bottle of Kevita that I forgot about and somehow got lost in the fridge on Sunday.

I’m fairly certain that I will be eating the exact same lunch all five days this week. And maybe next week too.

When this was gone, my sweet cravings came back and I wanted just a little bite of something. I’ve been mixing up this simple combination lately, using these two ingredients:

I take 2 T of the cocoa powder and just a touch of the syrup and mix it up with just enough almond milk to turn it into a thick “pudding like” consistency. I sprinkle a tiny bit of sea salt on top- and man, it tastes amazing!

I’m all for having “real” chocolate, but this certainly satisfies me just as much as something 2 or 3 times higher in calories and sugar.

That little “treat” ends up being less than 50 calories, but tastes like it should be much more. I guess I got too excited about eating it, because I didn’t take a photo of the end product. Oops.

The afternoon was filled with more studying and fighting to keep my eyes open. And then eventually, an afternoon snack, which was also eaten with a spoon from Menchie’s in Denver (thanks for the obsession, Tiffany).

This is a smoothie made with egg white protein powder, a few frozen strawberries, blueberries and rhubarb from my parents’ garden, ice, almond milk, guar + xanthan gum (for thickening). I actually had a larger version of this smoothie for dinner on Monday night while Greg was at his monthly beer club meeting- and I think it’s my new favorite flavor combination.

Speaking of beer club, Greg opened up this bottle of beer while we were making dinner:

It’s from DuClaw (a local brewery) and their version of a “pumpkin spice” beer. If you can find it, get your hands on some. It’s so good. One of the best I’ve had for sure.

And now for the reason for this post: dinner. I saw a photo of Irish Nachos on Jen’s blog last week and had to wipe the drool from my chin. And last night, I finally got around to making them!

I know that “healthy” isn’t the first thing you think about when you see the word nachos, but think about- these were actually pretty darn healthy! My version had potatoes topped with scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, onion, mushroom, tomato, jalapenos and Rice Shreds (cheddar flavor). Greg and I both loved these nachos- and that’s coming from someone (Greg) that just can’t get into the idea of eating “breakfast” for dinner. (I, on the other hand, could eat BFD every single night.)

The potato “chips” were so good and baked in a way that I hadn’t done before, but was suggested by Jen. I cut up two small Yukon golds into thin “chips,” coated them with a little cooking spray, salt and pepper and baked them on a wire rack in the oven. I will definitely be cooking potatoes this way again in the near future.

We also enjoyed more kale on the side.

But really, forget the kale. The nachos are where it’s at!

Go make these nachos. You won’t be sorry!

And for the last bite of the night:

This has been my “dessert” as of late- a graham cracker with the same cocoa/coconut syrup spread listed above and a touch of peanut butter, frozen. It’s the perfect something sweet to cap of a day of good eats.

Do you like breakfast for dinner (and if so- what do you eat)? Have you had a pumpkin coffee (or beer) yet this season?

Comments

  1. Your salads look AWESOME! I love salads and yours look so professional with all the great ingredients! wanna make mine? :)

    • Yeah… I only set it up like that for the photo. I would never really make it like that- I just throw everything in the bowl. It’s freaking delicious though!

  2. I’m actually not a big fan of pumpkin lattes or pumpkin beers, but I did buy some pumpkin greek yogurt from TJ’s yesterday. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll let you know!

    • The yogurt is okay- not as crazy sweet as other flavored yogurts – but nothing too special. I just had to give it a shot. :)

  3. I always have breakfast for dinner – it’s my favorite!! I’ve also been wanting to make my own pumpkin latte soon (to save some money) but to also make it healthier. But I did go to Starbucks the other day and had an iced coffee with soy and 1 pump pumpkin – it was delicious!

  4. I DEFINITELY RECOGNIZE those spoons!!! Lol. 4:50AM is brutal!!!! Blogs + Coffee are like… the best together, right?

  5. I didn’t know pumpkin spice beer existed–but now I really want to try some, I’m curious! And how is that Peanut Wonder? I tried Better n’ Butter and wasn’t really impressed, but I’d love a good PB replacement for when I don’t quite want the real thing but want something more than peanut flour for that peanut taste. (Menchie’s is totally the best Froyo, too :D )

    • Oooh my goodness. There are SO many great pumpkin beers- Dogfish Punkin Ale, Southern Tier Pumpkin, Schlafly Pumpkin…. you need to get on that asap! The Peanut Wonder tastes EXACTLY like Better ‘n PB. It’s just what my store happened to carry. I like it- but it’s definitely NOT a sub for peanut butter. When I want real PB, I eat the real thing. Totally worth every calorie and fat gram.

  6. Mmm all your eats look delicious!! Especially the salad! So full of colour!

  7. um yes please, irish nachos. so on it.

  8. Delicious as always! How is Peanut Wonder compared to Better’n? I actually really like the taste of Better’n, knowing it isnt exactly like PB but has its own flavor! And I have been meaning to order some of that coconut sweetener! I must go shop on Iherb now, thanks a lottttt ;-)

  9. Heck yes, Cassie’s blog is awesome – it’s one of my favorites.

    I’ve never had coconut nectar before. and I had no idea that NOW does cocoa powder too actually. I might have to get myself some coconut nectar and try this chocolate concoction you’ve got there. I wonder how coconut nectar is on the blood sugar? Do you know?

    • Cassie is awesome, period. :) NOW cocoa powder is my absolute FAVORITE. I will never buy any other brand. I get it from iherb.com. I am pretty sure that the coconut nectar is low glycemic- about the same as agave nectar. it might say on their website?

  10. Hahahah! It makes me laugh that the first thing on my blog in that photo is a video of Nappy Roots. :P What can I say? I’m eclectic. :P Thanks for the shout out!

  11. Ooooh that salad looks so good! I also love having some protein powder-cocoa powder & cottage cheese with some AB. SUCH a good treat.

  12. Mmm, I could use some pumpkin coffee right about now. I dont know how people wake up so early. Ive been up since 5 and am dying/going back to bed now.
    Also, I want those nachos!

    • Waking up that early sucks. BUT it is nice to get so much accomplished (I’m just usually so wiped out by afternoon though!). If I went to bed earlier, I’d be a lot better off.

  13. Man, I want to eat all of this!!! Especially those nachos, dang!!!!

  14. I’ve loved BFD ever since I was really little. Its my absolute favorite! I’ve been on an odd savory breakfast kick too lately…I’m usually all for cereal or oatmeal or pancakes, but the past few days I’ve wanted spicy, cheesy, and veg-y. I can’t bring myself to drink pumpkin coffee quite yet, as its still about 90 degrees here. But I have been sampling pumpkin beer and I LOVE it. Blue Moon has one that is to die for!
    Thanks for sharing! Happy Wednesday!

  15. I’ve had those irish nachos pinned for a few weeks, need to make my own version of them very soon! And I’ve had a few pumpkin beers already and hope to be headed to Lone Tree Brewery for the tapping of their pumpkin brew tonight!

  16. Whoa, Irish nachos sounds cool!

  17. Everything looks good but I’m too distracted by the beer. I want pumpkin beeeeer!!!

  18. I love, love, love breakfast for dinner. I’ve been in a huevos rancheros kick lately. I fell in love with Jenn’s nachos too and have been dying to make them. I really need to do it now. By the way, your salad looks awesome. I’ve been roasting some sweet potatoes (after a run through the food processor) and adding that to salads. It’s so good.

  19. Okay… so I want to come over, go to a spin class with you… eat that salad… then have breakfast for dinner! Plan???

Trackbacks

  1. [...] One of the things I love using hummus for is salad dressing. I mix a spoonful or two of it with some balsamic vinegar, and it’s the perfect binding agent/flavor enhancer for a salad. I only wish I had made this hummus before lunch yesterday, so that I could have enjoyed it with my favorite salad. [...]

Comments are welcome (and encouraged)!