Thursday, August 28, 2014

Healthy Chicken Salad with Greek Yogurt

It's been a busy few weeks! I moved to Philadelphia, went on vacation with my family, and started my dietetic internship. My family and I went to Garden City, South Carolina. Our mornings were spent on the beach and our evening were filled with good food. Not to mention relaxing runs on the beach most mornings with my dad. I am not a runner, but I couldn't resist at the beach. Check out my Instagram (@eatlivesplurge) for pictures of some delicious vacation eats!

Chicken is a great source of protein and one of my favorite things to eat for lunch. Sometimes chicken gets a little boring. Sometimes chicken is not even close to what I'm craving. It all depends on the day. So changing it up with a healthy chicken salad over spinach or on a sandwich is a great alternative. I like the flavor of using rotisserie chicken better than plain cooked chicken breast, but it's up to you! I've made this chicken salad both ways.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Serves: 4-5

Rotisserie chicken breast without skin or 2 cooked chicken breasts
1/4 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 green apple, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
Salt and pepper

  1. Shred the chicken breast into bite size pieces.
  2. Stir in the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, chopped apple and celery.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Eat immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Peanut Butter Mousse Dip

I have officially moved to Philly! I can't wait to share pictures with you all after my much needed beach vacation! 

I had some leftover cottage cheese sitting in my refrigerator and I wasn't exactly sure what to do with this. I saw some pinners who whipped the cottage cheese into an airy consistency and thought why not make a dessert dip (duh)! I love using PB2 in smoothies and decided it would be good to add even more protein and peanut butter flavor. Graham crackers for dipping adds the perfect amount of crunch. Added bonus, I was definitely full after eating this as an afternoon snack to cure my craving for a little sweetness!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Serves: 2

2 tablespoon PB2
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking stevia
1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
2 graham cracker sheets (for dipping)

  1. In a food processor (I used my mini one) combine all the ingredients for about 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge.
  3. Eat with graham crackers!

Monday, August 4, 2014

BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizza

If you need a quick, easy, and yummy dinner then look no further! This French bread pizza is a great weeknight dinner (and the leftovers keep well). I made this for J and I the other night and it was a nice simple meal with a spinach salad on the side. I generally don't like barbecue (horrible, I know!), but this recipe has just the right amount of sweet and smoke for my liking. Give it a try even if you aren't a huge barbecue fan.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2-4

Rustic French bread loaf
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and chopped
3/4 cup honey BBQ sauce
1 cup pizza blend shredded cheese
1/4 cup red onion, sliced thin
Cilantro, for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cook chicken breast in 1/4 cup of honey BBQ sauce in a skillet over medium heat. Once cooked, chop into small pieces.
  3. Slice French bread in half lengthwise. Spread 1/2 cup of honey BBQ sauce over both sides of the bread. Layer bread with cooked chicken, cheese, and red onion.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Garnish with cilantro.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

DIY: Gold & Marble Coffee Table

My moving date is coming up extremely soon. I'm excited and nervous about moving to Philly and living alone in my own one bedroom apartment. To keep myself busy (aside from work) I've been daydreaming about an apartment with perfect decor. But, of course I have a budget and I can't afford a $300 coffee table. So instead of wasting money on pieces that I will likely get bored of in a year I did a quick DIY project and the result was just what I envisioned. I got an expensive looking coffee table for $79, not bad!

What you need:
  1. Assemble the metal part of the coffee table according to Ikea instructions.
  2. Attached the gold spray paint can to the spray trigger.
  3. Spray paint the metal - easy enough! Let dry for 24 hours.
  4. Cut two pieces of adhesive film 31" long. (If you splurged on the White Marble Peel and Stick you can skip steps 4 and 5.)
  5. Lay them side by side on the black shelf. I overlapped a little to make sure there would be no black showing through.
  6. Carefully peel the adhesive film and start adhering to the shelf. Just do a couple inches at a time making sure there are no air bubbles.
  7. Once both sides are adhered to the shelf, flip it over.
  8. Using a box cutter or x-acto knife cut around the shelf as close as possible to the edge. Make sure you have cardboard underneath. You don't want to cut your floor or table!
  9. Finish by adding the shelf to the dried metal frame per Ikea instructions. Add glass to the top.
  10. Done!

Monday, July 28, 2014

M&M Cookie Bars

It's Monday and I am counting down the days until I move to Philadelphia. I move in less than two weeks... 12 days to be exact. This weekend was filled with last minute errands and wrapping up my DIY projects (which I will be sharing soon). The best part of my weekend was being surprised with a going away party that J planned for me. I got to see a lot of my friends, eat good food, and play some games! I can't believe I'm moving so soon!

Who doesn't love cookies and milk? But, what about cookie bars and milk? Cookie bars are just as good, if not better! These super soft, easy to make cookie bars are filled with M&M's and chocolatey goodness. I made these for fun, but they would be great to take to a potluck or fun gathering this summer. I love baking and I especially love it when a recipe is simple. I will be making these again and I think next time I'll try some different add-ins.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves: 24

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup miniature M&M's


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer), beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredeitns to the wet ingredients until combined. Do not overmix.
  6. Stir in 1 cup of M&M's until evenly distributed.
  7. Press cookie dough into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of M&M's on top and gently press into the dough.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes until the top is golden brown. Cool before cutting.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Blueberry Protein Overnight Oats

This is one of my absolute favorite breakfasts. All you have to do is stir, microwave, and sleep! It's ready in the morning after you roll out of bed and it's a great start to they day. It's packed with whole grains, protein, and antioxidants. I haven't tried any variations on the flavor yet, but I'm still craving this blueberry and vanilla version!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 minute
Serves: 1

3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or enough to cover the mixture)
1/2 cup blueberries
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking stevia

  1. Combine ingredients in a mason jar or microwave safe container.
  2. Cook on high without the lid for 1 minute, 30 seconds.
  3. Close jar and place in the refrigerator overnight. Enjoy in the morning!

Monday, July 21, 2014

July Obsessions: Throw Pillow Edition

Well... I am long overdue for a Current Obsessions post. My last one was back in March and I have to say I'm still obsessed with the T-Shirt Bra from Victoria's Secret. BUT. I have yet to buy the Go Be Lovely Candle from Anthropologie which I will be buying as soon as the Columbia Mall store opens. Yay!

This months obsessions are a definitely a sign I've been daydreaming about decorating my apartment for too many days now! Basically it's all about throw pillows. Throw pillows everywhere. I've made significant progress in buying pieces I love that are on sale and exactly what I want. I've also been doing some DIY projects to keep my budget in check.

  1. Fuzzy Pillow - Pier One $24.95Literally the fuzziest and softest pillow you will ever feel and it's under $30! There is pretty much no reason to pay more than $30 for a pillow. Ever.
  2. Diamond Ikat Pillow - Four Chairs Furniture $28.00
    I've been staring at this pillow (in magenta) for months now. There are several places that sell this pillow online, but I haven't found magenta at any other stores. I haven't bought it yet, but I'm sure I will justify purchasing it soon...
  3. Pic-A-Poppy Throw Pillow - Wayfair $19.82
    I bought the red oblong version of this pillow and I am in love with the bright, adorable pattern. I wanted some color in my living room and this was my solution. Not only is it a great pattern, but the oblong shape adds visual interest to the couch.
  4. Trellis Toss Pillows - Target $29.99
    The perfect pair of pillows for under $30 that will do the job of being neutral. I received a free brown sectional couch from a relative and these were my first purchase towards my first apartment. Love them and love the price.

Don't forget to check TJ Maxx, Marshalls, & HomeGoods!

Having an afternoon available means perusing the aisles of these great stores for ideas and great deals. I bought an amazing ivory shag rug from HomeGoods recently and yes I'm aware that red wine can come no where near my living room. These are my go to stores for cheaper pieces, but Bed, Bath, and Beyond is where it's at for all the essentials.