Bento Box Lunches

Hi friends.

Here’s the thing. Dietitians have to practice what they preach. You can’t say, “Eat this low-sodium, moderate-carbohydrate, protein-rich meal” and then eat takeout .. at least not every day.

Don’t worry, dietitians love balance. Gimme that wine and dark chocolate. But we also love good, quality nutrition.

Meal prepping has been a staple in my life for years. I’ve switched from making lunches the night before to weekly meal prep. Is it exhausting? Yes. Would I rather catch up on Grey’s and enjoy aforementioned wine and chocolate? Hell yes. Does it save me every week? YES.

There is nothing better than opening the fridge at 6:30am, pulling out two snacks and a lunch, and shoving it in my lunchbox before walking out the door. True fact.

Here are some bento box lunches I’ve made with Prep Natural glass containers (my exact ones are sold out) over the past year. They’re so fun and cute!

1. Oh She Glows Chickpea Salad with Triscuits, cucumbers & fruit

2. Mediterranean Power Salad (quinoa, edamame, kalamata olives, bell peppers, tomatoes, lemon dressing) with watermelon and a hard boiled egg.

3. Edamame Salad (edamame, corn, bell peppers, red onion, cucumbers) with fruit salad and walnuts.

4. Chickpea Salad (from Cait’s Plate’s lunchbox series — cucumbers, chickpeas, tomatoes, feta) with pears and a mini pita.

5. Whole Foods cranberry tuna salad in a wrap with strawberries and Tone It Up pumpkin muffins.

Thai Quinoa Bowl: The Remake

Hello. My name is Kaylie and I haven’t blogged in two years, one month, and six days. Now that’s embarrassing.

But what I have done is eaten (duh). And thought about this blog child of mine. When I ate something really delicious, I thought ‘Ooh I should blog this.’ Then a year passed and then another and here we are. A lot has happened (read: new city, new house, new job, new baby) but more on that later.

The other really embarrassing this is that the only recipe we make from this blog is the Thai Quinoa Bowl. It. Is. Amazing. We eat it at least twice a month. We’ve adapted it over time, especially now that I eat seafood.

So I am saying HELLO ol’ friends, it’s been a while. I will post a life update soon but I thought I’d dip my toe into the blogging waters and start with our favorite recipe.

Thai Quinoa Bowl

Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen


3/4 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups broccoli slaw

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup snow peas

3/4 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup cashew halves

4 eggs

1-2 tsp sesame oil

Optional add-ins:

  • Shrimp
  • Water chestnuts


1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup water

2 tsp sesame oil

Cook quinoa. Optional to sauté the broccoli slaw in a little sesame or olive oil. Put broccoli slaw in a large bowl. Scramble eggs in a little sesame oil. Add veggies, quinoa, cashews, and cooked eggs to broccoli slaw.

In a microwave safe container, combine dressing ingredients. Microwave for 60 seconds. Stir to combine. Microwave longer if peanut butter isn’t melted when stirred. Pour often broccoli slaw mixture and stir to combine.

Mediterranean Cannellini Couscous Salad

Holy yum.

Mediterranean Cannellini Salad 2

I stumbled across this book when I was working with a dietitian on a Mediterranean nutrition class. I’m still focusing on a soft diet with my dislocated jaw (sounds worse than it is.. basically, don’t get stressed and don’t grind your teeth, people), and we made this salad at each of the classes and it’s so.good. I adapted it a little but it’s super simple and great to throw together before work.

Mediterranean Cannellini Salad 1

Allow me to let you in on a little secret. The Mediterranean diet is what’s up. Studies are revealing its incredible protective benefits against heart disease and cognitive decline.

Mediterranean Cannellini Salad 3

Do the right thing for your head and your heart. Make a big bowl of this for salads for the week.

Mediterranean Cannellini Couscous Salad

Adapted from The Oldways 4-Week Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan

1 cup couscous
1 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups spinach, chopped
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup kalamata olives, halved
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup crumbled feta

Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Dash of garlic powder

  1. Cook couscous in vegetable broth according to directions (hint: adding olive oil may help keep couscous from sticking together and to pot).
  2. Combine remaining salad ingredients with cooked couscous.
  3. Whisk dressing ingredients together and toss into salad.

1 Kaylie Signature


A Peek Into My Life II

Over 4 years ago I posted this. I would say a lot has changed in almost 4 1/2 years, don’t ya think? Let’s see what my life looks like now. Also, for fun, let’s compare.

A is for age: I’m 20.
A is for age: I’m 24.

B is for breakfast: Bowl of Great Grain Crunchy Pecans cereal with soymilk and a sliced banana.
B is for breakfast: Old-fashioned oatmeal with a Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter packet, plain greek yogurt, and raspberries.

C is for currently craving: Nutella. Duh. Always.
C is for currently craving: Wine and chocolate.

D is for dinner tonight: I had some leftover chickpea and tofu spaghetti with cilantro pesto and a cinnamon-banana smoothie.
D is for dinner tonight: Whole wheat rotini with alfredo pesto and parmesan.

E is for my favorite type of exercise: Cycling!
E is for my favorite type of exercise: BodyFlow!

F is for an irrational fear: Being under deep water. I call it “aquaclaustrophobia.”
F is for an irrational fear: Same as above, and spiders.

G is for gross food: Meat. Sorry, carnivores of the world. You knew it was coming, though.
G is for gross food: Okay, obviously meat. Ew, and okra.

H is for hometown: Winston Salem, NC.
H is for hometown: A hometown is always a hometown, same as above.

I is for something important: Health. I’m pretty sure health is one of the most important things ever. Also, music, family and friends. These 4 things keep me sane.
I is for something important: Friends and family. Find your people and never stop loving them.

J is for current favorite jam: Good Girl by Carrie Underwood.
J is for current favorite jam: Needtobreathe’s new CD. Replay erry-damn-day on the way to work.

K is for kids: Um. They’re cool? Definitely not on my radar.
K is for kids: Furchild! Caribou, my tabby cat.

L is for current location: Elon University!
L is for current location: Apartment.

M is for the most recent way you spent money: Research. My life has been completely enveloped by research. All I do is buy chocolate milk and chocolate soymilk and bagels and OJ and cream cheese and gift cards and measuring cups for research. Yeah. If you’re sensing bitterness, you’re correct. But that’s not with my money. It’s funded by Elon. The last thing I bought was a ticket to the Hunger Games! Guys. Seriously. You need to see it. I thought it was totally overrated because it’s all “trendy” now to ready it but One of the best movies ever. Go. Now!
M is for the most recent way you spent money: Yesterday I went to Target to get the ‘Boo-tterscotch’ M&Ms for our dietitian office and might have gotten side tracked in the dollar section. Hello adorable file folders!

N is for something you need: Sleep. Okay. I mean, I get plenty, I guess. I need things to work out with summer and graduation and all those fun things so I can graduate on time. Hi, life. You don’t need to be this stressful.
N is for something you need: NEED?! More water. Always. I am terrible at hydrating. WANT?! A tropical vacation. Duh.

O is for occupation: Student! And part time yogurt slinger/server over summer and Christmas breaks.
O is for occupation: I can PROUDLY say that I am a registered dietitian!

P is for pet peeve: When people talk really loudly on the phone or turn the TV up way too loud or drive slowly or pull out in front of you when no one is behind you.
P is for pet peeve: Gum smacking. My mom taught me that one. I think pet peeves are learned like fears are. Someone was smacking today and I wanted to smack THEM.

Q is for quote: “Never regret anything because at one point it was exactly what you wanted.” So. True.
Q is for quote: ‘Everything in moderation including moderation.’

R is for random fact about you: I can bench my body weight.
R is for random fact about you: I’m left handed. Also, I cannot bench my bodyweight anymore. Womp.

S is for favorite healthy snack: Celery and peanut butter. Nommm.
S is for favorite healthy snack: Larabars. Or hummus & snap peas.

T is for favorite treat: Favorite?? Oh man. I’m not sure if this is my all-time favorite, but I do love Coldstone’s banana ice cream with chocolate chips.
T is for favorite treat: Menchie’s. It’s a yogurt shop that is SO YUM.

U is for something that makes you unique: I make velociraptor sounds when something goes awry in the kitchen.
U is for something that makes you unique: I have a tattoo of a spider on my foot that I drew.

V is for favorite vegetable: Homegrown tomatoes.
V is for favorite vegetable: Snap peas.

W is for today’s workout: 1 hour of power yoga and 1 hour of cycling.
W is for today’s workout: Taking the stairs at work?..

X is for x-rays you’ve had: My left foot, twice. Both were fractures or something minor like that.
X is for x-rays you’ve had: Do MRIs count? I guess not.. Aforementioned + back and jaw if MRIs count.

Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Holding my friend’s bunny, Blue. She’s beautiful and super soft.
Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Yesterday? Good lawd I can’t remember yesterday. OOH the Target school supplies!!

Z is for your time zone: Eastern Standard Time.
Z is for your time zone: SAMESIES.

So different! So fun. Let’s do this again in 4 years, what do you say?

Chocolate Espresso Protein Smoothie

What is it about 3pm that requires something sweet and a little bit of caffeine?

Chocolate Espresso Protein Smoothie

Even on weekends, I feel like I need a pick-me-up. I try to stick to one cup of coffee on weekdays but sometimes I drink two on weekends when I’m relaxing in the mornings. This morning, though, I skipped the second cup of jo’, which gave me full permission to have caffeine in the afternoon.

I made this a couple weeks ago as a breakfast smoothie and added almond butter, flaxseed, and skim milk. Today I made a lighter version to act as a snack. Careful, smoothie lovers. Some smoothies can pack a whopping 400 calories!

Chocolate Espresso Protein Smoothie
The following ingredient amounts are approximations; I didn’t measure anything because smoothies are flexible like that.

3/4 cup milk (I used coconut milk because we had it handy)
1 scoop protein powder (I used Vanilla Latte from but chocolate or vanilla work; this just has caffeine in it)
1 tsp ground espresso
1/2 frozen banana
1 tbsp dark cocoa powder

1 Kaylie Signature