Avocado & Spring Mix Caesar Salad

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I am all about healthy fats.

Especially on the days when I am short on time, I’m all about finding a quick little snack that will be able to sustain me for hours.

So I give you this simple little salad:

  • half an avocado
  • spring mix (or other lettuce)
  • Caesar dressing

It was the perfect late afternoon snack that kept me going as I went out and did my errands.

Enjoy!

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Kale salad: avocado, bacon, apple & pomegranate (a little b. good inspiration!)

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I think it must be a well-known fact by now that I am officially obsessed with this healthy, “fast” food chain we have on the East Coast called b. good.

Pretty much everything on the menu is super healthy, and they have a really interesting way of combining ingredients in a way you wouldn’t expect, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

To top things off, they source many of their ingredients from local farms and vendors.  When you go in to a store, you can see they actually have really pretty bulletin boards up listening where the food came from.  I just love it.

Any time I go to b. good, I just have to try something new.  Today was the “Local Apple & Bacon” Kale & Grain Bowl.

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Somehow, they actually made the kale taste really good.  It was raw, but it had been marinated in some kind of lemony vinaigrette, which made it soft.

The combo of avocado, bacon, and pomegranate was over the top!

Full disclosure: the person who made the bowl apparently left out some of the other ingredients, such as dried cranberries, scallions, and sunflower seeds.  Oh well– it was still pretty good, and filling.

I’ll just add those in when I inevitably try to make this at home!

Strawberry & Feta Salad

So simple, and yet so delicious!

I’ve actually been meaning to post this recipe for a while.  It was the perfect summer salad to make on a swelteringly hot day in back in Massachusetts in August.

Of course I feel a little silly saying this now, as I write from foggy, 60 degree San Francisco  in September, where people are actually starting to wear lightweight down jackets.

Oh well.  It’s still a great salad! And if you’re sad about summer coming to an end, maybe this post will help you feel like it isn’t over!

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I was originally inspired by the Watermelon and Feta Salad I had at b.good a few weeks ago.   I couldn’t stop thinking about “fruit and feta salads in general,” and so I decided to see what happened with strawberries.

Basically, I threw together:

  • chopped romaine
  • sliced strawberries
  • sliced red onion
  • crumbled feta cheese (got just as much as I needed from the antipasto section of the supermarket, rather than buying a whole 8 oz package).

And there you have it!  I think it came out really good.

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I served it with olive oil and vinegar, however I think it would be really good with creamier dressings as well.

Hope you enjoy!

Watermelon & Feta Salad (b.good)

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You guys, I’m honestly obsessed with b. good.

For those who don’t know, b. good is a healthy, semi-fast food chain with locations in New England and other parts of the East Coast.

Their recipes are made with fresh, healthy, and locally-sourced ingredients.  When you walk into one of their restaurants, you can actually see the names of various farms and dairies in the area, listed by ingredient.   It really helps you feel connected to the area in which you live, and you can also feel food for supporting local businesses and independent farmers.

(And no, b.good is not giving me anything to write this post!  Although, if anyone from the b.good marketing team is reading this, we could probably work something out 😉 ).

The salad pictured in this post is their “Watermelon and Feta” seasonal salad.   The ingredients, according to the menu, include arugula, baby spinach, watermelon, feta, cannellini beans, snap peas, corn, sun-dried tomato, toasted corn, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.

I just love the b. good menu because I think they come up with such unique flavor combinations.

I wanted to make sure I share this photo on my blog so I can come back to it for future recipe inspiration!

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Steak & Caesar Salad

My blog is all about healthy, satisfying recipes made with ingredients you probably already have on hand.

I also feel it’s important to appreciate the moments when I felt inspired to cook.  I figure that if I document my culinary successes, it will give me something to come back to on the days when I’m not feeling well and am having a hard time thinking about food at all.

On that note, I present to you an incredibly basic recipe.

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I personally tend not to appreciate complicated steak marinades when I’m in a hurry.   If I’ve planned ahead and purposely want to try something new, then fine.  But most of the time I want something basic and quick, and hate having to sort through ten different online recipes before finding something I actually have the ingredients for.

So here is a basic recipe that I’ll be able to come back to time and time again.  (I didn’t actually follow a recipe– I just sort of came up with the idea after reading through a bunch).

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsalmic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (I used reduced sodium)
  • 1 glove garlic, chopped
  • salt & pepper (just a dash of each)

I chopped the steak up into somewhat small pieces, because it was going on the salad anyway, and it would cook evenly that way.  I let it marinate for an hour (although I’m sure several hours would have been better).

Then I heated up a large non-stick skillet and melted some olive oil and butter together to coat the pan, before throwing in the steak.

I wouldn’t yet call myself an expert when it comes to cooking steak, but basically, you want to make sure to brown it on both sides on high heat, and then bring the heat down to let the middle finish cooking.

Then I threw it on the salad.

For the record, my favorite two toppings for Caesar salad are Cardini’s caesar dressing and Chatham Village Caesar croutons.  They just go together like nothing else.IMG_1983

I just noticed that Cardini’s has a bunch of recipes on their parent company’s website… will have to check those out!

The finished product:

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On being “allowed” to eat Caesar salad

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photo courtesy of Geoff Peters https://www.flickr.com/photos/gpeters/3010150846/

As some of you may know, when I was a teenager I basically starved myself.  When I look back at pictures of myself during that time, it’s just like oh my God.  Why did I think I looked good?

I thought it was so cool back then that you could see the outline of my collarbone so perfectly.  That I looked so taut and toned and lean… now I just look at those pictures and see a skeleton.  Why did I think that was good?  Why did I think that was healthy?

My weight and mental outlook were unhealthy any way you look at it, but on top of that I had internalized most of the diet advice of the day (late 1990’s-early 2000’s).  Fat was still thought to be the main contributor to weight-gain, and saturated fat the devil.

The newest research has shown that isn’t really true– that fat is not bad, and that if anything weight gain has more to do with how our bodies process carbohydrates.

I have so memories of going out to eat as a teenager and being so jealous of the Caesar salads my mother and sister would order.  I would always order the “garden salad” or the “house salad”– with, of course, the dressing on the side.  Caesar salad scared me because all of the dressing was mixed in– in large amounts.  I couldn’t control it.

Well now, ten + years later, I am totally letting loose on the Caesar salad.  I make one at home practically every day.  I’m totally obsessed, and with good reason: the romaine is, of course, totally healthy.  And the fat in the salad dressing is in fact not bad– if anything it will help to stabilize blood sugar for longer.

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I’ve been stuck in other areas in my life right now, and I’m thinking of the Caesar salad thing as a reminder that things truly can change, even though at the time they seem immutable, fixed as fact.  There was once a time when I thought it was a fact that, if I ate foods like Caesar salad, I’d get fat.  That I’d start gaining weight and never stop.  That if I weighed more than 132 lbs, guys would no longer find me attractive.

I’m happy to tell you that none of that has turned out to be true.  And now, a celebration of various Caesar salad ideas:

With Bacon:

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courtesy of Maurina Rara https://www.flickr.com/photos/maurina/8591810024/in/photostream/

Caesar salad pizza:

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With chicken:

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