a greedy indulgence

Guess what I was busy peeling and washing, in anticipation for tonight’s dinner?

Beets.  Lots and lots of beets.  Enough to feed a family of five.  Or, in my case, a family of three.  We like our produce.

I could have canned them.  Really…I should have canned them.  When will I learn to preserve summer’s crops? 

I have received so many useful tips on preserving the produce.  “Freeze your pesto!”  “Bottle your beets!”  Friends have shared with me, all of the genius ways in which they ensure they’ll be eating from-the-garden tomatoes, all year round (salsas, sauces, and soups, oh my!) 

Unfortunetly, I’ve never listened.  Instead, I greedily eat summer’s produce, all at once.  Aside from a handful or two of frozen basil leaves, there’s not an inkling or trace of what once was.  Summer becomes a thing of the past, as I move forward into the months of autumn.  Arms (and mouth) open wide, ready for squash and cabbage and things like kale.

When I see a bunch of basil, I see a toasted, basil hummus sandwich for lunch.   And when I see beets, I see a salad piled high with those beautiful red, roasted roots.  I can’t resist.  I do realize that this is a shame.  A fault, even.  I would love to have produce all winter long.  I would!  I would love to pull out a bottle of zingy tomato salsa, smack dab in the middle of January.  I would love to pull out a batch of pesto in the dead of winter, just as a reminder of what summer tastes like. 

 But tonight, that didn’t really matter.  I savored each bite of the earthy, sweet beets, towering high on a bed of greens.  Dressed in nothing but olive oil.  I know this is a greedy indulgence.  But I just couldn’t help myself. 

As a side note, I am completely addicted to the peanut hummus.  Age really does do wonders for this tangy spread!

As a note to self: “Next summer? Grow a bigger garden.”

Roasted Beets

  • 1 large bunch of fresh beets, trimmed and peeled of any lingering roots or tough exterior
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Chop beets into bite sized peices, and place in single layer on a well sprayed cookie sheet.  Roast for 10 minutes, flip once, and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes.
  3. ENJOY! 😀

Question: Do you preserve summer’s produce, or do you eat it right away?  What is your favorite way of preserving the produce?  One of these years, I would like to plant enough tomatoes to make a fresh tomato salsa.  And then open and eat it on the coldest day of the year. 😀

transition phase

Yesterday was all about fall.  And—if this is at all possible—I’ve become even more excited about its upcoming appearance, after reading all of your ‘fall-filled’ comments.  Beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful.  Bring on that cool, hoodie & jeans styled weather! 😀

But around here, we’re still in that silent transition phase.  That point where you’re not really sure if fall is just a tease, or if summer truly is on its last running stretch.  Days that offer a little bit of summer, a little bit of fall.  I like to think that this phase gives us the best of both seasons, all in one day.

With today being Labor Day and all, my family needed to celebrate.  Outdoor style.   

Any good celebration includes (1) a picnic table (or anything that allows you to eat outdoors, really…a picnic blanket would do just fine 😀 ).

(2) A grill to cook off of.  And hopefully someone who knows how to cook on one.  Let me tell you right now, I am hands off when it comes to the grill.  Too little temperature control, too much a mind of its own.   Scariness!

But then again, maybe I should add ‘master the grill’ to my bucket list?

Lastly, any good celebration involves (3) family.  The more, the merrier.  My Pepere and Nicole came to join us for good food and fun conversation. 

Mom and Nicole

One of my favorite things about cookout fare in the late summer/early fall is that it’s absolutely a-okay to grill up the meats, veggies, corn, etc. on the grill, while simultaneously turning on the indoor oven. 

These babies were baked in the oven (325 to 400—temperature was increased for timing reasons 😉 ) for a good 2 hrs.  Roasty.  Crispy.  Perfect. 

I went for a sweet potato version which went through this whole ooey, gooey, caramelization phase.  It was lovely. 😀

Let’s talk corn.

For the full experience of enjoying corn on the cob, corn must be grilled in its husk at least a few times a year.  Yes, you can boil it for decent results.  But for that really sweet, “I can’t resist your love” type of feeling, you simply need to grill it.  Just soak the corn in the husk for about 15 minutes to prevent scorching and then throw them on the grill, rotating every so often.  It takes about 15 minutes (longer or shorter depending on your desired results.)

I chose tempeh for my protein of choice today.  I’ve never been a steak girl (I know, I know…many grill masters would cry over this fact—sorry!), but tempeh and tofu are extra nice when grilled.  Using weber’s tofu method for grilling (spray a sheet of foil, plop the tofu or tempeh on the sprayed sheet, and grill for about 10 minutes, flipping once), I first basted 1/2 the block of tempeh in some Bone Suckin’ Sauce.  The sugars in the sauce helped contribute to those nice, golden markings and rich, smoky flavor.

Delicious.

And, really, no celebration is complete without my sister’s focaccia bread.  It’s quickly becoming that secret recipe which everyone begs for at every. single. family. gathering.  Summer, fall, winter, spring.  It really doesn’t matter what the season, somehow this bread always works.  Always.

The meal was considered complete when this local, last-of-the-season watermelon was brought out for dessert. 

Sweet perfection. 😀

I love the seasons’ transition phases. 

Enjoying the foods of both summer and fall.  Taking in the warmth that the summer sun still has to offer.  Enjoying a cool breeze.  Wearing a hoodie and a pair of flip flops.

*Sigh*

Life is good. 😀

Time to get organized for tomorrow’s busy day at the school!! 😀

Question: Did you celebrate Labor Day?

summer meets autumn

Fun thought for the day: If your body’s temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and you walk outside into 98 degree weather, why wouldn’t this feel like the “perfect” temperature?—courtesy of dad 😉

“Un” overnight Oats in a Jar!

In an almond butter jar.  Full of creamy, ooey-gooey, swirls and globs.  Stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth delicious. 😀 

Trader Joe’s knows how to make a mean almond butter.

I’ve noticed that along with being able to handle a slow increase in running mileage, my stomach is slowly being able to handle heavier meals before a run.  I love when this happens.  It means that I don’t cramp up after eating breakfast, which leaves me feeling more energized and fresh.  No heavy, lead-filled legs or side stitches either.  Just perfect.  It also means that I don’t have to rely on a simple orange or a date before a run, which means more fuel for those (eventual) longer runs.

Needless to say, today’s 3-miler was fun and energetic. 😀

Morning Snack: kashi crackers and Justin’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Lunch

I’ve been craving roasted chicken lately.

Something to do with the cooler summer weather.  Something about early autumn making its first appearance in a brilliant yellow leaf.  I’ve been craving roasted chicken.

It has something to do with something, but when all was said and done, it didn’t really matter what the temperature was.  The oven was turned on to 350, the chicken was cooked for 2.5 hrs with an onion, and voila.  My roasted chicken cravings were fulfilled.

I wanted salad too, so I decided to combine the two into one meal.  Roasting a chicken and making a summery salad might seem a little odd at first.  But it was a little like setting up a blind date for summer and autumn to meet each other (because you just know they’ll get along once they start mingling) and watching them fall in love.  The salad was crunchy and full of fresh, the chicken was tender and filled with flavor.  The cranberry sauce added the “pow” factor and tied it all together.  Love.

Leftover pasta salad on the side!

+ a heep of watermelon!

Afternoon Snack: Homemade Granola Bar

I used my original recipe, but subbed in almond butter for the pb.  I also added some cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  Definitely one of my favorite batches yet! 😀

Did you know that the recommended amount of egg yolks to eat in one week is 3?

You’ll find a lot of controversy over that statement, as some people feel this amount should be expanded and others think it should be reduced.  I personally feel that eggs do a whole lot more good for our body then bad, but I don’t recommend loading up on them either. 😉  But don’t be afraid to include that yolk now and then, for its high content of healthy vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, selenium and riboflavin!

For some reason, yesterday’s egg over salad left me wanting eggs again.  I went with a “sweet” version this time in the form of cinnamon raisin French toast.  Topped with a creamy, super ripe banana. 

Can’t forget the veggies!  Roasted cauliflower and onions (425 degree oven for 25 minutes, 2 tsp olive oil + paprika) because I was still craving autumn. 😀

Time to finish up on some homework before tomorrow’s Preclinical Training.  I need to look over a case study on Muscle Wasting in Heart Failure.  It seems interesting but tricky!

Happy Hump Day! 😀

Question: Can you eat right before a workout?  Do you stick to something light or can you handle something larger?

a taste of france

Mold scares me.

I was a little more then concerned when I looked into my water bottle, only to see mold growing all over the sides and bottom.  It was a jungle.  An intensely dark, mold-infested jungle.  Thankfully, I’m still alive to tell the tale. 😉  But still.  Mold is scary and shouldn’t be fooled aorund with.  So, in celebration of the fact that I’m still alive (kidding…kind of), I’m sharing with you this warning to please check your water bottle.

Moving on…

Thankfully, there was nothing scary about breakfast.  Just the standard ol’ bowl of “un”overnight oats.  With coconut and a spoonful of almond butter.

These days, I’m enjoying my morning coffee with only a minimal amount of soy for color and froth.  Sweet breakfasts and bitter coffee go so well together.

AM snack: orange and almonds

If you’ve meandered your way around blog land, you have probably seen people eating salads topped with fried eggs.  At first I thought this was a completely odd idea.  I thought to myself, “fried eggs and greens do not belong together.”  And then I read a book on France, and discovered that eating a bed of greens with an egg on top is a pretty common dish after all.  One of France’s traditional dishes, the Salad Lyonnaise, is simply a bed of frisee lettuce, bacon, croutons and a poached egg on top.  I can’t decide if it was the fact that I was absolutely craving eggs today or if it was due to the fact that I have a not-so-secret obsession with France, but suddenly I wanted an egg on my salad.

I did, however, end up straying from tradition, and opted for a fried egg instead of poached. 

Greens, bell peppers, avocado, bottled beets, tomato, garbanzos, and the fried egg (1 whole egg + 1 egg white).  With a final drizzle of EVOO. 

Amazing.  I’ve officially been converted.

Dessert!!

Afternoon Snack: yogurt with flax and granola

Dinner

I literally spent the better part of my day doing homework.  I was researching various therapeutic diets for patients in the hospital setting, only to discover that I was starving by the time that dinner rolled around.  It was super nice having pasta salad in the fridge (made earlier in the morning), just waiting to be served with the roasted broccoli (2 tsp EVOO + sea salt…425 degree oven, 20 minutes, flip half way through).  So, so nice.  It was also nice being able to eat outdoors in 72 degree weather. 

Mmm…life is good.

This is one of my favorite pasta salad recipes because it’s brimming with crunchy veggies, tangy-sweet dressing, and protein-packed beans.  The flavor is right on the mark, it’s quick to throw together, and it makes enough to serve at least 8 people (probably more.)  Great for packed lunches too.

Pasta Salad Plus–Taste of Home’s Light and Tasty

  • 12 oz. whole wheat spiral pasta: cooked, drained and rinsed with cold water
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 can (16oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 can (6oz) pitted ripe olives, drained and sliced

    “Dressing”

  • 1/2 c. cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  1. Mix pasta with next eight ingredients up to olives. 
  2. In a bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together.  Pour over salad and toss to coat.
  3. ENJOY!!!! 😀

*****************************

Question: Are you a routine coffee drinker?

weekend post: summer & salads

You know how some parents joke that they want to put a brick on their kids’ heads in order to stop them from growing?  I was kind of thinking.  Is it possible to do this with summer?

Today I wore a light hoodie and a pair of jeans.  “Hoodie weather” (i.e., roughly 70 degrees) is incredibly comforting and cozy.  On a numerical scale, such a day would receive a 10 out of 10, with 10 being the most ideal, perfect, and delicious of days.  But at the same time, I’m not ready for summer to be over.  Not yet.  I know there will still be plenty of warm days around the corner, but I want summer to last.  And last.  And last.

It’s not just the warm weather that I want to hold on to.  It’s the fresh garden tomatoes—tiny, yellow tear drops falling from the flowering plants.  It’s the freshly canned beets, boasting their deep, summery colors.  It’s the fresh basil hummus that I made in the morning, after snipping away in the herb garden.

Summer.

If only placing a brick on a kid’s head would stop him from growing.  If only I could hold on to summer forever.

If only.

But then, there wouldn’t be any apple picking, would there?  Or snowshoeing.  Or baking cranberry nut breads and roasting acorn squash.  Or dethawing by a warm woodstove after coming in from the frigid weather.  Or being handed a hot cocoa two weeks before Christmas, while decorating the tree.  Or witnessing the magic of winter’s first snowfall.

I guess this is why I will always call myself a true New Englander. 

Question: If you had the choice, would you make summer last forever or do you enjoy the other seasons as well?

chopsticks

I wrote out an entire post, only to have it completely eaten by WordPress.  Which means, that the post will wait until tonight and I’ll leave you with a short little blurp. :mrgreen:

Have you ever eaten with chopsticks? 

It is an experience. 

A little while back, the Broccoli Hut made a post on eating with chopsticks, and how it adds to the entire dining experience.  It slows you down.  Makes you notice that you’re eating.  I completely agreed.

I am a self-proclaimed inhaler of food.  Not when I’m eating out with friends and family or at a fancy schmancy restaurant.  But at home?  Yes.  I inhale.

Which is where chopsticks come in.  Now, let’s face it, not every meal can be eaten at a slow, leisurely pace.  There are times when I’ll need to wolf down a lunch in five minutes flat, and times when dinner is something that must be fit in—somehow, some way—despite being in a rush.  But there are also times when it’s important to slow down and enjoy the food that we’re eating.  Life is too busy.  It’s important to take time out and enjoy the day, whether by ourselves or with friends and family.

I’m convinced that part of the reason why people who consume the Mediterranean Diet are so healthy, is due not only to the foods that they eat, but also due to the fact that they eat. so. slowly.  A drink of wine here.  A laugh with a friend there.  A small bite every other conversation.  It’s so relaxed. 

Chopsticks, chopsticks, chopsticks (not that people on the Mediterranean Diet eat with chopsticks, but I’ve found it’s one of the easiest ways to slow the entire dining process down :mrgreen: )

So my challenge to you is to try using chopsticks.  For a meal.  Or a day (although eating oats with chopsticks may prove to be kind of challenging 😉 ).  Most grocery stores carry the free wooden kind that you can simply pick up and mess around with before investing in a pair.  They’re super simple to use once you get the hang of it.

The How-To of chopsticks

Don’t be intimidated.  And don’t be put off by the fact that you may drop food on your shirt at first.  True Story: I have olive oil stains on my t-shirt too.  But as everyone who uses chopsticks will attest to, it gets easier with time.  You’ll be a pro before you know it. 😀

Question: Have you ever used chopsticks?

Food Stars

 In every good movie, there is a celebrity.  A star.  The main actor.  The reason you watch the movie in the first place.

Food isn’t so different.

Take breakfast, for example.  Just my standard bowl of banana ‘n’ oats, topped with granola, chia seeds, coconut…

 

 …and Trader Joe’s almond butter. 

Almond butter.  It stole the show.  I mean, everything else was delicious, and there would have been no meal without the oats, the milk, the banana.  But still.  It was all about the almond butter.

 

 Then there was lunch.

You all know I love my salads.  Whether it’s basic like this one, or filled out to the max.  Love. 

 Extra virgin olive oil.  Tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden.  Buttery white beans.

But it all came down to the cheese.  Robusto cheese, to be exact.  Full of little crystals that pop when you chew, melting into your tongue with a burst of sharp, nutty flavor.  I like to try all different types of cheese, but I’m pretty sure I could settle down and enjoy this one for the rest of my life. 

 

dessert: watermelon x2!!!

snack: grapefruit and almonds

 

 Dinner had a major role player as well, although this one was a little harder to narrow down.

Was it the brown rice cooked in vegetable broth?

The grilled zucchini, cooked with olive oil, garlic powder and pepper?

 

 Was it the grilled chicken, smothered in garlic powder, paprika, parsley, pepper, & a little olive oil?

Was it the fresh salsa, made of Trader Joe’s mild salsa and diced avocado?

 

No. 

It was the date.  The sweet, innocent medjool date that I ate for dessert.  At first glance, he doesn’t look like much.  But, you know, first appearances really aren’t everything.

Densely sweet.  Chewy.  Nature’s candy. 

Melt.  In.  Your.  Mouth.  Delicious.

Question: What were some of the “food stars” of your day?

Beach Babes

Yes!  Finally!!! 

I am a beach bum at heart.  Warm sand on my feet.  Wind in my face.  The smell of salty sea air.  The water—delicious, refreshing, and shimmering water.  I’ve always been a fish, but this trait comes out even more after a few days or so of (barely) surviving a major heat wave.  Water.  Give me water.  Preferrably the ocean.

Yep, the beach is where its at. 

Oh, and just FYI, this is not the only shirt I own.  I realize that I’m always wearing it whenever my picture gets taken, but it just so happens to be my workout, slash, “I don’t care if it gets sweaty and dirty” shirt.  Not to be gross or anything.  Just figured I’d point that out. 😉

Beach bum partner!  Aka, Mom.

Aside from all the obvious reasons of why I love the beach so much, I also happen to love the food.  Growing up, my mom would pack my siblings and I egg salad sandwiches, along with orange soda.  There’s something about swimming all day and then running back through warm sand, feeling achy and jiggly in the legs from being all active, and then being welcomed with a big beach towl and cold-packed sandwiches.  It makes me smile.  Just the thought of it. 😀

Today I packed snacks and sandwiches for both my mom and I, keeping it simple, cool and beachy. 

Speaking of beachy fare, you will love this hummus recipe if you (a) like the taste of garlic and/or (b) sigh over basil. 

Basil Hummus

  • 1, 15oz. can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half OR garlic powder sprinkled liberally
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • salt to taste

Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor.  Add a little water if you want to thin it out a bit!  Enjoy! 😀

There was also fresh fruit in the form of kiwis and sliced pears…

…plus sandwiches!  Always sandwiches.  It’s a must for every beach occasion. 😀

I smeared some Justin’s honey roasted peanut butter with a dab of homemade strawberry jam onto two slices of bread.  So cold.  So sweet.  So beachy.

This grumpy guy was getting mad at me.  “Share!  Share!  Share!” he seemed to be screaming.  But I didn’t listen.  I blocked him out and resumed my reading.  He then flew over to another beach bum gal and won her—and her sandwich—over.  I swear he gave me an evil glare before flying away to find another willing soul.  Ah well…

Today was such a blast.  I love the beach.  I love Maine.  I love New England.

Already, I’m counting the days until I return. 😀

Question: Do you love the beach?  What is your favorite part about the beach?

Staying Cool

Temperature: 96 degrees.  Goal: Stay cool.  Problem: No air conditioning, no pool, no yogurt. 

Introducing the Country Gal’s Guide to Staying Cool.  Although I’m pretty sure it would work for city gals and guys too…

1. Plan on an early workout.

This morning I was up by 6 and out the door by 6:30.  With a water bottle in tow, my 4 mile run left me feeling invigorated.  Not wilted. 

2. Make the most chilly breakfast you can possibly think of.

Yogurt.  Cereal.  Overnight Oats.  Breakfast Cookies.  Or, in this case, a berry banana smoothie.

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 c. frozen blueberries
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • toppings: 2 T. Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola

Chillin’ out.

…as an aside, I always need some sort of chewy or crunchy carb on the side.  Otherwise, I just don’t feel satisfied.  Strange, but true.  A whole wheat english muffin with a pat of Justin’s Honey Roasted Peanut Butter did the trick. 😀

3. Read.  A lot.

The sweltering afternoon heat and humidity is not my friend—at all.  Sitting in front of a fan and reading, on the other hand, is. 

4. If suffering from lack of appetite, take the mini-meal route.

Extreme heat = loss of appetite.  I make up for it with mini-meals that keep me fueled without making me feel weighed down or overheated.  Pair a protein with your snack to make it well balanced and rounded out.  Today I went with a chilly nectarine and a handful of almonds…

…kashi crackers with garlic hummus…

…and a slightly larger meal later on, which included two fried eggs, two whole wheat toasts with a pat of butter and a large handful of garden fresh green beans.  Okay, so eggs don’t exactly make the most coolest of lunches ever, but I honest to goodness always crave them after a sweaty run.  😀

5. Play with water.

No pool, no problem.  A hose will do just fine.  I washed my car from hood to fender, and got myself wet while I was at it. 

Clean car.  Chilly water.  Cooled off.

6. Keep the oven off.

I wanted summer on a plate for dinner.  I also wanted to keep the oven off.  In other words, dinner became a hodgepodge of leftovers which I love.

One veggie burger with a smiling ketchup grin.  A few scoops of leftover pesto pasta salad.  Stir fried zucchini and summer squash, sauteed in a bit of olive oil, cumin, cayenne, and salt. 

+ caffeine free diet coke.  I’m not a soda kind of person, but this bottle was staring me in the face, and I couldn’t refuse it.  Once in a while (especially when it’s really, really hot out) I like a glass of diet coke to sip on. 😀

7. Never say never.

This has nothing to do with staying cool, other than the fact that I never say never to icecream.  And icecream is cool.  So there you have it.

One blissful scoop of Coconut Bliss Dark Chocolate. 

8. Sit in front of the fan…

9. ..while contemplating all the lovely things you plan on doing at the beach the following day… 😀

10. Question: What are some of your favorite ways to stay cool during the summer?

rising temperatures

As soon as I rolled out of bed this morning, I felt it.  Humidity.  Summer.  Heat.  Sweat.  It was already 80 degrees at 6 o’clock, and it reached 96 by noon.  Let’s not even discuss the fact that the heat indice was at 104 degrees. 

Needless to say, today’s eats were all about the chill factor. 

Breakfast

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • 2 T. wheat bran
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt + 2 T. crushed flax
  • 1/2 chilled banana (not frozen…just chilled in the fridge)
  • 1/2 c. chilled blueberries

Oats In A Jar!

Morning Snack: 2 chilly kiwi

All I wanted to do this morning was pass out in front of the fan and put an ice cold face cloth on my forehead.  Workout Shmurkout.  And then I remembered my strength training goals for July.  And with one loud “harumph”, I dragged myself away from the window fan and threw myself into a plank.  Let’s begin.

My mind wasn’t really into the strength training routine.  At all.  And then when it came time for me to do a push-up against the stairs, I realized that I went through 5 on the third set without a problem.  Where did that come from?  Last week, my arms were shaking by my third set.  Suddenly, I was grinning from ear to ear.  Feeling results—what a wonderful thing. 😀

Lunch

There are certain criteria that every lunch must meet.  It changes on a day to day basis. 

Today’s criteria:  Cold.  Crunchy.  Satisfying.  Tasty.  Nutritious.  A salad seemed about right.

  • mixed romaine
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 of a garden fresh tomato
  • 1/4 c. garbanzo beans
  • wild caught salmon (sold in a can at whole foods) mixed with relish, mayo, cumin and a dash of cayenne
  • sprinklin’ of feta

+ kashis (crunch)

It completely hit the spot. 😀

+ an iced au lait while studying (1 c. chilled coffee + 1/2 c. soymilk + 1 tsp sugar)

Afternoon Snack: 6-oz. vanilla yogurt, 1/2 chilled banana, 1 T. crushed flax

Who wants to cook over a hot oven when it’s 96 degrees out?  Certainly not I.  Although the thought of roasting a head of broccoli did cross my mind.  For a second or two.  And then it was back to reality.  Keep it simple, Sarah.

And so I did.

Somehow I came up with a pasta salad concoction. It was kind of the ideal way to go in such high temperatures.  Only a quick bout of heat was required, followed by an afternoon of chilling in the fridge. 

Chilled Pesto Pasta

  • 1 lb. wheat pasta, cooked, drained and rinsed (save some of the cooking liquid in case you need to thin out the pesto)
  • 1 batch of pesto (2 c. packed fresh basil leaves, 2 T. walnuts, 2 T. grated fresh parmesan, 2 garlic cloves, 3 T. olive oil, salt and pepper)
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • a few handfuls of green beans, ends removed (bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes until crisp/tender…then douse in chilled ice bath to stop the cooking)

Mix above ingredients.  Chill for at least 3-4 hrs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar on top and toss.  ENJOY! 😀

It actually came out really, really tasty!  It would be delicious topped with feta or goat cheese as well. 😀 

+ dessert!

I.  Am.  So.  Overheated.  I think I need to head to the basement with a snack and a book soon, just for a relief from this heat!

Question: Do you continue workouts as usual during a really hot spree, or do you change it according to the weather?  I definitely change it.  I’ll cut myself some slack and don’t work out as intensely or as long.  And working out in the morning or after dinner is the key for keeping me cool. 😀