I woke up to the sun shining today and the birds chirping… spring surely is here! What a beautiful day today was. It only hit about 51 degrees (according to my car), but the sun was endless and the skies were bright blue. After spending about an hour working this morning, I went to the gym and ran some final last minute Florida shopping errands (spent all of Saturday doing the same after a nice market trip and lunch with a friend). I say final because I don’t plan on going out and getting anything else… I don’t plan. I had my sunroof open, my shades on, and my music loud. Enjoying this spring day, for sure.
Get ready ya’ll, the summertime loving and food is coming from here on out until September when the brisk air returns and school starts up again. We had ELA testing last week and it is making me feel like school is almost over, which it is… only 50 school days left I believe. Woah! I’m feeling great though, I have one more unit to teach… astronomy. And then we’re reviewing, testing, and having some fun the last two weeks before school is out. Any fun ideas for astronomy – send them my way! First time teaching it and not sure what I want the big idea to be that will focus our learning.
So, for this week I have salads! Yes, salads. T-minus seven days until Florida, I am eating absolutely no processed foods or complex carbs (as in rice, bread, pasta, etc), drinking tons of water, continuing to hit the gym everyday, and drinking my smoothies for breakfast.
First, not a salad, I made some homemade nutella this afternoon after the gym to eat with my apple. Nutella is loaded with sugar and made with dairy milk so I haven’t eaten it in quite awhile. In college it was all I ate with bananas, apples, and pretzels with my friends. The chocolately smooth spread was to die for on almost anything. So, because I’ve been wanted to try making nut butters with my ninja storm and I was in the mood for chocolate, I decided to try some nutella.
I started with 1 cup hazelnuts (raw, from Trader Joes) and 1/4 cup cashews (these blend well into a fine powder so I thought it would help with smoothness). I blended for about 3 minutes, scrapping down the sides of my processor. Then I added a tsp of honey and about 3 tsps of dutch cocoa powder and a dribble of almond milk. Pulsed for another minute or two and added more almond milk (adding up to about 1/3 cup I’d say).
It came out kind of chunky but super chocolately and delicious. I think next time I need to pulse dry for longer to get the nut oils out more – which is what you would do with a peanut butter.
Yesterday at the market I stopped by my favorite farm stand where I buy eggs sometimes and vegetables every time I go. The family had zucchinis which made me really excited! The garden season is upon us! I bought two large zucchinis for $2 and then two GIGANTIC sweet potatoes also for $2.
Picture doesn’t do it justice… so here’s me hold one in my hand, gigantic.
I knew I wanted to do a pasta with the zucchini and thought of trying it with the sweet potato. So, that brings me to the salads. First, a new one that I am SO glad I stumbled upon on pinterest.
Zucchini pasta salad tossed in avocado cream sauce. I followed the recipe exact except for adding 1/4 cup of cashews in my avocado cream. This was so easy to make and the flavors and texture, everything just melts in your mouth with this fantastic feeling and savory delight-fulness! You start by making the zucchini pasta. Now the recipe explains to spiral the zucchini, but I’m not rich and fancy so I don’t own those fancy tools. Instead, I just use a vegetable peeler. This is what you end up getting.
And the leftover zucchini… (I added this into my asian cabbage stirfry… read on)
Then you dice up some tomatoes and cucumbers and toss it all with the avocado cream sauce and fresh ground black pepper.
I took one taste and I was hooked. I poured it into a dish — decided to take it into work tomorrow for my friends to try (I know they’ll love it, and I don’t think this is one that can sit for days in the fridge and still taste so fresh).
And shamelessly ate the rest with my hands out of the mixing bowl. Oh yeah, I did it.
This for sure is going to be my new summertime jam! It will go oh so well with some spiked iced tea and a wedge of lemon. Oh, and cantaloupe! Thanks to my sister growing up, cantaloupe is one of my favorites – especially in the summer. So giddy I can barely sit still!
So, for the sweet potatoes… I didn’t use the two that I bought yesterday because I already had some that I had forgotten about. So, I roasted them with asparagus and broccoli. I tried something new here — usually I just roast the vegetables plain, sometimes I add herbs, sometimes I use coconut oil. This time I decided to roast them in a balsamic Sriracha sauce. I just mixed the two liquids up in a dish with some melted coconut oil and tossed the vegetables in it before roasting. Then in the last 5 minutes of roasting I added some dried cranberries.
I’m looking forward to these vegetables tossed with some goat cheese for salads this week at work.
Lastly, not technically a salad, a stir fry. For dinners this week at home… my favorite cabbage stirfry that I’ve been making forever. Added some new vegetables this time than normal… zucchini (left over from pasta making) and bok choy (so surprised I didn’t do this before). As always, just chop up the vegetables and saute them in aminos liquid and Sriracha, then add water and cabbage and steam together. This is always a go-to for me when I’m trying to cut back on complex carb intake.
So, with the sweet potatoes… I’ll probably just roast them whole and use them in different things. For breakfast with nuts and almond milk. For dinner, just plain with other veggies (still have more asparagus and broccoli and mushrooms). And the last zucchini… I’m thinking of making a zucchini bread for my crew boys (I won’t eat any… don’t you worry!) for Friday.
Feeling great! Life is good! Florida in a week, yipe! Stay healthy ya’ll. Next Sunday (hoping that I get a chance to blog before leaving) will be all about traveling as a nutritarian. How to prepare, what to eat out and at the hotel… thank god there’s a whole foods near by my resort.