F&F Friday Favorites: 05.15.15

Hello! It’s moving day over here. We picked up the truck at 8 this morning, and headed right over to Tim’s sister’s apartment. She is also in the middle of a move and is lending us a bunch of her furniture so she doesn’t have to put it in storage. My uncle met us over there to move that stuff from Katie’s and into our new place first. Part one is done! We’re off to grab some food, then we’re back to tackle part two: all the furniture in our current place, plus all our packed up boxes. We are happy we technically have until May 31st to be completely out of here, as it gives us time to clean, go through the basement, etc.

Hope these links keep you busy this afternoon!

Friday Favorites

Fitness

Recipes

Blogging and Social Media

Self Image, Inspiration, and Life

Readers, let’s chat! What was the best part of your week, and what’s up for the weekend?

Best part of my week was the lunch date I had with Tim yesterday downtown. This weekend is not only moving craziness, but our friends Brett and Jamie’s bridal shower, my grandmother’s five year memorial service, etc. I am so happy I have next Monday off from work as well!

Restaurant Review: Freshii Back Bay

Last Friday, Tim and I were both working from home and decided to venture into the city for a midday lunch date on our lunch breaks.

Freshii Back Bay

Freshii, a casual restaurant that focuses on nutritious food, environmental sustainability, and great flavor, just opened its third location in Back Bay, and we went in to see what it was all about.

Freshii Back Bay

When we arrived, we immediately noticed how friendly the staff members were and how clean the restaurant was. We also liked that the food options were on display in the open salad bar setting instead of being pre-packaged behind the counter like most fast food options are.

Freshii Back Bay

Freshii’s mission is to help people live longer and healthier lives by making fresh food convenient and affordable to all, and their offerings are designed to energize people on the go. Their menu is very diverse and includes breakfast, soups, salads, wraps, whole grain bowls, burritos, frozen yogurt, juice, and smoothies.

Freshii Back Bay

I liked how varied the menu was because a lot of places that claim to offer healthy options only end up having one or two boring salads. This definitely was not the case at Freshii, and it actually took us a while to decide what to order because a lot of the menu offerings sounded so delicious. Their menu is also completely customizable, but we decided not to go that route on Friday.

Freshii Back Bay

I was torn between the market salad (field greens and spinach, quinoa, avocado, beet slaw, apples, dried cranberries, carrots, and honey dijon dressing) and the Mediterranean quinoa bowl, but I decided to go with the latter. Along with the quinoa, it had field greens, red onions, feta cheese, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, almonds, and it was tossed in a red pepper sauce.

Freshii Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl

I asked for it sans olives, and they were happy to comply. We also had the option to add chicken, steak, falafel, tofu, or tuna to any menu item, so I added some falafel to my order. It was cut up nice and small, which I liked so I could taste some of the falafel in every bite. Along with the almonds, it added a great crunch to the meal. The highlight of this dish was the red pepper sauce. I thought it was such a creative dressing, and Tim and I spent a good ten minutes trying to figure out how we can recreate it at home.

Freshii Back Bay

Tim decided to order the fiesta salad, which came with field greens, black beans, avocado, aged cheddar, corn, pico de gallo, and cilantro lime vinaigrette.

Freshii Back Bay

Tim said that because the staff mixes the salad for you on the spot, the lettuce was really fresh. He also raved about the cilantro lime dressing and liked that it was more acid based than oil based. However, he thought the steak he added to his order was a little overdone. We think it was because the pieces of steak were so small. Tim wanted a little more meat! No surprise there. :)

Freshii Back Bay

We also decided to also try a smoothie and a juice so we could get a feel for some of the drink options as well. We opted for the powerhouse smoothie, which was made of mint, pineapple, coconut milk, and low-fat frozen yogurt. Loved! It was summery, and the mint flavor kept it fresh and light.

Freshii Smoothie

From the juice menu, we decided to order one that we would typically never order just to try something totally different. We went big and tried the red power juice, which was made of beet, lemon, ginger, and carrot. Unfortunately, the beet flavor was a little too strong, and we didn’t finish it. I love beets so much, but had never tried beet juice, so I was bummed that I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would!

Freshii Beet Juice

Overall, we enjoyed our experience. We would eat there again, and we definitely recommend it for healthier on the go meal options.

Freshii Back Bay

Freshii Back Bay

After we ate, we sat outside in Copley Square for a few minutes because it was gorgeous outside. I wish we could have sat there all afternoon, but I guess work had to come first. Lame.

Copley Square

A big thank you to the folks at Freshii for our fun Friday lunch date!

Readers, let’s chat! Have you ever tried Freshii before? What did you think? What are your go to options for healthier on the go meals? Do you like beet juice? 

Disclaimer: Tim and I each received a complimentary meal at Freshii in exchange for this review. As always, all opinions are my own. Freshii Back Bay is located at 185 Dartmouth Street in Boston, and their sister locations are in Fort Point and the Financial District. 

Chard and Cabbage Quinoa with Orange Sesame Dressing

Hello! I have a new lunch idea for you guys today. My meat loving fiance created this recipe to surprise me with lunch already made a few weeks ago during a busy weekend. Some of the regular CSA ingredients we were getting at the time included chard, cabbages, yellow onions, and oranges, so this recipe used up a bunch of stuff in one try.

Chard and Cabbage Quinoa with Orange Sesame Dressing

Chard and Cabbage Quinoa with Orange Sesame Dressing

Serves around 6

Ingredients

For the quinoa salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 head of red cabbage, sliced
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard, stems removed and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • zest and juice of one orange
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine the quinoa and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until water is evaporated and quinoa is cooked through.
  2. In a large pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, and cook for a few minutes or until onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional minute. Add the sliced mushrooms, and cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the sliced red cabbage to the onion, garlic, and mushroom mixture. Cook for around 3 minutes, and then add in the chard. Cook until the chard begins to wilt.
  4. Once the chard is done, remove from heat and combine with the quinoa in a large mixing bowl.
  5. In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Once blended, pour over the quinoa, cabbage, and chard salad, and enjoy!

Chard and cabbage quinoa with orange sesame dressing

Is there anything prettier than purple cabbage? I seriously just love it so much. It’s so much more exciting than its green sibling. The rainbow chard is also so pretty, but I didn’t snap any pictures of the colorful stems before it was all chopped up.

Chard and Cabbage Quinoa with Orange Sesame Dressing

This vegetarian dish still has a ton of protein from the quinoa, so it kept us full for a few hours after lunch. There are also a ton of veggies going on, so it has a ton of nutrients, and the colors make for a great presentation. We love how the orange gave this dish a good hint of citrus to balance out the sesame oil.

Chard and Cabbage Quinoa with Orange Sesame Dressing

Don’t forget to post a pic on social media if you try it!

Readers, let’s chat! What do you think is one of the prettiest foods? 

Up there with purple cabbage and rainbow chard for me are pomegranates, blood oranges, and dragon fruit! And graffiti eggplants. So cool!