Category Archives: Lunch

Easy Greek Salad

Most days when I’m packing my lunch for work I usually just throw a bunch of different things in a Tupperware as I’m making my breakfast and hope for the best.  Instead of just winging it this week I decided to throw together an easy Greek salad that’s full of vegetables and protein to change things up.

Easy Greek SaladThe thing I love about making an easy Greek Salad is that it’s so versatile.  Want artichokes?  Toss them in there.  Don’t like olives?  (although I can’t imagine why) leave them out.  Want to add quinoa? Go for it.  The one thing this salad definitely needs is feta, so if you don’t add feta you are definitely missing out.

I made a giant bowl of this salad and then portioned it out for the week.  Healthy, easy, and reduces my lunch prep in the morning.  Wins all around.

Easy Greek Salad


1 bag mixed greens (I used a kale & arugula blend)

2 cups cherry tomatoes

1 cup marinated artichoke

2 cups diced cucumbers

1 cup olives, pitted

1/2 cup raw almonds (I also used some blanched ones with rosemary from the farmer’s market)

Feta cheese for topping

Other good add ins: peppers, quinoa, avocado, tuna & chicken


Rinse your vegetables and set aside.  Toss all your ingredients in a bowl together.

Easy Greek SaladSprinkle on your feta cheese and olive oil for extra flavor.  Add in any protein/grains of your choice.

Devour.  Repeat.

What’s your favorite easy salad recipe?

OC Restaurant Week

It’s almost the most delicious time of the year – OC Restaurant Week.  Yes, OC Restaurant Week will make its triumphant return from February 24th-March 2nd.  This year is the 5th Anniversary of OC Restaurant Week so it’s extra special (be sure to check out the anniversary cupcake from Frostings!).


One of the main reasons I love OC Restaurant Week so much is because the restaurants that participate generally offer a three course menu at a very affordable price.  Lunches generally run from $10-$30, and dinners run from $20-$40.  This is a steal, especially if you have your eye on trying a higher end restaurant.  The three course menus offered generally include an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert (and sometimes a beverage as well).

Restaurants from across the county participate in OC Restaurant week, so you are almost guaranteed to find one near you.


Pictured above are the Fish N’ Chips from Bluewater Grill. Order them during OC Restaurant Week!

Here are a few other places I highly recommend checking out:

True Food Kitchen


Paul Martin’s American Grill

CUCINA Enoteca

Cucina Alessa

Pizzeria Ortica

There are also a bunch of restaurants on the list that I haven’t been to before and definitely want to check out.  These include:


Crow Burger Kitchen

Charlie Palmer

Bruno’s Trattoria

The Rooftop at K’ya

For the full list of restaurants participating in OC Restaurant Week, be sure to visit

What places are you planning on checking out?




Mother’s Day Brunch, or is it Lunch? At Il Fornaio

A few weeks back my mom asked me to find a delicious brunch spot for the family to gather for Mother’s Day.  After much deliberation and visits to Open Table, I finally decided on Il Fornaio in Irvine as the perfect brunch spot that was centrally located and would appease everyone’s palate.

When we sat down to brunch we immediately ordered a bottle of prosecco for the table (because why not?) and began perusing the menu.

We quickly realized that there were no brunch items at all listed on the menu, but just the traditional restaurant menu items such as pizza, salad and pasta.  My mom and I were quite confused since we had both been informed when making the reservation there would be a more traditional “brunch” style menu with eggs, etc.  After consulting with the manager it turns out there was no brunch menu this year due to a last-minute decision on the restaurant’s part, and instead they were serving their lunch menu.  While I appreciated him explaining this, it would’ve been nice if the restaurant had informed me of this fact prior to me making a reservation, especially since I had my heart set on a delicious brunch feast!

With eggs and muffins out of the picture, I decided on a margarita pizza to split with the Englishman and the house salad with Gorgonzola dressing (they were out of antipasto which broke my heart a bit).  The salad came with avocado, cucumber, tomato, cannellini beans and lettuce.

The salad was good and the dressing complemented it nicely.  It was light and refreshing and definitely went well with the second glass of prosecco that was being poured.

The margarita pizza had a nice thin crust (which I love) and was dripping in delicious cheese, this was great because then I found out that the restaurant also offers a pizza delivery service.

I only had a few slices of the pizza and the Englishman and my dad helped to finish it off.  While it was good, I think next time I’ll order the vegetarian version which came with eggplant, zucchini, mushroom and artichoke.

My favorite dish of the day was the Englishman’s breaded chicken sandwich.  I was happy he was so nice about sharing his sandwich with me because I definitely found myself wishing I had ordered that instead of the pizza.

The sandwich was pretty simple – breaded chicken on a ciabatta roll with a nice spread of aioli.  But since the chicken was prepared so well, it came out nice and juicy and the aioli really helped to enhance the flavor.  My aunt got the sandwich as well, and it was clearly a winner among the group.

Overall, brunch/lunch at Il Fornaio was a success.  Even though I didn’t get my traditional brunch with an omelette station, I still enjoyed a nice lunch that left my tastebuds happy.  And I got to spend the day surrounded by loved ones, which is really all a girl could ask for.

Il Fornaio – Irvine

18051 Von Karman Avenue

Irvine, CA 92612

OC Restaurant Week Spotlight: Avanti Cafe

OC Restaurant Week starts this Saturday, February 26th, and if you aren’t excited about the menus yet, the one at Avanti Cafe is sure to knock your socks off.  It’s time again for another OC Restaurant Week Spotlight: vegetarian restaurant Avanti Cafe.  (past spotlights include Pizzeria Ortica, Tommy Bahama’s Island Grille, Cucina Enoteca, and Lucca Cafe)

So why is Avanti Cafe a must stop during OC Restaurant Week?  Well, the lunch menu is only $10, and the dinner menu is $30, for not one, but TWO people.  It’s quite possibly the best deal in town.  Plus, if you are a vegetarian and/or vegan this place will cover all of your dietary needs.

For a cool $10, enjoy a build your own pizza lunch at Avanti Cafe with 28 pizza toppings to choose from, a drink (beer is only $5 extra) and one of Avanti’s signature cookies.  Sounds like the perfect lunch deal to me.

On the dinner front, TWO people will each enjoy an appetizer, entrée, and dessert.  And just like at lunch, you can add a beer for only $5 extra.  Check out the menu here.

The menus at Avanti Cafe may not be the fanciest on the block, but their food is good and good for you.  Plus the menu is such a steal that it is pretty much impossible to pass up.

*OC Restaurant Week runs from February 26th-March 3rd.  Check out all the participating restaurants at*