Well Hello, Blogosphere! I hope you all had a great weekend and were successful at keeping your resolutions! I had a delightful couple of days – the perfect balance of relaxation, productivity and quality time with family. I also kept my resolution to have some hard workouts. On Sunday afternoon Shea and I took a field trip to the Dekalb Farmer’s Market. If you live in the Atlanta area and you haven’t been yet, you gotta go. It’s quite an experience and all the food is just amazing (and SO much cheaper than the regular grocery store). It’s located in East Atlanta near Shea’s work, so usually he goes alone, but yesterday it was a treat for me to go with him and get our groceries for the week. We stocked up on all kinds of fresh goodies, including dragon fruit. I’ve never tried it so I’m interested to see what it takes like!
So since we’ve been geeking out on all the fabulous food at the farmer’s market lately, I thought this would be a good time to share what we’ve been cooking up at the Brown house. I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for inspiration for dinner side items (You can only take so much asparagus before you need a change!) and bagged lunches that the hubby and I can tote to work (Sometimes another salad with chicken just doesn’t cut it!). So here are three simple ideas if you’re looking to switch up your menu. Variety is the spice of life after all!
Side Dish Inspiration Delivered: Marinated Couscous Tomato Salad
I modified this recipe from something I saw in Natural Health Magazine. We had it for dinner last night with some grilled Alaskan salmon and it was quick and delish! Here’s what you do.
Cook two cups of whole grain couscous (follow instructions on the package) and put in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare everything else. In a large serving bowl, combine 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest, the juice from two lemons, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 3 minced garlic cloves. Whisk this marinade and add in 1 package of tomatoes (cherry or heirloom), sliced into 1/2-inch wedges. Let stand for 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of your dinner. Just before serving, mix in couscous, 1 cup of thinly sliced fresh basil and 1/4 cup of crumbled goat cheese. And tada! You’ve got a colorful and scrumptious side dish, great for serving for supper and at parties and pot lucks. The sweet tomatoes, lemon juice, garlic and fresh basil gave it the perfect balance of flavor.
Get Out of the Steamed Broccoli Rut with Grilled Okra!
I’ve been obsessed with grilled okra lately. Before a couple of weeks ago, I really only considered two ways of preparing okra: fried up all Southern style, which isn’t the healthiest, or in a soup like this. I never even thought to grill it, but it tastes awesome. Seriously, it’s a party in your mouth! Another bonus, okra is smack dab in season right now, so it’s dirt cheap ($.99/lb at the DFM). I’m thinking about buying a whole bunch and freezing it to get us through the fall. Just marinate a big bowl of okra in some extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chili powder (Or use whatever spices you like!) and throw it on the grill for about 15 minutes.
Turkey Pita Wrap: Not Your Average Turkey Sandwich
They were handing out samples of this delicious cheddar cheese, green onion and ajawan spice (no idea what that is) pita bread at the market and I got inspired to make turkey wraps for our lunches this week. So last night I prepped all the fixings and packed them into ziplocks for easy transport. It’s only 9:30 a.m. as I write this, but I’m already looking forward to my lunch of pita filled with sliced turkey (All-natural Boar’s Head – Make sure you get nitrate-free lunch meat!), lettuce, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts and avocado slices. You could also use cheese, cucumbers, peppers…the opportunities are endless! You can dress it with some spicy mustard or oil and balsamic vinegar. I’m not quite sure how it’s going to taste yet, but I have a feeling I won’t be disappointed!
As we move into the fall season, the prices of summer produce like berries, asapargus, okra and corn are going to go up, so eat up while you can!
Have any of you readers come up with some fun summer recipes lately? Are there any healthy foods you can’t get enough of right now? I’d love to hear them and get more inspiration for next week.
Here’s to a brand spankin’ new week and making positive choices for our health! Have a great Monday!