I've got a salad for you today ... because I just got finished with two weeks of marathon eating, and this week all I want to eat are gigantic salads for every meal. I cannot think of or look at pictures of christmas cookies right now, I am still so full from the past few weeks.
And .... I know in the weeks to come there are going to be so many sweets and bacon wrapped whatevers. I want to psych myself up for all the upcoming indulgence, and to do that I will be eating salads and super healthy stuff on the in-between days.
Don't worry, you and I can get back to talking about more serious holiday eats and treats next week.
So let's talk about this salad. Sometimes I find myself using quinoa and kale for everything, but I am trying to make a better effort to change things up once in a while. You can certainly make this salad with quinoa and kale instead of barley and spinach, but I decided to give barley and spinach the spotlight here, because other grains and dark leafy greens deserve our love too.
Since this this salad is more grain-heavy, it feels more like a meal. Something you can eat for dinner, or a hearty lunch. It's filling but it won't put you over the edge, and it's loaded with healthy goodness. It would also make a great side dish, or brunch salad, or you can just snack on all by yourself all week long (that's what I've been doing).
My favorite part about this salad is the dressing. This dressing is killer. Almonds, sesame oil, and miso ... some of my favorites, all blended together. You can easily use this over so many things .... other salad combinations, roasted vegetables, noodle dishes. I just want to dive in and take a bath in this dressing, it's so darn good.
Recently, the best place to find me would be standing in front of my refrigerator with a spoon in a jar of almond butter. This is new to me. I've officially crossed over to the dark side. Please tell me you've been there too.
This love for almond butter crept up on me slowly until it became a full-blown obsession. Now, my day is not complete without a scoop of almond or peanut butter in my mouth.
I've been trying to come up with different ways to feed my all my AB/PB cravings. I'll have a scoop of it over some banana after a workout, I smear it over some apples for a mid-day snack, I make it in a smoothie with cacao and mint and have it for breakfast, and I eat it straight out of the jar .... oh sorry, I've already mentioned that.
I've been trying to come up with another way that I can devour my favorite treat, and I decided I wanted something that incorporated not just almond butter, but my favorite things to eat with my almond butter.
I thought about dipping bananas into some sort of almond butter chocolate concoction, then I thought, sure that would be great, but how often am I going to make that. Then, the light bulb went off. I can just blend everything together and make fun little bite sized snack things. Simple. Easy. Yes!
You know what is awesome about these bites? I can eat them for breakfast and I pretend like I am being really bad, but actually I am being really really good. Give me one of these little bites over a muffin any day of the week. In fact, give me 7. These also make awesome snacks, as well as dessert that you can bring over to a friend's house. Loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, this could be one of the healthiest and tastiest little bites you will ever put in your mouth.
Be sure to adjust any ingredients depending on the amount that you are going to eat out of the jar/blender.
I’ve been dreaming about yellow gazpacho ever since Meghan + her friend and I shared one over lunch about a month ago when she was in town. We had a delicious brunch at a restaurant around the corner from where I live, and the star of that meal was the gazpacho we ordered. We wondered if it was weird to share soup as a starer, but after one bite no one cared. We were so happy we ordered that dreamy gazpacho.
A few weeks after that yellow gazpacho, I had another one that was just as delicious with Michael and my Mom. This one had corn and a few other goodies. It sounded so good, we each ordered one. That was the right decision.
I'm not sure why yellow gazpacho has got me all hot and bothered this summer, but there is something about the yellow vegetables that make it just right. I think it is maybe because the yellow fruits and vegetables have the perfect balance of sweet and tart. And that color! I cannot get over how bright and happy it is. It makes you feel happy when you eat it.
I've been waiting to make my own yellow gazpacho, because the later in the summer we get, the better the corn and the tomatoes get. So the other day when I took a trip to the farm stand and found perfectly ripe yellow tomatoes and loads of delicious looking corn ... I knew it was time.
I like easy recipes, but in the summer I like realllly easy recipes. Why? Because that means more time outside, at the beach or in the pool. In the summer, I do not really feel like slaving in the kitchen, or eating something hot for lunch. Salads and cold soups are the way to go.
This recipe can be whipped up in a quick 10 minutes. Your friends can be outside soaking up some sun, while you run inside, throw these ingredients into a blender, pour them into little cups and place the fancy garish on top. They will be so utterly impressed.
A funny thing happened the other morning. I was going about my morning routine, running a few errands, when I was stopped by a man on the street. He goes:
"Excuse me, would you happen to know where the nearest place is that I can buy a julienne peeler?"
To which I responded "Well, that's funny, because I am actually on my way to buy a julienne peeler."
(whaaaaaat .... soooo random)
Me: "A few blocks away in the Chelsea Market there is a store called Bowery Kitchen. They sell everything, I am almost certain they will have a julienne peeler."
Guy on street: "Thanks! I am trying to eat healthier, so I thought it would be great for me to buy one so that I can eat more raw veggies."
Right on guy. Right on.
The story does not stop there. So, I continue on my way, run a few quick errands, and head over to buy my julienne peeler .... and there's the guy. Scouring the peeler section. I went over to him and said "Looks like you found it!"
Guy: "Hey! Yeah! I did, but I don't know which one to buy."
Well, then, of course I went on a bit of a tangent about different peelers, what purpose they each serve, as well as different things you can make with raw vegetables. Raw veggie pasta, raw veggie salad, raw veggie noodle pad thai.
In fact, that's what's been on my mind. Raw pad thai. That's was why I was buying a julienne peeler.
Last summer I bought this crazy, clunky Japanese spiralizer that I would make noodles with. The problem was, I hated using that thing. It was not very user friendly and it was taking up a lot of precious cabinet space.
There's been a lot of talk recently about a julienne peelers, so I thought maybe that would a better solution than my cumbersome spirilizer. WELL. I am telling you. This $5 piece of kitchen equipment will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Seriously people. Life changing.
Being able to eat more raw veggies in the summertime, being able to eat my favorite pasta dishes subbing veggies for the bad carbs .... amazing. Yes. Run out and buy one right now.
Hold on, I am sure that many of you probably already have a julienne peeler, and many of you have probably already told all of your family, friends, and the checkout person at the grocery store how amazing it is. So, those of you can realte to my level of enthusiasm.
The first thing I made with my julienne peeler was this creamy pesto zucchini dish. Seriously delicious.
The second thing I made was this raw pad thai. I have been dying to make raw pad thai ever since we moved away from my favorite raw foods restaurant, and I am no longer able to order it on the regular. So now that I have my handy fancy julienne peeler I will be making my own. On the regular.
So the story ends with me the and the guy each buying our own julienne peelers ... and we go off on our merry ways to live happy, raw veggie filled lives. And, I hope (if you don't already have one) you will go out and do the same.