It definitely feels like spring here in Houston, and I am so excited to start adding our family favorite Summer Salad back into the dinner rotation. I will definitely miss the Brussels sprouts and root vegetables of fall harvest salads, but having colorful fruit, feta and light dressings on my greens makes me ever happier.
I’m including the ingredients that we use to make our favorite salad below. All of these nutritious items are packed with antioxidants, which are molecules used by your body to fight against disease causing radicals. Studies show that people who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have fewer diseases, so they’re on our plates at both lunch and dinner (except Isla’s, because she is currently a carbarian).
I will either buy these ingredients when I’m at the grocery store, or get this salad (typically to-go) from Salata, because it is just so easy. Per the Salata portions, the salad has 345 calories (including feta, excluding a dressing) – and it’s huge!
After Meredith (Owner of Cake & Confetti) whipped up a delicious (and rather stiff!) Texas cocktail for 5 O’Clock Fashionistas last week (which I photographed), we thought… why not make this a weekly thing? Genius, right? Ha. Instead of bringing you a typical bar cocktail, which includes ten or more fancy ingredients and is loaded with calories, Meredith had the genius idea of having a low-calorie cocktail series made with four or less ingredients. I obviously loved the idea!
So the first cocktail in the series is a Strawberry Hibiscus Hard Lemonade made with kombucha, lemon vodka and lemon juice. It is delicious. I literally slurped it down in a matter of minutes (I think Meredith added less vodka in my drink because I’m a baby!). It’s so light and refreshing, and perfect for a hot summer day.
It has been far too long since I baked anything, as I went a litttttle crazy after Mara gave me this raw vegan cookbook for Christmas (it’s amazing, and I highly recommend you buy it!). After making delicious treats almost every other day, I think Sasha and I both needed a cleanse from pitted dates (essentials in raw ‘baking,’ and also one of my favorite foods on the planet).
After shooting Meredith’s cocktail last week, I remembered how much fun I have doing recipe posts and so decided to play around in the kitchen to create a delicious healthy chocolate cupcake. After a few (ahem) failed attempts, I have created a delicious and fudgy cake that tastes delicious even without the vegan cream cheese icing (but it’s definitely a yummy bonus).
As soon as the cupcakes had cooled from the oven, I let Isla taste test the first one. She literally smooshed it into her mouth in order to eat it quicker (and I had to squat Belle away, as she kept trying to get a bite). Then Isla stood with her hands on the kitchen cabinets and said, “Mowwwwww” (her attempt at “More”). Then Sasha got home and ate about five. So needless to say, they’re tasty – and easy to make! If the photos tickle your fancy, then give them a try and make sure to let me know if you love them!
As I mentioned on Monday, we’re doing a health food cleanse right now, which involves lots of all-natural foods (i.e. no chemicals, preservatives), fresh juices and oodles of water. The last item on that list is the toughest for me. I wish more than anything I was one of those people who happily drank a gallon of water a day, but I’m not. Give me a gallon worth of La Croix though, and I’d down it quickly.
In order to drink lots of water, I typically flavor it with fruit. While we were in St. Petersburg in May, we drank tons of fruit-infused lemonades (they were on all the cool restaurant’s menus!) – see a photo here. I imagine there was quite a bit of sugar in the drinks, but I decided there didn’t need to be, as fruit is so sweet naturally.
At the first signs of summer, I immediately start adding berries and watermelon to our dinner salads. Sasha and I even have an inside joke about it, as he will ask every single day what we’re going to be eating that evening, knowing that the answer will be “summer salad.”
Our meal times tend to involve a big bowl of vegetarian salad, and then Sasha will add meat to his and Isla’s dishes. In order to keep things interesting, I try to vary up my “summer salads,” so that we’re not eating the same thing day in and day out (although, as a creature of habit, I wouldn’t mind it!).
Three delicious summery salad combinations include:
- Berry-Balsamic Salad: combine fresh spinach with blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, almonds and feta and top with my favorite dressing: balsamic vinaigrette.
- Spicy-Sweet Tropical Salad: a lettuce blend topped with mango, pineapple, red onion, green pepper, jalapeno and pumpkin seeds, finished off with mango dressing.
- Mediterranean-Inspired Summer Salad: combine watermelon, cucumber, radish, feta, chickpeas and falafel with a bed of kale and drizzle with lemon vinaigrette dressing.