A Foodies Tour: Wilmington, North Carolina

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Last weekend I spent a WONDERFUL weekend in the beautiful town of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. My best friend Casey is a senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and a visit was long overdue! Casey is lucky enough to go to a beautiful school, surrounded by amazing places for food & drink, and not to mention, the beach! I thought it’d be fun to document as much of the food as possible! As many of you know, I’ve been trying to diet, but this was one trip I was willing to splurge for! Our friend, Jenna, goes to school at High Point University, so she came a long for the trip as well! Not only do the three of us love each other, but we love food. Casey, Jenna and I also have a love for natural foods. Farm to table restaurants are a favorite of ours. We love finding delicious restaurants where we know the food they are serving us are natural, organic, whole foods! Though we all love to splurge on lifes greatest temptations, like tequila shots and pizza, we are great at finding a balance between health and fun. Before I send you on this tour, I’d like to thank Casey for an AMAZING trip in Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. No wonder she never comes home to Maryland during breaks, I’d go back in a heart beat!

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Okay, I know what you guys are thinking. This looks disgusting… I know. I thought I’d include my last Tupperware meal before my flight to Wilmington. This was tuna with mustard and rice cakes. I love this meal, sue me.  After four hours of traveling, between two flights and layovers, I arrived in Wilmington starving! Luckily, Casey was also ready to smash some food, we chose sushi, white girl problems.

TOKYO 101

A staple at any sushi restaurant is the Edamame. Extra salty, or no salt at all, edamame is delicious! I do have to say, the salt helps 🙂

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And welcome to sushi heaven. I thought I’ve enjoyed sushi before, but these rolls surpassed all expectations. I had to double up on Gluten & Dairy digestive enzymes, but luckily they provide Gluten Free Soy Sauce for rolls. No surprise here, Casey and I finished all three rolls. This usually isn’t such a challenge but these rolls were huge.

King Kong Roll

Red Snapper and Avocado Cooked Tempura Style, Topped with Spicy Tuna, Scallop, Crab, Crunchy, Scallion, Masago and Special Sauce

Ninja Roll

Tuna, Salmon & Avocado Topped with Scallop, Crab, Crunchy, Orange Sauce & Eel Sauce

Hurricane Roll

CA Tempura Roll Topped with Spicy Tuna, Scallion and Eel Sauce

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Epic Food Co. 

Epic Food Co. serves up a Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner menu. They serve flavorful dishes to fit your dietary needs, as there are many gluten free and vegan options. They have perfect portion sizes, and you leave feeling satisfied, not stuffed! There are many great things on the menu, a long with an option to make it “Your Way”. Casey and I chose to make our own fresh bowl!

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Caseys bowl consisted of Brown Rice, Chicken, Sprouts, Spinach, epic PICO, and veggie sauté. Casey chose the Avocado Chile Lime dressing as her sauce, on the side.

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My bowl consisted of Brown Rice, Chicken, Spinach, epic PICO, basil, and veggie sautĂ©. I followed in Casey’s foot steps and got the Avocado Chile Lime dressing, on the side.

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Casey and I both got ourselves a side of freshly homemade sweet potato chips! I can’t explain how delicious these were, you’ll have to try them out for yourself.

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Epic does a great job in guaranteeing fresh ingredients and great service. They also include the nutritional values on the Epic menu, or the menu that is already created for you if you don’t choose to make it Your Way. The food tasted fresh and healthy, it was a delicious meal without the splurge! And well deserved after Casey and I hit the gym right before this meal 🙂

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After touring Wilmington & Wrightsville Beach for a bit, it was time to make dinner! We spent the day checking out local markets and picking up delicious ingredients for our homemade dinner we were planning that night! We picked up most of our ingredients at Trader Joes. Not to mention, my new favorite sparkling white wine! (I totally forget what it’s called, I’ll have to stalk Trader Joes next time)

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We made 1 pound of Gluten Free Brown Rice pasta!

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Mixed with 1 pound of White Ground Turkey meat! Seasoned with oregano, garlic, minced onion, italian seasoning, and salt and pepper!

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While that was cooking, we made a small antipasta to hold us over. I live for antipasta. Olives, salami, pepperoni, capicola. All that’s missing is cheese and crackers! Man, I miss mozzarella. #DairyFreeProblems

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Our pasta dish was amazing! The sauce we used was a Basil Marinara from Trader Joes. We had enough to hold us over, and then it was time to hit the town!

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Casey took us out to the beach bars for some drinks and yes, there was dancing! This lucky girl lives right near the beach, just over the bridge and down two blocks!

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We spent Saturday a little tired & drowsy, but we made it to the beach. It was a beautiful day, just not nice enough for bathing suits! After a long day of walking, beaching, and mostly napping, it was time to celebrate National Margarita Day! Casey works at On The Border and they were having $1 Margaritas! We started with happy hour there. Guacamole live was a necessity! We finished the night at Tower 7, Casey’s favorite place for Mexican food & Margaritas! I got the steak fajitas. We all cleared our plates and were home by 9 for a much needed nights sleep!

The Basics

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On Sunday, Jenna headed back to High Point University after a delicious brunch at The Basics. The Basics is in downtown Wilmington, which is an adorable and quant part of Wilmington! Casey got the Quiche special, which looked delicious!

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I got the Carolina Cobb Salad, without blue cheese. I saw someone eating this when I walked in and it looked so fresh so I had to get it!

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Jenna got the Spinach Feta Grill. I was so jealous! This meal was a thick cut toasted baguette with poached eggs, creamy spinach, artichoke and feta. Biscuit on the side, of course!

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We spent the next few hours at Port City Java, where scenes from We Are the Millers was filmed! Jenna left us to do homework. I, unfortunately, had a paper to write, and Casey had some exams to study for. After our homework was finished, we went on a run and got ready to go to the airport for my 5 o’clock flight back to Ohio!

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The struggle is usually so real at places like airports for people with “dietary needs” like me. Luckily, Wilmington had a local eatery right in it’s airport! The women who helped me explained where their meat was from, and that it had no fillers! I got a burger with onions and mushrooms over lettuce. I covered that thing in ketchup, as if we’re surprised.

I hope you enjoyed my food review on Wilmington & Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina! Stay tuned for a Foodies Tour of New York City after my trip this weekend!

Yours Truly,

Stef

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33 Simple “Eat Clean” Meal Ideas – Paleo approved!

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As many of you know I am constantly cooking. I created this blog because I was on a complete cooking binge. I still have a million recipes to share from this summer, soon enough they will be all yours. As of now, I rarely cook anything “new”. At school, you can either find me in the kitchen, singing in an English accent somewhere around town with my BFF4L Mary, or… in the kitchen. But really. Always there. If I’m not in the kitchen cooking, I’m in the kitchen cleaning whatever it was that I was just cooking. And if I’m not cleaning or cooking, I’m anxiously waiting for whatever is in the oven. My life pretty much consists of attempting to complete my school work on time while constantly cooking, eating, and waiting to work out (which is at approx. 4 pm everyday). I’m so exciting, I know. Spare me the comments on my boring life. I guess you can say I’m already taking after my mother a little earlier than I thought. Before I ramble on, let me get to the point of this post. Specifically on this blog I post more elaborate meals. The truth is, (shocker of the century) half of my meals look boring as hell. I try to spice them up as much as I can but sometimes there’s just no time. So, there was no giant strategy to the fact that I’m only posting 33 meal ideas. These were just the scrap photos on my IPhone. And considering I take a picture of almost everything I eat, these were the ones that looked semi-appetizing. My breakfast this morning looked like a pile of dog shit. Therefore; I did not photograph it. I’m really getting a handle on this whole blogging thing aren’t I?

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Chicken, shrimp, vegetables, and a half of a sweet potato. It doesn’t get any more boring than that. This dinner was put together quickly. The most preparation I did for it was to grab it out of Tupperware and throw it in the microwave.

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Another really easy meal. 4 oz. Turkey Burger with an egg and a piece of ham. The turkey burger was already made. I just fried the egg and slice of ham and there was my meal. (I use Boars Head Deli meats)

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Scrambled eggs, some spinach inside, and guacamole on top. This looks pretty, but took less than five seconds. This is a meal that anyone can make. I constantly hear complaints about how people “don’t know how to cook”. Which is fine. But let me tell you in one sentence how to make this. Put your stove on medium-high heat apply pam to your frying pan insert eggs & desired fillings in the frying pan and plop on some pre-made or homemade guacamole. Okay so that was a run-on sentence but I’m just dramatizing how simple it really is! YUM! (P.S I used Wholly Guacamole)

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Chicken, sweet potato, greens. Every damn day. Just do it. Don’t be scared.

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My favorite breakfast. I usually eat it every day for breakfast until I get sick of it, which is rare. 1 Applegate chicken sausage, 1 (or 2) eggs, spinach and mushrooms. Bomb.com

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The brown rice cups, which you can buy anywhere, are very simple and delicious. They come in plain brown or white rice, no added ingredients, and they take 1 minute to heat up. I add sautéed vegetables and any protein I have to my rice. In this case, I added my paleo pesto coconut tilapia to my mix of food.

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Sautéed tomatoes are extremely overrated. When you sauté a tomato you can either make a sauce out of it or put it in eggs like I did! They are delicious with garlic which adds great flavor to your meal. Another simple recipe!

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Another favorite meal. 1-2 cups of sauerkraut with mustard & 2 Applegate Chicken & Apple sausages. I am obsessed with Applegate’s chicken and apple sausages and I suggest them for anyone looking for a flavorful and healthy protein without the work! I usually add sautéed mushrooms to this meal which adds flavor and bulk to an already small meal.

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I rarely buy deli meat. The packaged stuff is disgusting and most deli meats have fillers. Every now and then I’ll buy a pound of Boars Head turkey breast. It is really great for on the go meals and snacks like this! I just pealed two of my romaine lettuce leaves, topped it with turkey, mustard & zucchini. This would also be great with guacamole or avocado slices!

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Same meal as pictured above…found the mushrooms.

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As you can see I’m quite the spokesperson for Applegate’s products. This is a classic meal that my dad used to cook all the time. Applegate Hot Dogs and Eggs. Don’t knock it till ya try it.

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Random pile of balsamic chicken, random veggies, homemade tomato sauce. It’s fun to put everything you have in your fridge in a bowl and see what happens…

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Picnic style meal. Minus the bun, and the sweaty Frisbee games, and the beer. 5 oz. Turkey Burger, 1 medium sweet potato cut into fries, a big pile of veggies. Mushrooms & hot sauce on the side. (Where the hell was the ketchup?)

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5 oz. Ground Beef, Peppers & Onions, Crushed Tomato sauce, and of course…an egg on top.

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Egg on everything… Salad filled with veggies and chicken! For dressing I use olive oil & balsamic vinaigrette, salt & pepper (sometimes), and Mrs. Dash Italian Blend. Delicious.

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Van’s Gluten Free Waffles are AMAZING! So delicious and a perfect treat if you aren’t feeling very paleo. This meal is about 400 calories and is my ultimate favorite. Avocado/guacamole on top of the waffle, turkey burger on top of the avocado, egg on top of the turkey burger.

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Three scrambled eggs topped with a ridiculous amount of veggies and BBQ Pulled Pork.

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Chicken can get so plain. There are so many ways to spice up your plain chicken in the kitchen. Add any Mrs. Dash seasoning and it will change the game. You can also add salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder. I cook my chicken with a bunch of veggies. Killing two birds with one stone!

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One egg with egg whites. 1/2 avocado. Mushrooms. 6 oz. Chicken.

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Egg Muffins! I will be posting millions of egg muffin recipes…coming soon 🙂

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Mock chipotle. Brown rice, vegetables, chicken, beans and Wholly Guacamole 100 calorie packs!

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The perfect paleo breakfast. Eggs, Applegate turkey bacon and a Turkey Burger.

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More chicken ideas! Top and cook your chicken with almost anything and I guarantee it’ll turn out delicious. This has BBQ sauce and mushrooms and peppers on the bottom.

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Three eggs over easy. Does it get much better than this?

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Ground Turkey and Chicken with crushed tomato sauce and spinach, sautéed in some garlic!

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The leaning tower of…everything you need in life. Zucchini, Canadian bacon, and really runny Eggs.

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Spaghetti Squash! Cut your squash in half and leave it in the oven (on a tray, facing down) on 400 degrees for about half an hour. Continue checking, cooking time may vary depending on the size of your squash. Sautee cut up tomatoes in garlic and olive oil to act as your “sauce”. Sautee peppers & onions and your serving of protein. My favorite protein to eat with spaghetti squash is ground turkey!

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Simple circle cut sweet potato fries with a bunch of chicken, mushrooms and green beans.

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Egg whites, lox, avocado, and a small serving of sweet potato. These four ingredients are essential in my diet. Avocados and sweet potatoes may or may not keep me sane. The hint is to keep your sweet potatoes in the oven for as long as possible… they will cook so much that they will taste like candy. When eating an avocado, it can be a bit bland. Adding salt and pepper to the top of your avocado is quite the game changer. Maybe even some hot sauce or garlic powder.

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Egg whites and a turkey burger, with hot sauce. Bowl of fruit with ground flax seeds and a tablespoon of almond butter! (Styrofoam plates are so in right now)

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Delicious spinach salad with vegetables and raspberries! Adding fruit to your salad really switches things up and reminds you that life isn’t as boring as it seems.

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Two eggs, Canadian bacon, sweet potato & almond butter. Another perfect paleo breakfast!

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Yummy BBQ Chicken topped with spinach (sautéed in garlic) and a Wholly Guacamole 100 calorie pack!