Baked Plaintain Chips (or How to Spoil Your Appetite and Eat Anyway!)

I contemplated starting this post by saying like “I have a confession…” but then I remembered that I hate when bloggers “Confess” something that isn’t worth confessing.

“I am addicted to almond butter!”

“I sometimes skip my workouts because I’m tired!”

“I love lamp.”

Honestly, it makes me wonder if they REALLY love lamp, or if they’re just saying it because they saw it.

So here’s just something I wanted to share, no confession needed:  Sometimes, I go to the grocery store twice a day.  I live 0.3 miles from the nearest Harris Teeter, and it’s right between my office and apartment.  At lunch, after work, if I need something for a recipe in the middle of cooking, it’s always nearby.  I’m there a lot (I think the sample guy hates me.)  But it DOES result in a lot of great deals when I pop in on my favorite “Reduced for Quick Sale” items.  You know, the battered and bruised veggies and fruits that are just aching for a home.  My newest adoptions?

Plantain in the Membrane!

Those brown beauties were just waiting for a loving, hungry lady like myself to snatch them up and, for 3/$1, I couldn’t say no!

After deciding against frying them, or really doing anything too involved, I figured the best route was ol’ reliable. Slice/Dice/Roast. Bingo.

After preheating the oven to 450 degrees, I sprayed some parchment paper with a bit of Olive Oil spray, placed all my plantain disks on the paper, and sprinkled them with some cinnamon and a little bit of salt.

Such beauties!

I put them in the center rack of the oven for about 10-12 minutes, flipping them over once (the skinnier ones burned a bit). That wasn’t a problem, however, as I discovered the joy of Plantain Peanut Butter Sandwiches! Just take a few extra crispy ones, add a smidge of PB, and voila! Problem solved.

The Salt Bear approves

I can’t deny that these bad boys are addictive. They’re crispy like chips, sweet, and, with some peanut butter, downright indulgent.  I tried my best to save some space for the main event, though:


Though my seared, chia-seed crusted tuna didn’t have that beautiful red center I’ve dreamt about, primarily because it has been frozen for quite some time waiting for me to thaw and devour it… But I still felt pretty delighted with the end result: Honey Soy Marinated Chia Seed crusted Ahi Tuna. And, if I ever come up with a legit recipe, I’ll share it.  Until then, just imagine something tasty.  So tasty that, even if you were full on Plantain Peanut Butter Sandwiches, you’d still enjoy.

And now, I’ll go enjoy the season finale of Mad Men.  Season 1.  Better late than never….

Wordless (as in there are less words than usual) Friday

Last night was chock full of this:

Mexican Shrimp Martini from Rockfish

North Carolina Girls Pint Out!!

Explaining the two beer specials of the night at Tyler's


The Inaugural/Founding Members of NC Girls Pint Out! (minus a few, we missed you)

Don’t worry, none of this made an appearance.


And now I’m off to a LONGGGGG drive.  Luckily, I’ve got a bunch of THIS!

Healthy snacks for the Pitt Trip!

Healthy Choices at the Airport

Good afternoon (or evening… really it all depends on when I get internet access at this point.

So it’s 3:08 pm as I start this post, my flight is scheduled to take off at 3:35.  However, since Murphy’s Law states that every time you really want to go somewhere, your flight will inevitably be delayed…  Guess what happened to mine?

As a fairly frequent flyer (1-2x a month, though this past April/May it was more like 3x), I am very accustomed to airport living.  Once, on a flight to visit Ryan for our 2 year anniversary, I got stuck in the Charlotte Airport overnight….  I learned quickly that you don’t have many options when you’re stuck, so you may as well make the best of it.

My bed for the night.... the floor was heated... so there was that.

In the summer months especially, and with the Healthy Living Summit right around the corner, I figured that some of y’all would be traveling.  And, if you’re an unlucky duck like me and thunderstorms in Tampa somehow prevent your flight from RDU to PHL (damn air traffic control), you might be doing your best to stay healthy and fit in the airport of your choosing (or the airport you’re forced to stay in for reasons beyond your control.)

Here are my best tips for Healthy Choices at the Airport:

1. Don’t Check Your Bags

Ugh, bag fees.

This one will be healthy both for your wallet, and your body.  Airlines are frequently the fastest/easiest way to get from point A to point B, and they know it.  They’ve got the monopoly on the sky, unless your daddy owns a jet (if so, I have a deep-seeded friend crush on you, and think we should make things official.)  They have been jacking up the prices on checking bags for a while now, and there’s no sign of stopping (unless you’re on Southwest…. which checks up to two bags fo’ free. and is awesome.)  However, if you can cram all your junk into a carry on bag or two, you’ll save anywhere from $50-$100 round trip, and you’ll be getting some awesome muscles, lugging your junk around the terminals.  Speaking of that, it reminds me of point two.

2.  Even if your bag has wheels, and is meant to be dragged behind you, BUCK UP AND CARRY IT LIKE A CHAMP!

Then your arms will be jacked, like mine.

It’s awesome to whiz around the airport without being the constraints of a wheeled parasite acting as an extension to your arm.  I’ve learned it makes me faster, it makes me able to turn on a dime, and it gives my biceps a good workout.  I like to pretend it’s my own little “Les Mills” class.  I call it Body (scratchout) BaggagePump.

3. Be a little late.

This symbolizes late... but also just a love of my new watch.

Now, this next tip is not for the faint of heart.  If you’re not prepared to deal with stress or chaos and you’re not familiar with the airport you’re in…. maybe steer clear of this one.  But I’ll be honest: I’ve never sprinted harder than those few times in my life where I’ve heard my name called and I was still in the security line at the Philadelphia airport.  It’s like an endless cavern, that airport, and maneuvering my way around rabid Eagles fans and jaded students coming home from Temple, UPenn, Drexel, etc. while carrying my (incredibly full) bags has left me sweaty, panting… and on the plane.  Extra challenge? Do it in flip flops (the only way to travel, IMHO).

4. Avoid this place.

Demon icing

Seriously, I’d recommend a daily snack of pretzels and whipped cream for 2 weeks before I’d suggest going to Cinnabon. Their stats are insane (as in disgusting), and their food ends up making you feel like a sticky faced food monster.  You’re better off without it.  Trust me.

5. Healthy snacks almost always make it through security!

Ah, that's more like it.

I like to always have a few snacks on hand, something to stave off cravings for $18 cheese fries and $6 bags of chips.  I reccomend fruit and vegetables, cut up or prepped.  Dips are a great way to add some flavor, and I got lucky enough this flight to have my boss decide she hates chewing carrots and eating edamame hummus.  JACKPOT! (I’ve even heard of folks who’ve brought overnight oats on plane… it’s worth it.) Other good choices: Fiber One bars, homemade trail mix, pre-popped mini bags of popcorn. Bad choices: Doritos Fiery Habanero.  It will burn your mouth and you can’t even get liquids through security.  And your fingers will be orange.  Don’t blow this one.

6. Stairs, if you dare

Epic climb.

Airlines are full of convenient things like moving sidewalks, elevators, and escalators.  Screw em.  Go the long way, take the stairs instead, do it twice.  I’ve switched to taking the stairs everywhere I go now, and it gives me a great feeling of superiority when I see all those people waiting on the moving sidewalk for the slowpokes to move to the right. Just being honest.

7. BYO(water)B(ottle)

Beware: if you're near me at an airport.... I'll take a picture of you.

Airports are great for water bottles, as long as that bottle doesn’t contain fluids.  Try this funky one that I creepily took a picture of, I bet it feels great on your hands.  There are water fountains all over the place. GO NUTS!

8. Don’t pull your hair out

Just drink me.

I know the airport can be stressful, but don’t pull your hair out… or your eyelashes and eyebrows (they have a term for that, and you should probably get it checked out if that’s your first option).  Baldies aren’t cute (unless they’re ________)  If you’re feelings really stressed, go grab a beer.  I’ll be so expensive you won’t have any money left to buy those $18 cheesefries I talked about, and they’re made from grains…. grains are healthy, right?

Well…. luckily that only took me 30 minutes to write (and that was with the constant distraction of sneakily taking pictures of airport shenanigans.)  Guess I’ll go try to think of something to do for the next 3 hours (UGH!)

Edit: It ended up being a 3.5 hour delay. bleak.

Do you fly often?  

What’s your favorite airport?

Are you flying anywhere anytime soon?!