Summer in a Salad

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It’s almost the 4th of July! How did that happen so fast? July 4th is always so much fun in California, and this year it will be almost perfection as my parents are making a last minute trip to join us. I’m so excited! I’m quickly learning that two grandchildren is twice the lure of one. I guess that may seem obvious but we already got a good amount of visits from the grands with just Kellan; but now that Allie is here too we recently got a fun surprise visit from BJ’s mom and dad and now my parents are coming again! I’m loving it! I can’t wait to share all of the July 4th festivities with Nonni and Papa. We’ll go to the beach, grill something tasty, and cap it off with fireworks in Dana Point. I also cannot WAIT to dress my littles in their red, white and blue outfits…there’s going to be a lot of cuteness going on!

Whoa sorry, that was not where I intended to go with this blog. I wanted to talk about Summer. Summer is in full swing and it is absolutely glorious. Warm nights, beautiful sunsets, fun beach days…I LOVE Summer. I also love this salad. Watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, basil, feta cheese and lemon juice- this salad embodies all that is good about Summer. It’s all about seasonal bounty; it’s simple, lightly dressed and a little flirty. If ever Summer were found in a salad, it would be found in this one. There’s no real recipe here, just take as much as you like of those ingredients, throw it in a bowl and toss it in olive oil and lemon juice. Easy. You won’t even have to break a sweat in the kitchen for this one, and isn’t that always a happy thing?

Happy 4th!

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Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad

seedless watermelon, cut into bite sized pieces
heirloom tomatoes of all sizes and varieties, chopped or halved accordingly
feta cheese, crumbled
basil, chiffonade
pine nuts, toasted (optional)
lemon juice
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix gently and serve.

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Chopped Thai Salad with Kale, Basil and Peppers

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It’s another pretty salad, and this time of year, you’ve got to love another pretty salad. It’s swimsuit season, people! Time to put the pasta away and focus on some veggies. At least for a week. A few days. Ok maybe just once. Well whatever you decide, it’s time for me to focus on veggies. Eight weeks ago I had a baby in my belly, and now that she’s outta there, I have to get healthy. Healthy is the key. I’m also extremely excited to start exercising again. Really exercising. I went back to yoga this weekend and went for my first run today. It was awesome…and embarrassing. I was feeling so good! My favorite song was playing, the air was crisp and the sun was shining. Perfect morning. I was feeling all, Look at me up and running before people are heading out to work. Look at me wearing my pre-preggo workout clothes. Look at me already a mile down while my kiddos are still fast asleep. Look at me…tripping and falling flat on my face. Yep, that happened. Flat. On my face. Pride comes before a fall? Consider me humbled.

So yes, time to get healthy. I’m not necessarily on a quest to get skinny, although shedding these last 10 lbs. will be a happy bonus. I’m on a quest to lay off the pizza, ice cream, and all of the other super unhealthy foods I craved during my pregnancy. See ya later bad stuff!

Yes, I realize I am quite possibly completely full of it, and a big fat chocolate cake will show up on the blog next week. That’s ok. What is that saying, “Eat a little of everything and a lot of nothing”? I can totally do that! Chocolate cake, here I come! Next week. Today we’re eating salad; and this salad is a good one. It almost makes you not miss cake. Almost.

This salad is seriously yummy. It has everything you need to feel full and satisfied without having any meat. I love that. Sometimes you don’t need meat. Am I right? If you’re a man you likely disagree, so feel free to add some diced grilled chicken. That would be ok. I won’t do that, but you totally can. Have fun chopping and shredding the veggies for this salad. I’m totally serious, isn’t it so much fun to chop and shred and dice? I love it…free therapy!

So here’s to another pretty salad! It tastes as good as it looks, and looks pretty darn awesome. Enjoy…happy swimsuit (salad) season!

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For the salad:

16 ounces shelled edamame, cooked
5-6 cups kale, shredded
1/2 cup basil, chopped
1/4 cup mint, chopped
3 large carrots, shredded
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
¾ cup cashews, chopped

For the dressing:

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon- 1 tablespoon sriracha (to your taste)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 lime, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Using a food processor, puree all of the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside.
  2. In the same food processor, pulse all but a 1/2 cup of the edamame until finely chopped.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients for the salad, except the cashews, in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing, top with chopped cashews and serve.

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