This summer we were lucky enough to take not one but TWO family vacations. Since Ryan interned this summer in North Carolina, I was super excited about having him (and his beautiful girlfriend) join us on vacation for a week at a time. Our trips were all about reconnecting with family, laughing til our bellys hurt, playing games til we couldn't possibly stay awake any longer and consuming lots and lots of really amazing food.
I wouldn't have changed a thing about our vacations and I have some great memories and pictures from both of them. Unfortunately, memories and pictures weren't the only things that I brought home this summer. All of those trips to the seafood restaurants by the shore, cocktails by the sea and late night trips to the ice cream store caught up with me in the form of a few extra pounds. Now that we're done traveling for the summer, it's time for me to get back on track with my healthy eating plan. Blackened halibut sandwiches to the rescue.
Blackened Halibut Sandwiches
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 (6 ounce) Halibut filets
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon grainy mustard
1 Tablespoon ketchup
4 whole wheat buns
4 pickle slices
8 plum tomato slices
Top with pickle, tomato and filet.
Top with bun and enjoy!
My family absolutely gobbled up these yummy sandwiches. Even my child who really only eats fried fish - finished her entire sandwich. I bought frozen halibut filets and they were a little pricey but they were totally worth it. These sandwiches were AMAZING.
There are just as many definitions of "healthy" food as there are people in the world. For some, healthy is the absence of sugar or flour or butter or salt. For others, it's the presence of omega 3s. Some people define "healthy" by the numbers. Number of calories, fats, sodium, nutrients, etc. in the foods that they're eating. As for me, I define healthy by a combination of all of those things.
When I set out to create a "healthy" tea cake - I tried to keep all of those things in mind. I wanted to make a yummy little cake without white flour, sugar or butter. I wanted my cake to be low in fat so I used a combination of Greek yogurt and coconut oil to make it moist. I sweetened my cake with honey and because it's a natural, unrefined sweetener - even though it's still a form of sugar.
It took a couple of tries but the healthy little tea cakes that I ended up creating were DELICIOUS. Like - I took one bite and I could NOT stop eating them. I seriously could have eaten this entire batch of tea cakes - BY MYSELF. I loved the honey almond flavors. I'm pretty sure that no one would ever guess that these tea cakes were "healthy" unless you told them so.
Honey Almond Tea Cakes
3/4 cup almond flour/meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup coconut oil (solid)
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons almond or coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Spoon into 7 greased mini bundt pans.
Bake 20 minutes at 350.
This is my new favorite gluten free treat - by a long shot. Whether you're looking for a "healthy" treat or a just a delicious treat - these honey almond tea cakes are perfect.
After nearly 24 years of marriage - Ben and I are proof that opposites can actually coexist and even work really well together. The two of us have very similar values and goals but the way that we think about things and approach challenges could not be more different. The fact that we are so very different actually provides us with quite a bit of entertainment and laughter.
The rule of opposites attract not only applies to people though - it also applies to food. Sweet and salty --- sweet and sour --- spicy and mild. This Taco Lime Shrimp salad is a perfect example of the fact that opposites really can compliment each other beautifully. The spicy flavored shrimp paired with a crisp, cool salad tossed in a bright lime vinaigrette is just the right blend of spicy, sweet and sour.
Taco Lime Shrimp Salad
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
5 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 cup lime juice
1/3 cup packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.
The coolest thing about this salad is that is can be deconstructed and enjoyed as separate parts. Just to prove my point that Ben and I approach things differently - we even ate this meal very differently. I ate the salad as pictured - with shrimp and cilantro, lime vinaigrette. Ben ate the salad separately, without the shrimp and covered in ranch - with a side of spicy shrimp. We both consumed the same ingredients - but our meals looked very different. (Pretty much an example of how our relationship works.)
I think that you'll like this Taco Lime Shrimp Salad - either as a salad or a deconstructed salad. Give this a try.
This is my second salad post in a week. I guess it's obvious that summer salads are my jam. Not the boring - feed to the rabbits kind of salads. I crave the loaded with seafood, chicken or thinly sliced steak kind of salads. This grilled romaine salad with fresh crab meat and roasted corn is truly unique. The freshest flavors of summer on one delicious, flavor packed romaine wedge.
Grilled Romaine Salad with Crab
2 ears fresh corn
12 ounces fresh lump crabmeat
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
6 large romaine lettuce hearts, halved
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
Place 2 romaine halves on each plate. Spoon 2 ounces crabmeat over lettuce. Top with corn and tomatoes.
Snow crab legs were on sale at the grocery store last week so I bought a pound to use on this yummy salad. Courtney ate her crab without the salad but Ben and I both enjoyed it on this delicious Romaine wedge. It was a great way to stretch a pound of crab meat between 3 crab lovers. You could also purchase crabmeat in a prepackaged container if you don't want to go through the trouble of cracking crab legs.
Make your own salad night is quickly becoming one of my favorite Friday night dinners. I set out bowl of ingredients and everyone puts together their own salad with ingredients that they love. It's a win-win.
I also love that I can use up the crushed chips in the bottom of the bag, the handful of tomatoes that I pick from my garden everyday, a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and any other little bits and pieces that I have leftover in my refrigerator at the end of the week.
I challenge you to find some simple ingredients in your house that would make a great "build your own salad bar".
Southwest Chopped Chicken Salad
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
6 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 and 1/2 cups corn
1 and 1/2 cups black beans
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced
1 green onion, sliced thin
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed tortilla chips
handful chopped cilantro
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
juice of 1 lime
2 heaping teaspoons taco seasoning (I use mild)
Drizzle dressing over salad and serve.
The Greek yogurt dressing for this salad was FABULOUS! I usually stick with a southwest theme when I put together these make your own salad bars but I'm sure that you have some other ideas for me too. What other ingredients do you put on your salad bar? Do you like your salad with shrimp? grilled salmon? fancy croutons? spiral veggies? Send me your salad ideas so I can share them with the rest of my followers.
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