Posts Tagged ‘healthy fats’

Weekend Link Love – 07.03.2011

This week’s link love is short and sweet. Happy birthday, o country of mine! Still not sure of plans for tomorrow, but this is New York so it will certainly be something interesting.

Food, Recipes, Fitness

  • This broccoli scramble looks divine – I would of course keep the egg yolks in! They are the most nutritious and delicious part. I am always so disappointed when people eat just the whites.
  • Kath’s Pumpkin and Cinnamon Beanies look ah-mazing! I haven’t baked with beans in a while and it is something I must try again. I made these black bean brownies back in March of 2008.
  • Must make Erin’s Almond Flour Zucchini Muffins. (This one you have to use just the whites because you beat them!)
  • Mark’s Grok Walk Workout looks awesome. Definitely fits into my current exercise routine.
  • Week 5 of Biz’s 101 Days of Summer Challenge is over. Check out the comments on her post to see how we all did.

Salad Girl Updates

  • Today… I rewrote this post on Reducing Sugar. It was originally just “10 healthy tips” for cooking and baking, but upon reading it I discovered that I used to demonize butter and fats and think that we should all be eating carby, fat-free diets. So I rewrote it. Do check it out if you get a chance.
  • A year ago today… I made homemade ketchup. And I was eating egg whites.
  • 2 years ago today… I made healthy fried rice. And then 2 days later I got engaged.

What are you doing this weekend? Do you like whole eggs, just the whites, or just the yolks?

Potluck BBQ RECIPE: Mexican Couscous and Bean Salad + How to Cut an Avocado

I took this salad to a potluck last weekend. While that particular event wasn’t a barbecue, this dish would be perfect for any kind of summer party – barbecues, pool parties, potlucks, Sunday brunches, maybe even the beach. The large bowl of salad I brought was gone in a jiffy. I was pleased because there was another couscous salad there as well, and I think mine tasted better.

The recipe is based off of a Whole Foods flyer recipe, but I also got inspiration from this fiesta salad that I linked to on Sunday.

Mexican Couscous and Bean Salad

03 couscous avocado bean potluck salad Potluck BBQ RECIPE: Mexican Couscous and Bean Salad + How to Cut an Avocado

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous (dry measurement)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1/2 an apple, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup nuts (I used soy nuts and pepitas)
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (add more if this is not enough)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (or to taste)

Method

  1. Cook the couscous by heating 1 cup of water to a boil and adding the butter and salt, then mixing in the couscous. Stir the couscous and remove from heat. Let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
  2. Prepare your veggies while the couscous cools. See below for how I chop my avocado.
  3. Mix everything together. Add more lime juice, chili powder, and salt, to taste.
  4. Enjoy outside in the shade.

***

How to Cut an Avocado

Cut the avocado in half around the pit from top to bottom. Twist it with your hands. One half will keep the pit. Whack the pit with a knife. Holding the avocado, twist the knife so the pit comes out on the blade.

01 how to cut avocado Potluck BBQ RECIPE: Mexican Couscous and Bean Salad + How to Cut an Avocado

While the meat is still in the skin, slice the avocado into a bunch of rectangles. Push the middle of the skin so like you’re turning the avocado inside out. Then just scrape the avocado cubes into the salad!

02 how to cut avocado Potluck BBQ RECIPE: Mexican Couscous and Bean Salad + How to Cut an Avocado

It’s so simple. Best way to cut an avocado that I have found.

***

Notes:

  • While this salad is a little bit more grain-y and starchy than what I usually like to eat, it is delicious and I think perfectly healthy. Lots of whole food ingredients, healthy fats (avocado and nuts), and nothing weird and creepy. Plus it is delicious. I hope you get a chance to try this; if you want a dish to “wow” your guests, I highly recommend this one.
  • If you are vegan, feel free to omit the butter and substitute olive oil instead. (For cooking the couscous.)
  • I almost used bacon fat instead of butter, but didn’t want to trick unsuspecting vegetarians. But bacon fat is one of my favorite fats to cook with. Try it – just reserve the fat each time you cook bacon. I keep mine in the fridge in a little bowl.
  • If you are feeling spunky, try adding some chopped bacon (nitrate and nitrite free of course). I may do that next time.

Have a great long weekend!

Spring… (Flashback)

6/13/2011: This morning I got up at 4:30am and could not sleep – jet lag makes 4:30am = 10:30am in France. Perhaps this will be the kick in the pants I need to start getting up (and going to bed) earlier? The morning included putzing around and enjoying the silence of the sleeping city. I finished a loooong yoga podcast (well, 60 minutes = this one). I actually didn’t quite finish the 60 minutes – when he went into frog pose (ugh!) I stayed for about a minute and went straight to savasana.

yoga frog pose Spring... (Flashback)

Frog pose - très inconfortable! Je la dèteste.*

Source.

*Very uncomfortable! I hate it.

It’s nice having time in the morning to do nothing. Or do yoga. Or chill with my kitties. Or play piano. Or read. Or blog. Or whatever.

I also browsed through old memories. I found this post (below) on a random old blog that I used to have. It’s originally from 2/23/2008, almost 3.5 years ago; I had just moved to California after college and Bobby was finishing up his last semester of school back in Ithaca. (I graduated a semester early.) I am not a very nostalgic person (random side note – see Midnight in Paris!) but I do get sentimental on occasion. This post is around when I first embarked on my healthy living journey – at the time I was too thin after losing weight in college but not knowing anything about health and nutrition. I knew that fruits and veggies were good but I also thought fat was bad; conventional wisdom had always demonized fat, especially animal fat. I’m glad I realized that life is much better with healthy fats.

Without further ado, here is the post. (ETA = Edited To Add.)

***

Spring can’t come soon enough. And after spring is summer, my favorite season. A season of berry picking, fresh fruit, fresh salads, and running around outside. I love to dig my feet in the sand at the beach and go exploring. Any season where I can be outside is a truly wonderful time.

01 maggie picking Spring... (Flashback)

ETA: Maggie picking berries... (circa summer 2007).

02 bobby picking Spring... (Flashback)

ETA: And Bobby with berries... (circa summer 2007).

I’m getting nostalgic and looking at pictures from last summer (ETA: 2007 summer). I can’t wait until we can go pick blackberries and raspberries and blueberries right off the bush and enjoy them for dessert. I’ll make blueberry muffins with fresh, not frozen, berries! And sorbets! And things with decadent whipped soy cream! (ETA: Why was I eating soy cream? I must have been on a vegan kick. Also note the focus on desserts – I used to eat a lot more sugar than I do now, as is obvious from the muffin obsession.)

03 blackberry hand Spring... (Flashback)

ETA: Bobby's hand! He popped this in his mouth and it was amazing - warm from the sun and deliciously sweet, he said.

***
I hope you enjoyed this little flashback. I love looking back at what I was doing years ago; it’s so interesting to see how things have changed and what has stayed the same.

What were you doing 3 years ago?

I don’t know exactly what I was doing exactly 3 years ago… it was the day after Bobby’s birthday in 2008… Hm… It was a Friday. Here is my post on that day. (Not helpful for figuring out what we did though.) I had probably just started a new job (mid-May 2008) and Bobby was working on his startup company before he started at Microsoft that August (he’d just graduated 2 weeks earlier). Since it was a Friday I probably got free lunch at work. Vietnamese was my favorite. I may have been vegetarian-ish at the time. Maybe we went out to dinner with friends for a belated birthday celebration. I probably took a long walk on my lunch break. Some things never change; some do.

And here is a song to make you smile – I saw this somewhere and now I don’t remember where.

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