The First Weekend of March

by Lauren on March 4, 2012

Well hello Sunday night!  Where did you come from? 

Even though some of our plans got canceled, we still had a very enjoyable weekend.  I had a lot of work to catch up on so it was nice to have some extra time to work on some projects and what not.  It wasn't all work though.  As usual, the food was yummy and the fun didn't fall short. 

A very broad overview for you: 

The Food: 

Yes, you probably saw this last week but let me tell you I don't think I could ever get sick of seeing perfectly toasted waffles topped with fresh blueberries, banana slices, sunflower butter, and agave.  This was a nice "weekend" breakfast without putting a whole lot of effort forward.  Perfect when your kind of in a hurry but have a few extra minutes, which was my case on Saturday morning. 

It seems as though if I have waffles or pancakes one day, it's going to be eggs the next day. I crave them equally on the weekends and luckily, I have two days to have them both.  

This was one of those random creations that stems purely from a build-as-you-go mentality.  I started with a bed of spinach and then added red quinoa, roasted brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, red cabbage, beets, avocado, feta, and massaged balsamic kale.  Lastly, a few walnuts for a touch of texture. Quite delicious! 

Seared scallops are one of my favorite dinners but I rarely make them because they are the few seafood items that Toly doesn't like.  Tonight, I made him flounder and finally pulled out scallops for me. 

The scallops were perfect but the salad I made to go along was equally wonderful.  Spinach, quinoa, cara cara orange, cucumber, roasted almonds, feta, and avocado.  Looking at this, I realize I made two very similar salads so I guess they must have been good. 

The Fun: 

  • Finally making it to a Body Pump Class.  It has been weeks since I've been able to make a class so I was thrilled to get back into some pump.  Bonus- the instructor played one of my favorite old releases! 
  • Getting my nails done.  I haven't done this in awhile but my nail stylist also happens to be a good friend of mine and I love to be able to catch up with her and also walk out with a fresh manicure.  
  • Spending the day with my in-laws in Baltimore.  Toly's mom's birthday was last week and we decided to give her the gift of a day trip to some of her favorite places, Ikea and Trader Joe's, which also happen to by two of my favorite places so it was really a party for everyone! 

 

We stopped for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory to do a little more celebrating. 

Cheers to Alexandra!  

We started with hummus for the table to share. 

It was good but not as good as I remember.  Today is seemed to be extra garlicky. 

For lunch, I finally ordered an item I have passed up the last few times I've been here.  The homemade veggie burger is semi-new and always sounded so good made with roasted beets, brown rice, faro, and onion.  I asked for mine sans bun and got a salad on the side. 

Eh, this was okay.  I ate it all because I was hungry but it definitely wasn't the best veggie burger I've ever had. 

The Cheesecake Factory is always hit or miss with me.  Either it's really really good or just not that exciting.  At leas the company was great! 

That about sums it up.  I have another busy week in front of me but I do have some exciting news to share with you all tomorrow.  I hope you stop by to hear all about it and there may be something a little extra in it for you.  Just sayin'. wink

 

What is your go-to menu item at a chain restaurant? 

 

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{ 26 comments }

kathleen @ the daily crumb March 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm

what a fun weekend!  although you are brave to venture into ikea on a sunday :)
i love california pizza kitchen and always get the veggie chopped salad/split pea soup combo.  never disappoints!

Lauren March 4, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I haven't been to a CPK in years!  We don't really have any local. 

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 4, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I have a hard time eating at chain restaurants to be honest with you – your weekend sounds like a good one!

lynn @ the actor's diet March 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm

tj's, ikea, and the cheesecake factory? chain heaven!!!

Erica @ For the Sake of Cake March 4, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Sounds like a fantastic Sunday!
I don't know if I have one "go-to" item at chain restaurants — I usually like to change it up, unless there is one thing that I really LOVE.

Sarah March 4, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Sounds like a nice weekend.  I never had any luck at Cheesecase Factory, but haven't been in years. 
Since I eat GF, we're pretty limited in restaurants. One that offers real GF foods is Cheeseburger in Paradise-they offer burgers/sandwhiches with GF buns that are actually good.  Many restaurants offer a "Gluten Free" menu, but it means that I order a burger without the bun, or salad without the croutons-duh!  Cheeseburger in Paraside is also great about avoiding cross-contamination.  I get  special utensils and my food is brought out separately by the manager. 

Lauren March 4, 2012 at 9:25 pm

I don't think I've even heard of Cheeseburger in Paradise but it sounds pretty delish! And kudos to them for being so diet-sensitive friendly. 

Sarah March 5, 2012 at 6:24 am

Next time you're in Baltimore, you can check it out!  They have pretty good salads too ;-) !

Caroline @ After Dinner Dance March 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Probably pizza if they have it – it's hard to mess up pizza too badly :) Also, your hair looks great in that picture! Do you use any special products that you'd recommend?

Lauren March 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Haha funny story but the Cheesecake Factory actualy MAJORLY messed up my pizza order once and I'll never forget it. :)  Aww, you are so sweet.  Thanks! I use a Keritin shampoo and condiiton and also the Reonstrux conditioning formula.  I took the curling iron to it today though which explains the waves. 

Colleen @ Jimmy Choos on the Treadmill March 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I just saw your comment on Erica's blog about being in Towson–do you live in the area or were you just visiting?! I live just outside of Towson!

Lauren March 5, 2012 at 7:11 am

Hey Colleen! I live about an hour outside of Towson (in pa) but I used to live there and went to school at Towson U. I still visit a few times a month. :)

Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats March 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm

If you opened a salad restaurant, I would eat lunch there daily! lol. :) My go to chain restaurant eat is the Thai Chopped Chicken salad at Panera sans dressing + won ton strips! I love the edamame and peanut sauce on it!

Lauren March 5, 2012 at 7:10 am

I’ve actually contemplated opening a salad bistro. It’s sort of my un-lived dream. :) Mm, I haven’t had that Panera salad in ages!

Mallory @ Have Your Cake March 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm

your pictures always make me hungry!!! so yummy. my go-to meal? probably a salad w/ some sort of protein! or salmon……glad you had a great weekend lauren!

glidingcalm March 4, 2012 at 11:36 pm

mmm scallops!  I need to make those soon!
 
yay for fabulous company!! love the pic of you and Toly!

Emily March 5, 2012 at 1:17 am

Ikea and Trader Joes are seriously two of my favorite places…ever. I love that you fit them both into your weekend! 
Your salad creation with the massaged kale looks so delicious and colorful! And I've heard about The Cheesecake Factory's new veggie burger. I was wondering if it would be good- I'm sorry to hear that it didn't live up to your expectations! The texture does look a little funky…

Lauren March 5, 2012 at 7:09 am

Yeah it was just kind of mushy. Not the worst but not the best.

Erica March 5, 2012 at 4:48 am

You definitely always make beautiful weekend breakfasts. And the homemade salad looks good too! I got a great deal on avocados and have been eating tons. Glad the bday celebration continuation was fun! Can't go wrong with TJs. At chain restaurants….I usually stick with some kind of salad.

Lauren March 5, 2012 at 7:09 am

I agree. Salads are always my go-to as well.

Lauren @ What Lauren Likes March 5, 2012 at 8:27 am

Sounds like a great weekend :)

CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com March 5, 2012 at 8:52 am

So jealous of your TJ run! I dont really have a go-to item at any chain restaurant, probably because we do not have many in my town, but I do get the Black Bean Soup at Panera every time they have it. 
Hope to see you soon hun!

emily (a nutritionist eats) March 5, 2012 at 10:08 am

Your scallops look like they are cooked perfectly! Beautiful!

Lauren March 5, 2012 at 10:10 am

They were! The secret…a little butter in the pan. Makes all the difference in the world! :)

Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength March 5, 2012 at 11:45 am

I'm starting to hate chain restaurants, but I do like Cheescake for their fun salads. :)

Marlena March 7, 2012 at 7:59 am

I'm glad you tried that! Now I won't stray from the mushroom mini pizza I usually get there. I don't eat at a lot of chain places (I don't go out to eat that often), but when I do I usually go for salad and an app. It's hard to really mess up a salad, and if the app is terrible I'm only out about $5.

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