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Posts tagged “tomatoes

Best Salad Ever: Southwestern Asian with Green Curry Dressing

It’s 4:56 a.m. and I just made the best salad I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve been watching Chopped for years now, and must say, I’m a much better cook for it.

Here are the ingredients:

Salad:

Marinated skirt steak/cooked medium rare/cut into thin strips
Baby Spring Mix (greens) which include: green leaf, mizuna, green romaine, tango, green oak, green chard, baby spinach, arugula, frisee, tatsoi, mache, red chard, red leaf, lolla rosa, red romaine, red mustard, radicchio, red oak, and beet tops
Sliced scallions + white onion heads
Yellow corn
Portabella mushrooms/sliced
Red and yellow peppers/sliced
Dried cranberries
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Avocadoes/thickly sliced
Vine ripe tomatoes/quartered (6 small ones)
Fresh Gorgonzola cheese

Dressing

Vanilla yogurt (preferably, Greek)
Mayonnaise
Green Curry paste
Fresh lime juice
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper

Since I created this salad, there’s no actual name for it. I suppose I’ll call it a Southwestern, Asian salad, with green curry dressing. It’s unbelievably delicious with an abundance of freshness and various layers and depths of flavour.

After grilling the skirt steak (medium rare), I let it rest for about six minutes. That locks all of the juices in. I then broke apart the fresh portabella mushrooms- I like my food rustic. No measuring is necessary. (I eyeball everything and it’s always just the right amount.)

Start cooking the mushrooms over medium-high heat with extra virgin olive oil. Throw in the sliced scallions, along with the white onion heads. I like my scallions to be fairly large- in fact, everything is cut or broken up into liberal pieces. It’s prettier that way, and you can savor what you’re eating- it’s not all mangled up like a chopped salad.

Slice up some red and yellow peppers and throw them in with the mushrooms and onions- again, big, generous pieces of everything. Toss in some fresh, yellow corn and braise the veggies until they carmelize and get a good roasted colour on them. Slice up some vine ripe tomatoes, along with some avocadoes- mix them up with the greens. Add some dried cranberries along with some toasted pumpkin seeds. Add some fresh gorgonzola cheese. Next, mix some mayo up with vanilla yogurt- about 1/4th of a cup each. Add a squirt of lime juice, some kosher (or sea) salt, three teaspoons of green curry paste, and some cracked black pepper. Mix.

Mix it gently together, the salad with the dressing. Voila.
(This goes well with a toasted baguette, thinly slice, flash-fried in olive oil, finished off with fresh rosemary and cracked black pepper.)

We topped off our late night feast with a fresh Au Jus pear and a blood orange.

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Josh and I had tried to sleep earlier, but I was lying there thinking about food. I was going to snack on green grapes and fresh mozarella balls, but ended up making this salad on the fly instead. I can’t begin to describe how delicious it is: it’s all so juicy and fresh.

Is it really 5:27 a.m.?
Good grief. Time to hit the hay.
School is kicking my butt.

Au revoir…


Dragon’s Blood and Fueling Fire

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self portrait

I’ve given myself the challenge of losing 35 lbs. in 6 weeks: my deadline is Valentines Day. Can I do it? That will put me right at 130 lbs. at 5’6- a healthy, practical, obtainable, goal to not only reach, but maintain, which is the most important part.

I’m going to call on my former cross country and trak training. I ran for three years from ages 9-11, so I know about healthy body mechanics and warming up. I’m also an x- med student (3.9 GPA/Phi Theta Kappa) so I know about the anatomy from the inside out. 

I don’t want to lose weight to “be skinny”. Although I have the average dose of vanity I suppose (although I don’t “do makeup”) but still, I want to look good. That’s not my overall reason, however. I want to kick up my cardio and feed my heart the necessary oxygen it needs to fuel my organs. I want to strengthen my body from the inside out on a cellular level. Education is very important to me. This is why I studied Nutrition last semester in college, so that I could gather the foundation I need to build a good workout on. I’m going to pair the nutritional components with the physical ones so that I can lose weight and be healthy– not just “thinner”. 

I know some people who practically starve themselves- they drop the pounds- but they end up depriving their brains of the vital oxygen it needs to maintain homeostasis. Electrolyte balance as well as sodium and potassium exchanges need to be interchangeable regarding a healthy PH balance. Starving your body for prolonged periods is seriously just asking for a psychological breakdown- I would know a thing or two about that.

So tomorrow is my first day of the “lose 10 lbs. in 7 days” week. I realize that it’s neither healthy nor practical to do this weekly, but it’s necessary to give myself that push and confidence to keep going. It will also instill the discipline I need to follow through. As an X-trainer and runner, I learned strict discipline.

I was as skinny as a noodle as a child. We didn’t always have food (or running water for that matter) and I was exceedingly poor. Nobody in my family had ever joined any extra curricular activities after school, but I was naturally hyper and loved to run. I don’t remember how it started, but I signed up for cross country when I was 9. We learned all about stretching and body mechanics, and we ran for miles every day after school. 

I didn’t have a ride home, so after running miles at practice- I would wait until everybody left, and then I would run home. My house was about 6 miles from the school. This went on for many months until one day, my coach spotted me halfway home. He couldn’t believe that I was running home after running for miles already. I gratefully excepted a ride. He became my regular ride then. 

Although it was 34 years ago, I still have the fighting spirit that was carved into me- race by race- and implement what I’ve learned into my daily life. Tomorrow, on day 1 of “lose weight week”, I’m only allowed to eat fruit (no bananas allowed), and must drink at least 10 glasses of water. (I have a cup of grapefruit, 6 apples, and 6 tangerines ready to go.)

Today I fasted from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (after breakfast- which consisted of 1 cup of cherry vanilla yogurt and a cup of grapefruit, followed by my usual dose of “dragon’s blood” as I call it- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper mixed with 3 oz. of water). For supper, I made fried chicken, dinner rolls, and a salad made up of avocados, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow onions and sharp cheddar cheese. “The last supper”. 🙂

After supper, I hit the Gazelle Stryder for 10 minutes- hard- and have forbidden myself to eat after 10:00 p.m. This is a real sacrifice for me as I’m a midnight muncher. I’m prone to getting migraine headaches so this will be a challenge to lose weight while not triggering a migraine. It’s a bit of a tightrope walk.

I really am tired of feeling like I have a spare tire (as the saying goes), but at the same time, I want to be good to my body- not just “lose weight”. 

I would usually be munching on something at this time while watching the Food Network show (Alex Guarnaschelli is an Iron Chef now- go Alex! 🙂 but now I’m headed to the cabinet for my second dose of Dragon’s Blood, then headed to the shower. I even have a smile on my face. I’m pumped! (Talk to me in 7 days after a brutal week of rabbit food.) 

I’m a firm believer in drinking cayenne water. It burns like raw hell but MAN does it do wonders for the body! Here’s a small list of the glorious things cayenne does:

1.) kicks up the metabolism- bigtime
2.) cleanses the blood
3.) Increases and optimizes the body’s cirrculation
4.) equalizes blood pressure, so that many people no longer have to take blood pressure medicine after taking cayenne over time.
5.) Opens up the blood vessels in your head in such a way as to decrease migraines, if not eliminating them altogether.

I know I haven’t done a lot today to shape up, but the small steps I’ve taken have put me on the right track mentally, so that I can lose weight safely

I’ve also apologized to my tongue.
You heard me.
My tongue.

See, I’ve had this lifelong habit of biting my tongue and jaws until they bleed. I’ll rip off skin mercilessly, and right as it’s starting to heal, I’ll rip it off again. It’s a sick addiction and a vicious cycle. It’s no different than cutters, alcoholics, or a junkie who shoves a needle in his or her arm. I know that it’s a chemical thing within the brain. Somehow, I’ve confused pain for pleasure and so the wires are tripped in my “reward center”, kicking up the endorphins every time I rip off new flesh. Very nasty habit.

I figured that “getting healthy” means not ripping my bleeding flesh out of my mouth also, right? So, I apologized to my tongue.

I want to make a real effort to stop abusing my body in that way.

Nobody is “helpless”- that’s total crap. We just get lost sometimes. And then, to make matters worse, we’ll pity ourselves, then get good and pissed off when others won’t. 

Then bitterness sets in. And hatred. And envy. (And on and on and on.)

I’m taking a personal inventory- I simply have to change a few things about myself that I don’t like.

Starting…

 

now. 🙂