What I Ate Wednesday, 8/27/14

The weather was just beautiful here today. The cool mornings we’ve had the last couple of days are tricking me into thinking Fall is near. In reality, we’ve got a lot more hot and humid days ahead here in North Carolina. It doesn’t help that Starbucks has already busted out their Pumpkin drinks! Too soon!! Anyway, now that you’ve gotten a weather update, on to what I ate today…

Breakfast

20140827_070755My breakfast was…wait for it….oatmeal!! You would have never guessed, I know. I had to kind of eat and put on my makeup at the same time because I was running a little behind this morning. The oatmeal is made with unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, a teaspoon of local honey, and blueberries. The coffee is the same as last week, Larry’s Beans Bolivia roast, with organic half and half.

Snack

20140827_121424A typical snack for me at work, a Larabar! This is the coconut cream pie flavor which is probably my favorite one that I’ve tried. I also drank lots of H2O like always.

Lunch

20140827_135521I made a salad for lunch and I also had some crackers with pepper jack cheese and salami slices. The salad is a spring mix with cucumbers, raw sunflower seeds, feta cheese, dried cranberries, bacon bits, and topped with balsamic vinaigrette. The crackers are gluten-free by this brand called Crunchmaster. They’re really pretty good for something gluten-free. The salami is by the brand Applegate Farms. I really like this brand for deli meats.

Snack

20140827_144949They got me again! Stupid Starbucks, why must you be on every corner?! This is a soy iced chai latte. I don’t usually drink soy milk, but I actually prefer the way it tastes with chai lattes.

Dinner

I made a new recipe tonight that I found on Pinterest. It came from a blog called Honey, Ghee, and Me. This seems to be a pretty popular site, so maybe you have heard of it. The recipe is Spicy Sesame Honey Chicken and it was quite delicious in my opinion. So, thank you Natalie (from Honey, Ghee, and Me) for this recipe!! This is a crockpot recipe, so it is really easy and perfect for busy days when you don’t feel like cooking. The recipe is also gluten free, if that matters to you at all. [click here for the recipe]

Here’s a picture of some of the ingredients. I actually didn’t end up using the jalapeno because it wasn’t very fresh and had been sitting in my fridge for far too many days. I used some red pepper flakes instead.

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It doesn’t look as pretty as hers because I didn’t have green onion or sesame seeds…and it was dark out and the lighting sucks. 😦 But it was tasty, so that’s what matters most to me! I put it over brown rice and it was perfect and had just the right amount of spicy and sweet flavor.

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That’s all I ate today. Now, I’m just drinking water and about to watch a few episodes of Friends and then calling it a night! Hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week. It’s a long weekend coming up for most of us!! If you work on Labor Day, I’m sorry! Thanks for reading.

Bows and Arrows,

Ashley

 

 

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday, 7/30/14

Is anyone else wondering how in the world it is already almost August!? Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like this year is flying by. Anyway, today was a pretty good day for me. I went to work, walked my dog, and even managed to workout and cook dinner when I really didn’t feel like it. Go me for not being a lazy pants! So, this is what I ate today…

Breakfast

20140730_063732I drank coffee while I put on my makeup this morning. Don’t mind the messy background. This coffee is SO delicious. It’s from a local coffee roaster called Larry’s Beans. The specific blend is called Woodstock.

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I didn’t have time to cook my typical oatmeal, so I settled for 2 scrambled eggs and a slice of 9 sprouted grains toast with grape jelly.

Snack

20140730_121711 Not really a snack, but I had a tall Americano from Starbucks while at work. I also drank tons of water all day. I swear I pee pretty much every hour. Yay for hydration!

Lunch

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My lunch was inspired by Lynda’s most recent post of her simple summer salad. My salad is made with spinach and baby spring mix, blueberries, chopped granny smith apple, sunflower seeds, feta cheese, shredded chicken (that I made in the slow cooker yesterday), and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. So yummy!

Snacks

20140730_160003I ate a banana!20140730_182510 Then after my workout I drank a protein shake. It’s just one scoop of Optimum Nutrition 100% natural whey protein in the flavor vanilla mixed with 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner

20140730_201213For dinner I made Zuppa Toscana soup which I’m sure I have mentioned before on a WIAW. It’s probably my boyfriend’s favorite thing that I cook, so obviously I make it for him pretty frequently to make up for all the not-so-great things I cook for him. 😛 I drank some simply apple juice with my dinner and now I’m drinking more water.

I’m going to get ready for bed now because I’m an old lady. Hope you guys have a fabulous rest of the week. Thanks for reading!

Bows and Arrows,

Ashley

 

 

 

Bruschetta Burgers

Making burgers at home is definitely something that gains interest during the summer months because people can actually grill outside in the nice [sometimes sweltering] weather.  But making plain burgers or cheeseburgers gets old, so with my love of Italian food, I put a twist on my burgers.  These burgers allow you to spare all the condiments that you’d normally load onto a burger, making these a more healthy option to a not so healthy all-American favorite.
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Typically, I make my own burgers from scratch using a leaner ground beef and mixing in herbs and spices, but for the sake of my stomach (I was so incredibly hungry when I made these), I used Bubba Angus burger patties.

Time it takes to make: 20 minutes (if using pre-made patties)

Serves: 2

Here’s What You’ll Need:

½ tomato

2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Dried basil (I didn’t measure, sorry!)

2 slices provolone cheese

2 Bubba Angus burger patties

2 Cracked wheat Kaiser buns

Before I cooked my burgers, I made the topping, because that takes the longest, which isn’t actually very long at all.

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Directions (very wordy ones for something quite simple, sorry ‘bout it):

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  1. Dice up ½ of a tomato into small pieces and place into a bowl.  Chop garlic cloves into pieces as small as you can get them…remember, you will be eating these raw (which are delicious, but you just might not want a huge chunk of one in your mouth) and add to bowl.  Pour your balsamic vinaigrette on top and add basil.  Mix.
  2. Cook Bubba Angus burgers as instructed on package.  Once they are finished cooking, remove from heat and lay provolone cheese on top of them while they are still in the skillet, so it can start to melt.
  3. Place your Kaiser rolls in a toaster oven to get them just toasted enough that they keep their shape, but aren’t crunchy.  I do this so the bun doesn’t fall apart while I’m eating it and also so the balsamic vinaigrette and juices from the burger don’t make my bread all soggy.  Yuck.  No one likes soggy bread.
  4. Build your burger!  Just simply top your actual burger patty with the bruschetta mixture from the bowl and top with the bun.
  5. Enjoy!

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If you wish to make your own patties, here’s what you’ll need and how.

1 pound of Ground beef (or turkey) of your choice

1 tsp Rosemary

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp Garlic powder

Break apart ground beef and mix with rosemary, oregano, and garlic powder.  You can add more or less of the herbs and spices as you wish…my measurements are just a guess, as I always eyeball my recipes…I’ll get better with measuring for you guys in the future.  I promise!

Once mixed, separate ground beef into 4 patties and grill accordingly.  If you don’t have a grill, you can use a skillet on the stove as well.

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So there ya go!  A simple and healthier alternative to a regular burger!  I ate mine with blue corn chips and a creamy spinach dip.  Try it out, and let me know what you think!

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Bows and Arrows,

Lynda

Meal Plan Monday

My meal planning and grocery shopping was pretty easy for this week because luckily I bought more than enough food on my last grocery trip. Also, almost every week there is one day that I have planned a meal that I don’t end up making. This is usually because I’m either too lazy to cook or I’m just not in the mood for that particular food. That’s the only problem I run into with meal planning. You can’t really predict what you’ll be craving or in the mood for ahead of time. I usually move that food into next weeks meal plan if I don’t end up making it. I did that this week with the Pan Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms and Rosemary which I ended up cooking tonight instead of last Wednesday.

I am still following the elimination diet although I have to admit that I am really over it! I also have to admit that I drank coffee today (which is not allowed) and it was DELICIOUS! And now I want more. I’m not disappointed in myself to be honest. I stuck with it pretty religiously for 23 days with only one or two minor slip ups. I’m still going to add things back gradually to see how I react, but I’m pretty positive I’m drinking coffee tomorrow too….and the next day and the day after that and everyday until I die (or get pregnant or want to torture myself with another elimination diet). As for now though, my meal plans are suitable for someone on an elimination diet (minus the coffee).

Click here for this weeks meal plan.

Spa salad from Roly Poly. A healthy, fast lunch idea for when meal planning is a fail.

Spa salad from Roly Poly. A healthy, fast lunch idea for when meal planning is a fail.

Recipes

Italian Turkey, Bean, and Spinach Soup

I really enjoyed this recipe. It tasted like some kind of delicious Italian pasta dish, but without the pasta and in soup form. It had tons of flavor! I, sadly, left the parmesan cheese out in an effort to stick with my diet, but I’m sure that would have made it even better. I found this recipe from Pinterest from this really great blog. Click the link above to check it out. Her pictures will make you want to make this soup ASAP!

Chicken and White Bean Chili

This recipe is from my It’s All Good cookbook, but I’m sure you can find similar recipes online if you search. I haven’t made this before, but hopefully it will be yummy.

Caesar Salad with Gluten free pasta and chicken with Paleo Caesar dressing

This is pretty self-explanatory, but it is basically this recipe with a few adjustments to suit my “diet”.

Then for the dressing I am going to TRY to make my own using this recipe. We’ll see how it turns out. I’m a little nervous/grossed out by the anchovy aspect.

Crock pot Balsamic Chicken

I have made this once before and I really liked it, but I just forgot about it. It’s another one I found while searching Pinterest. It’s made in the crock pot, so the chicken turns out SO tender and delicious. For another option, Lynda has her own Balsamic chicken recipe that you guys should check out.

One of my go-to meals for when I don't feel like cooking. Wild caught salmon and steamed green beans.

One of my go-to meals for when I don’t feel like cooking. Wild caught salmon and steamed green beans.

Well, that’s my meal plan for this week. I hope you got some foodspiration or at least found some new blogs to check out from this! I am thinking about doing a healthy meal plan for men for next week. I am going to TRY to make a meal plan for my (very picky, meat and potatoes loving) boyfriend that is healthy, but still satisfying to him. Would you guys be interested in something like that? It’s going to be a challenge! Anyway, thanks for reading!

Bows and Arrows,

Ashley

What I Ate Wednesday, 6/4/14

Better late than never, right? I’m sorry if you guys are sick of me! I totally failed at posting this yesterday. I got really sleepy last night and went to bed pretty early. Then I worked all day today, so I’m just now getting around to doing this.

My day started at around 6:30 am yesterday. I rolled out of bed (after hitting the snooze button one too many times), let Rose out to potty, and started making my usual breakfast.

Breakfast

Do I even need to say what it is? Okay, I will…Gluten Free Oatmeal made with almond milk, blueberries, walnuts, cinnamon, and a tiny bit of raw agave. I also had a cup of chai green tea. Really missing my coffee lately! It will be back in my life soon.

 

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Snack

Several hours later, while at work, I ate a Coconut Pie Larabar. I have been obsessed with Larabar’s lately. They are delicious and most of them only have 3-5 ingredients and no added sugar. My favorite flavors are the coconut, cherry, and key lime.

IMG_20140604_104549_158Lunch

I don’t have a picture of my lunch, but it was leftovers from my dinner the night before which was a taco bowl type thingy. Check my last post for that recipe. It was my attempt at making a copycat burrito bowl from Chipotle. Very tasty!

Snack

After my workout yesterday I decided to make a smoothie. My smoothie was made with frozen blueberries, frozen peaches, spinach, coconut water, and a little 100% apple juice. Yum!

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Also, if you guys are looking for a pretty inexpensive blender that works great, this basic Ninja Blender is awesome. It also came with a larger container. Lynda recently got the bigger version, that she talked about in her favorites post. This smaller version works great too though. It has chopped up everything I’ve ever put in it. I even used it to grind up some coffee beans one time.

Dinner

For dinner I made chicken and rice soup. The recipe can be found in my last post. It turned out great and I had plenty leftover for lunch today. Such a comforting and filling meal.

Some of the ingredients

Some of the ingredients

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So, that’s what I ate yesterday! Hope you guys are having a good week. Who’s ready for the weekend?! 🙂 Thanks for reading.

Bows and Arrows,

Ashley

Recipes of the Week

Hello again! I’m back to share the recipes for the meal plan I shared with you guys yesterday. If you haven’t read that post yet, you should go check that out first. Most of these recipes are just ones I found online, but I often get recipes from a few cookbooks that I have. I wont be sharing the recipes from the cookbooks because well, they aren’t mine to share. I feel more comfortable sharing the ones I find online because they are already out there for anyone to view for free. Does that make sense?  My newest, and current favorite cookbooks are Clean Eats by Alejandro Junger, MD and It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow. If you are wanting to clean up your diet these are great resources for easy and delicious recipes.

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Recipes

Baked wild caught Salmon

I’ve tried many salmon recipes, but I like to keep things simple most of the time by only using a little olive oil and some lemon pepper (McCormick lemon pepper grinder). I always buy frozen wild caught salmon. Yes, the wild caught is more expensive, but fish farming practices are scary and I prefer to limit the amount of toxins I’m putting in my body.

Ground Turkey “Burrito Bowl”

I eat Chipotle a lot, so I decided I would make my own Chipotle burrito bowl at home. I made this for dinner last night and I loved it.

Ingredients:

  • Ground turkey
  • 1 Tbsp. each of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed red pepper (meat seasoning)
  • black beans (or whatever beans you like)
  • this rice recipe 
  • guacamole
  • lettuce
  • any other toppings

Brown the ground turkey, add the seasoning and about 3/4 cup of water. Heat up the beans (if using canned), cook the rice, and layer in a bowl. Delicious!

Chicken and Rice Soup

I eat soup all year long, even if it’s 100 degrees outside. It’s so easy and filling and a great way to include a lot of vegetables in a meal. Plus, there’s usually always leftovers for lunch the next day.

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms and Rosemary

I featured this recipe in my last WIAW post. This is one of my new favorites. So good!

Italian Turkey, Bean, and Spinach Soup

Another recipe found on Pinterest! I haven’t made this one yet, so I don’t know how it will be. It certainly looks good.

Well, that’s all the recipes I have to share for this week. Stick around if you want to see how my chicken and rice soup turns out tonight. It’s cooking right now! Yum! Thanks for reading.

Bows and Arrows,

Ashley

 

Meal Plan Monday…on Tuesday

Hey guys! So, I have probably mentioned this before, but something I love doing is meal planning. I mostly meal plan for myself, but have recently started doing some for patients at work. I thought it would be fun to start sharing my meal plans with you guys and maybe it will give you some ideas/recipes that you can use for yourself. I usually do a weekly meal plan on Sunday and I will either grocery shop on Sunday or Monday. If I don’t plan out my meals I always end up eating unhealthy and eating out.  Because I have been doing the elimination diet that I talked about in my last post, planning my meals has been essential!

Meal Planning Essentials:

  • A calendar or planner. You could just write it down on a sheet of paper, but I like having mine in a notebook of some sort so it’s easier to keep up with.
  • Cookbooks and/or recipes online (make a Pinterest board dedicated to recipes you want to try)
  • Colorful pens (not essential, but it makes it more fun!)

I have this planner that is specifically for meal planning. I got it from Target!

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I also recently purchased this Moleskin wellness journal from The Container Store for 50% off! It has several different tabs/sections including “diet” and it also has a section for you to add your own tabs. Really awesome!

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I know, I have a notebook/planner obsession. In fact, I have 5 different notebooks and planners that I use all the time. All these notebooks are really not necessary, but I just love keeping track of things the old fashioned way- pen and paper. I’m sure there are meal planning apps out there you could consider using, or you could even make your own meal planning calendar on excel. Or you can use this one that I made for you. 😉

After you’ve gathered your meal planning essentials the next step is to actually plan. I usually start by writing down 6 or 7 dinner recipes that I want to have for that week. I have pretty much the same breakfast everyday, so that part is the easiest for me. Then I add lunches and snacks. I have leftovers from dinner the night before for lunch a few days each week, so that makes lunch planning that much easier also. I then make a separate list of all the ingredients I need for each recipe. Once I have all of my ingredients written down I categorize them according to what section of the grocery store they can be found. You can use this grocery list I made or just write down your own categories if you want something more specific.

When you have your list made out the last step is to go to a grocery store…my least favorite part! I prefer shopping at Kroger, but I also go to Harris Teeter and Food Lion sometimes. I love Trader Joes, but I only purchase some items from there.

To see my meal plan for this week click here.

Keep in mind that I am still on the Elimination diet, which means I cannot have gluten, dairy, eggs, refined sugars, red meat, nightshade vegetables, coffee/soda, and certain fruits. My typical diet would look a little bit different, but I think this is a pretty healthy meal plan for anyone, even if you’re not doing a crazy elimination diet. Also, the snacks I listed are just my typical snack options. I don’t plan on eating all of those snacks in one day, just FYI.

I think I will include the recipes in a “Part Two” post because this is getting long and my bedtime is fast approaching. I’m an old lady. Check back tomorrow for the recipes and my WIAW, of course! I hope you guys found some of this useful. I will continue to post these every week (but on Monday instead of Tuesday). Have a great night!

Bows and Arrows,

Ashley

 

What I Ate Wednesday, 2/5/14

Ok, I failed at putting this up last night, or even writing it for that matter.  This is because after I finished dinner, I got into a super crazy woman cleaning mode, which means I had the urge to start deep-cleaning the kitchen.  Don’t ask me why.  It just came over me, and I wasn’t going to ignore it, because that mood happens essentially once in a lifetime.  So forgive me.

 Breakfast

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I had an early start to my day and had to drop my dog child off at the groomers at 7am, so I stopped by Starbucks and ordered myself a Tall Caramel Macchiato with extra foam.  This was the start to my day.

Around 9am, Ashley and I ventured to a small little bakery in downtown Raleigh, called Yellow Dog Bread Company, for breakfast, and it was absolutely phenomenal! Between the two of us, we split a spinach, feta, bacon bread, and I had an 8 oz  coffee with cream to go with it.  I also ate a bite of the Maple Bacon Scone I bought for myself to have for breakfast today (and it was so so sooo delicious!).

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 In between breakfast and lunch, I drank 16 oz of water.

 Lunch

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For lunch, Ashley and I walked my dog child to the food trucks on Centennial Campus, and I got food from the Chirba Chirba Food Truck, which I have been to many times before, and have always loved.  Yay eating locally today!  My lunch consisted of their glass noodles, which are vegan, and 6 of their dumplings known as “Juicy Buns” which are stuffed with minced pork and scallions.  I dipped them in my own sauce from home, which is a salad dressing that I always use as a dipping sauce.  It is from the brand Old Cape Cod, and it’s a Toasted Sesame and Soy Ginger Dressing.  I drank water with my lunch.

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 Snack

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I bought this Chai Spice Cookie from Yellow Dog Bread Company, and essentially inhaled it as my snack.  One of the best cookies I think I’ve ever had.

Dinner

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For dinner, I made my own recipe, which I just call Balsamic Chicken.  The link to this recipe in detail is here.  I usually make it and pair it with either pasta, or with rice.  We had leftover white rice from Chinese take-out in the fridge, so I decided to just add that to the pan and make it an entire dish on its own, as opposed to serving them separately.  I also made some Steamfresh Corn from the frozen section just to add in another veggie.

My drink was a homemade cream soda, which I have linked the recipe to here.  It looks gross, because it’s white, but I promise you, it is delicious.

After Dinner Snack

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After dinner, while I was vigorously cleaning the kitchen, I drank some Perrier sparkling water mixed with a Grape Zero Calorie Propel Packet.  So it essentially tasted like Grape Soda, but it was just water!  #Winning.  Just kidding.  Only a little.  And I ate a banana.

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Once I decided to stop cleaning the kitchen like a crazy lady, I sat down and ate the rest of this Chanelle Cake from the Grand Asia Market in Cary.  These cakes are always so delicious.  They are soft and spongy, always super moist, and overall just like little clouds for your tummy!

So that concludes my adventurous day in food!

Bows and Arrows,

Lynda

What I Ate Wednesday, 12/11

So last week, Ashley disclaimed our What I Ate Wednesday posts, and how some of our food choices may or may not be the healthiest choices.  This is very true.  I work weird hours, which means sometimes, I’m unfortunately buying my food out at the mall food court, quickly picking up take out from a restaurant, or microwaving a frozen meal.  Don’t judge.  You know you occasionally do it, too!

I am also the type that eats small portions, and snacks many times throughout the day.  My schedule doesn’t always allow me to snack whenever I want though, so if you see snack after snack some Wednesdays, and no snacks on others, this is why.

Ok. So today, December 11th.  Two weeks from Christmas, if you’re counting.  What I Ate on this Coldish Wednesday:

Breakfast

Let’s just say my breakfast was cinnamon themed.

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First, I had a third of my leftover Cinnabon.  I can never finish one of those.  They are very sweet, very delicious, and way too much for me to consume at once.  Also, HOLY CALORIES!  Let’s just say that if you can finish an entire Cinnabon classic on your own in one sitting, don’t question how many calories you just consumed, because you’ll just want to eat another one to cure the depression you’ve just sunk into.  But really though, it’s nice to indulge yourself every now and then.  And they are oh, so delicious!  (If you’re curious now about the calorie content, just click here.  And I only ate a third, so you can divide that by three for me!)

My other breakfast item was a Fuji apple, diced, and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  I love apples, but I get tired of just eating them plain all the time, so my current favorite way to eat them is sliced up in little pieces, with a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top of them.  The cinnamon and sugar brings out the juiciness of the apple and kinda makes it taste like candy!

Last, I had a cup of coffee with extra half and half (organic).  Love me some coffee!!

Side note:  If you like my cute little plate, it’s from CB2.  Click here for more like it.

Lunch

I was home for lunch!  This happens once in a blue moon!  But really though, it happens probably once every 10 days.  Today, for lunch, I made myself a tuna salad sandwich.  I also ate some chips and guacamole.  My drink was hot tea.

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My tuna salad was homemade and I placed it on honey whole wheat bread with a sliced lettuce leaf.  My homemade tuna salad recipe is below! As my side, I had a single portion of tableside chunky guacamole with tortilla chips.  My hot tea is a blend of Teavana teas.  I blended their English Breakfast black tea with their Roobios Tropica roobios tea.  I’m kind of addicted to teas.

I know everyone makes their tuna salad differently, so here is how I make mine! It’s super simple!

1 can Starkist chunk light tuna in water, drained

1 tbsp mayonnaise

¼ tsp garlic salt

1 tbsp sweet relish

Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix well.  Bam!  Done. 

Dinner

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I was at work during dinner, so I packed some quick things to eat.  My sad little dinner consisted of a short Starbucks coffee with extra cream (to get me through the rest of the night), a vanilla blueberry Kind bar, an apple blueberry pomegranate Gogo Squeez fast fruit, and a homemade chickpea salad.  This is one of my go to salads because its fresh, healthy, fills you up, and can be a stand-alone meal because of all the essential nutrients chickpeas provide.  Chickpea salads can contain many ingredients, however, this is how I make mine, which I think is so flavorful!

Lynda’s Chickpea Salad

1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained

1 Roma tomato, diced

¼ cup red onion, diced

1 tsp rosemary

1 tsp basil

1 tsp parsley

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1tbsp balsamic vinegar

 Drain liquid from can of chickpeas.  Empty into a mixing bowl.  Dice roma tomato and red onion and add to mixing bowl.  Measure out and add all spices.  Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar; toss. 

So there you have it.  What Lynda ate on this fine Wednesday.  Feel free to leave questions or comments about any of the recipes provided!