I’ve been super lazy about packing my lunches lately. Probably because they have a Chipotle type line at the work where I basically get a chicken taco salad every single day. ALRIGHT FINE, I’ll admit that I totally get the salad because it comes with crunchy, salty tortilla chips and loads of guac.
I feel as though I’ve been waiting forever for humid summer nights. And my goodness are they here. Smoky BBQ meat, fresh juicy watermelon, and frozen yogurt has taken over my life and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about it.
As you’ve probably seen via my Instagram, I’ve been taking a few summer trips. Along the way, I find myself eating out and enjoying food relative to each state’s culture. Often times, I’ll order some sort of chopped salad; each one being more unique than the last. In New Mexico, I enjoyed a BBQ Chicken salad with green chile, chickpeas, jicama, mango, red pepper and an incredible cumin-lime dressing. In Minnesota, I often munch on my Healthy Chicken Chickpea Chopped salad and mix up the dressings. When in North Carolina visiting Tony, I gravitate to greek salads with red potatoes, grilled onions, olives, and loads of feta cheese.
I’ve been getting back into vinyassa yoga lately. Most of the time I do yoga sculpt classes with weights, but recently I’ve needed some deep stretching and some major stress relief. The mind-body connection that yoga brings me is often times my favorite part of the class; I’m more self-aware, compassionate, and thoughtful with each class. I’ve also noticed that my anxiety diminishes.
The other day my instructor was talking about how you have to be brave in order to become your true self. How you have to go beyond what you think you’re capable of if you want to make something happen. Take a chance on something or someone.
Little conversations like those push me to be better. I’m happy to have the ability to to make choices, change my future and create opportunities that I would have never thought possible. Thus on my journey to having a clear mind with less stress, I’m also focusing on having a healthy body. Eating clean, preparing my meals, and taking care of myself is so important.
This past weekend I made a big batch of this summery salad (with fall flavors?) My mom came over to help taste test, and she absolutely loved it. We enjoyed it cold served with some greek yogurt.
This salad was inspired by my favorite little meal at Whole Foods made with couscous. Every time I’m there I search for it.
Are you a enthusiast in life? Are you doing what you love? Are you following your passions, your dreams, and pushing your boundaries?
I’ve been asking myself all of those questions because most days it feels like I’m chasing an unknown dream. However, I know that I’m meant to be on this journey and that ultimately it’s the right choice for me. For some reason, I feel compelled to write, to make and share recipes, and to absolutely pour my heart into my craft.
Of course I’m sure you have a passion too — something that makes your heart beat enthusiastically; but are you doing something about it? So many of us wait for moments of success to appear in front of us instead of seeking out and pursuing what we truly want. The important thing is to let your passion flow freely and enable your dreams to live wildly. Your intuition will guide you through your fear.
Perhaps you don’t know what your passion is yet. If that’s the case, ask yourself this what you do effortlessly. We all create our own happiness and the most important thing I’ve realized is that we all have limited time. So spend the time you do have, doing what you LOVE!
OKAY, the Tuesday Preach is over. Time for me to share my exquisite passion for delicious salad making with you.
This salad is absolutely incredible and probably one of my new favorites. I’d even put it right up there with my Thai Quinoa Salad.
The flavors are bright, fresh, and flavorful. Not only is it incredibly healthy, but it’s also gluten free and vegan friendly.
Ummm hi. I’m recovering from a food coma — a deep and scary one. I guess that’s what happens when you attend food conferences in a city where there is magical Mexican food.
I can’t even think of anything except salad right now! I need it. Because apparently I think that it’s okay to eat ice cream sandwiches the size of my face, buttery muffins for breakfast, and ohhh I don’t know about a million peanut butter m&ms (give or take a few).
I’ll be paying for my decisions for the next week; however, with salads that include strawberries, goat cheese, quinoa, and crunchy sunflower seeds; I’m not sure I mind too much. Especially when it’s tossed in my absolute favorite lemon dressing.
I would have to say that this salad is absolutely perfect for summer. It’s slightly sweet, but oh so fresh! Often times I add chia or poppyseeds to the lemon dressing for a little fun crunch and extra nutrition. The goat cheese adds in a nice tang and along with the dressing, I found it to be irresistible! The sunflower seeds are different and lovely, but you can use pecans if you’d like.
Other optional add-ins that I’d suggest: chickpeas or pulled chicken breast. You can serve this over spinach and pack it for your weekly lunches.
The other day my best friend’s mom asked when I was going to start seriously dating someone that I was just sort-of seeing?
Ummmm I don’t know, I just turned 24? And what is this — an intervention? I mean is there a deadline that I missed out on that says you have be in super serious relationship by a certain age? Can’t it all be casual and cool? I like going on dates, I’m just not on the marriage train. I prefer to live in the reality that love is a fairy tale, you know after I chase down all of my dreams and travel around the globe.
Speaking of romance, Valentine’s Day is coming up! Quick, Let’s eat salads before we overcompensate by shoving heart-shaped Reese’s in our mouths!
Just kidding… Sort of?
Lately, I have been a complete train wreck. Okay not necessarily in a bad way though; I’ve just been focusing on prioritizing my projects for work AND keeping up with the blog. Juggling them can be difficult and most of the time I end up working on the weekends with little time for guzzling my favorite margaritas. Wait, now that I think about it… aren’t margaritas a priority? Hmmmm. I’ll have to ponder that one.
Anyway this whole getting my life organized thing has forced me to become incredibly prepared since I’m always on the go. This includes making my meals ahead of time: oat muffins for the morning, greek yogurt with caramelized almonds for a sweet afternoon snack, and this pretty superfruit and nut salad that I’ve enjoyed chowing down on for lunch.
During college I was in love with a salad from a local restaurant. It was always refreshing, consistent, and filling! My best girlfriends and I ate it at least once a week — it was our favorite! I swear the waiters began to know us by name, but that MIGHT have been because we always took at least 10 of the free lollipops they set out in a large bucket. I don’t know why we thought free meant endless supply?
Anyway ordering dirty martinis and a chopped salad with no bacon and dressing on the side was our tradition.
I do have a little advice for you: always eat food before martinis. Seriously remember that.
So, what’s a chopped salad anyway?
It’s simply a salad that includes fresh produce and ingredients that have been ‘chopped’ (or just cut up to fairly equal size), then the salad is typically tossed together. Flavors can be adjusted and dressing may be used. Chopped salads are very popular in restaurants as they make the perfect lighter meal.
I know the question you want to ask me. And the answer is YES, you will look like Heidi Klum if you eat salads like this for dinner… every night… for the rest of your life.
To make the salad I started with fresh romaine hearts then I added protein: pulled chicken breast and chickpeas. The rest? Grilled sweet corn (or whatever you have on hand), fresh grape tomatoes, avocado, crumbled goat cheese, and fresh chopped cilantro. Then tossed (or drizzled) with any dressing you desire. I drizzled mine with my favorite BBQ sauce; it was heavenly.
Seriously this salad is just GOOD. It makes you feel good. In fact I’m starting to think it even makes good things happen. Just the other day I found $20 I never knew I had. Yesterday I made the best banana bread I have EVER made in my life. Today I had an amazing meeting! Oh, and I’ll be traveling again soon!
In any case, I need to eat more chopped salads. That way I can eat more cake.
A healthy, delicious salad that's super easy to whip up.
2 large romaine hearts, washed and chopped
1 cup pulled cooked chicken breast
1 (15.5 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
3/4 cup sweet corn (I grilled mine)
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/3 cup cilantro, washed and chopped
1 small avocado, diced
1/2 cup BBQ dressing, if desired
In a large bowl add lettuce, top with all ingredients except for avocado and BBQ dressing. Toss salad gently.
Place into cold salad bowls. Garnish with diced avocado and drizzle with BBQ dressing if desired. Serve with low-fat corn tortilla strips.
To make vegan omit chicken and goat cheese. Add in roasted diced red peppers for more flavor.
You may you any dressing you like. Sometimes I like adding 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice and find that I don't need any dressing at all.
Was it you who ate all the leftover candy from Halloween? Did you rummage through your child’s bucket to find your favorite kind? Did you promise to eat just one piece, but indulged in about 17? No willpower?
I’ve totally been there.
We need to pull it together. How about a cure for that Halloween candy hangover?
This Asian Edamame Salad should do the trick. It’s full of good nutrients your body will love. This salad is ultra healthy and amazing over a bed of lettuce or even some black beans. It includes a soy sauce, garlic and ginger dressing that you’ll devour.