October 7, 2013

I had a touch of the post-vacation blues, but I was overall really happy to be home to our routine this week. I did a grocery store run with no plan in mind (quite a contrast to meal planning week!). But luckily this week we needed to be flexible because we joined Karen for dinner at her house a few nights. She’s doing well on the road to recovery from such a major surgery and says hello! Her friends have been so generous bringing over meals to feed a family of six, so she invited us over to dine with her and sent us home with leftovers.


I kicked off autumn with a big leafy bowl of oatmeal. I really haven’t had the craving for oatmeal much this year, but as the weather cools it’s coming back. This guy had bananas and blackberries with a big blob of fresh ground almond butter on top.


I still love my eggs and toast though! And thankfully Mazen is back to eating eggs. I pulled this English muffin from Trader Joe’s from our freezer and ended up tossing the rest. It was just too much like cardboard.


I got my cinnamon raisin fix from some Great Harvest Cinnamon Raisin Walnut toast with eggs and nectarine the next day.


Continuing the oatmeal theme, I had oats in a jar another morning. Matt was home for breakfast and we made a triple batch of oatmeal. I have to say, whipped banana oats are much better made 2+ servings at a time. There is more volume so it takes longer to cook and that extra time makes all the difference in creaminess and texture.


We took the third serving and spread it on a square dish to make some oatmeal bites for Mazen.


When it had chilled, I tried slicing it but it was too creamy to really make bites! I might have to leave out the banana next time.


He didn’t really like it on his tray, but he loved it with a spoon.


My last morning I made a yogurt + fruit + muffin bowl


Great Harvest now has a Cinnamon Cranberry muffin that has the best crispy, dense {whole wheat} texture! I added a little of Mazen’s leftover oats to my bowl. I will happily eat it if he won’t : ) And Barney Butter made a comeback!



It’s been a while since I’ve had smoked trout. Mazen loves it so we shared a can along with Cava Kalamata Olive Hummus, cheese and Jalapeno Corn Bread on the side.


Tuesday I had a wonderful grilled cheese with sharp white cheddar, arugula and Smucker’s Strawberry jam. Seared pear on the side and a mug of matzo ball soup that my friend brought over.


This was a simple and quick lunch of leftovers from my Cook Smarts week (consumed a few days after – not that old!). I loved the orzo salad even more the next day.


This hearty lunch featured a leftover bean burger {also from Cook Smarts}, salad with tomatoes and almonds and Annie’s Woodstock dressing, herby goat cheese, sweet potato fries and Garden of Eatin’ chips.


Finally, M and I met Matt for lunch at the bakery. I had half of this Pimento Cheese on Cville Crunch and an apple on the side. Saved the other half for another day.




Seems so summery, yes? Yellow squash, tomato and pinto beans cooked in Mexican spices and served with yoga-mole, shredded cheese and cilantro.


This dinner was a salad with a baked chicken and veggie dish on top. Karen sent us home with the leftovers after our visit.


Another night we roasted kabocha squash (yay!!) with sautéed Swiss chard and leftover olive-fontina chicken breasts from Cook Smarts (I loved using up all the leftovers in more meals and lunches).


Lasagna at Karen’s. I also sautéed up a head of kale with lemon and goat cheese for us all. We tasted some pastries for dessert!


More leftover lasagna from Karen’s – it was GOOD!!


Served with a Greek salad I put together made with sun-dried tomatoes, olives and feta cheese.



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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio October 7, 2013 at 8:46 am

Pimento cheese is just the best! Love that y’all have it at GH now.


2 Jackie October 7, 2013 at 8:52 am

Your plated food is always so pretty!!


3 Lauren @ The Highlands Life October 7, 2013 at 9:02 am

Praying for Karen. Glad to hear her spirits are up and she’s on the road to recovery. Sometimes that’s the best medicine to have people love you while you are healing.


4 Christine@ Apple of My Eye October 7, 2013 at 9:05 am

Love how vibrant all of your eats are! That lasagna definitely caught my eye. It’s about time I had some of that comfort food as well haha!


5 Betsy October 7, 2013 at 9:52 am

Hi Kath!
People rave about kabocha squash, but every time I try to prepare it I get a dry chalky result. How do you do yours? Is it a starchier squash or am I doing something wrong? Thanks!


6 KathEats October 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Hmm…I’m not quite sure. Are you using an oil to cook it? I wonder if using a bit more would keep it moist.


7 Betsy October 7, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Yes, I use EVOO, first I tried butter. Brushed it on liberally, baked at 400. I halve the squash like I would spaghetti, perhaps I should cut it in rings like you? Should it come out creamy?


8 KathEats October 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Slicing it might help it caramelize a bit more against the pan. I used coconut oil on mine. I do think it’s a bit more dry than other squash


9 Dom October 12, 2013 at 1:55 pm

You can try cutting it up with some tempeh and onions. Season with thyme, pepper, salt, oil and a touch of water. Throw in a casserole dish and bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes. I use this recipe with a variety of squash and it is delicious and properly cooked every time. :).


10 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 7, 2013 at 9:54 am

I am ALL about oatmeal right now, especially now that it’s cold here in Chicago. Had gingerbread oats this morning!


11 Emily - It Comes Naturally Blog October 7, 2013 at 10:15 am

Mmm…my tummy is grumbling just looking at that lovely fresh food! Glad to hear that Karen is on the mend.


12 Ashley October 7, 2013 at 10:18 am

Trying out Cooksmarts this week…I’m excited!


13 Cait's Plate October 7, 2013 at 10:19 am

Love that leaf bowl! And just how vibrant and colorful all your meals look – definitely the mark of some good eating :)


14 Janelle October 7, 2013 at 10:20 am

I love the leaf bowl! And the cinnamon cranberry muffin sounds so tasty – maybe I’ll have to figure out how to make a gluten free version. Yum.


15 Paige @ Your Trainer Paige October 7, 2013 at 10:42 am

I always have a bit of post-vacation blues! And the longer you’re gone, the more “blue” those blues are, it seems.
I’ve been digging oats ever since the temps turned down.


16 Tawny October 7, 2013 at 11:29 am

Oh my gosh kale and crumbled goat cheese is my favorite food combination right now! So simple yet so mind blowing! I am also on an oatmeal kick however I am all out of almond butter which takes some of the fun out of it, but I have been adding in local organic honey with raisins and it is delicious :)


17 Ella P October 7, 2013 at 11:49 am

Dear Kath,
In addition to porridge I used to make my children thick oven-backed Scandinavian style pancake. Super-easy, absolutely delicious and packed with nutrients. I had/have a sweeter version and a savory version (with grated cheddar or parmesan incorporated). I used to let it cool properly and dice it nicely into tiny bites. Easy to eat for children of all ages.

A hug, warm and tight, to Karen.


18 Ting October 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Yum!!! Your pictures are so delicious looking and very inspiring! I will try to make a delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner for myself everyday of this week. I am especially looking forward to trying the whipped banana oatmeal :)


19 Maggie @ Sunnyside Up Smile October 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm

All of your food is so beautiful and creative! And that whipped banana oatmeal recipe is such a gem! I make it whenever I’m craving something super creamy :)


20 Jesse October 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm

love the idea of goat cheese on kale. i always do parm, but goat sounds great!


21 Julie October 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I have to try kale with goat cheese. And now I have a craving for a good homemade lasagna!


22 Sammy @ Peace Love and Ice Cream October 7, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Yum yum and yum! Oatmeal bites for the kids…genius! :)
-Sammy @


23 Elizabeth October 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Glad to hear Karen is doing well after surgery. Your grilled cheese has totally inspired me! And the kale with goat cheese sounds wonderful!


24 Chelsea @ TableForOne October 7, 2013 at 1:46 pm

I can tell that Fall is here with your changing meals. Lots of squash and kale. I love it!!


25 Katie @ Live Half Full October 7, 2013 at 1:48 pm

I love these posts. So inspiring!


26 Carly @ Snack Therapy October 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Aaaaand now I’m hungry. Sending Karen happy recovery thoughts!


27 [email protected] October 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Still too warm here for whipped oats but as soon as I get a chilly morning it’s pumpkin whipped oats with blackberries all the way! Cracked open my last jar of Barney Butter last week too! Have you tried the Barney Bare or any of the new varieties yet? They still won’t deliver to Ireland, such a bummer! Oh and one more question…are you a steel cut oat fan?


28 KathEats October 7, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I just tried it and it was so bland. I added my own salt and it’s MUCH better! I can do without sugar, but not without salt


29 [email protected] October 8, 2013 at 7:35 am

Totally agree!!! Salt makes it pop!!! Would love to try the other new flavours they sound amazing…Especially vanilla and espresso!


30 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs October 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Everything looks delicious! I need to stop reading these posts on an empty stomach — I’m almost drooling :)

Glad to hear Karen is doing well!


31 Livi October 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm

love how brightly colored and fresh your meals always look!


32 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries October 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Glad Karen is doing well! That lasagna looks delicious! Quick question: How does Mazen do with sleeping while on vacation? My little guy is 6 months and sleeps terrible every time we go anywhere, but sleeps for 11-12 hours straight through the night at home. I’m wondering if he’ll grow out of it any time soon or if this is what I have to deal with for a couple years…


33 KathEats October 7, 2013 at 6:49 pm

He definitely doesn’t sleep as well. We had a few nighttime wake ups at the beach, but he was also getting sick with a cold. He got up at 5:45am (about 45 minutes early) a few nights too, but by the end of the week he was sleeping much better


34 Sadie October 7, 2013 at 5:09 pm

It’s great to hear Karen is going so well and supplying you with leftovers!

I love baked oatmeal but course Mazen wants his food with a spoon because that’s what he sees adults do. To me, it seems slightly offensive when I see babies food just thrown on a high chair table to eat with their fingers. Crackers or other finger foods I can understand but most meals belong in bowls with cutlery. I don’t see adults just dumping their food on the table being expected to eat it with their hands so I don’t know why people think it’s okay for their children to do it.

Maybe I’m just behind the times and not up to date with the new style of parenting :)


35 KathEats October 7, 2013 at 5:58 pm

he doesn’t know how to use a spoon properly. If I tried to give him a spoon and a bowl everything would end up on the floor and nothing in his mouth. Luckily he is very good with his fingers


36 sarah venn October 7, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I second that. It’s hard enough keeping things clean with the food right on the tray. I can’t imagine throwing a spoon/fork and a bowl in the mix.


37 Ella P October 8, 2013 at 3:22 am

My children literally LOVE eating with their fingers. If I allowed it, they would eat specific food that way now as well, even though they are masters with cutlery.
There is an undeniable sensorial pleasure in it 😉
I do that as well. sometimes. discreetly. very discreetly….;)


38 Jessica October 7, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Eating meals ‘in bowls with cutlery’ is a learned skill! Its takes time for little one to learn how to do this. And in the meantime it is extremely beneficial and normal for kids to explore eating food with their fingers.


39 Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves October 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Looks delicious as usual! Especially that lovely first picture of oatmeal :)


40 Alex @ Kenzie Life October 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Oddly enough, I’ve had the opposite issue with oatmeal: craved it all spring and summer and I think I had the same combination so much that I just got sick of all oatmeal. I need to jazz up my breakfast routine and get excited about it again!


41 sarah venn October 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm

I’m totally craving oatmeal now…and a cup of coffee on a cold rainy day! Just curious, I saw the little sippy cup next to Mazen. Do you find that he drinks a lot? My baby is almost 9 months and I have tried introducing water now that I am nursing less frequently. I was amazed at how fast she figured out how to suck from a straw, but now she finds no interest in drinking the water. I’m always worried that she isn’t getting enough fluids. Did you have that issue in the beginning?


42 KathEats October 8, 2013 at 6:34 am

to be honest, no. Once Mazen figured out the straw he took to water. Maybe your daughter is just not that thirsty yet?


43 Nicole October 8, 2013 at 6:53 am

Don’t you think it’s kind of backwards that you and Matt took Karen’s leftovers? I mean…shouldn’t you be bringing her food, instead of taking it? Just seems strange to me.


44 KathEats October 8, 2013 at 9:07 am

She had no appetite and 5 dinners in the fridge! She was happy to share, enjoy our company and not waste food. We took Mazen over, prepared dinner and did all the dishes. She was appreciative. Do you honestly think we would be anything but supportive during this time?


45 Kimberly October 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm

When my grandfather passed away, people were SO generous bringing food to us. Even with all of the out of town family around, there was no way it could all be eaten before it went bad (and there wasn’t much space in the freezer to save it). Sounds weird, but if she did have more food then she needed, I agree that it’s better for you to take it home then for it to go to waste! I’m sure you guys are bringing plenty of food over when she needs it!


46 KathEats October 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm

We brought the fresh salad 😉


47 Michelle @ Esculent Dreams October 8, 2013 at 8:06 am

aww oatmeal bites! How precious! :) Also, that first “Dinners” salad looks incredible.


48 Amanda Cowan October 8, 2013 at 10:38 am

I was “off” barney butter for the longest time but it’s made a comeback in my house too. I love keeping a box of the 90 calorie packs on hand for taking with me for on the go snacks. With 3 kids, I find I often have errands to run that keep me out of the house for hours and along with my standard snacks I pack (apples, carrots, etc) having a packet of almond butter to smear on an apple helps to keep me from stopping for snacks that I know I don’t need. I always keep a few on hand in the car.


49 Anna @ Fitness à la Anna October 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm

What an easy Greek salad recipe, I don’t make it that often since I only ever think of the traditional cucumber, tomato, olives and feta cheese style. Looks like a good week of eats :)


50 KathEats October 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Wish I’d had a cucumber too. This one was packaged by whole foods all in one. I really liked it.


51 Heather October 16, 2013 at 8:24 am

Hi Kath! I am so inspired by your “eats” – I was wondering if you have posted the tweaked muffin recipe that was based on the pumpkin oatmeal bake? We absolutely love the bake recipe around here and I am curious about making mini muffins, thanks!


52 KathEats October 16, 2013 at 9:25 am

it’s coming next week!


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