Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Festivities

Since having Mister Matt, it feels like our free time is spent washing, drying and folding clothing, blankets and cloth diapers. :)

Mister Matt at 5 weeks old

In all seriousness, we are really enjoying our time as a family spent feeding, cuddling and learning. We have also found some time in between loads of laundry to attend a few family events including the family reunion of my father's side of the family, a couple birthday celebrations (Happy Birthday Melissa and Becky!), Father's Day with both Grandpas and the Fourth of July at BBDO.

At the Malcolm Family Reunion

As you know, no family celebration would be complete without food. The Summer is filled with backyard barbeques, parties, and celebrations. Unfortunately, many of these events include foods that are unclean, processed or filled with chemicals. So, how do we keep from compromising our ideals while still enjoying ourselves?

My dad grilling by the Pool during the 4th of July weekend

I recently wrote a blog post on Wellness Daily discussing my tactics for eating clean at Summer parties. Check out the post here.

My parents and I on a walk at Minneopa Falls

Apparently this topic is on everyone's minds lately because the day after I wrote the post for Wellness Daily, I received an Eat-Clean Diet newsletter addressing the very same topic. I hope that you enjoy my spin!

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    Summer Cravings

    When summer rolls around I crave giant Farmer's Market salads topped with canned tuna.

    Romaine and spinach topped with tuna, cucumbers, red peppers 
    and Annie's Light Raspberry Vinaigrette

    Unfortunately due to the mercury content, I cannot enjoy tuna every day. So, some days I swap out the tuna for canned wild caught salmon, grilled chicken, hummus or slivered almonds. Other days I simply accompany my salad with a vanilla or chocolate whey protein shake.

    Kale massaged with 1/2 avocado, EVOO, sea salt and lemon juice 
    topped with baby carrots, cucumbers, red peppers, salmon and balsamic vinegar

    Which summer foods do you crave?

    Saturday, July 10, 2010

    Cool Cucumber Salad

    The Farmer's Markets in our area are finally in full swing! Our growing season is significantly shorter than what many of you may experience where you live because I live in the Northern part of the midwest. During the spring months the farmer's markets are filled with produce from Central America (think pineapples, mango, etc.) then as the local crops mature the foreign produce is swapped out for genuine MN delights like lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, beans, and my favorite: cucumbers.

    When I see the first of these refreshing beauties I instantly think of the "refrigerator pickles" from my childhood. My family always enjoyed both a creamy and a simple vinegar version of these refreshingly Cool Cucumber Salads. Now, I am not referring to the cute little Kirby cucumbers that many of you use for canning and pickling or the delightful English cucumber. No... no... no... I am talking about the large, bright green, water-filled gems known as the North American slicing cucumber. 

    At last week's farmer's market I picked up a few perfectly shaped cucumbers and made this quick, simple and clean version of the refrigerator pickles from my childhood.

    Cool Cucumber Salad (aka Refrigerator Pickles)

    1/2 cup white vinegar
    2 tsp sucanat
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
    2 cucumbers, skin on and very thinly sliced
    1 small white onion, thinly sliced

    In a large bowl with a tight fitting lid, combine vinegar, sucanat, sea salt and dill until sucanat and sea salt are dissolved.

    Add cucumbers and white onion to the bowl and stir to evenly distribute cucumber and onion. Secure the lid onto the bowl and shake vigorously.

    Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving. Enjoy!

    For a creamy version of this recipe reduce white vinegar to 1/3 cup and add 3/4 cup plain nonfat or lowfat greek yogurt to the dressing before adding the cucumbers and onion.

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Recipe Nut

    Recipe Nut is a newly launched site for storing, organizing and sharing all of your favorite recipes into one common "Recipe Box".

    According to the site, Recipe Nut is Your Personal Recipe Box... It’s a one-of-kind website that allows you to personally collect and manage all of your recipes, even those you find on other websites. It’s also a community for those who are nuts about food and recipes. So it’s a super way for finding great recipes and sharing yours.

    Recipe Nut is a great resource for keeping track of recipes that you would like to try in addition to generating more interest in your own blog and/or recipes through the social media component. I tagged a handful of my Simply Clean recipes and plan to tag my favorite clean recipes from other blogs/websites. Login using facebook to begin sharing your recipes and let's try to fill Recipe Nut with fabulously delicious and nutritious clean foods!

    Here are a couple clean recipes that I found on Recipe Nut that I would love to try:
    Yogurt Almond Ice Cream
    Coconut Oatmeal
    Honeydew Kiwi Smoothie
    Arugula Pesto

    BTW, be sure to check out the adorable squirrel animation!