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Super Simple Turkey & Wild Rice Soup

By food, gluten free, recipes 2 Comments

turkey & wild rice soup

In my continued efforts to eat better and cook more, I managed to throw together this soup last week with some turkey tenderloins and a few other ingredients I already had on hand. I know it’s hot as sh*t outside, but it’s freezing in my house and my office. Plus, this was so easy to make, and I had a bunch left over, which I froze in single-serving containers for future lazy lunches. =)

1 medium to large Vidalia onion, chopped
8 oz. baby carrots (about half a small bag), cut in half
2 turkey tenderloins (about 1 lb.), cut into 1-inch cubes
64 oz. all natural chicken broth (2 cartons)
1 cup water
1 cup organic wild rice (I used the 365 Everyday Value Organic Wild Rice Blend Basmati & Wild Rice from Whole Foods)
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Sea salt
Black pepper
Parsley (for garnishing)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. In a large stock pot, combine onion, carrots, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil over high heat.

2. Season turkey by sprinkling with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add to boiling broth.

3. Bring broth back to a boil, then let simmer for about 20 minutes.

4. Bring broth back to a boil. Add 1 cup wild rice. Let simmer 30-35 minutes.

5. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan cheese.

P.S. This recipe is gluten-free!

This & That

By food, links, lists, music, shopping, social media, summer, this & that No Comments

Link Collage 2

1. Jenna Marbles makes me laugh. Is this how you get dressed?

2. Friday marks first day of summer, which is also National Wear Your Lilly Day. I need more neon in my life. Also, skorts are amazing.

3. I’m so horrible about grocery shopping. I’m so busy all the time that I’m constantly eating out. I’m contemplating signing up for Backyard Produce, which is a new service that will deliver local, organic produce to your door once a week. Anyone have any experience with or thoughts on this type of service?

4. Big Brother has been a summertime guilty pleasure for years, providing me with countless (well, actually about three) hours of entertainment every week from June to September. The new season premieres next week, and I’m already intrigued by the decor in this year’s house — mid-century chic, they’re calling it.

5. This past Saturday, prior to attending a wedding in the evening, I squeezed in some last-minute shopping for a pair of strappy sandals that met three criteria: gold, leather, comfy enough to dance in all night. I was fortunate to find this pair for under $50 that did just the trick!

6. Sad cat diary? Somehow I don’t think my cats have it this hard.

7. This article gives an interesting perspective on television theme music in the age of bing watching.

8. These gorgeous/minimalist water bottles are fabulous. Love this quote: “bkr is a statement against a disposable world, against transporting water between continents, and against the chemicals we ingest when we base our decisions on convenience.” Well played, bkr. You’re on my wishlist.

9. This Wedding Party app was the life of the party this weekend at Kailey & JJ’s wedding. Think Instagram scaled down to only your wedding guests.

10. I’m in love with these aviators I ordered from ASOS, but they look super silly on me. Hence, sunglasses givewaway!

More than halfway to the weekend. Hope you’re having a great week so far!

Farmers Market

By boys, fashion statements, food, outfits, shopping, style, summer 2 Comments

Lilly Pulitzer Joie_001

Top: Lilly Pulitzer (similar here and here). Jeans: Calvin Klein (similar here). Sandals: Jack Rogers. Tote: Joie (via eBay). Shades: Oakley (similar here).

This lucky girl has a boyfriend who likes to shop almost as much as she does. To us, shopping is a game — we love the challenge of finding exactly what we want at the best possible price. When J offered to buy me a “just because” gift a few weeks ago, this bag came to mind, but it was already sold out in turquoise, and it was a little more than he wanted to spend. After a little internet searching, he managed to find one on eBay, brand new with the tag on it for nearly $35 less! Perfection.

As soon as he gave it to me, I said, “This bag makes me want to go to the farmers market.”

“You have fun with that,” he replied.

I guess you can’t have everything, but you can have fresh local strawberries and whipped cream for lunch with your best co-worker friend on a hot summer day. =)

Lilly Pulitzer Joie_004

Lilly Pulitzer Joie_003

Lilly Pulitzer Joie_005

Lilly Pulitzer Joie_002

P.S. Thanks again to Michelle for the photos (and the company). =)

P.P.S. If you were wondering, after trying on both pairs, I went with the Jacks (in gold instead of platinum).

White Hot

By fashion statements, food, hampton roads, outfits, spring, style, summer, virginia beach No Comments

tahari jacket forever 21 dress

Dress: Forever 21 (similar). Jacket: Tahari (thrifted, last seen here, similar). Shoes: BCBG (old, similar). Bag: Tory Burch. Sunglasses: Ray-Ban. Necklaces: Lia Sophia, Max & Chloe. Bracelets: Kate Spade, Alex + Ani, Lia Sophia, Ralph Lauren. Nails: Essie Mod Square.

Virginia Beach is the largest city in Virginia, but it doesn’t have much in common with well-known big cities like New York or San Francisco. That being said, we do have Town Center, which is our little version of a downtown. It’s been around for about 10 years, and it’s grown up a lot since I moved here. It’s even home to the tallest building in the state — the Westin VB Town Center. If I’m craving some city time, I head to Town Center on my lunch break. It’s an easy five-minute drive from my office, parking is free, and while it’s not hustling and bustling 24 hours per day, it does have one important thing that all cities should have — an amazing gelato place.







P.S. Thank you, Michelle, for taking my photos!

Gluten-Free, Part 2

By food, gluten free, hazards to my well-being 2 Comments


It’s been a little more than five months since I posted about my gluten-free experiment, and I thought perhaps I’d report back with a status update. I’ve been (mostly) sticking to a gluten-free diet since about January 2, which was the day I decided to try changing my eating habits to help with my headaches. I wasn’t medically diagnosed with any kind of gluten sensitivity — I just thought it would be worth giving it a try. Here’s what I’ve noticed so far:

In the beginning, I replaced most of my gluten-filled foods with fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, eggs and dairy. I steered clear of bread, snack foods, beer and almost everything else that didn’t specifically say “gluten free” on the label. I inadvertently cut out almost all processed foods. My sinus congestion cleared up, my headaches disappeared, and I had lots and lots of energy.

After the first 30 days were up, I let myself slip up here and there — never very much. I had two hot dogs and some beer in Nashville. I had a slice of pizza and some pastries in NYC in February. I had two slices of pizza on my birthday. Those kinds of things. Never more than a serving or two in a one-week period. I noticed feeling a little groggy a few hours after I ate those things, and a little congested the next day, but nothing major. I always went back to my gluten-free diet immediately the next day, and I still felt pretty good.

In early May, I went all out and drank a bunch of beer, ate a bunch of pizza, and even had a piece of chocolate cake. That night, I kept waking up in the middle of the night, heart racing, sweating. I felt awful! I did the same thing a few weeks ago in New Jersey — splurged on a bunch of pastries and cookies at my brother’s party. I wasn’t drunk, but that’s how I felt again when I woke up a few times in the middle of the night. Almost like I was having an anxiety attack. It was weird.

Ever since then, I’ve been back on strictly gluten-free foods, and I even decided to experiment with some gluten-free cookies and snack foods. However, lately, I’ve been feeling kind of lethargic and gaining a little bit of weight. I think the gluten-free processed snacks need to go. I also started to notice this past week how many vitamins and minerals I’m not getting anymore, due to the lack of enriched and fortified grain products in my diet. Starting tonight, I’ll be working a multivitamin into my diet — something I probably should have done from the beginning.

And that’s about it. Most importantly, the headaches are still pretty non-existent, which is amazing. I’m not sure if I can entirely attribute the headaches to gluten or some combination of caffeine, soda and/or artificial sweeteners, which I also gave up back in January. I’ve also noticed that the chronic little canker sores I used to get in my mouth and blame on orange juice and stress have disappeared completely (and I’ve had lots of orange juice lately), so I’m going to keep going with the gluten-free thing because it seems to be working for me.

I’d love to know…have you ever tried a gluten-free diet or some kind of elimination diet? Did you learn anything? Did it work for you?

P.S. I haven’t had a bagel in five months. Whoa. 🙂

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia and edited with Alex Beadon‘s Like a Painting Photoshop action.