Food, Life

Farmer’s Market Food Fun

Hey everyone!

Happy Monday! As I sat down to write recently, I realized that I haven’t yet told you about the fun I had cooking with the haul we got at the farmers market a few weeks ago. Out on the North Fork of Long Island we got all this cheap, fresh produce that I was so excited to use. It ended up being a lot more tomatoes than I realized, so next time we go, I’ll be making a point to pick up a bigger variety of fruits and veggies.

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Local wine from our wedding venue – yes, please!

First up, as a side dish I sautéed up some fresh zucchini and corn. We had it with burgers (veggie for me) for a quick, easy, summer dinner! I just used a touch of olive oil, salt, and fresh cracked pepper and kept it super simple since the corn was so sweet and yummy!

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That same night I also made a quick fresh tomato sauce. I just cooked three tomatoes on low heat while we ate dinner that night. I added fresh basil leaves that I ripped up and tossed in from a basil plant that I’ve miraculously kept alive to this day.

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Step 4: tossed with fresh zoodles!

I had a fresh peach with honey from our wedding favors every day with my lunch for over a week which was so delicious, and a nice summery departure from my normal “I eat an apple every single day” lifestyle. We also had several caprese salads with the local heirlooms, mozzarella, and fresh basil. Bonus points that I felt like everything I made was a fairly healthy choice when I supplemented with additional sources of protein.

It was fun to bring home produce that was so tasty on it’s own that cooking it was a cinch, and now I’m even more excited to head into fall when different fruits and veggies will come into season for me to cook with!

What have you been cooking lately? Let me know in the comments!

<3LB

Food

Quinoa Salads We’ve Been Loving This Summer

Hey everyone!

Happy Wednesday!

Today I’m here to talk about lunch. Historically not my favorite meal of the day (#dinnerforthewin), but recently, I’ve been mixing up my lunch!

Since the start of summer my workload has decreased since there are no students at work. Because of this, I found myself having a bit more time to really enjoy my lunch. Normally, I’m a grazer. I pack smaller snacks and basically eat something every hour of the day. Brian and I have also had a bit more time on the weekends, too, so we decided to meal-prep some cold quinoa salads to grab for easy lunches.

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Brian prefers sweeter salads (overall, not just quinoa salads), while I prefer more savory so we’ve experimented with a couple of different varieties and we’ve really enjoyed them all! They’re also so easy to make, you basically just add all the ingredients to a container, stir, chill, and serve. I usually make one giant pot of quinoa and then split it in half to make our different salads. Also, I really eyeball these salads, and rarely measure, but they’re so simple, even some variety in the amounts is sure to be yummy.

My favorite salad has:

Quinoa, about 3 cups

Whole kernel corn, one can, drained

Black beans, 1 can, rinsed and drained

Plum tomato, diced

Your favorite salsa, about 1/3 of the jar (as a light dressing)

I cook the quinoa according to the package directions, dump everything into a tupperware, stir it up and voila!

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Don’t judge my knife skills! I’m not a master chef.

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This salad is delicious, and of course, totally customizable. I like to pack half of an avocado to slice and add at work. I’ve also added a couple of scoops of this salad to chopped romaine as toppings for a more traditional salad. If you like green peppers or jalapenos – add them! Want to add more corn, beans, salsa, or tomato? Get after it!

Brian’s favorite salad has:

Quinoa, about 3 cups

Raisins, about a cup

Feta, about a cup

Spinach, one handful

Halved grapes, about 1.5 cups

Walnuts, about ½ cup, chopped

Balsamic vinaigrette, ⅓ of a cup

Cook the quinoa according to the package directions, while the quinoa wilt in the handful of spinach, add in the other ingredients, stir, chill, and serve!

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Again, this is super customizable, too! Brian occasionally likes to add some cucumbers, raspberry vinaigrette, swap the raisins for dried cranberries, or add slivered almonds instead of walnuts for crunch.

These keep in the fridge for about 5 days, but you may need to add more dressing the longer you keep them.

I find that a quinoa salad at lunch is more exciting than my normal grazing routine, and it’s nice to be able to look forward to a “real meal” midday. I know I’ll go back to smaller meals and snacks once the school year is in full swing, but I’m already looking at ideas to mix that up, too! What are some of your favorite additions to a quinoa salad? Let me know if you try a version of either of these! Happy eating!

❤ LB

Life

Thursday Thoughts #1

Hey everyone!

I thought that I’d create a weekly feature on Life with Lauren B. to share a bit with all of you about what’s been going on, what I’ve been thinking about, working on, or just random things that have been on my mind lately. The number and topic will vary each week, of course, but I’m hoping to connect with all of you through this blog so if you have advice, share the same weird thought or habit, or have a question, reach out to me in the comments or email me at lifewithlaurenb@gmail.com!

ONE

I’m sure a lot of you are going to agree with me on this one, but I am seriously STILL so obsessed with the reboot of Queer Eye on Netflix! If you haven’t watched, it is so heartwarming, upbeat, and just tons of fun to watch. I’ve of course watched all the episodes, but now I’m beginning to think that the Fab 5 should be filming constantly just so there can be a perpetual feed of new episodes in my life. Quick episodes, happy topics, personal improvement, and the Fab 5 make this an easy show to throw on while I’m on the treadmill, cooking dinner, or just want to destress from a crazy day. LOVE!

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TWO

Lately, I’ve been working on getting back into the swing of things fitness-wise after a recent injury. I sprained my ankle and sustained some ligament damage in the process while at Crossfit one day (a TOTAL freak accident, my coaches are super careful about making sure everyone in class is using proper form and using the equipment safely). I’m about a month and a half out from that injury and with the heat, post-injury fear, and being so busy this summer, it’s been difficult to be excited about working out each day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still out there doing my workouts, but I just don’t feel like I’ve been “crushing it” the way I normally do. Like I said, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies.

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THREE

The past two weeks or so I’ve been experimenting with some meal prepping! I do not consider myself a true “meal prepper” it’s just the way things have worked out recently and I’ve really enjoyed it! I’ve been spending an hour or two on Sundays prepping some things for both lunches and dinners for the week. Most recently, I’ve been super into making a big batch of quinoa and then using it to make two different types of cold quinoa salads for mine and Brian’s lunches. I like more savory quinoa salads and Brian likes sweeter versions, so we’ve been having his and hers lunches recently. I’ve also been making an effort to chop and store romaine lettuce and veggies so I can throw together a dinner salad with the same ease as using bagged lettuces or salad kits. What are your meal prepping tips?

FOUR

I’m feeling super pumped today because TOMORROW my little brother gets married! Brian and I are both in the wedding party and I am so excited to walk down the aisle with him again to celebrate more people joining our family! Congratulations, John-Paul and Joslyn!IMG_9529.JPG

FIVE

Since this blog is so new, I’d love to hear from you! How did you stumble this little corner of the internet and what types of posts would you like to see featured? More on fitness? Food? Wedding? NYC adventures? Book lists and reviews? Let me know in the comments or send me an email!

❤ LB

Life

Hi! I’m Lauren B.

Hi! I’m Lauren B. But not one of the approximately one zillion Lauren B’s from the Bachelor franchise. I’m a newlywed (as of 5/19/18) living in NYC. I’m a loud, outgoing girl and I’m here to chat with you all about, well, everything! I am starting this blog on my 29th birthday as a way to connect with people from all over the country and the world, and just have fun! I’m a speech language pathologist by day and a girl of many – quite varied – interests by night…and sometimes early in the morning. Here are seven things you should know about me:

  1. I am 28 years old and have been living in NYC for 4 years. I love living in the city, but I often feel like I don’t experience all that I could. Part of my goal for this blog is to get out and explore the city more, really play tourist, and let you all know the very best (or worst) it has to offer.
  2. I have the best husband in the world. I know, total cliche, but he is! His name is Brian and we met through a mutual friend, have been together for 5 ½ years and have so much fun doing life together. We love all things Disney, love to travel, eat good food (and not so good food), spend time with our friends and family, and have been to about a million weddings together. #dancepartnersforlife33434818_10156502078063993_614149850535034880_o
  3. I have very unusual (so I’m told) taste in books. I love to read, and will read almost anything that’s recommended to me, but I have a particular looove for YA fiction. I share a birthday with Harry Potter (the REAL HP, not Daniel Radcliffe) and consider it the best of the best. Of course, I love the #classics like Twilight, The Hunger Games series, and the Divergent series – although, let’s all be honest with ourselves, Allegiant was a tragedy – but I also love exploring new titles. I’m currently loving the Arcana Chronicles series by Kresley Cole and just finished The True Reign series by Jennifer Anne Davis. I also love historical fiction and chick lit. Stay tuned for some book reviews. And don’t worry, they won’t all be YA!
  4. I love fitness! I am not a fitness professional by any stretch of the imagination, but while I was in graduate school I overhauled my health and fitness routine, and I’m always searching for new and fun ways to get a workout in. I’ve tried it all. Right now, I consider myself a distance runner, Crossfitter, and everyday cardio lover.
  5. I’m really into Mount Everest. Like really, really, really into it. My poor friends have had to listen to me lecture them about Sherpa rights, endlessly analyze summit strategies of people I’ve never met, and watch documentaries about this beautiful mountain.
  6. I have been a pescatarian for the past 6 years. I made the choice while I was in graduate school because a friend of mine was vegetarian and was often over my apartment for meals. I tried for a month and never looked back. #givemeallthesaladsandsushi I’m always looking for simple, easy, meals that please even true meat eaters, because my husband is like #givemeallthechickenwings Chips and salsa are my life, but I’m hoping to add to my favorite recipes by exploring even more as I work on this blog. 
  7. I had three ancestors on the Mayflower, and I think that’s neat. I love looking at family trees and doing research on my ancestry. I’ve heard great things about 23 and Me and definitely want to give it a try. Stay tuned.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is “Welcome!” Welcome to my little corner of the internet. I’m so glad you’re here! To start off, I’m going to be posting new content on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, so be sure to check back! I can’t wait to explore all sorts of new things, hear from all of you (for real, I need book recommendations, recipes, and your favorite workouts!), and basically let you in on lifewithlaurenb. LB_0236bw-XL.jpg

❤ LB

(photo by Anchor and Lace Photography)