Tag Archives: olives

My Favorite Salad

My Favorite Salad

Lunchtime for a working girl can be a dangerous activity.

Having worked in Manhattan for the last 5 years, I’ve eaten from a lot of subpar delis, overpriced salad bars, and super-salty “ramen” during my favorite mealtime of the day. Sure, occasionally you find the absolutely amazing hole-in-the-wall burrito joint, but it’s usually just a few too many avenues away to be convenient, or costs a few too many dollars than you’re willing to let go of, or, let’s face it, contains a few too many calories to ever be deemed a responsible choice.

(Side note: I might have made a spreadsheet to catalog all of the “good” places around my office. If you work near Times Square/Hell’s Kitchen, hit me up and I’ll send you the Google spreadsheet.)

I’m ashamed to say I often pick up and buy my lunch somewhere around my office rather than bringing it from home, and frankly, it’s been taking a toll on my wallet and on my waistline.

It’s just that I have a lot of expectations when it comes to lunch, and microwaved leftovers (especially microwaved meat… EWW!) just don’t cut it. So, because I’m still on the Standard Process Cleanse and most of the take-out options around here do NOT fall into anything I should be eating, I’ve had to innovate and come up with some kickass ideas in order to stay healthy and happy with my food choices.

Enter this salad- not just any salad, but my FAVORITE salad. Like, of all time.

It combines some of my favorite flavors (lemon, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes), with some nutrition powerhouses (kale/arugula, quinoa, avocado) and turns into something so much greater than the sum of it’s parts.

The best part is… it is filling, delicious, and so much better than anything I can find around Midtown!

My Favorite Salad


5.0 from 3 reviews

My Favorite Salad
  • 2 cups greens (I prefer kale, arugula, or a mix), chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • 6-8 kalamata olives, chopped roughly
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon slice
Optional additions:
  • ¼ cup celery, sliced
  • ½ cup carrots, chopped
  • ¼ cup roasted salmon, flaked

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. Sprinkle with juice from the lemon slice, toss again, and serve!

Tip: An easy way to dice an avocado is to make hash marks in the avocado while it’s still in the peel, then scoop it out with a spoon:

My Favorite Salad

Need some other good and healthy lunch ideas? Lentil soup is one thing I don’t mind re-heating in the microwave, and is so yummy. Another favorite is lentil saladgrilled corn salad (accompanied by some grilled chicken or flaked salmon), or carnitas tacos. (I seriously have a phobia of microwaved meat, so I usually just toast up the tortillas in the office kitchen instead, then add the meat and toast some more to heat through).

What are your favorite bring-from-home lunch options?

Happy Lunching 🙂

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Mmmmm… pasta. When fall starts rolling in and the temperature starts dropping, one of my favorite comfort foods is a nice big bowl of pasta with red sauce.

This is a classic southern Italian dish, and one of my favorite ways to spice up normal tomato sauce. I love the saltiness of the olives, the heat of the red pepper flakes, and the strong taste of garlic, all mixed into delicious, tangy and slightly sweet crushed tomatoes.

And while the origin of the sauce’s name may have less than savory origins, this is one of my favorite savory dishes, hands down 🙂

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

I love using big slices of garlic here- but you can mince yours more finely if you prefer it a little smaller. Same goes for the olives- I love biting into them, but if you’d like them more blended into the sauce, you can chop them more finely.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, sliced lengthwise
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped coarsely
  • 1 can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 cups of water
  • kosher salt
  • 1 lb spaghetti

  1. In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic slices and chili peppers and cook, stirring to keep the garlic from burning, 3 minutes.
  2. Add the olives and stir again. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and add the capers. Give everything a big stir to get it all incorporated. Afterwards, in a large pot, boil 3-4 quarts of water over high heat.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add a nice handful of kosher salt, around 2-3 tsps. Add the pasta and cook until al dente- or just very slightly chewy, about 8-9 minutes (depending on the brand you use). Drain the pasta.
  4. Add drained pasta to the saucepan with the puttanesca sauce, and toss to coat. Garnish with fresh parsley, stir again and serve. Enjoy!

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

What is your favorite comfort food once the cold starts coming to your neighborhood?

Happy Eating 🙂

Herb-Crusted Steaks with Cherry Tomatoes and Olives

Herb-Crusted Steaks with Cherry Tomatoes and Olives

Last weekend, I held a barbecue for my coworkers out back on the patio. We had a great time- complete with an original playlist of great music provided by DJ T-Fizz of Pancakes & Beer, excellent weather, and to top it all off, a crazy good cake made out of Milky Ways (!!) brought by my pal Jennilyn.

And oh yeah… the grillin’ was good. Continue reading