Pumpkin Month, Taco Week

Important things first – as of Thursday we have entered Pumpkin Month!

I am very excited about some of those beers. This year’s haul was more restrained than years past because I have accepted that I don’t actually eat cereal so I didn’t buy eight varieties of pumpkin spice cereal to sit and grow stale while they waited for Adam.

Highlights from this week included lots of fall flavors…

Like cinnamon vanilla cold brew.

And freeze-dried apple slices and dark chocolate covered cherries (plus birthday cake bunny grahams).

And all the salted caramel ice creams.

I also had some Perfect snacks.

And this next-level tasty Eleven Lives & Still Wandering double IPA.

I spent two solid hours in the kitchen last Sunday prepping meal components and it was worth it because we had a super easy and delicious taco week! Sautéed onion and red, orange, and yellow bell peppers with roasted zucchini // cauliflower and walnut vegan taco meat // crockpot shredded chicken thighs // homemade salsa (loosely inspired by this recipe). Tacos with veggies, salsa, cauliflower meat, and shredded cheese.

Giant protein bowls with veggies, shredded cheese, cauliflower meat, chicken, salsa, and a fried egg. Plus a cheese quesadilla.

Chicken chilaquiles (made with homeamde tortilla chips!).

Guava – Luxardo – Soursop

Highlights from this week include – easy frozen meals, my first time making (and eating!) carbonara, and cocktail walks with Adam and Webster…

Strawberry guava sour.

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Grimm (local) barrel-aged sour brewed with cashmere hops.

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Soursop daiquiris.

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This drink trio made a great team.

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Trader Joe’s frozen scallion pancakes with Kewpie, Sriracha, and furikake.

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Amy’s chile relleno frozen casserole.

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I made carbonara with turkey bacon and whole-wheat pasta and it was still 10/10 decadent!  With roasted baby eggplant.

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We had leftover egg whites from the pasta so I made scrambled eggs the next night.  With kale and Korean chili flakes.  Plus turkey bacon and buttered pumpernickel-rye toast.

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P.S. These chocolate-covered gummi bears were perfection!  The chocolate and the gummies were both amazing so the combo was even better.

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Chocolate Cherry And Hoppy Guava

I work all this weekend so clearly I jumped right back into my non-vacation life.  It was actually a really busy work-week for me, I’ve been updating the hospital’s parenteral nutrition guidelines which is a fun but time-consuming project (in addition to my patient load).  I am already quite excited for the next weekend – – in 8 days!

Highlights from this week include…

Espresso roast coffee with vanilla oat milk.

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Sweet and jammy jelly berry grapes.

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Double cherry truffle ice cream.  I have been more than a little obsessed with these Magnum tubs throughout quarantine and cherry was my favorite variety yet!

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These Slush Puppie ice pops fill me with an unfathomable amount of joy.  They’re a total childhood favorite throwback and delicious to boot.

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Orange soda beer float!

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Local guava IPA.

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Roasted zucchini with roasted chickpeas, baby tomatoes, kalamata olives, and crispy cheese bites.

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Spring mix and herbs lettuce mix with Asian ginger salad dressing, Guara almonds, tomatoes, and peppered smoked salmon.

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Salad with homemade honey mustard dressing, honey butter almonds, and a fried egg.

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Summer Fruits And Veggies

It was a very good week in fruits and vegetables here!  We went to Whole Foods on Saturday to stock up.  With our new, pandemic-induced, bimonthly grocery schedule our first week of dinners/snacks always feels a lot fresher than the second week.

Highlights include…

Could Perfect Bars be any more perfect?  They are the optimal balance of sweet and savory.  I loved this trail mix flavor.

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My parents sent us a box of tamarinds and I found these strawberry cherries at Whole Foods.

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I also snagged a bag of genips (<– Caribbean fruit that I grew up picking from a tree near my house but have had an impossible time finding in New York) on the street corner near my hospital!

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Watermelon-themed things since it’s almost July 4th.  The winner of the bunch was definitely the Hal’s Seltzer.

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This dinner was brought to you by the color orange!  Salmon/trout salad bagel melts / local heirloom tomatoes with a bit of salt and pepper / roasted gold zucchini.

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We have been loving this black-eyed pea salad combo for almost a decade.  This batch was actually made with fancy heirloom yellow eyed beans since BEP were sold out at the store.  Beans, green pepper, smoked almonds, sharp cheddar, and green Tabasco.  It is such a simple combination but super satisfying.

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Roasted green zucchini topped with Moroccan tofu cubes and a simple yogurt sauce (plain skyr, mayo, olive oil, sumac, paprika, salt, and a little water).

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Our best meal of the week was this trio – baked tofu (cooked with a mix of soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, Sriracha, and honey) / Chinese smashed cucumber salad / fancy mushroom medley sauteed with salt, pepper, and butter.

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Heart On

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day!  I love a holiday with theme colors.

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This week I loved…

Stumptown cold brew with milk.  I’m not sure if I had ever tried the chocolate flavor before, I loved it.

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An epic chocolate cherry smoothie.  Plain Greek yogurt, frozen cherries, and chocolate milk.

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We don’t really do Valentine’s gifts, but the husband did buy me cupcakes!

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Salted caramel and a delicious funfetti.

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A take on this lemon poppy seed chicken casserole.  We added tons of roasted broccoli.

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A take on shakshuka, with red bell pepper and chipotle.  Topped with roasted zucchini, sumac, and two fried eggs.

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Adam was not around for Valentine’s dinner and I’m fighting a pretty bad cold so I loved myself with Brazos Tacos take-out for dinner.  The Solid – pulled chicken, refried black beans, roasted corn pico, sliced avocado, and jack cheese // Tres Quesos – Oaxacan cheese, manchego cheese, and queso fresco, with refried black beans, sliced avocado, roasted corn pico, and pickled watermelon // chips and salsa.

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Bonus – things I love deeply that you might not know about from the blog:

{1} Diet soda.  It is truly the only food I cherish more than coffee or cheese!

{2} Running.  I am not fast, and I am extremely careful with my knees so I don’t run that often, but it is one of my favorite things.  I run about 3 miles in about 30 minutes one time most weeks and I love every second of it.

{3} Wegman’s hot bar “Asian” section.  I get hot bar chicken at least once a week as a pre-dinner snack but it never makes it onto the blog because it just photographs so abhorrently.

{4} “The Office.”  My love of tv is well-documented and over the past year “The Office” has become one of my favorite shows.  I have seen every episode at least three times!  So much of what is happening with the world right now is scary and sad and I’m really loving feel-good shows that are an escape from reality.

Pizza Pizza

Flavor themes from the week – cherries and cheese.  These were the highlights…

Brooklyn Roasting Co coffee.  After this I have one last tin left from NY… guess we need to take another trip soon!

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It was a good week in snacks, thanks in part to a fun package full of goodies from my parents.  Including cherry cola Mike & Ikes and delicious chocolate-covered dried cherries.

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Two new to us snacks, salted caramel Somersaults (<– best flavor yet!) and Sweet Sapphire grapes.

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Another new flavor, sesame bbq chicken Epic bar.

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I cooked salmon for dinner one night.  Roasted coho topped with a vegan scallion pesto – food-processed pine nuts, parsley, sauteed green onions, and evoo.  Plus homemade cole slaw.  The sauce was great, but sadly the salmon was fairly flavorless without it.

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The rest of the week dinners were all about pizza!  I loosely followed this recipe for pepperoni pizza macaroni and cheese.  Whole wheat shell pasta > macaroni pasta.  Pro tip – any time I make macaroni and cheese (or any roux thickened sauce) I always substitute low-fat condensed milk for the recommended liquid.  The results always taste fantastic and it means we don’t have an open container of whole milk in the house which is great because both Adam and I dislike it.  Plus roasted zucchini.

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Meat lovers pizza.  Frozen crust from Trader Joe’s / we added tomato paste while we sauteed some chicken sausage and added that to our marinara sauce / topped with turkey pepperoni and turkey bacon / plus mozzarella and cheddar.  With roasted green beans.

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What is your favorite pizza topping?  Apparently mine is bacon!

Smoked Cheddar To Chocolate Almond

Flavor themes of the week: coffee, cauliflower, seltzer, croissants.

White Noise.  Iced latte and black sesame and milk frozen yogurt swirl fantasticness.

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Home coffee for the week.  Starbucks espresso roast with chocolate milk.

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Breads Bakery.  Smoked cheddar croissant.

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Orwashers.  Almond and chocolate croissant.

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Yogurt bowl.  2% Fage with pomegranate, golden raisins, and luxardo cherries.

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Snack time.  Soursop yogurt drink / red walnuts and marcona almonds with rosemary / pinata apple.

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Kakigōri from a pop-up at Canal Street Market.  Japanese-style shave ice with black currant chocolate sauce, smoked almonds, and torched meringue.  Toasted meringue is one of my all-time favorite flavors.

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Luke’s Lobster.  Lobster rolls taste like butter squared.

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Pelicana.  Korean fried chicken is the best fried chicken, period.

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Not a winner dinner.  Cauliflower rice / sauteed bok choy with rice vinegar / ground turkey sauteed with chopped kimchi and gojuchang / soft boiled egg.  This had so much potential but I ended up stopping halfway through and eating fried chicken leftovers instead.

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Another night we were supposed to have cauliflower soup for dinner but I couldn’t deal with the blender so at the last minute I ended up making… whatever the hell this is.  At least it was tasty!  Sauteed yellow onion and leeks with celery seed and smoked paprika / roasted cauliflower / turkey bacon / sharp cheddar.

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Have a great weekend!

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Heart On My Apron

It’s hard to believe that the Valentine’s celebration of love fell on a week when America really needs some extra love <– but more importantly needs better gun control legislation.

– – There is no good segue from my opening thoughts to blathering about my lunches so I’m just going to abruptly start talking about food here. – –

Highlights from this week…

Chocolate covered strawberry smoothie – plain Greek yogurt, frozen strawberries, and chocolate milk.

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Chocolate covered cherry iced coffee – espresso roast with chocolate milk and Luxardo cherry juice.

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There is a snazzy new Hungry Ghost location near my work and their fantastic iced lattes have not been a good thing for my coffee budget.

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Seriously though, the best coffee of my life was Sunday while grocery shopping – the frozen moolattas from Stew Leonard’s are unreasonably delicious.

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Birthday cake flavored protein bar.

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Sumo mandarin // conversation hearts // sweetened dried lemon and dried persimmon.

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Lavender yogurt with blueberries // dark chocolate heart.

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Vanilla bean yogurt with blueberries and a jaffa murcot mandarin.

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Coffee and chicory yogurt with blueberries // cinnamon churro crispy treat.

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Pinch of Yum’s bourbon chicken.  I used breasts instead of thighs, roasted shredded cabbage instead of rice, and upgraded to maple bourbon.

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Cheesy baked crab dip – with shredded crab, cream cheese, cheddar, green onion, Old Bay, minced ginger, and fish sauce.

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Scooped with orange bell pepper slices and Trader Joe’s coconut shrimp.

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Spiralized zucchini sauteed with lemon and pepper topped with  extra-firm tofu crusted in peanut sauce (peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, canola oil, sugar, garlic, and ginger).

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I hope everyone has a fun, safe, love-filled weekend.

 

Cookie Monster

Friday, Friday, Friday!  How did a short week feel so long?  At least I had multiple sugar highs to carry me through.

Munk Pack sent me a sweet (but actually protein-packed) box of samples.  Munk Pack Protein Cookies contain a whopping 18 grams of plant-protein and 6 grams of fiber per cookie.  They are gluten-free, vegan, and do not contain sugar alcohols or soy.

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I let Adam review two flavors on his own because he’s the one whose lifestyle depends on quick, protein-packed snacks (and he’s already obsessed with Munk Pack’s oatmeal packets).  He thought double dark chocolate was good but not great and was over the moon for oatmeal raisin spice.  To quote – “5/5.  A little bit savory but not too spicy.  Firm on the outside but moist on the inside, with a good texture from the oats.  Very filling, it kept me satisfied for hours.”

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And personally I liked peanut butter chocolate chip but I loooooved the coconut white chip macadamia.  All of the flavors were very substantial, I actually ended up skipping lunch yesterday because I was still so satisfied from the cookie I ate for breakfast at 9!

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Peanut butter wasn’t necessarily a cookie-cookie but was a darn good protein bar but the coconut flavor was straight-up decadent.  It had the slightly gritty consistency of cookie dough and was one of the more delicious packaged cookies (dessert options included) I’ve ever eaten.

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Plus we threw a baby shower for a coworker this week and I made and ate a million desserts.  Matzoh toffee candy.

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Triple fudge brownies with maraschino cherries and cherry cream cheese frosting.

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I did eat one or two things that weren’t sweet.  Like super spicy Thai food.  I went out for lunch with a girlfriend in Astoria and had a great bowl of extra spicy pad see ew with mock duck.

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Plus Adam and I hung out for a bit at Gossip; love it there.

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Still obsessed with this Trader Joe’s seed and bean snack.

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It was a week of fantastic home-cooked dinners.  Like Asian-style cabbage wraps.  <– best dish of the week

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Red cabbage cups / ground turkey sauteed with shredded carrot, spring onion, orange and bell pepper/ crushed peanuts on top.

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Plus two dipping sauces – miso, lime juice, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, gojuchang / avocado, cilantro, fish sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, Greek yogurt, evoo.

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Another night I used the leftover avocado cilantro sauce to make a killer salad.  With red cabbage, arugula, spring onion, shredded carrot, yellow bell pepper, black beans, sharp cheddar, and salty peanuts.

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With an assortment of global gummy candies for dessert.

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And another night we made loaded cheeseburger cheese fries!

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Waffle fries / cheese / tons of sauteed onion / mini turkey cheeseburgers / with ketchup and mayo on top.

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Plus broccoli slaw on the side, sauteed with rice vinegar and cream cheese.

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Have a happy weekend!

Spicy Cherry Coke Chicken

This past week was extra-strength lengthy.  I stayed late at work a few days and had several issues with my train and the end result was that I was home more than two hours late almost every day this week – yuck!  I did manage to eat some good dinners still, but I did not manage to get this post up on time.

Best bites {or really should I be writing “superior sips” here because I always start with coffee?!} –

Iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk.

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I also had a yummy iced latte from Birch.

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And I tried the new blonde espresso from Starbucks.  <– quite good, felt like it should be paired with vanilla

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Peach Siggi’s with a Cara Cara orange and strawberry granola minis.

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Plain Icelandic style yogurt with maple taffy, Page mandarins, and sprinkled donut crunch cereal.

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I am a marketer’s dream; I don’t eat cereal all that often, and I hate Captain Crunch, but I still bought this because it was adorable!

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Adam and I both had Monday off, so we got to go on a lunch date!  Serendipity3.

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It was our best meal there to date, we were both swooning over our entrees.  I had curried chicken casserole with almonds and many bites of Adam’s sandwich.

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We came home with two-full-meals-worth of leftovers and were still almost too full for dessert.  Almost.  This sundae is the best thing ever – humble (peanut butter) pie / vanilla ice cream / sliced bananas / hot fudge.

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Bonus – we stopped at Dylan’s next door before our walk across the Queensborough bridge and bought a candy bar on a whim that ended up being fantastic.

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I made a big crockpot of Spicy Cherry Coke Chicken for dinners.  Basically this recipe but with Coke instead of Dr Pepper and chicken instead of pork and I diced up my cherries, chipotles, and jalapenos.

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Served on a sandwich with brioche bun and mayo.

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And roasted zucchini on the side.

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And served on top of nachos!

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My other dinners were brinners.

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Breakfast bowl with sauteed kale with tons of garlic and onion, Trader Joe’s meatless breakfast sausages, and two fried eggs.

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Scrambled eggs with tons of onion, chipotle, and sharp cheddar and roasted green beans on the side.

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Hope everyone is having a great weekend!