Posts Tagged ‘fresh’

I just got back from camping. I love camping but I hate how I eat when I’m camping. I always end up eating horribly, then feel like crap for several days afterwards. I think this has something to do with the “I’m on vacation so I’m going to eat whatever I want to eat…because it’s vacation!” mentality. I’ll be honest, all I wanted this entire weekend was a large bag of gummy worms BUT I fought these urges and ate oodles and oodles  of Chocolate Chip Cookies instead. At least the cookies had flax in them…that justifies my binge eating, right?

Now that I am back to reality, I feel like I need to detox a bit. This week: no flour, no pasta, no sugars, no alcohol. Just veggies, berries, miso soup, grains…and a bit of lean protein. Last night I ate a whole bunch of Kale chips and a BIG tasty salad…and guess what: I didn’t wake up feeling like death! Hooray!

This week I’m going to be focusing on bright and fresh summer salads! I always crave salads in the summer (and soups in the winter..is that normal). I think it’s because everything is so FRESH! Truth be told, this whole CSA thing has ruined bagged salads for me! I doubt I’ll ever be satisfied with slightly rusty lettuce or “limp” greens again.

To kick things off with my “back to health” diet this week I made a Cilantro and Lime Grilled Chicken Salad for dinner…YUM!

Here’s what you’ll need: 

For the marinade:

-the juice of 2 limes

-2 tbs olive oil

-4 cloves of garlic; chopped

-one handful of cilantro; chopped

-one uncooked chicken breast

-salt and pepper

For the Salad:

-one head of leafy lettuce (I used red lettuce); rinsed and chopped

-alfalfa sprouts

-cucumbers; rinsed, peeled and thinly sliced

-red onion; chopped

-cherry tomatoes; halved

-freshly made guacamole (truth be told I used Wholly Guacamole…because my avocados weren’t ripe yet…stupid avocados)

(serves 2)

First things first: combine the ingredients for the marinade. Whisk together.  Add marinade and chicken to an airtight container, shake it up, then let it sit in the fridge overnight (ideally 24 hours or longer…but 8-12 hours will do in a pinch).

24 hours later: Heat up a grill! I was too lazy to wait for charcoal to heat up on our ACTUAL grill…so I used my cast iron grill griddle instead. Man, I love that thing. Once it’s nice and hot add your chicken. Cook for about 15-20 minutes; flipping once (around the 7 minute mark). I actually flip mine twice…b/c I like to make criss-crossed grill marks in my chicken. It’s the little things that make me happy.

While your chicken is sizzling away, start prepping your veggies. Give your lettuce a cold water rinse, chop it up and throw it in a salad spinner. Rinse and peel your cucumber, slice it up and toss that in the salad spinner too. If I were using any other washable veggies (carrots, peppers, tomatoes, etc) I would wash, chop and toss these bad boys into the salad spinner as well.

*I used a salad spinner because: A) it was a wedding gift and I’d hate to see it go to waste and B) because I am extremely lazy.* 

Spin, Spin, Spin and VOILA…excess water is removed and everything is tossed together. Brilliant!

Once your chicken is done, slice it into strips. Set aside.

Now for the fun part, assembling your salad! I like to do a “Lettuce/Cucumber/Tomato-Chopped Onion-Sprouts-Chicken-Gucamole” kind of pattern…but that’s just me.

The lime juice gives the chicken a nice tangy taste, while the cilantro makes everything taste so bright! Such a great flavor combo!

Salads for dinner are my absolute favorite because they take NO TIME whatsoever to throw together! Plus, no pre-heating an oven on a hot day! Double bonus!

**Not a big fan of guacamole? Try making your own Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette! That would be a superb compliment to this salad!**


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When I was 19 (and still somewhat of a picky eater) someone told me that “you don’t have to like tomatoes, but you do have to appreciate them.” At the time, I thought this person was incredibly arrogant and douce-y for saying this to me. I was legitimately offended that someone DARED to tell me what I should and shouldn’t appreciate. I mean, C’mon…I’d been to Paris! I’d visited the Louvre! I’d dined at the Eiffel Tower! I drank red wine and listened to Indie music! I was, in my own mind, “cultured”. Therefore I knew a thing or two about appreciating the “finer things in life”; and tomatoes were not something you “appreciated”…hello! Tomatoes were gross and beneath me.

Fast forward 6 years…

I had an “a-ha” moment today while cooking the most amazing tomato sauce ever. As the tomatoes simmered away in a sea of fresh basil and garlic, lightly drizzled with olive oil, I was just blown away by how something so simple could be so awesome. As the most amazing flavors came crashing over my taste buds, I hit me…I TOTALLY GET IT NOW! I totally understand why I was told to appreciate tomatoes (have I over used the word “totally” yet?). Tomatoes are these amazingly simple things that (when paired with the right elements) can create the most complex flavors…ever. I get it…absolutely 100% get it.

Needless to say, I am finally over my “I don’t like tomatoes” whiny brat phase. Thank God! How boring was I?! I actually love tomatoes now. But more importantly I FINALLY appreciate them. Woo Hoo! This calls for celebration! Let’s eat!

4 ingredient tomato sauce aka Awesome Sauce

serves 4

1 package of cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups)-chopped

6 cloves of garlic-minced

1 handful fresh basil-chopped

2tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

(Ok that’s clearly more than 4 ingredients…deal with it)

-Chop up your tomatoes. I actually chose to take on the tedious task of halving each tiny tomato. I wanted them to break down but still retain their “structural integrity”

(I used cherry tomatoes only because I had them on hand and didn’t want them to get sucked into the black hole that is the back of my refrigerator. I think heirloom tomatoes would be AMAZING in here. However if you want to use some nice Roma tomatoes, by all means, go for it!)

-Heat 2tbs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a skillet. Add your chopped up tomatoes to the oily-goodness. Add a pinch of salt and pepper (or in my case a few grinds of each).

-Once your tomatoes begin to break down, add the minced garlic and chopped basil. (are you salivating yet?)

-If you’re going to add red pepper flakes to your sauce do so….now.

-Now cover and let this simmer on low for a few hours. Check and stir regularly so it doesn’t burn. That would put a big bummer so don’t let that happen!

Serve this sauce over whole grain penne with a bit of grated parmesan


Use this sauce as a base for the most amazing pizza ever (my personal favorite)


spoon this sauce into a nice big bowl and eat it with a loaf of good crusty bread (man, that sounds WAY better then pizza right now)

Whatever way you chose to consume this awesomely simple tomato sauce, I only ask one thing of you: take the time to understand what it means to appreciate tomatoes (and don’t be like me and get all prissy and offended that someone DARED to ask you to appreciate anything…you’re better than that!)


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