Staying fit and healthy is some serious work. It’s a sacrifice I’m learning I have an incredible difficult time with. It’s not an easy job if you’re not naturally blessed with “thin” genes. I have a propensity for thickness. I’m short. Very short. That also creates a host of pressures. I have to stay in shape. It’s essential for my happy mental health. Extra pounds stress me out. Not to mention are actually “heavy” to carry around! This journey to staying fit is a life-long fete. It doesn’t stop. Ever. And since I cook for a living, my challenge to eat healthy, lean, clean, and consciously, is intensified. My bad (or really good, good, good!) days outweigh my smart ones (not necessarily good, you know!) But I’m always committed to mastering the task of staying the course. To respecting my body the way only I really can. To respect food and eat as best I can.
But we all break. And after 13 solid days of that amazing green smoothie cleanse, I successfully completed, I went all in, being completely merciless, and attacked the juiciest burger my eyes have soon in a glutonnous eternity. You can see that massive craft burger on my Instagram.
Allowing one break down of that nature means an even more dedicated mission to reverse the fatty affects of hot buns, fatty meat patties, and oozy cheese.
The problem becomes when my part time nutritionist and virtual trainer tells me I need to stick to salads for at least one month if I want to see some enjoyable results. That’s completely unfathomable. Unless of course, they look like this one here I came up with while desperate for something to chew. In my best attempt to eat clean at every day, with at least one salad, I’ve been playing around with different mixtures. Salads are easy, but they have to be flexible. They have to have lots of texture and attractive color. They have to speak to me.
And this one did just that.
It was another moment of poetic justice in my journey to embracing a greener life.
Dried fruits always make eating salads easy. But an added touch of sweet crunch makes them incredibly appealing, easing their way into top lunch and dinner options when time is limited and the belly is hungry.
And we all know how glorious a dirty-looking, smelly cheese does to a modest heart. It makes it flutter and forget all woes.
No longer is a bowl of leafy greens such a chore.
So to you it make look like an average salad. And, look, I won’t lie. It’s not complicated or by any stretch, a genius creation. It’s just that good. Real, real good.
And what you don’t see on here or really can’t appreciate, is that drizzle of a dressing!
I never dress my salads with mainstream brands. I use them mostly to season proteins. They’re great for that. Mostly, oil and vinegar will do the job. A squeeze of lime works well, too.
When you allow yourself to let loose and explore territory you’re not too keen on, you can do yourself a favor of new found love.
With a bit of orange marmalade in hand, olive oil, and honey balsamic vinegar… I ignited a slightly dormant creative plug. The result was a tangy, yet sweet and rustically smooth liquid icing.
It fully completed an already delicious salad that could stand alone with a balsamic vinegar spritz.
But why short yourself when the tastebuds are crying to be tantalized.
I’m on a salad kick. I’ve a few more to share with you this month. You’ll fall in love with salads again. Sure, I’m talking to the ones having an equally hard time eating the requisite amount of leaves, but you’ll be excited once you try this one. It’ll take you less than 15 minutes! That’s fifteen minutes closer to a healthier, cleaner you!
Oh, there’s a secret ingredient in there. Read on below!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.
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Candied Pecan and Blue Cheese Pear Salad
- 4 handfuls of fresh baby spinach
- 4 handfuls of fresh mixed greens
- 1 large red anjous pear, chunked
- 1 cup large dried cherries
- 1 cup candied pecans ( I made mine but will share recipe next week; you can buy at any local grocer)
- 3/4 cup gorgonzola cheese
- squeeze from one medium blood orange
Toss all ingredients together. Squeeze blood orange juice over top. Dress with marmalade dressing
- 3 Tbsp. orange marmalade
- 2 Tbsp. brown spicy mustard
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic honey vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp. juice from fresh lemon
- pinch of salt
In small nonstick pot, warm marmalade until it thins out. Stir in mustard, and vinegars. Add salt. On low heat, stir with wooden spoon until mixture is well-blended for about 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes at room temperature. Stir in olive oil. Stir in lemon juice. Stir well. Let cool and temper fully.
Makes 1 cup.