The (not so) Common Market

During my blissful day of unplanned meandering, I wandered over to The Common Market in South End for lunch:


How adorable is that little sandwich guy?  The Common Market is one of those places you’d probably just drive by if you hadn’t heard through the twitter grapevine that they had delicious sandwiches.  It looks, at least from the outside, like a standard convenience store, and it wasn’t until I walked along the side of the building that I realized they have this great secluded courtyard to sit in and enjoy your lunch!


Once inside the Market you can spot newbies <aka ME> who are unsure where to go to order… where to pay…  and frankly what the heck is going on inside this quirky store. There’s STUFF everywhere in the store.  Not just stuff to fill space, but stuff that is interesting and unique and fun to look at and drool over.

If your heart is set on getting a sandwich (as it should be), you can head straight to the back of the store where the deli counter is located.  You order your grub there and then pay at the register at the front of the store.


While waiting for my sandwich, I snooped around the store a bit and noted that you can even dine-in at one of the handful of tables perched right in the middle of the store.

You can crab a bottle of wine (or five) from their extensive wine selection to enjoy with your grub.  Or if beer is your thing, they’ve got quite the selection of high-end bottled beers as well.


The sandwiches don’t come with chips or drinks or any sides, but that is A-O-Kay because the market is chock full of yummies.  The shelves are packed with snacks and chips and TONS of homemade baked goods:


I somehow exercised superb self control and did not snag any of the baked goodies.  Though they had these brownie logs that looked to die for, and that I’ve been dreaming about since!

The Market also has a random hodgepodge of fun gadgets and gizmos and cards and signs for sale and some random gluten-free products on the shelves.  I’ll have to bring my friend Tracy here when she comes to visit!

$6.25 for a sandwich ain’t bad in Charlotte.  Especially when it comes with a compliment stamp:


I went with the Turkey Capri sandwich, which had sundried tomato spread, a slathering of goat cheese, a big handful of baby spinach, and red onion between two hearty slices of 9 grain bread:


The sandwich was FABULOUS.  I think i could eat one of these every day and not get tired of them.  Though they also had a pepperjack turkey panini on the menu that looked quite tasty…

The the funkyness of the market carried out to the courtyard area which was full of random odds and ends, crazy signs, and patrons enjoying the nice weather and even nicer food.


The South End location does wine tastings on Wednesday nights and beer tastings on Thursday nights.   They also have live music on the patio on the weekends.


Sadly, my sandwich came to an end.  Too soon.  But isn’t that always the case with a tasty lunch? DSCF7240

The Common Market South End on Urbanspoon

Ohhh!  Lest we not forget the scratch off giveaway winner!



Yay Nicole!  Email your mailing address to:


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Holy crap, that was a lot of food.

Have you ever been in conversation with a new person and thrown out the obligatory “so, Bill, what do you do for a living?” and had Bill come back with “well Mary, I’m a psychiatrist”?  Confused smile

When a person discovers they’re in the midst of conversation with someone who analyzes people for a living, they are immediately scared.  (What the heck have I said in the last five minutes? …  Does he think I’m a basket case… Why am I suddenly sweating profusely?!)  All of this fear and anxiety is followed by near immediate curiosity.

Oddly enough, that’s a similar reaction to the one I get when I first tell a person I’m a food blogger.  People get oddly weirded out, followed almost instantly with excited curiosity.  I try to explain that I am not a food critic, but a food enjoyer.  I’m not professionally critiquing food, but rather honestly sharing my experiences with the food with friends and fellow foodies.

Isn’t sharing food with others what makes a good meal great, anyway?


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Seriously. Make this. Now.

Last weekend, I posted a super simple super quick recipe for the Ahmygawd Breakfast Sandwich.

Today, I made a repeat of that masterpiece with the addition of some Frank’s Red Hot:


I swear to you, this breakfast sandwich is eyes-roll-into-the-back-of-your-head delicious.


If you are a yolk lover like me (and a sausage lover for that matter) do yourself a favor and make this for breakfast.  Immediately! 


Stats on the life changer:  255 calories, 24g carbs, 10g fat, 20g protein, 3g fiber


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Healthified Italian Sub

Today, it dawned on me:  I am kitchen appliance dependent. 

Nearly every meal I cook up makes use of my oven, stove top, or George Foreman grill.  If the meal is not something that typically requires one of these appliances I FIND a way to use them.  A sandwich, for example, can go from “meh” to “ohmmmmmmm myyyy gawddd” with just a quick bake in the oven. 

Take a gander at today’s lunch:


Why oh why can’t I put a toaster oven in my cubicle???  Google searches for “cubicle toaster oven” and “George Foreman in my cubicle” turned up with disappointing results…  (Yes, I actually spent 30 minutes looking at this) Alas, at least I get to use my gadgets for weekend lunches!

Today’s delicious healthified Italian sub consisted of:

  • 1 Pepperidge farm 7 grain deli flat
  • 4 ounces lean turkey breast
  • 1/2 a slice Sargento Pepper jack cheese
  • red onion
  • tomato
  • banana peppers
  • 4 slices turkey pepperoni
  • 1 tbsp Ken’s Steakhouse Lite Italian Romano dressing
  • Couple sprinkles of Franks Red Hot
  • dried oregano
  • black pepper

All together nah:


I popped this guy into a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese was nice and melty:


Then sandwiched the two halves together:



Of course I also had a good size salad on the side, which rounded out this lovely Sunday lunch.


Love me some veggies Smile




Stats on the sandwich:  312 calories, 33g carbs, 9g fat, 28g protein, 6g fiber

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Cheeseless Quesadilla?

What do you call a cheeseless quesadilla?

Is it just a dilla?  What about a cheeseless quesadilla with beans?  A habadilla? 

Something to ponder…

Quesadillas are one of my favorite fast-fix dinners.  I put a lot of random things in my quesadillas, and I’m convinced that you can sandwich pretty much anything in between a tortilla, throw it on the george foreman grille, and have near instant glory in your mouth.

Take this dinner for example.  I started off with 1 Tumaro’s low carb tortilla topped, 1/4 cup fat-free refried beans and 2 ounces grilled chicken:


Plus 1/2 a cup of frozen calabacita mixed veggies that I defrosted in the microwave:


5 minutes of quality time with the george:


Naked quesadilla:


Veggies for toppin’


Add 2 tbsp of fat-free sour cream and you have yourself magnificence on a plate!


Stats on the habadilla:  264 calories, 38g carbs, 3g fat, 33g protein, 12g fiber


 Mmmmmm beans……  Love them.


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Hummus + Spaghetti Squash

Sometimes I have foodie visions.  This is my term for the moment when a random collaboration of ingredients convene in my brain and its seems as though there is nothing I can do to regain control of my thoughts… except of course, try out the random concoction … all the while hoping it doesn’t make me ralph.

My most recent foodie vision consisted of some of this:




What’s that, you ask?  Good question!  This lovely dinner concoction consisted of:

  • 2 tbsp Trader Joe’s Original Hummus
  • 2 ounces chopped grilled chicken
  • 1 diced roma tomato
  • 1 baby spaghetti squash
  • Some red pepper flakes

Repulsed?  Don’t go all eggplant on me yet!

First, I baked the spaghetti squash in a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes (since this was just a lil guy).  Then I used a fork to scrape out the squash noodles.

Meanwhile, I sprayed a skillet with some cooking spray and tossed in the hummus to get it heating up:


Then I added the tomatoes and chicken:


Once everything was warmed through, I added the spaghetti squash and some red pepper flakes.




This was really tasty and simultaneously really weird 😯     


Several times during the meal I got a faint reminder of macaroni and cheese which I found even weirder–but that gave me ANOTHER foodie vision I must try sometime soon…. Cheesy spaghetti squash!  Stay tuned, folks!

Overall, I like this idea and I’m definitely going to play with it some more.  I think wilted spinach would be a really nice addition and maybe a different flavor of hummus…..  we shall see… we shall see.

Stats on the spaghetti squash/hummus concoction:  199 calories, 20g carbs, 6g fat, 14g protein, 5g fiber

CALL TO ACTION!  Now that the weather is changing, I’ve been craving WARM lunches….  I am bored & I need inspiration for yummy/healthy WARM lunches to bring to work…..  Any ideas?

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Sausage & Caramelized Onion Pita Pizza

Last weekend, I caught 5 minutes or so of Giada’s cooking show on the Food Network on which she made a sausage and caramelized onion calzone.  Are you drooling yet?  Ever since then, I’ve had this image of sausage and caramelized onions floating around in my head, beckoning to me.  I just so happened to have a leftover sausage from last Sunday’s cookfest, so I decided to put it to use today:


YUMMMMM…..  I haven’t made a pita pizza in AGES!  Jennie O’s mom and pop would be so darn proud! 😀 

First up, I cranked the heat on the oven to 350 degrees, sprayed a small skillet with cooking spray, and placed it over medium high heat.  Once the skillet was hot, I added:

  • 1/4 cup sliced white onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


Onions & garlic.  Anytime you start a recipe off with these two ingredients, there’s an unwritten guarantee it’s going to be delicious.  Didn’t you know??

I reduced the heat slightly at this point just to make sure I didn’t burn the garlic or onion.  Then I just let the onions do their thing, stirring them occasionally. 

Meanwhile, I topped a Joseph’s low-carb pita with 1/4 cup Classico Fire Roasted Tomato & Garlic Sauce and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. 


Once the onions were soft and a nice light brown color, I added them on top of the pita along with 1/2 a link of pre-cooked & chopped up Jennie O’ Hot Turkey Sausage.


I cut up a light Sargento Mozzarella string cheese into small sticks and tossed those on top then seasoned with a sprinkle of dried oregano and some black pepper:


Then I popped this beauty into the oven for 10 minutes, until everything was heated through and the cheese was melty:


I also fixed up a small side salad, which consisted of romaine lettuce, 1/2 a roma tomato, some chopped red onion, and 2 tbsp Ken’s Steakhouse lite Caesar dressing: DSCF3454

I REALLY like Ken’s Lite Caeser by the way.

Nom nom nom!


Sometimes the simplest of ingredients combine to make the most amazing meals.  It is the best of both worlds! 

Ingredients List:  Sausage & Caramelized Onion Pita Pizza 

  • 1/4 cup sliced white onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Joseph’s low-carb pita with flax
  • 1/4 cup Classico Fire Roasted Tomato & Garlic Sauce
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 link Jennie O’ Hot Turkey Sausage
  • 1 light Sargento Mozzarella string cheese
  • Dried Oregano
  • Black Pepper


Stats on my pita pizza:  236 calories, 17g carbs, 11g fat, 22g protein, 6g fiber

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Back to the normal routine

Even with the big tax deadline behind me, my schedule is crazy hectic.  What’s up with that???  Wednesday for instance is a VERY busy day for me because I go straight from the office to the university for the class I teach.  This requires ample food-planning on Tuesday nights because I have to pack 6 meals.  6 meals?!?  Yes 6.  Take today for instance, here’s what I packed last night for the day ahead:

  • B#1:  Scrambled eggs & roasted broccoli
  • B#2:  Overnight oats + chopped strawberries + blueberries
  • Lunch:  Big ole Salad + Jennie O’ Turkey Sausage
  • Snack:  Granny smith apple
  • Dinner:  Chicken & hummus wrap + cucumber salad
  • Snack: 1/2 of an 18 Rabbits granola bar

I like to travel with food apparently 🙂

One thing I’ve been craving the past few weeks is getting back to my normal foods routine! 

You know what that means:


EGGS for breakfast #1!

Last night, I cooked up a batch of my scrambled eggs:


I also roasted up some broccoli which I enjoyed at 8am at my desk with a dollop o’ heaven Ketchup:


Of course, this was followed up 2 hours later by none other than my overnight oats for B#2:



My lunch salad consisted of romaine lettuce, 1/2 a large cucumber, 1 baby roma tomato, some red onion, banana pepper and Ken’s steakhouse Lite Italian Romano dressing:

I also had a Jennie O’ turkey sausage on the side…

Is it just me, or does that sausage look really sad?! … A sausage with no bun is like a bird with no wings eggs with no ketchup!  Luckily I had a monster Italian sausage sandwich over the weekend 😀

After the 2PM doldrums pass, it’s time for a snack!  My usual afternoon snack is a granny smith apple:

Usually my snacks go unpictured.  But today, I’m snapping everything that goes into my mouth 🙂 Uh oh. 

Fun fact about me and apples:  I REFUSE to buy an apple unless the stem is still attached.  An apple sans stem is a clear indicator that a worm has crawled inside…. I’m pretty sure my sister told me that as a child, and it has stuck with me through the years.  I may look funny in the produce aisle as I pick up one apple after another to find one that still has the stem attached, but guess who WON’T be looking funny when they bite into a worm?  It won’t be me, that’s for darn sure!  😉

For dinner, I packed some cucumber salad:

And also a La Tortilla low-carb wrap consisting of 2 ounces grilled chicken, onion, and 1 tbsp Trader Joe’s original hummus:

Come to think of it, I probably should have avoided so many onions right before class… Oh well, they don’t call me the Onion Lady for nothin’. :mrgreen:


Last my not least, I packed 1/2 of an 18 Rabbits granola bar (thanks Dorry!) for my late-night snack:

Whew!  That’s a lot of food! 

Happy Eating and Happy Hump Day!

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