Filed under antioxidants, appetizers, blog friends, cheese, cocktails, dessert, entertaining, fruit, great meals, in season, Recipes, salad, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains, wine
The salad bar can be a great place to build-you-own balanced meal or a place where you can feel like you are eating healthy when it really isn’t the case.
In college, the salad bar was my favorite aspect of dorm dining – when else do you have access to rows of clean and cut veggies? I frequented it on a daily basis and firmly believe that it helped prevent the dreaded freshman 15.
While I don’t get to the salad bar quite as often these days, it does make a great stand-in for those days that I don’t bring my own lunch. Here are my guidelines for building the perfect salad:
- The lettuce base: the darker the better, think spinach and spring greens for the majority, and some romaine for added crunch if desired. Fill most of the container with lettuce.
- Load up on veggies: add as many vegetables as you can, remembering the rainbow – think cucumber, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, sprouts, etc.
- Add a protein: tofu, beans, chicken or lean deli meats. This will add some staying power to your salad.
- The Extras: I sometimes like to add some deli salads for a little something extra, sometimes a grain or pasta, sometimes a veggie salad like the marinated Italian veggies shown here. If choosing a grain or mayo-based salad, stick to less than 1/2 cup.
- Fat & Flavor: Add 1 Tbsp of nuts (choose nuts over croutons) or flavorful cheese (feta, blue or parmesan) for some healthy fats and extra flavor.
- Dressing: Instead of the typical ranch dressing, try using a balsamic vinaigrette or a sprinkle of olive oil and vinegar over your salad.
What ingredients does your ideal salad bar have?
Filed under antioxidants, ask the nutritionist, cheese, fats, great meals, grocery shopping, lose weight, nuts, protein, salad, tomatoes, Uncategorized, vegetables, whole foods
If you’ve ever had a shaken iced tea from Starbucks, you know just where I’m going here. Like most coffee-house drinks it comes complete with a squirt of sugar – and like most drinks you can request it without the sugar, which I always do. I got mine with just a splash of lemonade which adds the perfect amount of flavor!
I know I’ll be making batches of this iced tea & lemonade throughout the summer, perfect for pool-side sipping!
Iced Tea with Lemonade
Brew tea in large pitcher and let cool. I used 4 of each tea bags. Serve over ice and sip slowly. Best served in the sun!
I generally don’t mess with recipes if it involves flour and baking. I’ve had some baking disasters and have learned my lesson on one too many occasions so I’m not sure why I was feeling so bold, but I took liberty with changing a number of things with this Rachael recipe. Thankfully, I can report back that it turned out perfectly.
I’m so glad that I made them into cookies instead of bars; I plan on giving them away this weekend to a very special Mother and I think the round shape looks much sweeter than a bar.
And being in the bakery field, I know the importance of quality control, so I made sure they tasted ok 😉
Jam & Shortbread Cookies – adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine – makes 24 cookies
Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake pan with liners. Using a food processor, mix flours, almonds, sugars, baking soda and salt until nuts are finely ground. Add butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Beat egg and vanilla in medium bowl. Pour over dough mixture and place dough and egg mixture back in bowl. Knead with your fingers until clumpy.
Add about 1 1/2 Tbsp of dough mixture into the baking cups, pressing with fingers to form a crust. Drizzle with 1 tsp jam, heating the jam in microwave for about 15 seconds to melt if necessary. Top with 1 Tbsp crumbles. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
Whats not to love when you can combine an herb that is anti-bacterial and a great source of Vitamin A, a fruit that is full of antioxidants, Vitamin C and fiber and some prosecco to top it all off? I’m really not sure. I love when cocktails can be construed as health drinks. Next up? Kombucha cocktail. Oh yes.
Blueberry and basil may be an odd-sounding combo to some, but I’m a fan and I’ve also been thinking about this drink since I spotted it on a menu board in Denver. I figured a trip to Arizona would be the perfect opportunity to try it out – complete with a pool, sun, flowy dresses and flip flops.
Try it out, or mix it up with different herb/fruit combinations, mint & melon anyone?
Blueberry & Basil Prosecco – 1 serving
- 1 Tbsp blueberries (organic if possible)
- 1 Tbsp basil, minced
- 6 oz chilled prosecco
Combine basil and blueberries. Muddle together. (We didn’t have a muddler) Pour in prosecco and savor each sip. My favorite part? Eating the blueberries and basil!
A Twin Cities chain of grocery stores has a cherry chicken pasta salad that is truly hard to resist. I don’t even know how or why I tried this – it really isn’t my style, but I may or may not get a small container of it on Friday afternoons. While it is undeniably delicious, I knew it could be equally delicious made-over.
The pasta could be whole-grain, the chicken, well, it would preferably be organic or free-range and the mayo and poppy seed dressing? Could definitely benefit from some lightening. So here it is – it may not be as creamy as the store version, but it is certainly a lot better for you and I promise you won’t miss all the mayo!
Cherry Chicken Pasta Salad – makes a large bowl
- 8 oz whole-grain penne
- 8 oz chicken thighs, cooked and chopped (we grilled ours)
- 3 oz dried cherries
- 5 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 bunch of green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup Briannas poppy seed dressing
Prepare pasta as directed. Let cool. Combine mayo and poppy seed dressing and stir until combined. Toss with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for 2 hours minimum. Serve over greens or straight from the bowl!
This twist on the Mexican staple encompasses everything that an appetizer should be – easy, healthy and delicious. Really, what more could you ask for?
We took this over to a friends house (Thanks Taster for making, food styling and photographing!) and it was a very fun change from the typical guac and tortilla chips. We served it alongside some whole-grain bread that was toasted, carrots and radishes. The only downside? Guac just never tastes as good the day after – all the more reason to eat it up right away!
Guacamole with Basil & Shallots adapted from Bon Appétit
- 4 medium sized avocados, taken from skin and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup basil, chopped
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- salt & pepper
Lightly mash the avocado, stir in shallots and basil. Season with salt to taste. Serve with toasted whole-grain bread and crudités.
Filed under antioxidants, appetizers, fats, herbs, raw foods, Recipes, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains