Happy Thursday! Last night I was frustrated with myself because I didn’t have time to work out. We ate dinner, took a family walk, and then put Maddux to bed before pulling a few weeds (fun! haha).
I totally forgot that I had gotten my workout over with in the AM. Anyone else ever done that? I’m sore and everything, but I guess I didn’t think much about it. I need to start getting them over with in the morning once in a while.
Yesterday, in addition to my morning workout, I also accomplished a few other things. I got the kitchen clean (miracle) and even had some time to play around in there and make a mess again (typical). I ended up working on a few simple dishes that would be great for summer barbeques, especially the one that includes a lot of stars and stripes.
Yep, you guessed it: The Fourth of July. July 4th is rapidly approaching, so I’m sure many of you are busy making plans for it. We’ll be heading to the lake with some of our best friends. I seriously cannot wait! In honor of the impending holiday, I thought I’d share several Fourth-themed foods. These three recipes prove that you can eat healthily without sacrificing flavor. It doesn’t hurt that they are red, white, and blue either. I swear themed foods taste better. Is that just me? Oh, and clearly I wasn’t feeling very inspired, because the names all begin with “red, white, and blue”. Oops. The best part, though, is that there really isn’t any measuring involved. It’s all adjustable to your tastes.
- 2 large, firm tomatoes
- 1 small onion
- 1 large jalapeno (seeds removed for less spice)
- handful of cilantro
- 1 garlic clove
- juice from 1/2 a lime
- 1/2 a can of no salt added petite diced tomatoes
- salt and sugar to taste
For this “recipe” I just wrote down the things I threw into the food processor this time. I never really make it the same. When it’s just for Ryne and myself, I use a ton of jalapeno and cilantro. Seriously, a ton. You could add more or less of any of the ingredients until it tastes just right to you, Goldilocks style. The key here is the canned tomatoes. It’s the part that makes it more “salsa-ish”.
Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad
- 3 pounds baby potatoes (I just bought a mixed bag, and yes, the “blue” is actually purple this time!)
- 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup mixed herbs (I used parsley and chives)
- salt and pepper to taste
Again, this really isn’t a brain buster. You could toss the potatoes in your favorite vinaigrette, but I chose Dijon for the extra tang. You start by filling a pot with your potatoes, add water until it’s just above them, bring to a boil, and then lightly simmer for about 5-10 minutes (until they are fork tender). While they are simmering, prepare your dressing. Whisk together the Dijon and vinegar, and then whisk in the olive oil until it’s emulsified. Cut the potatoes into bite size chunks and toss with the dressing, herbs, and salt and pepper. This dish is best served warm, in my opinion, but it’s perfectly fine to serve it cold. The dressing recipe actually yields a little more than you need to coat the potatoes, so you could reserve some for right before you are going to serve the potato salad. Easy peasy. It’s so much better for you than the mayo version! It also does better out in the heat. Win, win.
- 1 chilled can of full fat coconut milk
- teaspoon vanilla
- sweetener of choice
This might be the simplest dessert on the planet. Prepare your coconut whipped cream and serve over strawberries and blueberries. To make the “whipped cream”, pour out the liquid from a chilled can of coconut milk. All that will remain is a “lump” of goodness. Toss the hardened coconut cream into a blender or mixer with your vanilla and sweetener. Whip it real good (ha!)and then top the berries before serving. Here is a great photo tutorial on how to make coconut whipped cream. I think this would be heavenly over some angel food cake, too! Of course, you could make homemade dairy whipped cream as well. I do not have any objections to either one.
I love that each of these recipes is quick, cost efficient, and better than their “store bought” counterparts. Speaking of store bought, the Steve Harvey show threw me for a loop yesterday. He had a guest on that prides herself on saving thousands of dollars a year by extreme couponing.
First and foremost, let me say that I have nothing against coupons. That would be ridiculous. I’m against the notion that all bargains are worthwhile. They just aren’t. You can kind of see the products they “scored” for cheap in the above picture. Potato chips, bleached flour pasta, pickles, cookies, breakfast tarts, sports drinks, and sodas. I see a ton of processed, dyed, over-salted food in there. Even during the segment of them shopping, they passed up actual food to save on these things.
I’m not saying that buying those things is wrong. I eat creme filled cookies, potato chips, and pickles from time to time, too. I’m saying that I think the show was promoting living on these products. They were clearly the bulk of what this woman buys. I’m sorry, but if you can get two grocery carts worth of food for 35 dollars, you probably aren’t buying much lean protein and fresh vegetables. You just aren’t. That makes me really sad for the viewers who want to adopt this lifestyle. I have a lot more to say about this, but I should probably draft up an entire post on it before I ramble too much today.
Anyway, Maddux is napping so I better make the most of it and get off the darn computer. See y’all later!