Food

A Light and Sweet Suprise!

Salads. I’m sure we all have our opinion on them.

My biggest beef with salad has always been the taste and creativity they so often tend to LACK. But the truth is they really can be delicious and exciting if you are willing to shake it up a little and try new flavor combinations. Now I will gladly eat a salad from Texas De Brazil, where there salad bar is like 3 stories of tables adorned with the most delectable salad toppings. There heart of palm is incredible. GAHH.

I have certainly found salads more desirable these days just from coming up with new ways to eat them. Here’s the one I had for lunch today, I call it The Light and Sweet Surprise Salad.

Ingredients

2 handfuls of mixed greens (I used baby spinach and romaine)

1/2 Carrot

1/2 Tomato (or a whole one if you are a tomato lover like me)

2 slices of an apple

1/4 Green Pepper

1/4 Purple Onion

1 Tbsp. Goat Cheese

Olive Oil

Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar

(All of these ingredients can be purchased at your local grocery store and produce market)

Cracked pepper, raspberry balsamic vinegar, & olive oil

Spread out the leafy greens on your plate and set aside. Dice up the carrots, tomatoes, apples, green peppers and onions. Joyfully toss them on top of the greens (it’s about to be so yummy!) Sprinkle the goat cheese on your fruits and veggies, and the drizzle the olive oil and raspberry balsamic vinegar over top of it all. Then add some fresh ground pepper to taste.

Delicious Salad

This took me all of maybe 8 minutes to make, and the tastes and textures really compliment each other. For example a bite of greens with a diced up apple and onion together is a very balanced flavor of light and intense tastes, and the onion opens up the flavors of the apple and really make it pop.

Wanna know what the surprise is? The goat cheese and the raspberry balsamic vinegar create this taste and texture similar to the inside of a cream pastry. HELLO! If you’re wondering why I added goat cheese to this otherwise perfectly vegetarian salad, here’s why. Some fats are good, and goat cheese happens to contain those good fats. When taken in small amounts, these good fats actually help you to absorb some of the nutrients in the fruits and veggies better, and ultimately help you to burn fat faster. You can always substitute blue cheese or feta crumbles if you are not a goat cheese fan.

Are you a salad lover or hater? What are your favorite salad ingredients and recipes? Have you ever been to a restaurant where the salad was better than the main course?

Gimme Them Snacks!

I don’t know about you, but snacks are what get me through the day.

So yesterday I was thinking about what I would post today, and I was thinking about it WHILE i was eating one of my favorite snacks. I thought, “well gee, I’ll just take pictures of these perfectly healthy and nutritional snacks so as to share with others and perhaps get them hooked.”

I also secretly thought about how good it would make me look; how health conscious people would think I am. All while sneaking off to the gas station to buy a bag of cheddar and sour cream chips because I had a headache and I knew they would make me feel better. And not to mention the greasy sausage, egg, bacon and cheese biscuit I had at McDonald’s on Tuesday that I kept a secret from Daniel.

So the truth is I WANT to be healthy. But I struggle. Boy, do I struggle with food and it being my comfort. And I just felt before I went ahead and talked about these wonderful foods I nibble on all day to stay energized and sustained, I needed to confess that I mess up in this area. A LOT.

Well now that that is off my chest, let me tell you about these yummy treats!

Sunflower Seeds are life’s most unassuming snack. These tiny things pack quite a bit of protein and fiber, and a handful of them will leave you feeling satisfied. Along with the protein and fiber comes all of the good fats that actually help us lose weight or maintain where we are now. I like to eat these in between breakfast and lunch because they really do hold me over and they are tasty. You can get them roasted, but keep in mind that through the roasting process much of the nutrients are lost. And usually that process involves salting the seeds, so I like to eat mine plain.  A sure fire way to drop some of those unwanted pounds is eating 3 tbs. of sunflower seeds a day. Make sure you eat them slowly (as with anything) so that your body knows it is satisfied. Whether you eat them like me or go for the roasted ones it will be exponentially better than buying a bag of chips from the gas station!

Oh man. I used to HATE peanut butter with a passion. Can you even imagine that? A kid hating peanut butter? I am so glad that I acquired the taste for it as an adult because this stuff is delish! Organic peanut butter has such a fresh and real taste without all of the added sugar and salt. A spoonful of this at around 3:30 pm gives me that boost I need and makes me feel full. Not only do they provide your body with the protein, fiber, folate and magnesium that you need, but they also carry antioxidants. This is also a really good snack for when you are craving sweets, because it has that thick texture that is so satisfying. Now remember, organic does not mean it is less fattening, so don’t go overboard. Also, keep in mind that you do have to refrigerate organic peanut butter which I realize can be challenging to a lifetime peanut butter lover. But the taste and nutritional value of this stuff is worth it!

Now I know I don’t need to point out the health benefits and tastiness of these tangerines. But citrus in general whether it be an orange, grapefruit or tangerine are all packed full of vitamin c and antioxidants. And I mean, hellooo?? They are so good.

The Publix Deli Jalapeno and Cilantro Hummus is my current favorite snack. Hummus, which is made from chick peas and olive oil, are packed with iron, vitamin c, folate and vitamin b6. What I like about this specific brand and flavor is that it has the taste of a jalapeno without the spice, and I am a cilantro so the combination is perfect. Eat these with carrots and peppered sliced cucumbers or cut up a tomato into wedges and slather a spoonful of this good stuff on top.

What are some healthy snacks that you enjoy?