Pantry Scrounging Dinner

Tonight’s dinner was created from staples I always have on hand:

  • frozen veggies
  • soup
  • bread
  • cheese

I knew I wanted to use the box of V8 butternut squash soup that has been haunting me everytime I open my cubbard.

Box of Soup

As indicated by the severely torn box of soup in the above picture, I’ve  clearly never opened a box of soup before. I felt quite ravenous hacking away at the box. Just gimme my soup already! I let Sadie lick it clean and tear it up for good measure when I was done. Who’s the boss now, huh soup box!?

Butternut Squash Soup

Thank you to the readers who gave me suggestions as to what to do to transform my butternut squash soup craving into a meal. I followed your suggestions and decided to pair the soup with the old stand by: a grilled cheese sandwich.

Grilled Cheese

I made mine on a whole wheat Arnold’s sandwich thin and Ryan’s on Publix light wheat bread. His and hers grilled cheeses. 😉

We also split a box of Green Giant Healthy Vision frozen veggies.

Green Giant Healthy Vision Veggies

Grilled Cheese and Veggies

At the dinner table Ryan and  I concluded our dinner was fit for a five year old. 🙂 We loved every last bite. The soup in particular was really, really good. I’m a fan!

Low Calorie Christmas Cookies

Ryan affectionately calls me his little cookie monster because I’ve been known to polish off an embarrassing amount of freshly baked cookies on more than one occasion. They’re just too darn delicious!

I love baking Christmas cookies for Santa (and myself 😉 ). Nerd alert: My sister and I always bake cookies to ‘NSync’s Christmas CD. It’s amazing. There’s just something about that song “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” that makes me wanna sing and dance!

Were you a Backstreet Boys fan or an ‘NSync fan… or just a hater? I definitely preferred ‘NSync. I love my Justin Timberlake (though J.C. was my fav at the time…  I had a soft-spot for Joey, too!) .

Annnyway, in my latest Examiner article, I’ve compiled a list of low calorie Christmas cookie recipes. Click here to check it out!

BBQ Chicken Salad

Last night at girl’s holiday movie night, my friend Laurel mentioned a fabulous and super-easy way to make BBQ chicken salad.

Since Ryan and I had BBQ chicken for dinner last night, I figured I’d use the leftover chicken to make the chicken salad for lunch today.

BBQ Chicken Salad

Laurel recommended making the chicken salad using equal parts Miracle Whip and BBQ sauce which turned out great!

I chopped up the grilled BBQ chicken and made the salad using the leftover Brussels sprouts and carrots and some fresh mushrooms as well. I stuffed the chicken salad into a whole wheat pita.

BBQ Chicken Salad Pita

This was a yummy and tasty lunch!

Butternut Squash Soup

I’m up in the air as to what I want for dinner tonight. I have a big box of butternut squash soup I’d like to try, but don’t think a bowl of soup will fill me up.

Do you guys have any recommendations for what I could add to butternut squash soup to turn it into a meal? I’m perplexed!

Carba Nada Giveaway

For all of you pasta lovers out there, be sure to enter my Carba Nada pasta giveaway today! A winner will be posted in the mornin’. This stuff will take your tongue to taste heaven. Seriously.

Dinner, Elf, Hot Cocoa, Breakfast

Who knew a night of no blogging could make me feel so behind! Let’s get caught up, shall we?

Yesterday I left work early for my Invisalign appointment at my orthodontist’s office. She told me my teeth are coming along smoothly and slowly but surely I’ll have the smile I’m hoping for. All in good time, my friends. 🙂

My orthodontist just got married last week so I enjoyed hearing about her wedding. My visits there always fly by! As I was about to leave, she gave me her latest promo material. Normally promotional stuff is useless, but I was super excited about this one!

Awesome Promo Cup!

Cool huh? I filled it up with my gym’s free Barnie’s coffee this morning, so I’m reppin’ College Park Orthodontics like it’s hot! 😉


After my Invisalign appointment, I hurried home to scoop up the pup and take her to the dog park with Ryan. It was gorgeous outside and Sadie had a ball.

Once park playtime was over we came home to cook dinner.

Pre-Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

I chopped up Brussels sprouts and carrots and tossed them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted them at 400 degrees for 12 minutes on one side before flipping them and roasting the veggies for another eight minutes.

While I was preparing the veggies, Ryan grilled up some BBQ chicken. I marinated the chicken breasts all day while we were at work, so they were infused with BBQ goodness. Ryan cooked them perfectly, as always.

My Plate

Sadie really wanted some of that chicken.

"Gimme Da Chicken and No One Gets Hurt."

With that cute face, she got more than a few bites. 😉

Once my belly was full I was ready to set up for girl’s holiday movie night.

Hot Chocolate and Apple Cider Spread

The spread included two different flavors of hot chocolate, apple cider and the movie of choice: ELF!

My friends arrived around 7 p.m. and left at 10:30 p.m. I don’t think we watched even one minute of the movie, but I enjoyed talking and laughing with mah girlies.


On to today! My neck is slowly on the up-and-up. It felt okay enough to go to BodyPump this morning which made me quite happy. I’ve missed that class! The workout was tough. I felt weaker after only a week off of this total-body weights class. I see soreness in my future.

Following two days of cold Greek yogurt-based breakfasts, I was cravin’ something h-o-t. Oatmeal… oh yes.

Wednesday's Breakfast

I stirred in one scoop of All the Whey cupcake batter protein to make my oats extra creamy. So darn delicious.

Feed Your Fingers

You guys all know how much I love peanut butter and basically all nuts in general. I was excited to receive an email from Ann with Diamond Foods informing me about, a Web site featuring recipes created with various nuts (and popcorn, too!).

Emerald Deluxe Mixed Nuts and Pop Secret Homestyle Popcorn Brittle

I love using nuts as a standard mix-in with my morning Greek yogurt, oatmeal and my protein brownie. The Feed Your Fingers site also offers coupons, including this $1 off any Diamond nuts product (8 oz. or larger) coupon.

According to Ann:

Diamond Foods supports healthy eating for an active lifestyle. Some of their most recent product introductions have been 100 calorie packs of a variety of Emerald nuts and Pop Secret microwave popcorn as well as two new indulgent Emerald Trail Mixes. The company sponsors the last five miles of the 2009 ING New York marathon and the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park in NYC on December 31, along with the LA marathon and the Emerald Across the Bay 12K in San Francisco.

Gotta love companies that support healthy living! 🙂

Carba Nada Giveaway!!!

I cannot tell you how excited I am about this giveaway.

The wonderful people at Al Dente Pasta have agreed to give away three packages of their Carba Nada noodles.


If you’re a regular reader you know that I have an ongoing love affair with these noodles. I was initially attracted by their impressive nutritional stats.

Check ’em out:

Carba Nada Nutritional Information

I love the protein and fiber content in these noodles. Plus, if you watch your carbs, these noodles have less than half the carbs of an equal serving of most pastas. Sch-weet!

I have recommended these noodles to a bunch of people and everyone who tried them has come back to me with rave reviews. The three flavors the giveaway winner will receive include egg fettuccine, lemon pepper fettuccine, and roasted garlic fettuccine. YUM.

My past Carba Nada posts:

Egg Fettuccine Carba Nada Pasta

Al Dente Pasta also offers a newsletter with promotional coupons. This month, newsletter subscribers receive 10 percent off all gifts. (Once you sign up for the newsletter, you receive the coupon right away.) Also, the first 24 people who order $100 worth of gifts will receive a free apron. Gift sets are available on the site, but I was also told that they can customize gifts for you if you want something else included or substituted.

To enter this giveaway, simply comment on this post with which Carba Nada pasta flavor intrigues you most. 🙂 Not too hard, huh?

A winner will be announced tomorrow morning using’s true random number generator.