Watermelon & Feta Salad, SRC June

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Hi friends!

I can’t wait to share today’s recipe with you- it’s delicious, healthy, and full of juicy summer flavor.  I just love a watermelon salad!

The recipe today comes from another talented blogger, “The Tasty Gardener“, my pairing for this month’s Secret Recipe Club.  The Secret Recipe Club is a really cool group I joined a little while back.  Every month, we are assigned a new blogger.  We get to pick ANY recipe that blogger has written about and cook it up ourselves.  We can make adjustments according to our tastes too.  All of the bloggers post their results on the same day and we all get to see who had who and more importantly, what delicious dishes were made!

Watermelon & Feta Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups Spring Mix Lettuce

1 cup Watermelon, chopped into small chunks

1/4 cup Reduced Fat Feta Cheese, chopped or crumbled

2 slices Sweet Onion, chopped

1/4 Red Bell Pepper, chopped

Mint Leaves

Cilantro Leaves

Olives, Sunflower Seeds, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Place lettuce in a bowl or tupperware container.  Add chopped ingredients and top with mint and cilantro.  Add with other salad toppings such as sunflower seeds and olives and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add 1-2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar and ENJOY!

Recipe adapted from:  The Tasty Gardener

The original recipe was more like a side salad, but I wanted to turn that recipe into a lunch appropriate salad with fresh lettuce and more veggies.  The flavors are just fantastic and the juicy watermelon is such a nice addition to my lunchtime salad.  It gives not only a sweetness but a crunchy texture bursting with flavor.  I loved it!

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Now take a moment to check out these other fab recipes from this month’s SRC Reveal:

Bobby’s Red Sangria

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Our wedding is in 103 days.  OMG!  Can you believe it?!

This past weekend, I was showered with lots of love and amazing presents at my bridal shower.  It was so much fun!  I was able to be joined by all of my bridesmaids, lots of friends and family, and had a wonderful time.  (there was lots of good food too of course!)

Since the shower is really for the gals… Dave and I decided to have a really fun night out before the shower with all of our friends.  We decided to go to our absolute favorite restaurant in Philly- which happens to be a BYO.  I made an awesome Sangria recipe (my first!) and wanted to share it with you today.  It was delish!

Dave and I at our dinner :)

Dave and I at our dinner :)

Bobby’s Red Sangria

Ingredients:

2 bottles Spanish Red Table Wine

1 cup Apricot Brandy (or other)

1/2 cup Triple Sec

1/2 cup Raspberry Liquor (I used Framboise)

1 cup Orange Juice

1 cup Pomegranate Juice

3/4 cup Simple Syrup, or more to taste (equal parts sugar and water, heated until sugar dissolves, cooled)

Orange slices, Apple slices, Blackberries, One Cinnamon Stick

Directions:

1.  Mix the brandy, triple sec, and raspberry liquor in a large pitcher.  Cut half of the fruit and add to the boozy mixture.  Add juices and simple syrup.  Add the two bottles of wine and seal the container.  Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving.  

2.  Before serving, remove the old fruit and cinnamon stick and add the remaining chopped fruit.  
Recipe adapted from:  Bobby Flay’s Red Wine Sangria

This is the wine I used

This is the wine I used

Lots of booze, ready to rock and roll!

Lots of booze, ready to rock and roll!

I was confident that I couldn’t go wrong with a Bobby Flay recipe and started there.  With a few suggestions from friends, I added the raspberry and cinnamon which worked out great.  A great piece of advice is that the Sangria gets better with time… don’t try it right away and expect it to be good!  It has to sit with the fruit for a good amount of time before it is just right.  ENJOY!

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Green Sunrise Smoothie

 

 

Green Sunrise Smoothie

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So, I know I promised that the next time I tried to do a green drank, I’d be brave and use Kale instead of Spinach… but this recipe just sounded too good to ruin!  I’m sorry!  I lied.  But it’s okay because now I have another awesome spinach smoothie recipe for you that is SO YUMMY.  I promise.  I actually think this is my favorite one.  Thank you, Rachael Ray!

And I guess I should warn you…

If you’re all like WHOA what is up with the super healthy green smoothie?!  I should definitely tell you that as of MONDAY, Dave and I are starting our back to healthy eating habits/lifestyle.  We had a few months off track and now we’re back on!  I made this yummy smoothie for us for breakfast and it will definitely be in our rotation.

Green Sunrise Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (fresh or frozen) Mango Chunks 
  • 1 Cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 3/4 cup Apple Juice (I used organic, no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup (packed) Baby Spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Mint Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice (I used 1 packet True Lemon)

Directions:

1.  Put ingredients in a blender and blend for two minutes until everything is combined.

Slightly adapted from Rachael Ray

Trader Joe's frozen fruit is my favorite.  It's so cheap too!

Trader Joe’s frozen fruit is my favorite. It’s so cheap too!

This stuff is awesome.  Dave's Mom introduced me to it years ago.. it's great to have in the pantry!

This stuff is awesome. Dave’s Mom introduced me to it years ago.. it’s great to have in the pantry!

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Avocado Smoothie : BA Cleanse 2014

Anyone who isn’t living under a rock probably knows all about how the East Coast got slammed with another snow storm this week.  Dave, the doggies, and I got snowed in for two days!  Snow days just aren’t as fun as they used to be- both of us had to work :(

I just had to do something to warm us up and remind us of the summer.  For our snack, I decided to make this awesome smoothie that I had tried during our Food Lover’s Cleanse.  This avocado smoothie is light and refreshing, and I loved using Coconut Water instead of milk or yogurt.  It might sound weird, but try it!  It’s delish and even dairy free!

Avocado Smoothie

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 ripe Avocado

2 cups Coconut Water (original, not flavored or sweetened)

1-2 teaspoons Agave Syrup

2 teaspoons Fresh Lime Juice 

Directions:

1.  Combine ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.  Add extra lime juice to taste.

Recipe from:  Bon Appetit

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Try some of my other smoothie recipes!

Kiwi-Strawberry-Mango Smoothie

Kiwi-Strawberry-Mango Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Tropical Green Smoothie

Tropical Green Smoothie

 

 

 

Tropical Green Smoothie

I’m new to this whole “green” obsession.  The green drinks, smoothies, Kale chips, etc.  I just can’t fully commit to it.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love green veggies but I just can’t get myself to remember to put kale in my smoothies or my zucchini in my brownies.  It just isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when I’m thinking with my sweet tooth.

It's not easy being green!

It’s not easy being green!

In my second or third attempt to jump on this green bandwagon, I made Dave and I smoothies for breakfast and finished them off with a pop of green.  And as it turns out, a little green will do the trick.  (It’s so pretty too!)  This one even got the good ol’ Dave Stamp of Approval so we might have to make this one a habit.

Tropical Green Smoothie

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 6oz contanier of Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt

1-2 Cups Spinach

1/2-1 Banana 

1 cup Frozen Peaches

1/2 cup  Frozen Mango Chunks

1/4 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

1 Tablespoon Ground Flax (optional)

Directions:  Place everything in a blender and let it whirl until smooth.  Garnish with some fresh peach if you’d like!

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Tropical Green Smoothie

My blender tends to get gunked up pretty often so if that happens, take a rubber scraper and try to mix it around.  Add more almond milk if it’s looking too thick.  The best part of it all is that your don’t taste any “green”!  The spinach flavor is completely covered by the sweet and tangy peaches and mango.  This smoothie is sweet, delicious, and packed with nutrients!

You could even be braver than I am and try this recipe with Kale?

 

 

Mango Guacamole

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!!!!!!!  

I’m pretty much just excited to get free Rita’s Water Ice and see the sunshine.  Where did they ever get the idea “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”?!?!  I feel like it’s quite the opposite, but then again maybe that’s the point.

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Feeling very Spring-gy today, I wanted to share this great Guac recipe for you that I tried out… it has MANGO in it!!!!!  The mango is awesome in Guac since it gives it a great color and the sweetness and the spicy work so well together.

Sweet & Spicy are my all-time fav combination.  For sure.

Mango Guacamole

Ingredients:

3 Ripe Avocadoes (How to Cut an Avocado), cut into cubes

¼ Cup finely diced Onion 

1 Mango, peeled & diced

1 Jalapeno, seeded & finely diced

1 teaspoon minced Garlic

1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 teaspoon Salt

1 Tablespoon Cilantro 

½ teaspoon Lime Juice

½ teaspoon Lemon Juice

Directions:

You don’t even need to measure anything in this recipe… just stir it all together and make changes when you taste it.  The avocado will mush more when you add the citrus juice, but try not to mash it since it’s good to keep some of the pieces in there.

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YUMMY!  I haven’t been very adventurous when making Guac since my normal stuff is just so darn good!  I’m glad I got to try this version… it was especially delicious along with this breakfast I made with Eggs, Corn Tortillas, Beans, & Tomatoes.  Try it with tortilla chips or I imagine it would be super perfect on fish tacos!

To make your first day of Spring even BRIGHTER, check out some pictures of these adorable BABY ZOO ANIMALS!  I love them!!

… and check out these other fruity recipes :)

Blueberry Oatmeal in a Mug

Blueberry Oatmeal in a Mug

Kiwi-Strawberry-Mango Smoothie

Kiwi-Strawberry-Mango Smoothie

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (Eva Longoria's Recipe!)

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (Eva Longoria’s Recipe!)

Greek Yogurt Breakfast

I am soooo stuck right now.  I need to lose 5 more pounds to be at my goal weight.  UGHHH!  I was supposed to be at my goal for Halloween.  Okay, that’s so not happening.

Re-joining Weight Watchers might be in my near future… but before I go back to keeping track and obsessive counting, I wanted to give myself one last try at doing this on my own.

Last Thursday, I went to see “John the Dietitian” for some advice.  The first thing he suggested to me was to change up my breakfast.  I got super comfortable ditching my old Fiber One Oats & Chocolate (ugh but they’re soooooooooo good) bars for Kashi Go Lean Cereal… also suggested by John at the beginning of the summer.  Well, that’s the problem… I’ve been eating Kashi cereal every single day during the week since JUNE!  It’s time for a change.

John suggested this recipe to me using Greek Yogurt and i am LOVING it.  I have eaten this for breakfast three times now, and every single time I am left feeling completely satisfied, stuffed, and even better, I don’t get hungry for HOURS.

Greek Yogurt Breakfast

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt 

1 Banana, cut into slices

2 Tablespoons Frozen Berries 

1 Tablespoon Ground Flax

1 Tablespoon Fig Butter (Trader Joe’s)

1 heaping Tablespoon Chopped Walnuts

Directions:

Put it all together in a tupperware container and bring to work.  Enjoy.

A few side notes about this one:  

1.  It’s absolutely delicious despite being ugly

2.  If you’re going to make this the night before, frozen fruit works great.  It will thaw out overnight and also as it melts, it will make it a little extra juicy!  If you’re going to eat it right away, use normal fresh fruit.

3.  I use 3/4 cup of FF Plain Greek Yogurt because the full serving size of 1 Cup ends up being SO MUCH food.  I do actually measure this out I just plop a few giant spoonfuls in the cup measure and don’t fill it up all the way.

4.  I’ve talked about the Fig Butter from TJ’s before, and I’m sure this won’t be the last time either.  It’s freakin’ amazing stuff.  Try it out!  If you don’t have it or like it or suck and won’t even try it… use a Tablespoon of Polaner’s All Fruit Jelly!  This will mix into the yogurt really well and sweeten it up a bit without being overly sugary.

I told you… not pretty!

 

As for my new breakfast helping my diet, we will find out soon enough!  I have been “bad” on the past few weekends which of course things like this:

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… doesn’t help.  I really need to buckle down and lose these last 5 pounds!  No one ask me out to dinner…. lol.

More of John’s suggestions and foods in my new work-day diet to come soon!