Think lunch meat sandwiches are healthy? Well, think again. Most people I work with think that their daily turkey sandwich is a ‘healthy’ choice for lunch. I, respectively disagree. For some reason, over the past decade or so, there has been more and more emphasis on the importance of protein. Oh, puh-lease, I rarely have a client who isn’t getting enough protein. Most people, depending on activity level and age, need 50-60g of protein per day (about 0.8-1.0g protein/kg). To put that in perspective, 3.5oz of cooked chicken breast contain ~30g of protein. Considering most Americans eat meat 2-3X a day you can see that protein isn’t something we are lacking in.
Another food that contains protein? Broccoli. Calorie for calorie, broccoli has more protein than a sirloin steak, but the steak also has 55 mg cholesterol and 1.7 grams of saturated fat. Plant foods can be great sources of protein, especially compared to meat sources which are often high in both cholesterol and saturated fat.
I have the same routine practically every Sunday. I do yoga, head to the farmers market, and grocery store. I then come home to prep lunch and dinner meals for the week. I am a pretty typical type-A personality which means I can tell you what we will be eating for most nights the week before. I create a menu and post it, it helps keep me sane and organized and lets BL know what he can expect each night.
I usually just plan leftovers to be lunch the following day, but every now and then I end up staring at the fridge in the morning with no clue on what I am packing for lunch. I’ve started making a meal to be used as a snack throughout the week or for lunches. It works out perfectly. It doesn’t take too much more of my time on Sundays and it leaves out any additional work during the week. Usually these meals are a giant salad, soup, or leftover cutup vegetables with dip. This week, I decided to make a cold noodle salad with the leftover vegetables I was prepping for other dinners this week.
I don’t know what is going on in our house. I rarely make sweets, especially in the summer time, but the past two weeks I have made two different desserts and two kinds of ice cream. Of course BL hasn’t complained, but it deserves some contemplation. I blame the insanely hot weather for making me turn to my ice cream maker more than usual. (And everyone knows that the best way to enjoy ice cream is over baked fruit crisp).
Usually fruit salad is my dessert of choice during the summer. Sure, I love ice cream but I tire of it quickly and the thought of cookies and cake doesn’t get me that excited when it’s 104 outside. But baked fruit crisp? Suddenly all those thoughts go out the window. I went to the farmers market on Sunday to get ingredients for my salsa and couldn’t help but scoop up a few peaches and plums in the meantime. Who can resist that definite taste of summer, a ripe piece of stone-fruit? I love the addition of plums to a normal berry or peach crisp. The slightly sour taste from the plums balances any overly sweet pieces of peach.
Did I mention I have been eating this for breakfast this past week? Mmm, I can’t get enough.
3 tbsp. maple syrup
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or can sub almonds)
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. lemon juice
6 cups chopped stone fruit, I used a combination of plums and peaches
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. whole wheat flour
Place chopped stone fruit into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with maple syrup, lemon juice, flour and sugar. Lightly toss to combine.
Place fruit mixture into a lightly-sprayed baking dish.
For the topping, combine the flour, oats, chopped nuts, brown sugar and salt. Add in the oil and maple syrup and stir with your fingers or a fork. You want to create little clumps of batter to place onto the fruit.
Using your hands or fork, place crumble topping onto fruit.
Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Serve warm… with vanilla ice cream. I made some organic vanilla bean ice cream last Sunday to go with this and it was the perfect way to end the week.
Let’s face it, vegetables aren’t a sexy main dish. Delicious? Yes. But few vegetables have that star power that makes you swoon with delight. That all changes with kebobs. There is just something about the presentation of skewered summer vegetables, much prettier than a bowl full of cooked ones. Plus, they couldn’t be easier to make. Feel free to improvise with what vegetables you have on hand.
These metal skewers are the other reason this dish takes center stage. Aren’t they adorable? I picked them up from Crate and Barrel sometime earlier this summer and they are the perfect accessory to take roasted vegetables from eh to Wow!
3 dutch baby potatoes or other small, golden potatoes
1 bell pepper, seeded
8 cherry tomatoes
In a large bowl add the beans, celery, parsley, and sage. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and salt/pepper and pour over the salad. Add the cherry tomatoes and toss together. Place in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Mix together and set aside.
Chop the green parts off scallions. Cut white parts into 1-inch-long pieces. Cut zucchini, peppers, and potatoes into 1-inch-long pieces.
Thread vegetables onto skewers. Arrange skewers in baking dish, and spoon marinade over top. Turn skewers to coat until all vegetables are well covered. Set aside 30 minutes.
You can grill these using a grill pan or on the BBQ. To use the oven, preheat to 450 degrees. Place the skewers on baking sheet and bake kabobs about 25 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, turning once.
To serve: spoon white bean salad onto a plate or bowl. Top with vegetable skewers.