summer

Simple DELICIOUS Summer Side Dish

So simple in fact, you don’t need a recipe.

And just in time for your July 4th weekend festivities!

Who doesn’t love a caprese salad?  Am I right?  Super ripe, sweet, LOCAL summer tomatoes with slices of salty mozzarella and ribbons of crisp, fresh basil.  Splash on some good olive oil, maybe some balsamic and BOOM.

I LOVE THIS.

But when serving a crowd (which I do more in the summer when everyone can spread out outside) I like to serve up a chopped caprese with a twist. I add bread to put a little panzanella spin on the salad and spinach so it packs even more of a nutritional punch. Pine nuts give added crunch and texture-which to me is what takes a salad from boring to bright and something people will go back for seconds and thirds!

There is no need to measure, just add what you like in whatever amount. Here’s what you need:

  • Local cherry tomatoes, the more color variation the better. Slice in half.
  • Fresh buffalo mozzarella or burrata cheese. I will be using creamy burrata because it is INSANE. Tear into bitesize pieces.
  • Basil leaves. Either tear into pieces or slice into ribbons.
  • Organic spinach. Same as with the basil, tear or slice for easy eating.
  • Toasted pine nuts or any sort of nut you like.
  • Local, fresh bread from Lorraine’s if you live in Lynchburg or any other clean, whole wheat bread torn into bitesize pieces. Toss with olive oil and toast until lightly browned in the oven.

Put all of your ingredients into a large bowl and drizzle with GOOD, fruity olive oil and a little balsamic if you like. Dash generously with salt and pepper and serve immediately!

Voila!

Happy holiday weekend y’all!

rachel signature

How to Keep It Clean on Vacation

Summer (aka Open Season for Rosé) is upon us; long beach days with seafood and drawn butter, naps instead of workouts, Chardonnay instead of smoothies, sunning instead of swimming, tan lines instead of TRX, the list goes on. It’s part of what we all love about summer right?  Kids are out of school, alarms don’t have to be set, life is slower. But that doesn’t mean we want to undo all of our hard work; after all it’s also bikini season.

I have a few ideas to help us all stay on track this summer.  Let me know if you have any for me to add to the list!

  1. HYDRATE– Like for real, y’all.  I cannot explain to you how much better I feel when I drink TONS of water. Throw in some cucumbers or citrus for added hydration and flavor. Note: seltzer, la croix, iced tea…these are NOT replacements for the real deal h20.  So make sure you have water in you and on you always.
  2. Exercise– I know, I know. You’re on VACATION. But I always feel SO much better when I start every day, even vacation days with some sort of sweat session. Mix it up this summer.  If you’re in a new city, try a new studio or workout. If you’re at the beach, go for a run, swim in the ocean, standup paddle board or give surfing a try. Go on a hike, walk, or just hit the gym for a bit everyday and you will thank me (especially when you’re DONE and those endorphins are flowing!)
  3. Stick to Your Healthy Routine– I needed to remember this on a recent six day trip with my husband. I came home feeling so sluggish and couldn’t understand why. I slept a lot (no baby!), ate well, and exercised regularly. I thought about it later and it must be because I broke from my usual healthy morning routine and my body got a little out of whack wondering what was going on. I start every morning with a TON of liquids. I chase a shot of chlorella and coconut water with warm lemon water mixed with cayenne and turmeric. This is followed by a big glass of ice water, hot green and dandelion tea with Vital Proteins collagen, and finally, a green smoothie with Apple Cider Vinegar.  Well, I didn’t have ANY of these on my trip and started each day with bottled water and the buffet at our resort…not my smartest move. So my advice is if you have some healthy, daily routines and rituals, bring them with you on vacation.
  4. Drink with Caution– It’s vacay, duh, you’re going to want to booze a little (lot).  But be smart about it.  Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiris look so good whizzing by your pool chair on a silver platter BUT DON’T DO IT. They are full of sugar, chemicals AND alcohol and loaded with tons of crap and calories. Opt for your liquor of choice mixed with ice water and fresh citrus (detox!) or a white wine spritzer (half wine, half sparkling water). Also see rule 1, HYDRATE while you booze.
  5. Eat What’s Fresh– This is a good rule of thumb for every day life but especially on vacation.  We were in Turks and Caicos where the local delicacy is conch. Sure, you can get it fried but we chose to have conch ceviche everyday. Loaded with veggies, citrus, and conch, it was cold and refreshing and super healthy.
  6. Wear Sunscreen– I had to throw this in there. Y’all.  WEAR SUNSCREEN.  That is all.
  7. Jump right back into your fitness and clean eating routine when you get home. I used to think I needed (deserved) a day or two to ease back into the crazy of life after a vacation. Maybe that meant ordering pizza the night after we return. NO! Try to get back to “the real world” and head straight to the grocery store or farmer’s market and stock up on your healthy essentials so you have no excuses!

I only nag you because I love you!  <——-I say this to my husband, what a lucky guy!

Photo:ammothedachshund.com

Happy Summer and thanks for all the love!

xo

rachel signature

A CLEAN COCKTAIL……A FRESH PRESSED WATERMELON MARTINI

Watermelon Martini blog

We live in the south and it is loaded with watermelon farmers, it’s steamy hot, and we are in need of some serious hydration, not too mention July is National Watermelon Month……   So it’s time to whip up this clean summer cocktail and chill. Not only does it taste delicious but watermelon is loaded with many healing properties. (maybe not as much when the vodka is added….but still, we cannot be perfect)

FIVE FUN FACTS ABOUT WATERMELON:

  • IT’S MADE OF 91% WATER SO IT IS SUPER HYDRATING
  • WATERMELON HAS MORE LYCOPENE THAN RAW TOMATOES (a powerful anti-oxident)
  • WATERMELON JUICE MAY RELIEVE MUSCLE SORENESS (watermelon contains l-citrulline, an amino acid that seems to protect against muscle pain.
  • WATERMELON IS A FRUIT AND A VEGETABLE (it is related to the cucumber, pumpkin and squash family and a clue that it is both a fruit and veggie is the rind is entirely edible and it is a seed producing plant)
  • SOME WATERMELONS ARE YELLOW (the yellow crimson watermelon has a honey flavor is slightly sweeter)

Watermelon martini toast

So whip up a batch of this summer treat and enjoy! It’s even delish without the alcohol. Just replace the vodka with nothing or add a cup of sparkling water for a bubbly kick!

A CLEAN COCKTAIL......A FRESH PRESSED WATERMELON MARTINI
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Half of a watermelon (4 cups of juice)
  • ¼ cup organic lime juice (more or less to taste)
  • 4 shots organic vodka
  • 6 mint sprigs
Instructions
  1. Juice a ½ of watermelon. If you don't have a juicer that is fine, the martini will just be thicker.
  2. Put watermelon juice in blender.
  3. Add lime juice.
  4. Add vodka.
  5. Blend for 20 seconds.
  6. Put in martini shaker with lots of ice and shake like a crazy person.
  7. Pour in a martini glass and top with fresh sprig of mint.
  8. Smile....a lot.

Happy Summer, XOXOXO

tiffany tatom

 

 

Spring Onion Hummus

I LOVE HUMMUS.  Literally any kind with any sort of dippers.  If it is on a menu somewhere, I order it.  If I have chick peas and tahini, I’m making it. For this recipe I added another favorite, spring onions.  They add a mild kick to dishes without being too onion-y. spring onion hummus

Sure there are tons of different brands to buy at the grocery store but why buy something prepackaged with often weird, gross ingredients when you could make your own and control exactly what is going into your body?!  Did I mention this recipe takes about eight minutes total to prepare?  Just do it.

Spring Onion Hummus
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Ingredients
  • 2- 15 ounce cans of organic garbanzo beans
  • ¼ cup of spring (green) onions
  • 2T EVOO
  • 1t tahini (I don't care for a lot of this sesame seed paste, add as much as you like)
  • Juice of ¼ lemon
  • About 10 shakes of hungarian paprika
  • Siracha
  • S&P to taste
Instructions
  1. Drain garbanzo beans and throw into vitamix or powerful blender.
  2. Add all other ingredients, being careful not to add too much salt or siracha (you can add more later). Blend until smooth, adding water to get the consistency you prefer.
  3. Scoop into a serving container and serve with celery, cucumbers, pita chips, olives with lemons on the side.

If spring onions aren’t your style, play around with this recipe.  Add garlic, more hot sauce, throw in some spinach, whatever.  And then tell me what you did so I can make that next time!

xo,

rachel signature

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