Monday, June 27, 2011

Two Salads and Crazy Spin

Sunday Grilling
We had a great time with our friends playing around in the pool yesterday afternoon. They brought their 13-year old son plus tons of pool toys like beach balls and a blow-up basketball hoop. There was a nice breeze so it really wasn't overwhelmingly hot, despite the fact that it was close to 100 degrees. That's what pools are made for though right?

I had made Strawberry Salsa and Seitan cutlets first thing in the mornings to use for dinner. It was too nice out not to grill. I have been wanting to try to recreate a salad that our friends (the ones we visited in Florida) have made for me several times. It has green beans, potatoes, artichokes, and romaine lettuce. I think the dressing is a combo of Dijon, olive oil, and lemon juice, perhaps garlic. I decided to try to make my own grilled version.

Grilled Green Bean, Potato & Artichoke Salad
Ingredients:
Salad:
5-6 red new potatoes (depending on size), cubed
Fresh green beans, just to desired amount
1/2 can artichoke hearts, rough chop
Lettuce (I only had red leaf, romaine is ideal), rough chop

Dressing:
Dijon mustard
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Minced garlic
Salt and pepper


Directions:
In large bowl, whisk together all ingredients for dressing. Basically just to your desired taste preferences. Add in the artichokes, then set aside.

Grill new potatoes and green beans in veggie basket until done and toss into the dressing. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before adding in the lettuce. Toss again then serve.
 

I'll admit, this salad probably called for a different seitan sauce other than the salsa. But I just couldn't resist the strawberries when I was at the store and had to have them for dinner.

Monday Spin Day
Today I decided to hit spin class. Spin is probably not the wisest choice the day after a leg workout, but I don't always make the best decisions of course. Or maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment.

I will say that doing some sort of cardio really does help work out the kinks despite how torturous it feels at the present moment. I promise. Really. It does help. Plus, I really enjoy the atmosphere of the day spin class vs the evening class. Maybe people just haven't gotten super pissy just yet, but they're more fun. Laughter mid-day on a Monday is a very good thing.

Though today, I was in for a rude awakening. The instructor for the evening classes was teaching today. He's a big fan of low-ceilings/hovers. Ouch, ouch, ouch. 

Super Pasta Salad
I did really good on Sunday and tried to make out a meal plan for the week. It really does make dinner much more pleasant when you have a plan of attack. We had some asparagus that was on it's last dying leg that we had cleaned up and steamed on Saturday. Since it didn't make it's way to Sunday's menu, I put it on Monday's menu.

I decided to go with a veggie heavy pasta salad for dinner. It's hot, pasta salad is cold (or that's how I served it) so that's a perfect summer dinner in my book. I'm not really a big pasta eater anymore, but load it up with veggies and I'm good.

We have tons of fresh basil so I thought a Creamy Vegan Pesto would be a good dressing for the salad. I just cooked up about 5 oz of whole-wheat penne and tossed in steamed asparagus, squash and zucchini, red bell peppers, peas, sundried tomatoes (rehydrated), chickpeas, and artichokes then tossed it with the pesto. Super simple, super protein packed, super summery. 

Do you like pasta salads? I'm sort of wishy washy about them. Sometimes I love to have them for dinner, mostly because they can be a super fast meal. But they can feel heavy too. Or is that just me?

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Sweatfest (aka spin class) lunch break
  • Simple dinner eaten at the table (this is becoming a nice habit)
  • Having time to get dinner ready - not feeling rushed