Brighten Up

Bright colors have been filling my plate day after day. I somehow managed to fit in one fruit and vegetable after another into every meal and snack while on vacation this past weekend in Florida. Lunches consisted of grapes, apples, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, leafy greens, corn and bean salsa, in addition to pita chips and plenty of hummus for dipping!

Easter dinner was teamwork at its finest. Each of us (my mom and Thom, Greg’s parents, Greg and I) contributed to making a dish or two for the meal. I made roasted sweet potatoes and a strawberry pretzel salad that counted for both a side dish AND dessert! Killed two birds with one stone with that one 🙂 We also had corn pudding, pineapple casserole, asparagus, ham (I had to live without Easter ham for the first time in forever), and some leftover spring greens. 

We even made sure to dye some eggs that served as our centerpiece at the dinner table. When I say ‘we,’ I mean everyone except Greg’s mom and me. We were out spending our Saturday night grocery shopping for the big dinner just in time before the stores closed for the holiday. Regardless of who did the dying, the bright eggs made us feel more festive and put us in the Easter spirit. 
Greg and I made it back home Monday evening. We were both exhausted and had quite the early bedtime! I had the most difficult time waking up and getting to work yesterday, but somehow made it through the day. 
Keeping true to my trend of colorful meals, I made a very similar stir-fry as the Sweet Veggie and Cashew dish I made last week. 
I added all kinds of chopped vegetables to a hot skillet for dinner. After cooking for about 7-8 minutes, I added chopped cashews and then poured some of Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki sauce into the skillet to bring it all together. The finished stir-fry was added to a bowl with brown jasmine rice.

Having a plateful of every different color not only tastes great, but makes me feel great too. 
Let’s see if I can keep this streak of color going all week. 

A Panama City Beach Restaurant Review – Boatyard

Hello from Panama City Beach, Florida!

Greg and I woke up in the middle of the night Friday, 3:55am to be exact (no, I don’t consider that early morning, it’s the middle of the night), and made the eight hour trek down to the panhandle to spend Easter weekend with our parents.

After refueling from the long drive with a plate of fresh fruits and veggies, we packed the car for the beach. The weather was beautiful and we took a family stroll along the white sandy beach for most of the afternoon. 
Dinnertime came quickly and we knew just the spot: Boatyard. We had gone to this restaurant both times I have been here before. It’s literally right across the street from the house, making a good excuse to get even more walking into our day!
We sat outside and the atmosphere overall was great. It was energetic, fun and relaxing. 
Besides the health benefits of my new lifestyle of eating a plant-based diet (maybe not 100% of the time, but MOST of the time), it sure makes ordering dinner much easier! While I normally would spend a good 10-15 minutes deciding what delicious meal I wanted from the menu, my options at this restaurant were extremely limited, as most everything involved seafood, chicken or steak. 
My eyes went straight to the salad section and I immediately chose the Spinach and Arugula Salad – “Baby Spinach and Arugula topped with Pear Tomatoes, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Dried Cranberries, sliced Apples and Goat Cheese, drizzled with an Apple Cider Vinaigrette.” There were even walnuts mixed in, which was a nice surprise since they weren’t listed on the menu.

This salad could not have been more perfect! I ate every single last bite. Besides the goat cheese, every part fit my diet and I had nothing to feel guilty about. 
Then came dessert. Now, I have said I will make exceptions and this is one of those times. Greg’s mom pointed out the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cheesecake and I was sold. Greg’s eyes lit up too, and it’s rare he gets excited for dessert! 
We split this slice and I was perfectly satisfied. 
As you can see, we didn’t leave much behind. I scooped up as much caramel and whipped cream as I could.
The macadamia nut flavor was stronger than I imagined, but in a good GREAT way. 
I don’t know if the healthfulness of my salad makes up for this downfall, but I don’t regret it at all. Baby steps, my friends. Baby steps.
I’m off with the family for another beach day! Hope you all are spending this Easter weekend with loved ones. Have a great day!
Boatyard Restaurant on Urbanspoon