Tomatoes are one of my favorite foods and I wait each summer to get them at the local farmers market. Heirloom tomatoes are an especially delicious treat, and I wanted to find a recipe to highlight their beauty and taste. This dish looks fancy, but takes only minutes to make.
A perfect summers day to me? Morning run, reading by the pool and having friends over for an afternoon cookout. Which then comes to the eternal pool-side catch-22: how to feel comfortable in your bathing suit while still enjoying yummy grilled food.
Here are ideas to serve at your next cookout- all without the overstuffed, bloated side effects. Roasted pepper bulgar salad, pineapple bbq burgers, black bean and mango salsa, sauteed bok choy, and grilled chipotle corn.
I’ve tried every type of mock-salads, but this is one of my new favorites.It’s delicious in a wrap, on top of salad greens, or with crackers. Plus, Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) contain folate, fiber, protein, copper and iron.
“Better than Tuna Salad”
from ‘The Vegan Table’ cookbook
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup egg-less mayonnaise
1 medium pepper (I used green) finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Grind chickpeas in a food processor or blender into small, flaky pieces. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. Add chickpeas and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Per serving: 384 calories, 6 g fat, 20 g protein, 19 gram dietary fiber
Serve however you would tuna, chicken, or egg salad. I placed mine on a sprouted wheat wrap with arugula. Perfect for lunch to keep you energized throughout the day!
Trying to lose weight? Put the carb-loving fun back into your diet. I’m not talking about pasta and bread. I mean real carbs, the ones that make you skinny: couscous, barley, brown rice, bulgar… all delicious and all perfect for any race to a beach-body. Don’t believe me? Think back to the last time you or someone you know tried an Atkins diet. More than likely, it left you tired, constipated, and smelly (all side effects of a low-carb diet).
When you lose weight on a low-carb diet, your losing “water weight.” This term describes the fact that when you empty out carb stores in your body, you lose the water that was needed for carbohydrate storage. Sure, the scale may reflect a few pound loss, but eat a normal meal again and you will gain it all back.
Whole grains are the jam. They fill you up and contain lots of beneficial vitamins and minerals like folate, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamin E… there’s more. As I mentioned before, people who eat whole grains over refined gains are less likely to gain weight, and have lower incidences of diabetes and heart disease. WG’s contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which are been linked to preventing colon cancer and lowering LDL cholesterol.
Convinced yet? Try my newest favorite side dish/entree, Mediterranean Couscous. It’s perfect for summer and you can vary the ingredients by what you have in your fridge. I’ve made it 3 times this week and each time has been a variation of the last. Let me know if you can stop at 1 cup… I need tips
2 cups water
1 cup couscous
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, julienned or diced
1/4 cup diced olives
1/4 cup edamame
1 tbls. capers, drained
2-3 tomatoes, diced
bunch of fresh basil- use as much as you/your family likes, chiffonade
2 tsp. chili paste
Juice from 1 small lemon
Cook couscous according to box: bring water to a boil, add couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5-6 minutes and fluff with a fork.
To couscous, add sun dried tomatoes, olive, edamame, capers, lemon juice, zest and basil. In a saute pan, heat oil 1 tbsp. oil and chili paste until hot. Add tomatoes, cover, and let sit 3-4 minutes until soft. Add to the couscous bowl. Let marinate together for 5-10 minutes, season with salt and/or pepper to taste if needed.
* feel free to add replace with ingredients of your choosing. You can add just about anything to couscous or have it plain. I also like couscous with saffron, zucchini, and butternut squash. That recipe coming soon…