Improvements

by Holly on April 1, 2010

in breakfast,dinner,eating out,lunch

After yesterday’s Limp Bizkit-inspired rant of endless anger, today was a definite improvement.

First, it all started with PAYDAY. Really, there is no better day of the month than payday – especially when you only get paid ONCE a month, on the first of the month. True fact.

Second, my mood dramatically improved because it reached 80 degrees today! Yes, in Wisconsin.  And it was sunny.  And I got to get outside twice.  More on that in a bit.

Third, my breakfast concoction was completely random and oh-so-delicious. Since I am going home this weekend, I want to use up as much food as I can before I leave.  Therefore, I whipped up this delectable dish – which I hereby proclaim as Sweet Potato Spinach Hash – and was quite impressed with the results…

Steamy.

This dish was as easy as it gets. I first sauteed 1/2 diced onion + 1 tbsp. minced garlic in 1 tbsp. EVOO. Once that cooked through, I added a diced sweet potato (which I “steamed” in the microwave for 4 minutes) and a handful of spinach.  I cooked that for a couple minutes then cracked 3 eggs, scrambled it all up, added a pinch of salt + crushed red pepper flakes and voila! – breakfast was served…

Surprisingly, this dish is less than 500 calories, but let me tell you, you gets TONS of food out of it!  And sometimes, I like quantity over quality.  No shame in wanting to fill this belly up.

The day improved even further when my boss insisted on taking my co-workers and I out to lunch.  I have to say – I am a lucky, lucky lady to work with the people I do.  We went to The Great Dane (which is a Madison staple) and enjoyed the beauty of the warm day by lunching on the patio.  Capitol Falafel Sandwich + side salad…here I come devour!

Then, as if that wasn’t enough, two lovely ladies from another office announced they were taking a trip to Red Mango – a.k.a. the home of Madison’s ONLY frozen yogurt place.  There was no resisting this offer.

One regular Tangomonium citrus-flavored frozen yogurt, pineapple, granola + yogurt chips

Heaven. Or as close to it as I hope to get anytime soon.

Then, my friend Brett mentioned perhaps going out to dinner tonight.  Why the hell not? This week has been shittay, and I don’t feel like cooking.  Eating out twice in a day?  It happens.

We only had one thing on our minds: Hy to the Veeeeeeeeeee!

This place always makes me think of Kristin, FYI.

I am not going to lie. Sometimes, food just makes me happy.  People watching while eating food is just the icing on the cake.  And trust me, Hyvee IS the place to people watch.

baby spinach
carrots
red onion
peppers
1/2 hard-boiled egg
1/3 cup cottage cheese
cauliflower
crunchy peas (!!!)
pasta salad
taco dip
tortilla chips
crackers

And Diet Coke. Because salad bar + D.C. go together like Holly + Jake Gyllenhaal.

Let me just say I spent WAY too much time on that crappy superimposition.

I snarfed 3/4 of this plate way too fast (that’s what happens when you wait 5 hours between eating) and had mayjuh carbonation belly from the D.C.  However, that didn’t stop me from going back for some dessert…

Mixed berries + pineapple dipped in a bit of whipped cream + chocolate pudding.  Perfection.

I may or may not also have eaten three more handfuls of crunchy peas at the salad bar. Crunchy peas are life…the rest is just details.

Now I sit before my computer, full of food and excited because I only have 1/2 day of work tomorrow. Hallelujah! I am ready for some quality time with my parents’ couch, Keeping Up with the Kardashians + lots of food. Trust me, I have some stellar things planned for thy resurrection of Jesus.  Word.

How many times do you eat out in a normal week? In a usual week, I would say I eat out anywhere from 1 to 3 times.  This week has been more like 5…oops!

What is your FAVORITE thing on the salad bar? At Hyvee, I am ALL ABOUT the crunchy peas.

{ 43 comments }

Mama Pea April 1, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Wow, you are mega talented with the photo shop. Give up writing, you’ve got a career in computer generated arts.

I love EVERYTHING on the salad bar, because I didn’t have to cut it up or clean up afterward. Sadly, we only go out to eat once every two weeks or so. Sweet Tomatoes needs to come to my town.

So happy the EVERYTHINGTARIANS will be reunited this weekend!

Matt April 1, 2010 at 9:38 pm

That breakfast looks EPIC!

I probably eat out once a week or so. I am poor!

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is April 1, 2010 at 9:39 pm

We rarely eat out – maybe 1-2 times a month, if so? I LOVE to cook! But I also love the whole ‘dining out’ experience. And…I’m sure you can guess that my favorite things about salad bars are bacon. And cheese.

Danielle (Coffee Run) April 1, 2010 at 9:41 pm

I def. feel you on food quantity. I’m a total volume-eater :)

My favorite thing at the salad bar would probably be the carrots (lame, I know). It’s only because I can never get my carrots shredded like that! The rest…I can re-create ;)

Madeline - Greens and Jeans April 1, 2010 at 9:53 pm

HyVee has the BEST salad bar! I always look forward to pickled beets. My gentleman caller and I usually eat out once a week, sometimes twice.

Mara @ What's For Dinner? April 1, 2010 at 9:54 pm

This week we’ve been eating out way too often since i’m on spring break… but when i cook, its once a week! LOVE the whole no-clean-up aspect of the salad bar, and my favorite thing has to be the perfect cherry tomatoes they always have :)

J April 1, 2010 at 10:29 pm

whole food’s salad bar has these sweet chili glazed shrimp I go absolutely nuts over!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I have eaten out ZERO times in 5 yrs, coffee shops don’t count. I’m picky, vegan, food allergies, cheap$, I just make it myself. This shocks people when i tell them this, but it’s true.

Maggie @ Fit.Fun.Food April 1, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Almost never! Although I love Noodles & Co. (even though it’s a chain) and it’s my go-to takeout. I also just went out for fro-yo! Love that stuff! Mmm…falafel. The guy at TJs told me today that our branch is getting frozen falafel soon! Have a great night, girl!

Lynn @ The Actors Diet April 2, 2010 at 1:50 am

i eat out about 2x a week. i try to balance out my hubby, who eats out 3-4 during his lunch hour.

Sarah (Finding My Balance) April 2, 2010 at 5:03 am

thank goodness things are looking up! everything about this day seems so, so great! it makes ME happy :D

have a super friday, holly!

Jill April 2, 2010 at 5:43 am

That salad bar sounds delish! I only eat out maybe once a month, if that. I like home cooked meals and I am cheap. lol

Lauren April 2, 2010 at 6:00 am

Yay for improvement! :) So happy your day was much better today than the past couple.

That breakfast looks awesome! I love sweet potatoes for breakfast. Or lunch, or dinner or even dessert!

When I was little, I use to go crazy for salad bars. I remember when Wendy’s had a salad bar and I would ask my mom to take me there everyday after she picked me up from nursery school. No joke! :) My favorite thing then was the mac and cheese, but now I would say it would be veggies. Ah, who am I kidding, it’s still the mac and cheese! :)

Love you girly!

Chelsea @ (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) April 2, 2010 at 6:18 am

That breakfast is genius! Between that sweet potato hash and your awesome strawberry overnight cocoa oats, I’m going to have some Holly-inspired breakfasts real soon.

My favorite part of a general salad bar would have to be beets! Nothing can BEET them. Oy…..

Erica April 2, 2010 at 6:19 am

Glad you had a nice day and beautiful weather. mmm that froyo- dig it! I am hoping to get some tomorrow. Hmmmm favorite salad bar item- random but the salad bar at our hotel in Jamaica had steamed brussels and I loved it! Have fun with your parents!!

Evan Thomas April 2, 2010 at 7:05 am

80 and froyo? That’s epic.
I eat out maaaaybe 1 a week

Jenna April 2, 2010 at 7:14 am

Glad ya had a better day :)

Mellissa April 2, 2010 at 8:05 am

Aren’t you just LOVING this weather :) My favorite thing at the salad bar is sprouts, eggs and sunflower seeds.

Ally (Sweet & Savory) April 2, 2010 at 8:09 am

I thought Hy-Vee’s were just an Iowa chain! Glad to see they are branching to WI….I’m also a stickler for their fresh fruit:)

My husband and I rarely eat out….maybe once a month, only b/c we’re on a tight budget though…trust me, we love to eat out and if we had the funds we’d do it!

Lisa April 2, 2010 at 8:45 am

I only get paid once a month too…it pretty much blows.

jperonto April 2, 2010 at 9:16 am

OMG! That Hyvee’s is amazing! Their selection is sooooo big and it’s pretty inexpensive. I have to stear clear from the bakery section because even looking at it makes me feel like I’m gaining 5 lbs a second.

Angharad April 2, 2010 at 9:42 am

What up lady. Excellent news about the maddy mary!

I used to eat out alllll the time when I first moved here. Now, not so much. I would say 1-3 times as well! Weekends can go a little cray-cray though at times.

I actually rarely go to salad bars because I am a cheap skate but I do love me a bit of pickled beet!

Let’s just say TGIF and now I’ll peace out, xx

samantha April 2, 2010 at 10:05 am

if crunchy peas = wasabi peas, then we are soulmates. i DOMINATE the wasabi peas bulk bins- they are my all time favorite snack.

i try to eat out once a week, i like to spend my money on concert tickets (and clothes)!

ellie April 2, 2010 at 10:21 am

Yay for payday! Always so much month left at the end of money, no?

Love the look of that hash- sending it to my mom for a Passover-friendly breakfast.

I never eat out in the UK- maybe once every few months I’ll grab a salad, but it’s literally twice the price that it was in NY and the options aren’t great without spending a fortune. In NY, I ate out a LOT (a lot a lot a lot)- several times a week. Like 6-8. Though in my defense, I didn’t have a kitchen.

Fave salad bar item- this could take a while. I am narrowing it down to Whole Foods and saying roast winter medley or sweet and sour tofu.

Paige (Running Around Normal) April 2, 2010 at 11:04 am

So glad today was a great day for you:) That HyVee salad looks awesome.
I haven’t been to many amazing salad bars, but I’d have to say garbanzo beans are one of my staple faves!

Amy B @ Second City Randomness April 2, 2010 at 11:26 am

Love that you hit up the salad bar! I love me a good salad bar…

Erin April 2, 2010 at 11:31 am

HyVee!!! My dining experience of choice on a regular basis!!! I always get the salad bar, and my favorite thing about it is that they have massive bell pepper options – green, red, yellow, and orange! I love the extra crunch on a salad from bell peppers. I’m in heaven everytime I eat at HyVee (which is at least once a week!)

Kacy April 2, 2010 at 11:38 am

So glad things are looking up for you ma dear! Looks like a gloriously fab day. I eat out about once or twice a week, unless someone else be payin’. Then I’m all for it!

That sweet tater breakfast was killah. I want it. I have some sweet taters in my fridge that were pre-steamed umm… Saturday. I think they might be toxic at this point, but I’d still like to give that dish a whirl. We shall see…

Susan April 2, 2010 at 11:53 am

I got paid yesterday tooooo! I totally forgot about it until my pay stub was dropped off and it made. my. day. I’m happy things are looking up, falafel and salad bars have a funny way of doing that. And that picture of The Gyllenhaal is SO worth whatever amount of time you put into it.

I never eat out! Maybe once a month. That’s how I justify the mass amount of groceries I buy ;)

Potato salad or chickpeas. Or three bean salad. Or pasta salad. Ohhell.

Have a wonderful weekend home Hollyyy!!! <3

chocolatepickle April 2, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Have I mentioned before that I am SO JEALOUS that Madison has a Red Mango?! Argh….Milwaukee’s ONLY place to get frozen yogurt (and it was an ice cream place with 2 frozen yogurt options) closed last year…..there is NOWHERE in this whole city to get frozen yogurt! I think it says a lot about the kind of food many of these Wisconsin-bred people like/eat!;)

Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) April 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm

HOORAY for pay day. And tax refunds. My bank account doesn’t know what’s going on right now. Love the breakfast – how can you go wrong with sweet potatoes and eggs?!

I love, love, love the salad bar in my office cafeteria. The feta cheese and croutons are my fav picks! TGIF.

Naomi(onefitfoodie) April 2, 2010 at 1:37 pm

during M-F, I rarely eat out…I always bring my lunch to work or eeat at home. i LOVE to cook and its also a huge money saver! weekends however I eat dinner out at least once and usually lunch too!!

I LOVE people watching, it is one of my favorite things to do…best places I have people watched 1)south beach, miami. 2)NYC 3) newbury st in Boston 4) any college campus. its just fabulous!!

Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats April 2, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Hy to the VEEEEE!!!

Crunchy peas?!?!?! I am going to have to scour for these the next time I am in line at the salad bar, because I have not seen them yet?!?!?!

Glad your day went better :) And have a FAB weekend!! :D :D :D

janetha April 2, 2010 at 2:46 pm

i wish we were neighbors.
so you could make me hash.
and we could go to hyvee together even though i have never heard of it nor do i know exactly what it is.
so we could photoshop faces on celebrity bodies and giggle.
pillowfights?

HAH.

love you!

1. once
2. garbanzos!

Jess April 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm

My favorite thing would have to be the veggies! I love the edamame. (spelling?)

I’m so glad today was an improvement!
<3 jess
xoxo

Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) April 2, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Might I say that you and Jake make an adorable couple? ;)

I really don’t eat out much, but I do love a yummy specialty coffee (like lattes, mistos, etc.) Usually I buy them around 1-2 times a week…sometimes more during finals and such. :D

Favorite salad topping? Hrm…that’s a toughy. I’m going to go with roasted beets and goat cheese. And sometimes whole foods has roasted bbq tempeh which I *love*.

Andrea@WellnessNotes April 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I love salad bars because there is just soooo much “stuff” to choose from… :) Makes me actually realize how boring my salads at home are… Oh well, I never said I ran a salad bar…

Have a fabulous weekend!

BroccoliHut April 2, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Wow, that breakfast hash looks AWESOME.
Are you my long-lost twin? People watching and food are two of my favorite things ever. In fact, I just posted about my love of people watching the other day:)
I really love to get roasted sweet potatoes at the salad bar.

Sarah @ THE FOODIE DIARIES April 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm

ok i just lost my train of thought bc dora came over to la computadora and said “ummmm why is food so important to you?” i responded, “what do you mean?” and she goes, “why are you always looking at pictures of food?”

uh. embarrassing.

caronae April 2, 2010 at 7:14 pm

That is one superpower breakfast! Me likes :) I feel like I’ve seen falafel on so many blogs lately; I really want some!!! I live in NYC and eating out gets expensive; I try to keep it to 1-2 times a week. I like the vegan dumplings from the WF salad bar! So nom nom nom.

Justine April 2, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I love peas at the salad bar as well as beets and kidney beans.
I don’t usually eat out, but when I do it is always twice in one week or something weird like that.

Tiffany April 2, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Mmmmm with all this beautiful weather, Im in need of fro yo.

I usually eat out once or twice a wk but it just depends on my schedule. I wish I could afford (financially and physically) to eat out more but not on my budget and I enjoy cooking too much.

Olives are my fave part of the salad bar–I love the variety they have! I can’t keep olives in da house b/c once I open the jar, I eat them all.

elise April 5, 2010 at 8:31 pm

80 degrees, hollerrrrrrrrrr. love the sun. i could just bathe in it allllll day long.

i love that you admitted spending way too much time on that pic with your image super-imposed….totes something i would do. or have done. :)

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