Monday, July 8, 2013

Staycation and Summer Chopped Salad Recipe

After the best four days off of work, which were spent beaching, bbq-ing, movie going, and relaxing, I was ready to face the new week feeling more refreshed than ever. My full of life and energy attitude faded around lunch time, when I realized I was much more in the mood to be lounging by the water with some kind of tropical drink in hand than sitting in my cubicle thinking about the ad world. I refused to get a coffee as a pick me up for two reasons - I was too lazy to go downstairs for an iced coffee, and it's simply too hot for any sort of hot beverage. I do wish that life was one big vacation, or even a staycation would be lovely, but I had that once before...right in between college and real life, and that too became quite monotonous. Anyhow. The past couple days were amazing. Louis took off as well, we also visited family on Long Island...and it was all just perfect.

I recently bought this tub to put in my sink for washing vegetables. I've been soaking them with vinegar  and water to get rid of any grimer germs and pesticides that seem to engulf vegetables these days. I think they look pretty when I mix them all together. I used all of these to make a random summer chopped salad. Do you ever get tired of lettuce? I do. Not so much the taste, but the washing, rinsing, spinning, and drying. For ten hours. So, sometimes when I'm not in the mood I just make a quick chop. It saves better without the lettuce and can be served with a number of items as well as pretty much any veggies you happen to have in the fridge. 

A very adult thing happened while in the midst of meal prep. Our dear friends Jeremy and Ava came by with an amazing bedside table (they are also kind of our personal decorators and keep our styles in line) and some beautiful flowers for our back yard. They are the best. Luckily, we are so grown up that we happened to have some good grill food on hand. I'm not much of a "chicken-on-the-bone" girl...but let me tell you these bbq chicken drumsticks were incredible. Louis also insisted on some sabretts since we had a few leftover from our 4th of July bbq.

And..the summer salad I was telling you about...

Here's what you need: carrot, raddish, green onions, raw garlic, green pepper, baby sweet bell peppers - red orange and yellow, celery, cherry tomatoes, a hot green pepper (not jalepeno not sure what it was exactly), cucumber. Spices. EVOO. Limes.

Here's what you do: Chop everything. Mix in a generous amount (a little at a time) of extra virgin olive oil and lime juice (I used two limes since I made a pretty big batch). Top with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. It has a bit of a kick! I also threw on some fresh basil since it's summer and basil is so summery and delicious.

*Now, Louis says this wasn't his favorite salad, and he would have liked some cheese on top. So, if you must have cheese to be satisfied, then you should add fresh parmesan or feta. An avocado might suffice but I don't like 2nd day avocados and I wanted to make a big batch.

I'm upping my carbs this I brought quinoa pasta for lunch and served it with leftover salad. So yummy!!

Have you had this granola? You've got to get it. 2 of my faves...Seattle AND Chocolate. Clearly I had to try it. This is my second bag. It's so good plain or with almond milk.

Also, can't get enough of these Pro Bar Bolt chews. Why are they so good? I had some this morning before my workout and they were perfection. Coffee and tea make me a bit nauseous when I have a super early workout - they are great on the weekends but not so much at 5:30. I only like fasted workouts but again, when it's so early I do appreciate a little boost. These do the trick and they taste delicious. You can read more about them on their site, but they are made of complex carbs, electrolytes, and antioxidants. They are all natural, organic, vegan (everyone's faves) so you can feel safe popping a few of these by knowing that you aren't consuming a bunch of chemicals. I picked up a few more packs today along with PB2 which I've heard great reviews about but haven't seen it in any of the markets I go to. I figure I'll try these and see how I like them before I begin a search. I needed the peanut butter chocolate flavor. 

Well, Louis is at the Yankee game and I'm enjoying a night of quiet. I switched out some more of my summer/winter clothes and cut a giant watermelon. May have eaten half. Obviously feeling a bit random. Guess I'll see if Kardashian is on.

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