Salad with a Side of Salad

Why, hello there.

Last week was a pretty decent week for my revamped healthy eating lifestyle. Since, well, moving into our house, my eating habits have been awful. (We moved in almost a year ago.) I’m not sure what the cause, but I’ve known for a while that things need to change.

The funny thing about eating healthy and exercising, is that it’s actually fun to me. I used to relish my Saturday afternoon meal planning sessions, even if it was just an excuse to sit on Pinterest for hours. I used to love that satisfaction of finishing a day under my caloric goal. Heck, I used to even enjoy the idea of hopping on an elliptical, just because it meant I could actually set aside some time for a podcast. However, moving in to my permanent fixture made me a bit…lazy. It was suddenly too easy to just come home, order take out and hit the couch. It was far too much effort to actually lace up my running shoes and head back out for a workout. Plus, for the first time in my adult life, I am without a gym. Sure, we have the treadmill in the basement, but I loathe it! I detest it! It’s honestly a torture device to me! Finally, the best part of eating healthy and exercising was being able to talk about it on Cat Hair in my Coffee. It gave me something to work toward, besides actual work.

Did you enjoy that derailment, because I sure did.

Last week, I made the effort to get up every morning and make breakfast, throwback style. I made two eggs, over-easy with two pieces of turkey bacon. I decided to skip the English muffin to see if I would miss it, and the good news — I didn’t! In fact, I found myself staying fuller longer throughout the day. Amazing.

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Another meal I was particularly proud of was my Caprese salad with a side of salad. I’m obsessed with mozzarella, tomato and basil, so I’ve been trying to incorporate some combination of those flavors into as many meals as possible. This particular one was just a classic serving of Caprese salad with toasted baguette pieces. Since I had a ton of lettuce/salad mix from Round Right Farm, I decided to make a big salad to along with it. I wanted a creamy dressing, so I opted for this amazing creamy avocado dressing recipe I found on Pinterest. The recipe can be found below:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

NOTE: Some people have said that this recipe is way too tart for their tastes. I’ve made it quite a few times (it’s a summer staple for us!) and still love it, but if you aren’t a big fan of tang, try reducing the vinegar to 1/3 cup and use only half a lemon.

  1. In a food processor, combine avocado, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Run processor until very smooth and creamy.
  2. With processor running on low, stream in olive oil through the shoot until just combined.

I personally used my Magic Bullet for the blending and it turned out great! I liked the tartness of this dressing and thought it really went well with the feta cheese I sprinkled on top.

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So there you have it. My “A for Effort” meal. This week, I’m expecting a Blue Apron delivery, so I’ll be back in the kitchen for that.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Making drastic changes too quickly is a recipe for disaster when trying to maintain or work towards a more healthy lifestyle. Stick with small, gradual changes. For example, instead of buying a store bought dressing that is often filled with preservatives, find a recipe on Pinterest or another recipe site and take a crack at making your own. I found this amazing cheat sheet that might help with this!
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New Recipe–French Bean & Potato Salad

Today is Wednesday, which to some means working through the last of the weekend’s leftovers. However, in this household, it’s only the start of my cooking. Wednesdays are my CSA veggie pick-up days and that usually means at least two hours in the kitchen after work. Tonight was a recipe I’d been dying to try for a while. While traditionally a healthy take on a conventional picnic staple, this dish screamed quick and easy lunch for the next few days. Plus, it’s always a bonus to find recipes that allow me to really get the most of my Round Right vegetables! Here is my take on a French Bean & Potato Salad. (You’ll notice that I marked the Round Right veggies I had to work with!)

COOK TIME
1 hour
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 pounds medium potatoes, like Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn (RR)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste with a little salt (RR)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can of navy beans
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans 
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper
  • 8-10 radishes (RR)

PREPARATION

  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and bay leaf. Cook at a brisk simmer until the potatoes are firm but easily pierced with a skewer, about 30 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, capers, mustard and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk again before using if the dressing separates.
  3. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins with a paring knife and carefully cut into pieces 1/4-inch thick, or slightly thicker. Put the slices in a low bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper and add half the vinaigrette. Using your hands, gently coat the potatoes with the vinaigrette, taking care not to break them. Cover and set aside at room temperature.
  4. Empty the garbanzo and navy beans into a colander and rinse thoroughly. Set aside and begin cutting the radishes and red bell pepper into slices or chunks.
  5. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and dress with remaining vinaigrette. Hand toss and serve.

YIELD

4 to 6 servings

Trying Out a Chocolate Covered Katie Recipe

For those of you who haven’t heard of the genius that is Katie of Chocolate Covered Katie, allow me to post her blog’s bio.

The Healthy Dessert Blog

This isn’t just any dessert blog: it’s the healthy-dessert blog!

The recipes featured here are healthier versions of your favorite naughty treats: Cookie Dough Milkshakes, Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge, Brownie Batter Pancakes…

What will you find on this website?

Healthier versions of all your favorite desserts. My aim isn’t for people to say, “This is good… for a healthydessert.” I want them to say, “This is good. Period.”

For the actual recipes, see: CC Diet Recipes.

This site is for anyone who wants to be healthy but refuses to give up eating delicious desserts in the name of health. Happiness and health go hand-in-hand, and how can you be happy if you’re not eating what you truly desire? My favorite food is chocolate, and I eat it at least once a day. I’ve never been happier. Or healthier.

The ultimate “does not taste healthy” dessert: Chocolate Bar Pie.

Healthy is the new naughty

So go be naughty! And enjoy every chocolate-covered minute of it!

Don’t miss a single recipe:

Get CCK Recipes by Email

Click the above link if you don’t want to have to keep checking back for new recipes. If you sign up for emails, you will receive all my newest recipe posts. (It’s completely free!)

I never imagined this blog would grow to be so popular, and I’m thankful every day. In other words, if you’re reading this, I’m thankful for YOU! Please feel free to leave a comment on any of my posts. I lovecomments.

You can also find me on the CCK Facebook Page and on twitter.

Isn’t she a doll?! Anyway, now that you know a little bit about her blog, I expect you all to head on over (after finishing this post, of course) to check out some of her amazing recipes. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to try out some of her recipes using dates, but I’ve always managed to forget to add them to my grocery list. So on Tuesday, I hit the store and made sure I picked up a package of Dole dates. This afternoon I was on my usual 3rd cup of coffee, when I realized I wanted something sweet. I grabbed my iPad, pulled up this recipe and go cooking. I did modify the recipe a little, but they still turned out fabulously. In fact, they were so good, I had two.

Here is my modification:

  • 1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup dates
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp almond butter

After I blended everything, I rolled them into small and medium sized balls. The recipe only made about 6 balls, but they’re so filling, two felt like way too much for me.

I highly encourage you try these bad boys. I felt like I was eating some sort of rich brownie batter. YUM.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: In the mood for a rich dessert, drop by Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog and check out her many, many options.