staying hungry : mango tilapia with watermelon feta salad

Let’s cut to the chase here:

You can probably skip the mango tilapia. It’s just parchment-paper baked tilapia with a dollop of mango butter, some parsley and scallions, and a few spices. Good in theory, not terribly exciting in reality.

What is terribly exciting, though, is the salad that accompanies it.

Oh my word. I honestly don’t want to eat anything else for the rest of the summer except for this salad.

I take that back. It’s almost nectarine season. And, hello, we’re right smack dab in the peak of ice cream season.

So, basically, I’ll be eating nectarines and ice cream and watermelon feta salad until the leaves start to change.

Amen.

The journey to this salad began with this pin, which I found in, like, January.

Tabbouleh with Watermelon: Watermelon replaces the traditional tomato in this Middle Eastern salad, giving it bursts of sweetness. Goat cheese, another new add-in, provides creamy contrast, Wholeliving.com #healthylunches

pinned here via here

Having to wait a whole 6 months for it to be seasonably appropriate to make was cruel and unusual punishment.

I made a mental note to make it as soon as the temperature rose above freezing (so, yesterday), and had intended to make it sometime in the next few weeks, but luckily Annie of Annie Eats was kind enough to take this salad to a new level of supremacy. When she posted a recipe last week using quinoa instead of barley I had no choice but to make it immediately if not sooner.

I made it as a side to the fish…but it totally stole the show. So much so that I made a big batch it all by itself for dinner one night this week.

People: make this. Immediately if not sooner.

Quinoa Salad with Watermelon and Feta

slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats

Serves 4 (hypothetically…)

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

For the dressing:
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. freshly lemon juice
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the salad:
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 cup watermelon, diced
3-4 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
3-4 tbsp. sliced scallions
Lemon zest, to taste

Directions:

Rinse and boil the quinoa (add about 1 and 1/2 cups water to quinoa and simmer for about 15 minutes, letting sit, covered, for 5 additional minutes to soak up remaining water). Whisk together the dressing and chop salad ingredients while the quinoa is boiling. I like to fluff the quinoa with a fork, add the dressing to the quinoa (once cooled slightly), and then add the salad ingredients to the quinoa. It’s best when served chilled.

Rating: 4.5/5. A small deduction for the fact that it’s only a summer dish and I’ll spend 9 months pining for it once September comes. Other than that, this one’s a home run!

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staying hungry : two protein-packed meals

As we chatted about on Tuesday, I’m currently channeling my inner body builder and doing P90x. Which means that protein is my new BFF.

I’ve been upping doses of the usual suspects: egg whites, greek yogurt, beans, and all things carnivorous, for starters. But these two meals have helped to mix things up a bit!

This bowl is kind of like a thick smoothie you can eat with a spoon. Which means it’s basically ice cream you can eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner. And who isn’t on board with that?! Here’s the basic rendition:

The Beginner Bowl:

  • 1 frozen banana, cut up into chunks
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • sliced fruit for toppings

This is so easy: put everything (minus the fruit) in the food processor and blend until smooth. Top with fruit and you’re good to go!

But really…if you want to have a good day…you want to make this one:

The Real Deal:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 Tbsp dark chocolate cocoa power (1 more gram of protein!)
  • 2 Tbsp powdered peanut butter (5 grams of protein!)
  • slice fruit for toppings

Same situation. Blend and enjoy!

Next on the list: quinoa! My lunch feels weird if there’s nothing green on my plate. I just really like vegetables, especially in the middle of the day. To up the protein quotient of my normal salad I made this savory quinoa to go along with it (if you’re feeling especially in need of protein you could add grilled chicken or fish, too!):

Lemon Balsamic Quinoa:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4-6 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook your quinoa as per usual. Once cooked, fluffed with a fork, and slightly cooled, add in the balsamic, lemon juice, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Add to your salad and enjoy!

Do you guys have any suggestions for protein powerhouses? I’m always looking for new ideas! Shout ’em out in the comments!

good things part III : DIY chocolate greek yogurt

Would you like a snack that tastes like dessert and has 0% fat and at least 15 grams of protein?
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Me too!

That’s why I created this:

DIY Chocolate Greek Yogurt

Ingredients:

  • 1 Container Greek Yogurt (I used 0% fat but feel free to go crazy and use 2%! I would have if I’d had it on hand!)
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp Toasted Walnuts
  • 1 tsp Honey

Directions:

Stir the yogurt and cocoa powder together until completely blended. Top with pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and honey. Enjoy!

(And yes, you can just buy flavored Greek yogurt. But it’s always filled with so much sugar! Even though this version is sweetened by honey I still feel better about it because the honey is a secondary ingredient, and one of only a few ingredients total. It’s so much better for you!)

beka stays hungry : salmon salad

Salmon and I have been BFF’s recently since I’ve been on the 10 Day Cleanse. We’re usually the type who gets together once a month or so, but this week, we’ve rekindled our relationship with daily bonding.

Case in point: this salad.

Untitled

Usually I wouldn’t put salmon/chicken/tuna/meat of any kind on top of a salad. It’s just not how I roll. But I’ve been trying to incorporate more protein into my meals so adding some leftover salmon to my salad seemed like an easy solution to that problem.

And it was delicious, too!

This was one of those whatevers-in-my-fridge salads. Here’s what’s in my fridge/in my salad:

  • Spinach and Arugula Mix
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Bell Peppers
  • Red Grapes
  • Carrots
  • Hummus
  • Salmon

Happy lunching, everyone!

(Also, if any of you guys get stuck trying to come up with new protein-packed lunch ideas too, check out these suggestions from Shakeology. The breakfast, dinner, and snack plans are great also!)

the dailies : 10.11.11

daily word: 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? – Matthew 6:25-27

daily sweat: Favorite workout day of the week! Cardio kickboxing/strength circuit/new to yoga class. Love it.

daily dish: Just my favorite dish today…and possibly ever.

1 frozen banana

3 Tbsp protein powder

1 Tbsp oats

1/4 cup milk

Blend in a food processor, top with blueberries, devour. SO GOOD.

*I took 18 pictures of this because I had it for breakfast and dinner…but NONE of them uploaded. Thanks for nothing, Android.

daily mile(s):

Day 32: the view from here

Day 33: you had me at hello

(I still think Denver was my favorite place of all on the trip (other than the obvious favorite, Green Bay. Duh.))

Day 34: in bloom

Day 35: expect the unexpected

(And I still love that sign.)

Day 36: i was ready for some football

(Different year, different time zone, different end result…same Sunday routine.)