Restaurant Meal at Home

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A few weeks ago, I went to a little place called Providence Cafe and had an amazing asparagus and tomato salad.  I’ve been thinking about that delicious meal ever since!


… And decided to recreate it tonight for dinner.



In the mix:


  • Baked asparagus
  • Toasted pecans
  • Raw tomatoes
  • Raw red onions
  • Feta cheese
  • Balsamic reduction


I love summer salads with fresh ingredients!


And I am obsessed with balsamic reduction (it’s easy to make: just boil balsamic vinegar until it begins thick and lovely):

IMG_1708 IMG_1724

On the side, I had a four small slices of olive bread – I was hangry after that 10 miler!


Dessert was mini ice cream sandwiches:


Let’s see…


Earlier this afternoon, I dragged my booty to Power Mixed yoga.  It felt so great to stretch out my legs after my long run.


I’m REALLY trying to incorporate more yoga into my daily life.  I think practicing on a regular basis will help my marathon training tremendously.  And I’m really starting to love the new studio that I’m going to.


Pre-yoga snacks included an orange:


And animal crackers:


After all of my activity today, I’m enjoying being la-azy on the couch (and I’m gnawing on my animal crackers).  Having a holiday tomorrow is exciting!  I definitely want to spend more time outside.


What’s your favorite restaurant meal to recreate at home?



  • Heather September 5, 2010, 8:37 pm

    I tend to recreate more restaurant desserts than anything!

  • Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels September 5, 2010, 8:44 pm

    Oh I love making balsamic reductions, so delicious. It’s not really a restaurant but I like to make Panera Bread’s fuji chicken apple salad at home. I had no idea salads were amazing with apple chips. 🙂

  • maria @ Chasing the Now September 5, 2010, 8:46 pm

    That yoga will help your running a lot. I can tell such a huge difference when I run and I’ve been doing yoga vs. not. 🙂

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing September 5, 2010, 8:47 pm

    That salad sounds great!

  • Bridget September 5, 2010, 8:50 pm

    OMG I just had a salad for dinner with the most delicious balsamic reduction. Sooo good!

    I love making thin crust pizzas like they do in Italian restaurants, with pesto, feta, spinach, mozzarella and shrimp. Yum 🙂

  • Jes (@ Self Motivation) September 5, 2010, 8:51 pm

    Oh that balsamic reduction looks delicious! Your blog always makes me hungry! (o:

    Here is a random question… Do you have a favorite type of animal cracker? I noticed that the picture you posted looks like the kind I love (the ones that look less smooth, if that makes sense?)

  • Evan Thomas September 5, 2010, 8:52 pm

    I never had scrambled tofu until trying it at a little vegetarian restaurant in Providence and I make it time and time again still. I can’t touch their housemade tofu bacon, though.

  • Tina September 5, 2010, 8:56 pm

    For some reason I never think to try and recreate meals at home. I always wait and enjoy particular things when out. Not on purpose though! I need to remember to recreate a favorite sometime soon.

    Glad you’re enjoying some rest…and animal crackers. 🙂

    • Amber K September 6, 2010, 12:55 am

      I’m exactly the same way!

  • Ellen@FirednFabulous September 5, 2010, 8:58 pm

    Ohh that meal looks delicious and the ice cream sandwiches look even better! We made homemade pita pizzas tonight and salad—it was better than eating out. Yummy without the grease!

  • Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul September 5, 2010, 9:06 pm

    I think it’s so empowering to make restaurant meals at home and realize that, yes, you are capable of making an amazing meal – and save money and be healthier in the process. This meal looks delicious!

  • sarah September 5, 2010, 9:15 pm

    Caitlin, sorry I didn’t get a chance to say hey today in yoga. You looked great, who would have known you had run 10 miles! See you soon.

  • McKella September 5, 2010, 9:27 pm

    I tend to order things that I wouldn’t make today, but for my birthday, my mom recreated a chocolate peanut butter cookie dough cheesecake because cheesecake factory doesn’t make it anymore! It’s four of my favorite foods in one!

  • Carly (Swim, Run, Om) September 5, 2010, 9:29 pm

    As someone who loves olives and bread, I really need to find some olive bread. It sounds like a match made in heaven. 😀

    I love the orange chicken rice bowl from Applebee’s (I know, I know) so I recreate it at home with brown rice, lots of veggies and chicken glazed with whatever I can find (it’s not always orange, but whatev.) And the chicken is grilled, not fried.

    And my mom’s cheddar cheese biscuits put the ones from Red Lobster to shame. Although I love those, too!

    • Katie September 6, 2010, 1:04 pm

      great harvest bread company makes an olive bread

  • emily September 5, 2010, 9:30 pm

    The tureky – sprouts – brie – apple – 1000island dressing sandwich from Serendipity3 in NYC; yummmmm!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) September 5, 2010, 9:30 pm

    oooh I recreated a fav breakfast meal at home yesterday! Poached eggs on GF toast, with avocado, tomato and grilled asparagus! And the best bit??? The drizzle of balsamic reduction!!!

  • evan September 5, 2010, 9:35 pm

    beyoootiful meal and kudos to you on all that activity today!

    recreating restaurant meals is one of my favorite things to do. lately i’ve been diggin’ my rendition of a Whole Foods salad: blanched asparagus, hearts of palm, grape tomatoes, shallots and parsley. It’s simple, but alongside some baked tofu, it’s heaven!

    i always fall back on a dish from Paprika, one of my favorite inexpensive NYC restaurants: pan-roasted, crispy-skinned salmon over sauteed spinach with a light, orange and butter infused sauce and balsamic onions.

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef September 5, 2010, 9:48 pm

    those animal crackers look so cute 🙂

  • Jessica@tastyandtrim September 5, 2010, 9:51 pm

    I love to make a salad that I order from Grand Lux Cafe at home. It contains grilled chicken, dates, bacon, glazed walnuts, goat cheese, onion, tomato, raisins and a mustard-hazelnut vinaigrette. It is the best salad I have ever had!

  • Susan September 5, 2010, 9:59 pm

    I’m never able to recreate meals at home that are as good as they are out! Hmph!!!

  • eatmovelove September 5, 2010, 10:12 pm

    Animal crackers, so cute! Love red onion – I eat it raw while snacking as I prepare dinner…and then my eyes water, mouth burns…and I go back for more! I don’t get “me”…enjoy your day tomorrow! – although I guess you don’t really have an “office job” per se do you? …Do you still work a “9-5” or how do you do it?!!

  • Camille September 5, 2010, 10:15 pm

    That’s great! Dinner looks exactly like something you would order at a restaurant! Gorgeous!

  • Kris September 5, 2010, 10:24 pm

    I feel much better about the animal crackers I ate today after reading this post. I was thinking no one healthy would be eating animal crackers. Thanks for being healthy and indulging in treats along the way like the rest of us 🙂

    • Caitlin September 6, 2010, 6:42 pm

      animal crackers rule!

  • Wei-Wei September 5, 2010, 10:24 pm

    I haven’t ever even tried recreating meals at home! It seems like it’d be a fun thing to do. It’s one of the things on this list:

    OB is on that list too, by the way! 😉

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter September 5, 2010, 10:38 pm

    I recreated “Veggie Volcanoes” from the organic cafe on my school’s campus while I’m away during the summer. It’s just steamed veggies on top of quinoa with TJ’s Peanut Satay and Tzatziki sauce on top 🙂

  • April @ Crazy Fabulous Life September 5, 2010, 10:40 pm

    Your orange looks amazing. I’ve been craving oranges like crazy this weekend!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) September 5, 2010, 10:43 pm

    i love doing homemade pasta dishes at home…with homemade pasta and everything 🙂 this looks so great and fresh though!

  • Kaitlyn (College Girl Runs) September 5, 2010, 10:48 pm

    I did power yoga today, too! I definitely think yoga is helping with my marathon training. I do that and foam roll a lot and have held up pretty well through the training.

    I’ve never really recreated a restaurant meal before, but the first thing I would try would probably be a salad! Or a healthy version of potato skins 🙂 Yum!

  • holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 5, 2010, 11:43 pm

    I hope to spend time tomorrow outside as well. It has been beautiful in MN!

    My favorite meal to recreate at home? I love to remake mexican dishes at home, like burritos or enchiladas.

  • Jennifer@ knackfornutrition September 5, 2010, 11:52 pm

    I love recreating sweet potato fries at home!

  • caronae September 6, 2010, 12:08 am

    Are those TJ’s cat cookies for people?? Soooo good!

    I think yoga is a big part of my running training/health in general. The balance, strength, flexibility, and clarity of mind it gives me are things that no amount of running could produce. It’s invaluable! Glad you have discovered that for yourself!

    • Caitlin September 6, 2010, 6:41 pm

      Yes! so GOOD.

  • Jackie (Peaces of Earth) September 6, 2010, 1:07 am

    Oh my gosh, that looks wonderful!! I’ve still yet to make balsamic reduction. I need to get on that!!

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write September 6, 2010, 1:37 am

    I love that it’s a holiday. I’m going to a spa for the first time! Woot!

    I adore animal crackers. Those are so cute.

  • Freya (Brit Chick Runs) September 6, 2010, 3:04 am

    I love love the colours and flavours in your salad – delicious!
    Hmm…I can’t think of any restaurant meals I’ve recreated!? I don’t often go to restaurants (my nearest half decent one is at least 40mins away, but it doesn’t have any vegan options anyway ;/) 🙁

  • Neen@ Broad bean to Runner Bean September 6, 2010, 3:55 am

    your re-creation meal looks lovely! i like recreating meals at home, its lots of fun!

  • Mary September 6, 2010, 6:14 am

    I think my favorite restaurant recipe that not me, but my boyfriend makes are a variation of PF chang’s chicken lettuce wraps. My boyfriend makes chicken for him, but then makes some veggie for me 🙂

  • Lauren at KeepItSweet September 6, 2010, 7:16 am

    I always try to recreate great salads at home… i feel like i usually get such better salads at restaurants!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) September 6, 2010, 7:42 am

    I love doing yoga, it is the something that I put off. I get up at 5:50am Monday thru Friday to do my cardio and weights. Right afterwards it is go time with the rest of the family getting ready for school/work. So, I really don’t make the time for yoga anymore. I really need to do it again. It is just so good for you mind and body. Anyway, your dinner looks delicious! Enjoy your day today!

  • Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) September 6, 2010, 8:06 am

    I’m always trying to recreate restaurant-style hummus and indian food – I’m yet to succeed though!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) September 6, 2010, 8:07 am

    I buy the same balsamic vinegar! It’s scrumptious, especially when turned into a reduction sauce. 😀

    My favorite meal to recreate at home would be the thai chicken lettuce wraps from the Cheesecake Factory. I’m determined to try and “vegetarian-ize” it at some point. 😀

    • Courtney September 6, 2010, 8:25 am

      those are sooo good! 😀

  • Courtney September 6, 2010, 8:25 am

    Definitely restaurant salads!

  • Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon September 6, 2010, 8:31 am

    Your salad re-creation looks fanatastic!

    My favorite home-cooked restaurant creation is a vegetarian reuben, copied from a local cafe (the Blue Moose). We use smoked tempeh, sauteed onions, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and homemade Russian dressing…mmmmmm

  • Nicole September 6, 2010, 8:57 am

    I used to try to create all my favorite Thai dishes at home, but they really never came out like the original. A few days ago I did make onion rings, which I only get at restaurants, so that counts a little!

    Those mini ice cream sandwiches are so adorable, by the way!

    • Caitlin September 6, 2010, 6:41 pm

      I agree, Thai is really hard to recreate!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 6, 2010, 9:09 am

    I love trying to recreate my favourite restaurant meals! One time I tried making some coconut basmati rice that I had at a restaurant and it was amazing!

  • Jillian@ ReshapeYourLife September 6, 2010, 9:20 am

    I’ll have to try to make a balsamic reduction, I always wondered how the restaurants made it! That salad looks delicious!

  • Susan @All Things In Moderation September 6, 2010, 10:03 am

    I just started incorporating yoga into my workout routine and I LOVE it! It is the nicest thing I’ve ever done for myself!

  • Miranda @ MirandasJeans September 6, 2010, 10:05 am

    My new fav thing to recreate from a restaurant is also a salad.

    Dark greens with steamed asparagus, roasted zucchini, red onion, red peppers with goat cheese and hummus. No dressing as the cheese and hummus are so creamy they spread in place of dressing.

  • Emily September 6, 2010, 10:10 am

    The recipe looks like a great re-create! My favorite one that I’ve recreated is a red and green salad: Mixed greens with roasted beets, orange slices, tomatoes, and goat cheese dressed with a citrus dressing, yum!

  • Lauren September 6, 2010, 11:35 am

    Love the recipe! It’s so great to be inspired by a restaurant meal and be able to recreate it at home. I also love how you can play and control the ingredients and many times, make it even better!

  • Stacey (The Habit of Healthy) September 6, 2010, 12:45 pm

    Animal crackers look cute! Can you make the balsamic reduction in advance and then keep it for a while because I love the stuff!

    • Caitlin September 6, 2010, 6:38 pm

      I don’t know – it kind of congeals. You’d definitely have to reheat on the stove before serving.

  • John September 6, 2010, 8:17 pm

    Favourite meals to make is tacos,burritos or chili.

    To save time I’ll add another comment here: I know what you mean about the formerly long runs being easy peasy now that I’m marathon training. After 20 miles yesterday my 10 mile hill run Thursday will be a piece of cake!

    And I wish your race would have been marked better to see if you would have got your PR!

  • Kristy September 6, 2010, 11:01 pm

    You always have such rockin bread! ummm, jealous a little…

  • elaine! September 6, 2010, 11:04 pm

    I’m glad you’re enjoying yoga so far! It’s hard to fit an hour (or hour and a half) yoga class plus the commute to/from and getting cleaned up after (if it’s a sweaty class) into every day. Don’t forget that there are a lot of free yoga podcasts (like from Yoga Today) with practices that range from 5 to 50 minutes if you want to squeeze something in to a particularly hectic day!

  • Kate September 9, 2010, 9:12 pm

    Wow, I just want to comment on how far your blog has come in the past year! From not liking many veggies to providing us with loots of recipes…i’m in lurve…and better see you at girls night next week 🙂

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