Showing posts with label lemon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lemon. Show all posts


Italian Overnight Kale Salad with Sea Salt

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When I was in High School, I used to get sick a lot. A lot. Like I missed 28 days of school one year. So, in the interest of boosting my immune system, my mom decided to force me to start juicing (at 17 years old, I was very opposed to the idea and thought it tasted like garbage sludge). The key ingredient she continued to put in these garbage sludge smoothies? Kale.

Five years later, I started putting Kale in my salads. Though my immune system is now near teflon (thanks to consistent exercise and healthy eating), I am always looking for the next healthy element I can incorporate into my life. After reading about the seemingly never ending health benefits of Kale, I was sold.

Only I wasn't eating it right. I was just throwing it in a salad and eating it immediately. Little did I know that there really is a better way to eat Kale. It needs a bit of... coaxing.

Enter this new method. By letting the Kale marinate in olive oil and lemon juice overnight (or at least for a solid few hours), the Kale begins to break down just slightly, enough to get rid of the bitter flavor Kale tends to have when eaten on its own.

Combined with Italian toppings and Sea Salt, this is officially my favorite salad ever. I love it so much that, when I couldn't find pre-cut Kale at the grocery store this week, I was legitimately upset. It's just that good.

Italian Overnight Kale Salad with Sea Salt

Servings: 2 (Feel free to cut in half for only one serving, but keep in mind that this salad keeps very well in the fridge, so making it ahead of time doesn't hurt!)
  • 4 cups Kale
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/3 Red Pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Shaved Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp Purple Onion, coarsely chopped
  1. Combine lemon zest, lemon juice, and a sprinkling of sea salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk.
  2. Rinse Kale and cut into ribbons (or any bite size pieces) and pour mixture over the Kale. Toss.
  3. In a small tupperware, combine shaved parmesan cheese, chopped red pepper, and chopped purple onion.
  4. Cover both bowls and store overnight. 
  5. To serve, put marinated Kale on a plate or in a bowl and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the salad. Then, spoon cheese/pepper/purple onion on top. Top with Sea Salt and Black Pepper, if desired.

P.S. Looking for more Kale in your life? Check out Sea Salt Kale Chips, Sriracha Polenta with Kale Chips, and The Ultimate Salad of Health


Fruit Infused Water... Chug it, baby, chug it!

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According to the Mayo Clinic, we need between 2.2-3 Liters of water per day (2.2 for women, 3 for men). On your average, regular day. Once you've factored in the summer heat (which is in the 90s lately), that goes up. If you work out every day, it also goes up. So I'm guessing I should be drinking around 2.5 Liters, as a ball park estimate.

That's a tough feat for me. I generally start my day with a delicious cup of coffee (and, in this heat, perhaps a cold brew... try it out!), then try to keep filling up my fabulous chevron cup from Holland. I draw myself 8 water drops on a piece of paper and try to color them in after every cup of water I consume. But sometimes... okay, a lot of times... I still miss the mark.

And when you're going on a two hour bike ride on a hot summer day, you sure as hell are gonna need to be hydrated.

But this summer, I've finally found my water drink of choice :) By adding some fruit to my water, I can very lightly flavor it. Somehow, this very light flavor manages to keep me coming back for more. I've been hitting the water mark every time.

Lemon & Berry Flavored Water

Calories: <5 per glass
Add To Large Water Pitcher:
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced and squeezed
  • 5 frozen raspberries
  • 3 frozen blackberries
  • 1 sliced fresh strawberry
  • Ice!

Berry & Ginger Flavored Water

Calories: <5 per glass
Add To Large Water Pitcher:
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced and squeezed
  • 3 frozen raspberries
  • 3 frozen blackberries
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • (Optional: 1 tbsp Truvia or Sugar)
  • Ice!

Lightly Flavored Strawberry Lemonade

Calories: <5 per flass
Add To Large Water Pitcher:
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced and squeezed
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon (the other half)
  • 1/2 lime, sliced and squeezed
  • 3 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Truvia or Sugar
  • Ice!

  • Frozen berries work better! Unlike most dishes, when fresh has more flavor, when it comes to dropping things in water, the frozen berries share their flavor more quickly than the fresh ones. I expect it's because they've already been squished, frozen, melted, etc so many times during their journey from their home to my home.
  • These lightly flavored fruit drinks are delicious alongside summer fruits like berries and watermelon! They are also paired wonderfully with cheese.


Cilantro Chicken Swiss Chard Wraps (with Teriyaki Sauce)

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Swiss Chard is my new best friend. Seriously. Any of you low carb dieters out there ought to introduce yourself to Swiss Chard. Go ahead. Don't be shy. Just walk right up and... take a bite. 

Why? Because Swiss Chard is the perfect substitution for any of the following: bread, sandwich wraps, tortillas, taco shells, etc etc etc... Basically, anything that you used to use as any sort of wrap.

I've seen numerous "lettuce wrap" recipes (and even created one of my own, many moons ago) that use regular big pieces of lettuce. These are surely delicious (as I said, I've tried them!), but I do have two issues...
  1. First, regular P.F. Changs-inspired lettuce wraps take far too long to make. There is too much chopping and slicing and dicing and mixing and measuring... so, while some of you methodical and detail-oriented folks may thrive on the recipe, it's just not feasible for my tiny little attention span... Good thing these Swiss Chard Wraps are easy and have half the ingredients!
  2. Second, the large lettuce leaves typically used in P.F. Changs-inspired lettuce wraps break quite easily. This creates a physical mess on my plate as well as an emotional mess when I fail to get all of the food into my mouth. Oh. The. Agony. Good thing these Swiss Chard Wraps are unbreakable (seriously) and actually act like a wrap, instead of breaking all over your plate!
Have I convinced you yet? Come on! Just try a bite...

Cilantro Chicken Swiss Chard Wraps

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Calories: 209
WW Points (Old): 4
WW PointsPlus (New): 5
Servings: 4

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts - Either 3 regular chicken breasts or 8 thinly sliced (I used 1 package of thinly sliced chicken breasts for quicker cooking and cutting)
  • 3 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Cavender's Greek Seasoning
  • 1 cup of Cilantro, chopped
  • 4 stalks Green Onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons Teriyaki Sauce (look for a low-sugar version, if possible)
  • Lemon Juice from 1 Lemon
  • 8-10 large leafs of Swiss Chard, rinsed
  • Optional: Shredded cheese to top

  1. Place chicken breasts in a medium pan with White Wine Vinegar over medium heat. Sprinkle half of the Cavender's Greek Seasoning on top of the chicken breasts. After 10-12 minutes, flip each piece of chicken and sprinkle the other side with seasoning, then cook for another 10-12 minutes, or until there is no visible pink meat within a cut chicken piece.
  2. While chicken breasts are cooking, chop cilantro and green onion and place in a medium bowl.
  3. Once chicken breasts are cooked, chop into small pieces (mine were less than 1/2 inch on each side... you're welcome to be more or less picky!) and add to the bowl with cilantro and green onion.
  4. Add sunflower seeds, teriyaki sauce, and lemon juice to the bowl and toss or shake well.
  5. Serve with rinsed leaves of Swiss Chard, which can be used just like a lettuce wrap or tortilla/taco wrap. Garnish with your chosen shredded cheese, if desired!


Greek Chicken Garlic Salad

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It's the season of new years resolution. Yeah, I know, I've been beating this point to death... But, with so many resolutions to lose weight, work out, and eat better, I'm hearing a lot more chatter around the office about calories, nutrition, and food. 

A salad a day sounds like a great plan... and it is, provided that you're eating the right salad. If you're eating out, be careful -- many seemingly "good" salads are actually "bad" ones. Don't. Be. Fooled.  Some salads at TGI Fridays, Applebees, and California Pizza Kitchen will run you between 1,000 and 2,000 calories (don't believe me? Read this post). A rule of thumb: Avoid croutons (and toppings like tortilla chips and crispy noodles), creamy dressings, and most Mexican themed salads. For more tips, click here.

This week, in honor of your new year's resolution to eat healthier (or count calories, or get in shape, etc, try this: Instead of shelling out the cash (and calories) for a daily salad at your favorite restaurant, stop by the grocery store and picking up the supplies to make your own.  Here's a recipe for Greek Chicken Garlic Salad (for more Salad Recipes, check out my Food page).

Ingredients (Salad):
  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 6 baby carrots
  • ½ Onion
  • Fresh grated sharp cheddar (to taste)
  • 2 chicken breasts or 2 cans of chicken
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Greek Lemon seasoning 
  • 1 handful Sliced almonds (or other available nuts)
Ingredients (Dressing):
  • 2/3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon honey
Preparation Directions:
  1. Saute chicken, Olive Oil, and Greek Seasoning over medium-high heat for 15 minutes (or until cooked). I started with two cans of chicken because it was all I had on hand and this was a last minute improv kind of meal... so, being pre-cooked, the time was much shorter than it would be for raw chicken breasts.
  2. Chop lettuce and onions to your personal preference (I cut the onion into thin, 1 inch pieces). Cut carrots to preference (I cut them into small, 1/4 inch thick discs).
  3. Combine lettuce, onion, carrots, and almonds in a bowl. 
  4. Grate fresh sharp cheddar on top
  5. Add cooked and seasoned chicken
  6. Prepare dressing by combining all 5 ingredients and mixing well.
  7. Serve!

Here are some links for further reading:

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