Posts in "Food"
Getting Creative with Terra's Kitchen

With Rob traveling all summer, I've gotten super lazy in the kitchen--most nights I just eat bunless hot dogs (super exciting) or open a can of tuna or, worse, order some really unhealthy takeout. Then, on Friday mornings when Rob is home, I have no groceries, so we go out for most meals. It's not a great pattern.

So when Terra's Kitchen reached out to me about doing a post together, I was pretty excited. I never knew how I felt about the whole recipe/grocery-delivery idea, but at this time in my life it sounded like exactly what I needed. And on top of offering gluten-free and vegetarian meals, they had Paleo options too; which sealed the deal for me.

I created an account, picked my meals, and set a delivery date. Just a few days later my Terra's Kitchen vessel arrived and I was really impressed by how organized the whole thing was--it has a little door you open up and cooled shelves with all your groceries. Everything comes individually packaged--even the recipes! I had it delivered on Thursday so that when Rob came home Friday we would have a whole weekend of meals already planned for us.

Things I've eaten (so far) this week:

  • Southwestern Steak + Sweet Potato Bowl (pictured in this post--the meat was grass-fed and organic!)
  • Tilapia Salad with Arugula and Apples (such an unusual but delicious combination)
  • Grilled Chicken with Radish Apple Salad (I'm a sucker for anything topped with goat cheese)

I feel like I'm a pretty good cook and do lots of creative things in the kitchen, but sometimes I just get burnt out. I love having these recipes and being challenged to try new things (like use lime zest in my salad dressing--delicious). So often I just rotate the same two or three basic recipes, so it was really nice having three or four new ones that are still quick (30 minutes or less!), easy, and healthy, but also a little more exciting. And I didn't think having the groceries delivered and pre-packaged would make much a difference, but it totally does--it makes cooking feel exciting!

I'm definitely going to be ordering more meals once we get settled in California! If you want to try Terra's Kitchen for yourself, use the code ITALIAN30 for $30 off your first order--and let me know which recipes you pick! 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Terra's Kitchen. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Pranzo
Pranzo | Freckled Italian

"Let's try not to eat so much for breakfast today because we're going over to my tia's house for lunch later," my mom explained to us over her small cup of strong, sweet coffee. The hot Italian sun beat down on us despite the early hour. It was July.

We were in Avezzano, a small mountain town about an hour away from Rome, and we had just woken up and were eating breakfast outside on the patio of another cousin's home. Breads and cookies and chocolate and fruit were laid out on a tray before us and I remember thinking how much I preferred drinking coffee like an adult and being able to eat cookies for breakfast. I was eleven.

We spent the afternoon shopping and trying not to eat. I was amazed by how beautiful Italians make everything--an espresso becomes a work of art with crema, steaming in all its perfection in a tiny ceramic cup and saucer. My mother purchased a bracelet and I watched in awe as the saleswoman put it in a box and tied a gold ribbon around it, then placed it in a small shopping bag with purple tissue paper and handed it across the counter with a smile on her tan face. "Grazie, signora." Even their words are beautiful.

Later in the afternoon we drove closer to Rome to my great-aunt's house, and the lunch festivities began. My great-aunt, my mom's tia is a small, round woman who wears floral dresses and brought out plate after plate of delicious dishes. First, two kinds of pasta, then chicken, then beef. Lasagna and salads followed. We ate for two hours, and my younger brother and I stuffed ourselves until we could barely breathe.

My dad sat next to us, laughing and telling us about the first time he ever went to my mom's house when they were first dating. My grandpa Albino also had several dishes ready, but my dad filled himself up on the first pasta, unaware that there was more to come. Today, he only took a little of each course--he had remembered and he was prepared for the marathon lunch banquet.

My mom sat in the middle of the table, rapidly conversing with her family in Italian and sometimes turning to us to say something in English. She's trilingual but says Italian is the hardest. Without knowing for sure, it's impossible to tell which is her first language.

After all the plates were cleared, my great-aunt came out bearing dessert, and I somehow managed to sneak away from the table before tiramisu was forced upon me. I walked into the backyard and sat beneath a shady fig tree. The afternoon had edged into evening and it was finally a bit cooler, but I was uncomfortably full and told myself I wouldn't be able to eat again for days.

I laid myself down in the grass to take a nap, but there was a low-hanging branch and a dewy purple fig sat right before my face, so I picked it and ate it and then fell asleep.

--

This post was originally published on February 26, 2011. I wrote it in college, but I've been thinking about it a lot this week (there are figs everywhere right now! At the grocery store, on Instagram, in my kitchen, on my plate). I had to do some digging to find this post (I thought I had accidentally deleted it), so I thought I'd re-publish it for any of you who haven't been around since 2011--can you believe I've been writing on this blog for that long? If you have a favorite vacation/travel memory, I'd love to hear it.

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What I Eat in a(n Average) Day
What I Eat in a Day | Freckled Italian

The other day a friend of mine was flipping through my cookbook and asked me if I'd write a post about what a normal Paleo food day and/or week looks like for me. I always love hearing what other people make for meals and snacks, so I thought today I'd go over what a pretty typical day might look like in my life.

Lately I've been experimenting with intermittent fasting (a post of its own, eventually) so I skip breakfast but I'm still trying to decide if I like it or not. So for the purposes of this post, let's stick to three meals. The following are options, I don't eat all of them (although some days I probably could):

Breakfast: 

  • Coffee! Black and usually over ice. Sometimes I get an almond milk latte if I'm out.
  • Two eggs fried in grass-fed butter over a handful of greens (usually spinach or spring mix).
  • A smoothie with spinach, pineapple, frozen berries, and a splash of orange juice.

Lunch: 

  • 1-2 cans of tuna mixed with mayo, dill pickle relish, crushed red pepper, and a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I'll eat this with sliced cucumbers or over a salad or sometimes just by itself.
  • Sliced turkey with pickles, avocado, mustard, and mayo all layered in a romaine lettuce leaf. I'll usually eat 4-5 of these at a time.
  • 2-3 hot dogs (without a bun), topped with mustard and sauerkraut if I have it.
  • If I feel like cooking I make cauliflower fried rice (Trader Joe's has pre-shredded cauliflower rice now and I always have a bag of it in my fridge lately). This is my cauliflower fried rice recipe with daikon instead of cauliflower, but you can easily sub one for the other.
  • A big salad with turkey, ham, and/or chicken, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, whatever other veggies I have in the fridge.
  • Leftovers from dinner the night before.

Snacks: 

  • Fruit: usually grapes but sometimes an apple sliced up with a side of peanut butter (not Paleo but doesn't bother me).
  • Sliced veggies: usually cucumbers, carrots, or celery; also usually dipped in Ranch dressing which sometimes I'll make with coconut milk and homemade mayo but most of the time I buy from the store (also not Paleo but I'm cool with it).
  • Turkey and mayo or sliced tomatoes and mayo on a rice cake (which isn't Paleo--can you see a pattern in my snacking habits?).
  • Sliced radishes dipped in room-temperature butter and topped with a little salt. YES.
  • An avocado, cut in half and seasoned with salt, pepper, cayenne, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice if I'm feeling fancy.
  • On-the-go snacks I try to keep in my bag: Larabars, beef jerky. (These keep me from stopping at a drive thru and eating a gross burger without the bun, which is usually my road-trip order when I'm starving).

Dinner: 

  • Some kind of one-pan chicken dinner (like this one).
  • Crock-pot chicken tacos (usually as a salad or on lettuce cups).
  • Grilled fish with a side of veggies.
  • Zucchini noodles with tomato sauce and meatballs.
  • Burger bowls (basically a burger on top of a big salad).

Dessert: 

Drinks: 

  • I'm awful at drinking water but I constantly try to get enough. 
  • La Croix (my favorites are coconut, apricot, and the cucumber melon)
  • Kombucha (I get a growler filled at a local brewery every week)
  • I have a glass of wine 1-2 nights a week (usually Pinot Noir, Sauvingon Blanc, or Rosé)

I'll occasionally roast a whole chicken one night and spread that out throughout the week--chicken breast for dinner, leftover meat on a salad for lunches, etc. Then I save the bones and make broth with carrots, onion, and celery. I can do a post about that whole process if you're interested, just let me know!

I also wanted to make a note about food and social media--I think about this a lot because generally the things I share on Instagram really aren't Paleo. My day-to-day food is delicious but kind of boring (and not super photogenic, ha!), so when I post something on Instagram it's usually because it's really pretty and also not something I have every day. I just think it's important to remember that because on the Internet it looks like I'm eating French fries and donuts and pizza or tacos all the time when in reality I'm probably eating a salad for lunch like everyone else out there trying to be healthier. Sometimes I'm annoyed when I see super fit people sharing junk food all the time and I don't want to mislead you (although I wouldn't exactly classify myself as super fit). Alright, I'll step off my soapbox now.

There you have it! What are some of your favorite things to eat in an average day? If you have other questions for me, let me know! I love reader requests.

Photo by Andi Perullo for Freckled Italian/The Big 15 Paleo Cookbook.

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