One of my little corporate contributions at work that I enjoy is serving as a “Wellness Ambassador.” In this role, I essentially act as the representative or point person for my work site for SRA International’s health advocacy program known as wellwithin™. I provide outreach and support a culture of health and wellness for my colleagues by communicating worksite wellness events (flu shot clinics or biometrics screenings), disseminating info regarding health campaigns (right now we are wrapping a Recipe Makeover Challenge where employees submit recipes they would the more nutritious version of), and acting as the liaison for employee concerns and recommendations to enhance the overall program. Those are the activities I’m expected to do, but there is room to go above and beyond based on the culture at your worksite. As such, I have coordinated a monthly Zumba class and a monthly Vinyasa yoga class is not far behind. Additionally, I’ve organized a little running group and I want to share about the event we just participated in.
Our running group of around 8 people did training runs weekly together to prepare for DC Running Club’s “Move4Mobility 5K/5 Miler” event. Move4Mobility organizes active events with a mission of raising money and awareness for diseases and injuries that restrict physical mobility. They donate every bit of the proceeds of every event to carefully selected non-profit organizations dedicated to finding a cure for diseases and injuries like Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, and Spinal Injuries. Race day finally came this past Saturday. It was a beautiful morning to run and I actually ended with a personal best….5 miles in 44 minutes. Considering I was rocking a 10:30min/mile when I first got into running 3 years ago, an around 8:50min/mile pace is awesome for this girl. Here is the group at brunch following the race (more on the brunch adventure below!):
After the race, we made our way to a celebratory brunch in the Eastern Market area at Matchbox, a restaurant generally pegged for their awesome wood-fire oven pizza. We had a little time to kill before Matchbox opened so my friend and colleague, Claire, recommended we grab a coffee at Peregrine Espresso, a mom and pop shop type coffeehouse that serves up tasty espresso and coffee drinks. I opted for a vanilla latte and ordered like I would at Starbucks (embarassing.) They still served me a great drink WITH latte art!
I love latte art!
After pumping some caffeine into my body, it was time for a delicious meal and a mimosa. I had the Crabcake Benedict with Matchbox’s “Capitol Hill” mimosa. It is not your traditional benedict as it comes wrapped in bacon, is not atop an english muffin, and the hollandaise sauce is of a chipotle-flavored variety. Nonetheless, my palette was quite pleased with the selection. A particularly indicative moment of my indulgent side was that upon ordering, the waitress actually asked me if it was okay with me that the dish is wrapped in bacon. Um, that’s obviously a bonus NOT a deterrent my friend. Here are some shots of the scrumptious-ness that was.
Matchbox Crabcake Benedict
A nice thick crabcake...nom nom nom
…I am referring to Big Buns Gourmet Grill burgers of course. So I said I’ve been having more saint as opposed to sinner meals as of late due to the upcoming Vegas trip but that does not mean there is NO room for indulgence. Besides I had a deal-a-day to use. The mood for a good fatty burger, copious amounts of fries, and regular coke was shared by B and I. For those of you who don’t know, Big Buns is a made-to-order burger joint in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, VA. I’ll walk you through the options and what I chose and hopefully you’ll agree that my palette was on point here.
- Choose from Angus Beef Burger, Chicken, Portbella Mushroom or Grilled Fish. Carrie chose Angus Beef Burger.
- Choose your preparation from On a Bun, On a Wheat Bun, or In a Bowl with Mixed Greens. Carrie chose On a Wheat Bun, the sole reasonable choice in this meal.
- Choose any or all of the toppings from various cheeses; the typical lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle; mushrooms; sprouts; grilled pineapple; bacon; avocado. Cheeses and premium toppings like avocado or bacon come at an extra charge. Carrie went with lettuce, tomate, pickle, grilled pineapple, bacon, and American cheese.
- Choose a dressing if you would like from a Buttermilk Herb Ranch, Chipotle Pesto Aioli , Sweet Chili Vinaigrette, or Honey Mustard. Carrie chose Chipotle Pesto Aioli.
- Add a side. Choices include: Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, Chips, Coleslaw, or Cookie. Carrie shared Fries AND Sweet Potato Fries with Bryan.
In sum, this is a great sinner meal option!
No offense Manwich, but my stepdad’s sloppy joes blow your “robust” flavor out of the water. I’ve received stellar feedback on this recipe from many roommates, friends, and Bryan. One of my favorite things about it is how simple it is. It is truly a “add to taste” concoction and you will have a happy tummy every time!
The Key Players in the BEST Sloppy Joes Ever
You’ll need the following ingredients:
- A pound or so of lean ground beef or turkey
- A small onion, chopped, or some abundant shakes of onion powder (I’m not typically an onion fan so onion powder for me)
- Your favorite BBQ sauce (It’s the main liquid ingredient so be sure you have plenty. I love Sweet Baby Ray’s.)
- Worchestershire Sauce
- Hot Sauce
- Fresh minced garlic (at least 2-3 cloves. I’m a garlic lover and I date an Italian. Need I say more?)
- Several spices including: Italian seasoning, pepper, salt, cinnamon, and chile powder
Are you ready for the super simple directions?
- Cook your lean ground meet in a large, nonstick skillet along with your onion or onion powder until no longer pink.
- Drain any excess liquid and add your favorite BBQ sauce. Again, this is your main liquid ingredient so don’t be shy! You want it to coat all of the meat in the pan adequately. It should be around this much BBQ sauce:
3. After you have the ground beef or turkey completely coated in BBQ, you want to add about the amount of ketchup you would add onto a large burger as well as a few shakes of Worchestershire sauce and a few shots of hot sauce. Give it a good stir.
4. Now for the spices. Add your minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and chile powder. Basically I shake each spice enough to cover the sauced up meat. Add more of what you like as you go. If this is your first time, start with a little of each spice and taste and add more as you go.
Here’s the scrumptious end result:
I love to put the concoction on some sliders and pair with corn of some sort. This was a no fuss night where we did frozen corn and salad. BONUS: Bryan got me lovely flowers that day. Good boyfriend.
Hello my friends! I’m hopeful you had the chance to poke around the “About Me” section to understand why I am entering the blogging world. I’m excited to start sharing my balanced lifestyle. I’ll need to figure out what makes sense as to how often I share updates, but expect to hear about a variety of healthy (saint) and indulgent (sinner) meals cooked at home and enjoyed out as well as some tidbits about my workout adventures.
Let me begin with a saint meal I made last week. The last few weeks have been more about saint meals than sinner ones as the boyfriend, Bryan, and I gear up for our trip to VEGAS BABY! We are figuring there will be plenty of sinner meals to be had including many a buffet and breakfast at Hash House a go go (Who’s been before?) where I plan to take on a Snickers pancake larger than the size of my head. Getting back on track here, I want to share a PorkBeInspired recipe I found a while back in a magazine at my dentist’s office for Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops with Grilled Pineapple Salsa. It looked so good that I tore it out to take home (unthinkable I know.) The recipe is perfect for spring and summer when all you want to do is fire up the grill. Between 15 minutes of prep time and around 20 of cooking, you will come out the other side with one healthy, tasty, and a tad spicy meal! My apologies for the lack of photo shoot along the way. I’ll get the hang of this! I hope you will enjoy this great pork recipe.
- 4 pork bone-in rib chops, about 3/4-inch thick, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 slices pineapple, cut crosswise about 1/2-inch thick, trimmed OR 3 slices canned pineapple,drained
- 1 jalapeno pepper, halved lengthwise, seeds and veins removed
- 1 tablespoon lime juice salt , to taste
- In a shallow bowl, combine chili powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Sprinkle both sides of pork with spice mixture.
- Prepare a grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Grill pork until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Grill pineapple (if using fresh) and jalapeno until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove chops from grill and let rest 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dice pineapple and finely dice jalapeno. In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, jalapeno, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt.
Pair these chops with a nice summer veggie like steamed squash and zucchini and a rice mixture. For this particular meal, Bryan and I went with creamed spinach and loaded sweet potatoes. Just get those veggies in!