June 2014 archive

the week of smoothies aka wellness in a glass!

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One pro about starting your day with a smoothie is that it gives your digestive track a longer vacation from having to work hard first thing in the morning. Which of course allows all that energy to go to I don’t know… work, kids, a run… all of them? These nutrient dense glasses of wellness give you energy that last all morning long without feeling sluggish.

We decided to try a five-day, ‘smoothie challenge’. While we love smoothies…it has not been our household routine to always start the day with one. But with the warmer months approaching we figured that this little challenge would ensure that we gain five new healthy smoothies to choose from and of course share with you all. We will have a variety of smoothies, some more “intense” (aka greener) than others…So lets begin the challenge! We would love to hear from you if you have a ‘go to’ smoothie! Please share in the comments!

Check back each day for a new variation of “wellness in a glass”

“the rob salad” aka rosemary chicken and grape salad

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This salad is named after, my love, Rob. I could write pages about why I love this man so much but I will leave it with this. He is extraordinary. Lord willing, I will spend my lifetime discovering his greatness. This salad is his most favorite. It is filled with sliced grapes, goat cheese, caramelized pecans and rosemary chicken… truly divine, like him. We hope you enjoy!

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This salad takes minutes to assemble and is quite a crowd pleaser!

Ingredients

baby spring mixed salad
balsamic rosemary chicken breast, thinly sliced* (important note at bottom)
1 whole avocado, sliced (this is optional but a fantastic option)
goat cheese (however much you prefer… we like generous portions)
sliced red or black grapes (about 3/4 to 1 cup worth)
1/2 cup of caramelized pecans
avocado oil (about 1/3 cup)
balsamic vinegar (a little less than 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon of brown sugar (or less if that is too sweet for you)
dash of salt
dash of garlic powder
dash of pepper
finely chopped rosemary (about one sprig worth)

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients together and toss with dressing.

 

*I buy the already marinated rosemary chicken from trader joes. This is the best option (although you can marinate and grill your own) there are a few reasons that make this wonderful. I use the juice in the package to add to the dressing. This is mostly rosemary and oil (as the chicken has already been cooked so no worries there)…it adds such great flavor to the dressing. Further, I use the rosemary sprig in the package to finely chop and add to the dressing. One package of chicken feeds 2 as a main dish.

“the mee mee” salad aka summer peach salad

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Awe…Summer… warm days, sundress, sandy toes (which I actually dont care for) and peaches… the best! “The mee mee” salad is named after my dearest friend, Meehan. She is quintessential “summer”… she comes alive in the sun, she is happiest on the sand and most at peace when things are simple. Meem’s is “California” thru and thru. She is elegant. One of those gals who can be at the beach all day and then throw on a long dress and look knock out gorgeous for dinner. Effortless beauty, this one. I should add that I tried to learn how to tan from her… big mistake…I must have had a moment of forgetfulness on that day, when I chose not to acknowledge that my red headed genes and milky white skin don’t exactly bronze like her olive goddess bod does… hours later, she looked more like a model (if at all possible) and I needed an aloe bath… for about three days. In any case…Time spent with her is like a dream… you just don’t want it to end.

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After a lovely Saturday morning, Rob and I picked all the finest summer goods from local farmers at our market and came up with this delightful salad. Summer in a bowl really. It is so satisfying and very very delicious. I hope you make this salad and share it with someone as lovely as my dear mee mee.

Ingredients

arugula
1 white peach, thinly sliced
sliced red onion (1/8 thinly sliced… super important otherwise it dominates in flavor)
toasted almond slivers (about 1/3 cup) (I take raw almond slivers and toast them in a pan on the stove top, works great and faster than the oven!)
1 whole avocado, sliced
avocado oil (about 1/3 cup)
white balsamic vinegar (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon of honey (or less if that is too sweet for you)
dash of salt

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients together and toss with dressing. ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY

 

banana boat

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So this may not be a “recipe” but its genius. One night, later than I would like to admit, Rob and I were laying in bed wanting a delicious treat. As we were talking about healthy options… I asked him who in the world thought of “ants on a log” (you know, the traditional celery, peanut butter and raisins and his response was, “I don’t know, someone on a diet”? It made me laugh and resonated with me deeply…celery is like a calorie free cracker for some, but for me… it just doesn’t cut the mustard. So we replaced celery with a banana and raisins for chocolate. Waa Laa… a banana boat was born.

Ingredients

1 banana (no ones judging if you want to make that 2)
2 teaspoons almond butter (or peanut)
12 dark chocolate chunks or a whole lot more

Instructions

Slice banana, spread nut butter & place those dark chocolate chunks in a row. ENJOY!

 

We buy our dark chocolate chunks at whole foods but if your in a bind and dont have time to make an extra trip to wf, trader joes sells semi-sweet chocolate chunks… I know from experience that those work just as well.

summer squash salad

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Salads! I love salads! Not because they are a “low-calorie” food because most of mine are not “low-calorie” they are just full of healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts and sometimes grains. We hope you find the salads on Choppedandtossed.com to be nothing like the salads your probably thinking about ie: soggy watery lettuce, a big chunk of red onion (the kind where your breath smells the rest of the day because of it), and some fatty store bought, generic dressing. We want to re-create the “wish I didn’t have to “start” with this starter salad” and make something creative and most of all, filling! Rob and I decided that if we wrote a salad cookbook each salad would be named after a different friend or family member because they are the ones who inspire us. The summer squash salad is named after no one because it was a total accident. One of those “four o’clock… shoot better get something on the table” salads. And it worked. Beautifully. If I had an avocado I would have added it in and made this a total hit but hopefully you can do that… either way, its delicious.

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Ingredients

organic spring mix lettuce (I added a bit of kale but not necessary)
summer squash, roasted and cut into cubes*
dried cranberries (about 1/3 cup)
diced red onion (1/8 thinly sliced… super important otherwise it dominates in flavor)
toasted almond slivers (about 1/3 cup)
avocado oil (about 1/3 cup)
balsamic vinegar (about 1 tablespoon)
dash of garlic powder
dash of salt
dash of pepper
generous pinch of brown sugar (I like dressings a titch on the sweeter side so I am a bit more generous for our salads, but it definitely comes down to a personal preference)

Instructions

You will notice I did not give specifics for how much, that is on purpose… this should be adapted to your personal needs. If you are serving this as a main meal you might want to consider going a little heavier on the squash and nut side or even add chicken. If you do not prefer your salads to be too sweet use a few less dried cranberries. Really, you can make it yours. I generally always use a lot, like, almost too many “toppings” on my salad. But that is just how Rob and I like it. Play around and find what suits your families needs. Remember, to chop everything to fit the fork and thinly slice the onion… really cant stress that one enough. It makes a difference!

 

*One note on the summer squash or confession, however you want to look at it. I bought mine from whole foods because I was tired and didn’t want to put any effort into it. In their salad section they usually have already roasted (in olive oil with salt and pepper) squash. For about a cup or so it cost a couple dollars. I find it worth it. On less lazy days you can easily grab a bag of already cut but not cooked summer squash from trader joe’s for $2.99 and that is very easy to just cut the bag open across the top, add a little oil, salt & pepper and shake the bag, carefully… and throw that on a pan and roast it that way. Or of course, for those of you who just love getting your hands dirty, you can buy a summer squash, cut it open, bake it, cut it into cubes, then roast again. #notmything

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