Posts tagged ‘Squash’

Let The Countdown Begin

I think someone needs to splash some cold water in my face, and say, “Hello, Hillary…you do have a blog, ya know!” Sorry. I certainly have not been maintaining my blogging efforts the past few days. What can I say, the Nutrition Nut has been on the run. I feel as though I spend way too much of my time connected to the World Wide Web, and it is so refreshing to put away my camera, ignore the Internet, and live a life of normalcy – not capturing every move I make – like I did a mere five months ago.

I had a lovely and busy day yesterday away from the web. I slept in [I don’t have class ’til 12:30pm on Thursdays], made a creamy bowl of banana oats, and enjoyed having the house to myself for the morning. Sunshine was seeping through my windows, I had Grooveshark Popular playing, and before I knew it, I was shaking and twisting all around my room. Heck, I probably got a better workout than any 30-minute exercise DVD could give me ; )

After an afternoon of classes, I jetted over to the gym to squeeze in a workout before having to get ready to see Colbie! My roommate snatched the last bike for the 5:00pm spin class, so I was left to pedal alone.

  • 45-minute spin [16.2 mi.] — a little slow?
  • 1.5-mile run — I was cruising!

We rushed home to  scarf down a few bites of food and pretty up before heading back to campus for the concert. Although a small and casual concert, Colbie Caillat was 100% uh-mazing!

Isn’t she just gorgeous?

She sang all my favorite songs flawlessly. Her tour stopped in my hometown today, so my mom and her girlfriends are going to the show tonight. Speaking of home, I am really ready to go home for a week. One week from today, and that’s where I’ll be. Let the countdown to Spring Break begin!

Finally…today: I had a repeat of Tuesday’s delicious oat combo for breakfast before sitting through my final two lectures for the week.

Surprise surprise I went the gym this afternoon — it’s becoming my 2nd home, no? Every Friday I tell myself I am going to go to yoga, but then talk myself out of it. Well, today I made it happen! My body is a tad sore from this week’s previous workouts, so I figured I could use an hour of quality stretching and strengthening. I don’t know why I don’t talk myself into going to yoga more often. I left completely at peace; it was a blissful hour of exercise and wonderful way to end the week.


I ate a quick lunch before heading out to run errands, and consequently it missed the camera’s eye. My grocery bag was extra light today since I like to leave my fridge clean and empty upon leaving town.

I did buy a bag of my favorite chips and dug into them while my dinner was taking a turn in the oven.

Love these!

Tonight’s meal featured the last quarter of my free butternut squash. I told my professor that the squash was used to its full potential : )

Butternut Squash + Brown Sugar, Cinnamon & Real Butter

Organic Baby Spinach, Red Onion, Pepitas & Sweet ‘n’ Tangy Balsamic

Since dinner was so healthy and all, I thought a little Friday treat was in order. Insert Starbucks ice cream and gooey Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chippers – mmm! I don’t know what’s with me and boxed food lately – bad bad bad – but it was rather nice to be able to enjoy warm cookies right after dinner without making havoc in the kitchen.

You know I couldn’t resist a miniature Starbucks carton of ice cream. There’s just no way : )

Alright, friends…now that you have a rough outline of my life since Wednesday, I’m going to go catch up on what ya’ll have been up to.


~ Hillary


March 5, 2010 at 8:27 PM 15 comments

Real Food Reigns Supreme

Evening Readers!

Hope you had a refreshing Saturday. I sure did. I whizzed through my to-do list, and somehow skimmed over my homework ; ) After our last “chat”, I got to baking — my favorite way to procrastinate. I asked my mom to send me her recipe for Cappuccino Chip Muffins that I’ve grown up on. She started making these in 1992! This is the first time I’ve actually made them; they are super simple and definitely a crowd pleaser.


semisweet chocolate morsels

a hint of cinnamon

I most certainly ate not one, but two warm muffins & a homemade iced latte for an afternoon snack…you betcha! Not long after, I was back in the kitchen attacking the monster of a butternut squash that I brought home in my backpack Thursday. This is what it turned into:

Not bad, eh? It was scrumptious with a capital S.

I roasted the squash with olive oil, real maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt & pepper at 400* for approximately 30 minutes, until the edges were caramelized and the house was saturated with sweet air. Then baby spinach was washed, creamy avocado was chopped, chevre was crumbled, and pepitas were sprinkled on top…a drizzle of balsamic was the finishing touch. I definitely need to thank my teacher for this one.

Overall, I had a very scrumptious Saturday! I am so thankful to be able to fill my belly with nutritious and delicious eats. I really, really am.

Check It Out: My Green Monster recipe is featured on Green Monster Movement. Thanks, Angela!

Take it easy,

~ Hillary

February 27, 2010 at 8:01 PM 12 comments

Shape Your Life

You probably thought I would be sick of squash by now, as I went a bit crazy in November eating squash at practically every meal, but don’t think I am tired of ’em yet. I (carefully) cut open another acorn squash tonight and put it in the oven to steam (I bake it in water first). I planned on having a load of lettuce on the side, but when I went to pull the salad spinner out of the fridge, I found a soft sea of ugly greens. So…my side of salad went straight to the trash.

After searching for other items to pair with my squash, I decided I would survive if I didn’t make a “complete” meal for dinner. I topped the succulent squash with real butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds & chevre (more of the same). FYI, I could have skipped the seeds.

I’m not going to obsess over the fact that my dinner lacked a variety of color because acorn squash is loaded with beta-carotene (yelloworangered pigment) which has several health benefits.

Earlier today I picked up a few things at Target, including this:

Giada De Laurentiis is my idol!

Ever since my Food Network obsession began back in the 8th/9th grade, I have been infatuated by this amazing woman. I was so happy to see her on the cover of Shape. Isn’t she gorgeous? One of her 5 kitchen essentials listed in the article: Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips. “A handful of these at night really satisfies my sweet tooth.” This totally made me smile : )

Anyway, friends…hope you’re off somewhere enjoying your Friday night. Haven’t decided if I’m staying in or going out, but I do know that there will be dessert in my future…

~ Hillary

December 4, 2009 at 7:27 PM 3 comments

Soy Power

Hey there,

Happy (almost) Friday! I get really excited when I think about only having 1 week of classes remaining for the semester – woohoo!

Today got off to a great start with this delicious bowl of pumpkin oats. I used to think that pumpkin shouldn’t be allowed post-Thanksgiving, but it’s just too hard to resist.

  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 T walnuts
  • 1/2 T brown sugar
  • cinnamon

After determining the number of microorganisms in unwashed fruit and unpasteurized juice in biology lab, I walked to Starbucks to catch-up on my reading for my next class. I sipped on a lovely half-caf soy latte. The soy coated my tummy for a little while, but I needed to put something more substantial in my mouth before my next set of afternoon classes. I decided on a Pluto’s salad: mixed greens, roasted fennel, beets, oranges, red onion, pumpkin seeds & a balsamic vinaigrette + 1 piece of focaccia bread.

[My camera missed the memo this morning before heading out the door – sorry!]

On my walk back to campus, I stopped inside a store downtown that I’d been admiring, but had yet to visit – Zucchini & Vine. Making a quick tour around the premises, I came across a deli case displaying the most beautiful chocolates. Just at the time of my discovery, one of the sales clerk exclaims, “You look like you’re seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time”. I immediately replied, “Well, I do love chocolate!” She continued to ask me if I liked dark chocolate…duh…and offered me a tasting of some special chocolate chips that were stationed on top of the case. How did she know that just minutes before I was day-dreaming about a piece of chocolate to polish off my lunch? Ha…too funny!

Unfortunately the salad wasn’t substantial enough, so between round 2 and 3 of classes I put a little spring back into my step with one of these:


  • 8 oz. chocolate soy milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 6 dark chocolate espresso beans

Normally I do not exercise Tuesdays & Thursdays because my schedule is packed with academics, but either the double dose of espresso and/or soy protein was screaming at me to let out some E (energy)!

When my fourth and final class ended, I briskly walked on over to the gym, slipped into my running shoes and shorts and sprinted 1.5 miles around the track, followed by 15-30 minutes of weights, and another 1.5 miles around the track – feeling good!

Dinner was simple. I didn’t want anything too heavy since the clock was nearing 8:00pm. I warmed up some TJ’s Butternut Squash soup with chevre and pumpkin seeds:

and to go along…

O.M.G…This was the first time I’ve had these tortilla chips (crackers?), and they are awesome. Give ’em a try!

Well, there ya have it…my day in a nutshell.

To healthy eating,

~ Hillary

P.S. That chocolate bar no longer exists…what did I tell ya? : )

December 3, 2009 at 10:10 PM 4 comments

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

Please pardon my late post. I was just having too much fun decorating for the holidays. I had Pandora blasting the Christmas tunes and a cup of hot Candy Cane Lane tea in hand. I worked up a sweat climbing up and down the stairs into the attic bringing down the precious boxes that had collected dust since last year. Decorating for Christmas has been a beloved activity of mine since I was a little girl. I can remember staying up into the late hours of the night with my mom putting each ornament in exactly the right place on our freshly cut Silver Tip tree. We usually sipped egg nog and had Daffy and Donald Duck singing Christmas songs – I think that’s still my favorite Christmas CD to this day : )

I’m glad I (finally) got around to warming up the house with a few festive decorations. I am excited for my dad to cut down our tree next weekend with the rest of the fam. It really isn’t Christmas without the refreshing scent of pine from a twinkling tree.

Anyway, to the eats…

Lunch was Thanksgiving leftovers: round 2.

(roasted winter squash, beets, red bell pepper, garlic, parmesan, parsley)

After folding laundry, a coffee visit with a girlfriend, and an errand with my mom, I made dinner for the ‘rents:

Taco Salads:

  • romaine & butter lettuces
  • organic black beans
  • cheddar cheese
  • avocado
  • tomato
  • red onion
  • chipotle-lime (low-fat) ranch
  • salsa
  • flax seed tortilla chips

It’s been a truly wonderful week at home. I’m anxious for the next couple weeks of final papers and exams to fly by, so I can continue to enjoy “the most wonderful time of the year”.

Warm wishes to you and yours,

~ Hillary

November 28, 2009 at 10:48 PM 6 comments


T’was another day full of many things to be thankful for…

I ended up spending the majority of the afternoon baking in the kitchen with my mom. Between the two of us, we made three pies and two tarts – that’s a lot of flour & sugar. I did not get around to climbing into the attic to unveil the boxes of Christmas decorations, but since my travel plans have changed, I’ll be able to conquer that task activity this weekend.

Back to the baking. Check out my mother’s lovely pies (she’s done this once or twice):

2 Apple

1 Pumpkin

Our usual Thanksgiving group was thinned out this year (just 10 of us), but there was still enough food to feed an army.

I enjoyed a glass of homemade apple juice (really, everything is homemade in this family) as a pre-dinner “spirit”:

It’s tradition to have a green salad as a starter. This year was no different:

(mixed greens, satsuma, red onion, walnuts & simple vinaigrette)

Can’t forget about the homemade rolls. I managed to contain myself to just one this year:

Satsuma place “cards” are another commonality in our family:

My plate…yep, just one : )

  • Turkey
  • Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Roasted Winter Squash, Beets & Garlic
  • Broccoli with Parmesan
  • Cranberry Sauce

I couldn’t get enough of my aunt’s amazing veggies!

I often forget what I have to be thankful for, taking too much for granted. Today I was reminded about the things I am thankful for:

my mother, my father, my brother, family, supportive friends, running, clean air, education, my health and the health of my family, delicious food, a warm house, coffee, old pictures, sunshine, mornings, rain, hugs & laughter…

Hope you all were able to share the day with those you love.

Many Thanks,

~ Hillary

November 27, 2009 at 1:38 AM 7 comments

A Mellow Monday

Today was a rather uneventful day here on the homefront. Not a lot to share. I did have a piece of leftover galette for lunch, and managed to capture a decent picture. It was scrumptious!

I can’t visit home without a meal from Sushi Spot – it really has the best sushi rolls in town. So…with a fire crackling in the wood stove, we decided on sushi to go and enjoyed it in the comfort of our warm home.

I ordered the Dragonfly Roll: tempura prawn, avocado, cucumber, carrot, cilantro, macadamia nuts and sweet chili sauce…and edamame, of course!

Looking forward to getting my hair cut tomorrow, researching Thanksgiving dessert recipes (slacker), and hopefully crafting with my mom…

Take care ya’ll!

~ Hillary

November 23, 2009 at 8:30 PM 1 comment

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