Healthy Summer Recipe Round-up

In honor of the upcoming holiday, I rounded up some of my favorite summer potluck recipes that have been featured on the blog. If you have other favorite summertime recipes, feel free to add a link in the comments.

Salads

Fresh Spinach and Barley Salad

Main Dishes

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

Lemon Edemame Pasta

Desserts

Summer Berry Terrine

Greek Yogurt Blueberry Muffins

Drinks

Kath’s Iced Coffee

Carrot Ginger Smoothie

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I am also a Featured Blogger on Fitblogger today! You can read the feature piece here

Apple Raisin Kale Salad

I have another great summer salad today!

I made kale chips earlier in the week, but I had over half the bag of kale left. I decided to give raw kale salads a second chance, and pulled together this apple raisin salad. A couple months ago I stopped forcing myself to eat raw kale because I just hated it. But every so often I think about giving it another chance, and I just happened to be in the mood for a heartier salad.

I actually don’t mind eating this kale salad, and tastes much better the second day-not a usual occurrence for salads! But the tough kale absorbs some of the oil and vinegar, and become a lot more palatable (this is coming from someone who does not prefer raw kale, can you tell? ;)).

Apple Raisin Kale Salad

Makes 4 side dish servings

Ingredients

2 cups raw kale, chopped

1/2 apple (use a sweeter variety like Fuji, Gala, or Honey Crisp), thinly sliced

3 Tbsp raisins

Dressing

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

salt

Directions:

Look over the kale and remove any thick stems.  Wisk together oil, vinegar and salt. Pour dressing over salad, and massage it into the kale. Add apple slices and raisins; toss to combine. For best flavor and texture let sit overnight.

Are you a kale enthusiast? What’s the best way to prepare it?

Run for the Green 1/2 Marathon

I am finally running a half marathon! I chose this one because of the date, location, and relative flatness.

Running a 1/2 is only something I have wanted to do for about a year. I never ran consistently until I trained for an international length triathlon last summer. But after that experience I knew I wanted to continue running (but not compete in another tri until I bought a decent bike).

I started half-heartedly training last fall, but school and the whole finding a job thing took up too much time. Before my mini summer break, I also thought about trying to train for something to do after graduation. However with moving from school to home, graduation, and moving from home to Charlotte, plus our cruise vacation, everything was a little up in the air until the last minute.

Any way, after going through all the reasons why I haven’t ever ran a half, I do feel like I have the stability and structure to start training.

The race is 12 weeks away (including this week) so I have the perfect amount of time to build up my mileage.

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On another note, my first day of work was great. Thanks for everyone who called, texted and commented to wish me luck 🙂 I was ridiculously nervous-not that there was anything but filling out HR paperwork and training to be worried about. I really like my office and supervisor so far. It is a very young office, and I think it will be pretty fun as far as work environments go.

Strawberry Parfaits and Starting Work

So apparently today is National Strawberry Parfait Day!

I decided to participate by making this beauty

Strawberries, Greek yogurt, oats, honey, repeat. I topped it with chia seeds for some Omega 3s.

Also today is my first day of work, so I am heading out early to make sure I don’t get lost (even though I practiced my route a couple times over the weekend-I just can’t trust my shaky sense of direction).

Ready to go!

Wish me luck 🙂

Moving Weekend

It has been a long couple of days! On Wednesday I moved into my new apartment in the Charlotte area. Thursday was spent unpacking and reassembling all of my Ikea furniture. I also christened the kitchen by baking up a batch of kale chips.

I love how crunchy and light these get, but I wish I had some humidity proof storage. After only a couple hours, the chips go from crispy to a chewy :/ For now, I’ll just make small enough batches for myself.

On Friday, Perry came down to visit and help me install some of the finishing touches. He helped put up two shelves and a mirror.

There was a bit of trouble with finding wall studs and him not reading directions lack of proper tools, but we managed to get everything up on the walls. 😉

On Saturday, we went out to see the new Steve Carell movie, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

 source

Perry and I both like Steve Carell, and I was excited for a fun romantic comedy. I had not seen any trailers, or even talked to someone who had seen the movie, but I assumed the tone would be in line with his usual films. Unfortunately, I was totally wrong about the mood of the movie. It did have a sweet romantic storyline, but it was more of a romantic tragedy than a romantic comedy! I thought it was a good movie, but since I tend to cry easily during movies, I ended up sobbing during the last scenes….Needless to say, the movie did not make for a lighthearted date night!

Tomorrow is my first day of “real” work, so I’m going to prep food for the week and pick out my outfit!

Simple Greek Salad

Moving and settling into my new apartment in the Charlotte area is going well. Most of my ikea furniture has been assembled, and all of my clothes are out of the boxes. I’ll be back with a  settling in post on Sunday, because today I want to share a recipe for one of the summer staples at my home growing up. My mom would make this simple Greek salad almost weekly in the summer when we had access to delicious home grown tomatoes. Although we do have a chicken coop, unfortunately we don’t have anything but a herb garden in the yard. So we have to rely on neighbors and the farmers market for fresh, local produce. Since this recipe comes from my mom, I have to share her advice that this salad is exclusively for tomatoes in season. Don’t even think of making this recipe with store-bought vegetables shipped from miles away! It just won’t be the same.

The juice of the tomatoes combines perfectly with the drizzle of olive oil and feta crumbles for a flavorful, light dressing. The cucumbers add a nice crunch to the cool summer salad. Double the recipe and bring it for cookouts and barbecues.

Simple Greek Salad

serves 4 (side dish portions)

Ingredients

2 large tomatoes

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

1/8 onion (about 1/4 of a cup), thinly sliced

2 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1 Tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Directions:

Cut the tomatoes into bite size chunks. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber and onion in a large bowl. Mix in the olive oil and feta. Toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until serving.

Cruisin’ Summer 2012: Haiti, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Cozumel

I am moving to Charlotte today, so instead of a boring post about the smoothie I am making, here are some more cruise pictures from our excursions in Haiti, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Cozumel 🙂

Labadee, Haiti: Beach Day

Falsmouth, Jamaica: Zipline through the forest

Jamaica Jerk Chicken-soooo good

Grand Cayman: Sting Ray Beach and Snorkeling

Cozumel: Snorkeling and Shopping

We rented a snorkel camera and were able to get a couple neat underwater shots

And last but not least, our favorite towel animal