Tag Archives: Salad

Another year older.

Today is my 23rd Birthday!  Nothing really special going on today…but tonight I am going out to dinner in Philadelphia with my family & Todd…which I am very excited for.

As I sat down to write this post I checked back on my old blog to see what I was doing this same day last year.  It’s kind of funny because I am doing the same types of things I did last year…such as running, making a green monster, making a type of avocado salad, fruit picking…the only difference is now I am not preparing to go to Europe!  Guess I haven’t really changed much over the year. haha.

Today I went Cherry Picking.  It was really hot and I had to keep moving this 8 foot ladder around to different trees so I could reach the cherries…it was quite tough but I got some cherries…

They’re actually really, really good too…nice and sweet!

I haven’t mentioned it yet, but last weekend I bought something really cool for myself.  I’m not usually one to buy a lot of things for myself, especially something this expensive.  Todd actually helped me out though as part of my birthday present.  I’ll save what I bought for another post!  Now on to some good eats…

Yesterday I made this delicious Avocado Salad…I’ve actually made it a few times this spring but I finally remembered to take a picture so I could share the recipe.  The recipe is actually Ina Garten’s (the Food Network: Barefoot Contessa)…she calls it a Guacamole Salad…but I prefer to call it an Avocado Salad.  Either way it’s really, really delicious, so try it out! I ❤ Avocados.

Serves 6 appetizer portions or 3-4 Entree Portions

Avocado Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and 1/2-inch diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup small diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers, seeded (2 peppers)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled, and 1/2-inch diced

Directions

Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper and pour over the vegetables. Toss well.

Just before you’re ready to serve the salad, fold the avocados into the salad. Check the seasoning and serve at room temperature.

**Note: I added a handful of chopped cilantro.  I also probably did not use quite as much Olive Oil as she suggests…I did not measure, I just estimated.  I have also made this recipe using grape tomatoes and other times using fresh jersey tomatoes…I think this salad comes out much better using the local tomatoes…so if you have a farmers market with fresh tomatoes…use them!

12 Weeks & Pledge to Be Veg

Well, there are officially 12 weeks until the Boston Marathon.  That also means that I begin training TODAY!  Today also marks the start of the Pledge to Be Veg 30-Day Challenge.  As I said before, for 30 days I will:

…refrain completely from the following food items:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry

…I will moderately consume:

  • Eggs
  • Dairy products  (milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, etc.)

Yes, I did make a slight change.  Before I said that I would not consume cow’s milk at all, but now I decided that I would moderately consume it.  I am really looking forward to this challenge to see if the change in my eating style will have a positive effect on me.  I was glad to see that some of my readers will be joining me through this 30-day challenge!  

Last night for dinner, I made homemade pizza.  Pizza is no doubt about it one of my favorite meals.  It had been a while since I had made my own pizza so I was very excited.  For the dough, I use Jenna’s recipe.  She uses part whole-wheat and part white flour.  It’s the best dough that I have tried thus far.  

For the sauce, I make my own sauce.  The recipe that I have posted  on my blog is for pasta sauce.  The only difference is that I will add Oregano for pizza sauce.

My favorite combination is Broccoli, Spinach, Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, & Parmesan.  So good…and in my mind, healthy!

So here is the process of making the pizza:

  • Make the dough.
  • Make the Sauce.
  • Roll the dough out.
  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  • Place Pizza dough onto Pizza Stone dusted with corn meal in preheated oven.
  • Cook for a few minutes & remove from oven.  
  • Place tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings of choice on dough.
  • Place back into oven and cook until crispy!  This does not take long at all…less than 10 minutes.

Along with the pizza, I made one of my favorite salads…Baby Spinach, Candied Pecans, Pink Lady Apples &  Feta Cheese tossed in a mixture of Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, and Salt & Pepper.

 The perfect dinner!

I will also give you the recipe for the Candied Pecans.  You can find them pre-packaged in your food store but there are so many added ingredients that you might as well just make them yourself!  They are so simple to make.  

Candied Pecans

  • Sugar
  • Pecans
  • Salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 5-10 minutes making sure not to burn them.  Put about a 1/4 of a cup of sugar in a pan and cook over medium heat stirring frequently.  When the sugar begins to melt dump the pecans into the pan and stir until melted sugar is evenly distributed.  Pour on a plate and allow to cool.

*Note:  Unfortunately, I did not take pictures (except for pecans), so these pictures are from when I made this same meal back in the summer!