First Day of Classes! Pt. 2 + Easy Savory Vegetable Quinoa & Salmon

Alright, so it has obviously been a couple days since my first day of classes…but if I give you a Pt. 1, you’re expecting a Pt. 2 or even a Pt. 3 or Pt. 4 as well to follow up (but really, don’t expect a Pt. 3 or 4 – that’s just obnoxious). So here it is, even if it’s postponed a few days.

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Needless to say, my first day was a rainy one. And with the rain comes the drudge – every bit of dirt and grime becomes visible when the rain washes it up to shore (and by shore, I obviously mean the street).

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But somehow, New York still manages to keep its charm even in the rain. There’s just so much beauty in the city that there’s no way a little bit of rain could ruin it.

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Once I finally got home, my (non)rain boots were soaked and my stomach was grumbling. Loud. I’m not kidding, if the streets weren’t so noisy, I’m sure I would have gotten a few stares on the way home.

And when I’m hungry, I’m grumpy. So my first priority was to EAT.

Luckily, my pre-day 1 self was prepared for this moment and cooked plenty of food the day before. So all I had to do was heat it up and devour. And boy, was it good. Just what I needed to recover from a cold, rainy day.


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Easy Savory Vegetable Quinoa & Salmon:

Makes 2 servings

1/2 cup organic quinoa

1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth

6 oz thawed salmon filet (2 3-oz filets)

1 lemon wedge (1/4 lemon)

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 large red onion, julienne

1 large zucchini, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

garlic powder (to taste)

garlic pepper (to taste)

Italian seasoning (to taste)

For the quinoa:

Heat quinoa and vegetable broth in small to medium-sized pot until boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. You will know when it’s ready when the vegetable broth has been absorbed by the quinoa and the quinoa has formed rings around each grain.

For the salmon:

Preheat the oven to 425 degree Fahrenheit. Place the salmon filet on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Squeeze the lemon wedge on the filet, evenly covering it with lemon juice. Season to your liking – the secret here is to be VERY generous with your seasonings. I use garlic powder first (liberally), then garlic pepper, then finish it off with a little Italian seasoning. Key word: GENEROUS. Seriously, the more spices, the better, trust me. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes.

For the vegetables:

Heat the olive oil on a pan on medium-heat. Add the onions and cook until they start to look translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add zucchini and peppers. Cook for 3-4 more minutes.

Combine the finished products together for a healthy, well-balanced meal for you and a friend, or save half for lunch the next day. Mmm.

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With a full belly and a brave soul, I was more than equipped to finally survive my first classes of the semester, so off I headed into the rain and onward to campus.

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What’s your favorite rainy day meal?

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First Day of Classes! Pt. 1 + Creamy Crunchy Banana Oatmeal


After a once-again sleepless night, I woke up before my alarm (again) and scurried over to the kitchen to make breakfast. Making breakfast has become almost a brainless routine for me…and I have no regrets about it. Ever since I fell in love with oatmeal this summer, I’ve had it for breakfast EVERY SINGLE DAY, well almost, aside from the weekend pancakes or French toast or my mom’s delicious home-made blinchikis.

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You might wonder if I ever get bored eating oatmeal day after day, but how could I? With oatmeal, I can get creative and explore endless possibilities of delicious variations. This one specifically is perfect for my current NYC college student budget. Cheap, healthy, and filling!

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Creamy Crunchy Banana Oatmeal:

Makes 1 delicious bowl of oatmeal

1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup milk of choice (I prefer vanilla soymilk)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 banana, sliced

1 Tbsp natural crunchy peanut butter

Alright, so you could easily put all of these ingredients together in a bowl and pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes and call it good…however, I’ll tell you a trick to make it the most enjoyable oatmeal experience you’ve ever had. The night before, combine the oats, cinnamon, and milk in a tupperware container and stick it in the refrigerator. This allows the cinnamon and (soy)milk to infuse into the oats. Then, in the morning, pour the oatmeal mixture into the bowl and heat it in a microwave on high for 2 minutes. Take it out, add the chopped banana and stir. Don’t forget to add that precious peanut butter before placing the bowl back in the microwave for 1 minute. Now the best part…enjoy your delicious bowl of oatmeal (but let it cool a little first before scalding your tongue – this is a step I forget every morning).

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Oatmeal and coffee are daily necessities for me, and without both in the morning to start my day, I am even more likely to wander around aimlessly.

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And today, I had an agenda…

to navigate my way through campus.

You see, this whole wandering through campus looking like a lost freshman really isn’t my thing. And honestly, what’s even worse is when people ASK me if I’m a freshman, and I have to explain that no, I am a grad student, it’s just my first day. Oy.

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So I set out after breakfast to catch a campus tour…and missed it. Yep, back to the lost freshman syndrome. I grabbed a walking tour map and went on my way.

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…definitely not in Michigan anymore.

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Check back later to see what I made for my rainy day lunch!

Hint: It’s healthy AND delicious.

Exploring + Job Hunting

I haven’t been sleeping much lately, perhaps due to the excitement of being in NYC, but today I woke up refreshed and motivated (once coffee and oatmeal were consumed of course). I started my day with a 5 mile walk + run, bought some fresh fruit at a local food vendor, and went on my way.

My goal:

To apply for jobs…

For those of you who don’t know me, my life has been in limbo for a couple months now. In November, I received amazing news: I was accepted into NYU’s Clinical Nutrition Master’s program. Then in December, I graduated with Bachelor degrees in Dance and Dietetics.

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That’s me! Oh and my dad’s to the right of me. He thinks I’m funny…obviously.

So I graduated…then what? A trip to the Dominican Republic of course! And then lots and lots of food and wine later (and my birthday!!!), and I’m finally in New York, a few (okay more than a few) pounds heavier and jobless (temporarily, I hope).

But there’s nothing like a bustling city to get me motivated again. And that’s exactly what happened.

Always a student at heart, I figured the library would be the best place to stay focused and apply for jobs.

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Is your library this beautiful??

I applied…and applied…and tweaked my résumé…and wrote cover letter after cover letter. Finally I HAD to eat. So I wandered (as usual) and found Argo Tea (anything with the word “tea” always has my attention) and got this:

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Vegan Garden Lentil Salad and Maté Latte – just what I needed!

Since tomorrow’s my first day of grad school, I thought it would be best to act like a responsible adult and prepare food for the week (of course food is always at the forefront of my mind).

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And now it’s 2 in the morning…there goes my attempt to be a responsible adult. 🙂

Come back tomorrow to find out what those vegetables get used for and to see how my first day as a grad student went!