Charging through Wednesday with delicious, satisfying, wholesome homemade meals and snacks: Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes. Chicken Caesar Salad with Corn, Avocado, and Pine Nuts. Sea Bass with Mango Chutney and Roasted Parmesan Potatoes. Cocoa Brownies.
I woke up Wednesday morning ALL DONE with classes, wondering where the semester went. But despite finishing finals, my week ended up surprisingly hectic as I played catch-up with life and lab work.
The day began with these Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes, which you HAVE to make. They’re unbelievably soft and fluffy and moist from the mashed banana and buttermilk; 100% whole grain and free of refined sugar; AND they come together in a snap. Who says pancakes are just for weekends or special occasions?
I didn’t get going as early as planned (welcome to my life) but still managed to get some lab work done before noon. Then I headed out to stunt with my cheer buddies in the marvelous Florida winter sunshine…which somehow always turns into a 3+ hour session.¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Juggling this crazy semester often meant not getting around to lunch until 4 pm, so Wednesday really wasn’t out of the ordinary. I met up with my co-chair for some planning while devouring this Chicken Caesar Salad with Corn, Avocado, and Pine Nuts, which I packed first thing in the morning.
FACT: You can make your own healthy and delicious Caesar dressing in a snap by mixing up Greek yogurt, olive oil, garlic, lemon, red wine vinegar, crumbled parmigiano-reggiano, and dried oregano.
FACT: Fresh sweet corn (added to anything, really) is a game-changer. Just shave off the kernels, place in a bowl with a damp paper towel, and microwave ~40 seconds. Then the golden nuggets are ready to add texture and a burst of juicy sweetness to any salad!
FACT: You do NOT have to pour a bag of processed croutons over your Caesar salad. A small handful of aromatic toasty pine nuts goes a really long way.
This salad is a pretty big stretch from the traditional Caesar, but I say let’s embrace all the yummy flavors and textures. I don’t regret it for a second.
Paired with some Beanitos White Bean Chips and sliced Fuji apple (aka the ONLY apple) to round out the meal. (Does anyone else have one type of apple that they exclusively cling to???)
After finally making it home, I unwound with
- a hot cup of Celestial Seasonings Dirty Chai with milk (chai tea + espresso = life-changing beverage)
- a Chocolate-Coated Crunch Squarebar for an extra recovery boost (which also tastes incredible)
Then a little reading, cleaning, and low-key strength (the kind you do on the living room floor with Netflix playing)…
If you’ve never tried it, put it on your bucket list. Chilean sea bass is THE juiciest, flakiest, most tender, buttery and flavorful fish on planet Earth. Not exaggerating. I even buy it frozen and it tastes out of this world (which isn’t the case for most other types of seafood). And keeping individual filets on-hand in the freezer is life-saving for busy weekday nights.
But since sea bass can get a little pricey, other white fish like red snapper, grouper, haddock, halibut, and mahi mahi are also perfect for an easy seafood dinner.
Here I pan-seared the fish in a little olive oil just until cooked through (with the perfect crisp on the outside); deglazed the pan with a splash of white wine; and stirred in a spoonful of Stonewall Kitchen Mango Chutney (SO. YUMMY.)
On the side:
- Colorful Dijon Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes. For this version I used dried tarragon and topped them with freshly shaved parmigiano-reggiano. And OMG they taste like heaven.
- Sautéed spinach and baby peas. After the fish and sauce were done, just added a touch more EVOO to the pan, threw in a butt-load of spinach, ~1/4 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 cup frozen baby peas, and a pinch salt and pepper. Stirred until the spinach wilted (just 1-2 minutes), then finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Super simple and quick!
- A multigrain roll (Pepperidge Farm) because I’m a whole grain lover and why the heck not?
I was recently informed that not everyone eats dessert every night.🤨
I know, I couldn’t believe it either. So I cleared my head of those scary thoughts by popping one of these Cocoa Brownies (stashed in my freezer) in the microwave and pouring up a glass of milk.
Luckily, eating dessert every night does not have to mean throwing your health goals out the window. These brownies are a superfood as far as I’m concerned, made with antioxidant and fiber-rich raw cacao, healthy avocado oil and coconut oil, and coconut sugar that’s kept to a minimum. Don’t mind if I do.😋