GRAPEFRUIT AND AVOCADO SALAD WITH SEARED SALMON 

How’s this for summer deliciousness??? Packed with nutrients–a must try!!

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1 large grapefruit

2 large bunches arugula, stems removed (10 cups)

1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

Cooking spray

3 (5-ounce) wild salmon fillets (skin on)

¼ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

directions

Peel and segment grapefruit with a sharp knife on a cutting board; reserve juice in a bowl. Toss grapefruit segments and juices with arugula and avocado; divide salad among 4 serving plates. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Sprinkle remaining salt and pepper over both sides of salmon. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add fish (skin-side down) to skillet, and cook until skin is golden and fish releases easily from pan (about 4 minutes). Using a spatula, gently flip fish and cook about 3 minutes more. Break each fillet into 4 pieces; top salads with 3 pieces fish. Drizzle salads with reserved dressing; sprinkle with walnuts.

 (recipe found on http://www.health.com/health/recipe)

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CORONAVIRUS: SPREAD THE JOY

The other day, while enjoying a bike ride, I stopped at gas station to buy a bottle of water. I shuffled into the mini-mart wearing full bike gear and a soggy mask.  On the way to the refrigerated section, I passed a big, burly man and mumbled a quick “hello” from under my mask.  Surprisingly, he boomed back to me, “YOU BE SAFE OUT THERE!”

The stranger’s comment made my day—it was lovely and unexpected.  When I went to _107317680_peopletalkingintheparkcheck-out, I took the time to ask the cashier, how he was doing. He looked a bit startled, but a short conversation ensued. He told me he was finally getting used to wearing a mask.

Of course, when I walked away, I was secretly hoping that he felt the way that I did. Maybe, just maybe, he, too, would take the time to say something nice to the next person he encountered? (Feel free to roll your eyes at my undying optimism.🙄 ) Whether he did or not, I’m going to believe that he did.

Our lives, right now, are pretty depressing. So many families are struggling and juggling and trying their best to figure out how to navigate through this crazy new normal. I’m finding, especially now, that a little kindness goes an extremely long way.  Give it a try—if anything, it will make you feel better.

I will end this blog post by saying THANK YOU FOR READING THIS. ❤️

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CORONAVIRUS: POP GOES THE BLOOD VESSEL???

Last week I went for a very long bike ride in hot, humid weather. When I came back home, I noticed a small, purple bruise over my right eye. It was swollen and tender to the touch. My first thoughts were, “Could this be a bug bite?” and ” Did a small rock hit me along the way?” Surely, I would have noticed these things during my ride. So, I did what any IMG_1846rational person would do: I took a picture of it and sent to my doctor, who happens to be one of my best friends.  I asked her, “Is this a bug bite? Leukemia? Covid?” (Rational, right?) She responded, “No, you broke a blood vessel while riding!”

I broke a blood vessel?? Since this has never happened to me before, I started thinking about it. Broken blood vessels come from excessive straining. This can happen during childbirth, weightlifting, vomiting or even coughing too hard. In my case, it probably happened when I was climbing up a hill and not breathing properly.

Breathing is a wondrous phenomenon. When we breathe we send oxygen into the body.  Oxygen, which gets carried to our working muscles via the red blood cells, is essential for making energy.  Breathing correctly during exercise (exhaling on exertion) will prevent injuries and enhance performance.  Not breathing properly, as I experienced, can have consequences. In addition to straining the blood vessels, holding your breath or not breathing well can cause hernias, spikes in blood pressure,  and increase back pain.

Putting exercise aside, deep breathing has far reaching benefits: It can reduce stress, make you feel calmer, help you fall sleep, improve your lung capacity, and reduce pain. This is why women are coached to breath during childbirth.

If you’ve never tried square breathing, let’s give it a try together. Sit comfortably with your feet on the floor. Slowly inhale through your nose to the count of 4. Hold at the top of the breath for a count of 4. Then gently exhale through your mouth for a count of 4. At the bottom of the breath, pause and hold or the count of 4. Do this a few times.

SEE WHAT I MEAN?!

Now that we’re living in a pandemic, deep breathing is vital. We all are experiencing more uncertainty, more anxiety, and more stress. So, whether you are riding a bike, taking a zoom class, walking your dog, or need to give yourself the gift of feeling calmer, just BREATHE.

 

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MARINATED ZUCCHINI WITH HAZELNUTS AND RICOTTA

How’s this for something different? This recipe is great way to use summer zucchini in a very interesting way! ENJOY!

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3 medium summer squash or zucchini (or pattypan squash!), cut in half lengthwise

1½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more

¼ cup blanched hazelnuts

6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling

1 small bunch mint, divided

1 small garlic clove, finely grated

2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

¾ tsp. sugar

½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

½ lemon

½ cup fresh ricotta

Flaky sea salt

directions

Preheat oven to 300°. Toss squash and 1½ tsp. kosher salt in a colander; set over a bowl. Let sit 10 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.

Toss hazelnuts and 1 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, shaking occasionally, until golden brown, 15–20 minutes. Let cool; crush into large pieces with a measuring cup or glass.

Smack 3 mint sprigs against your cutting board a few times to release their flavor; mix in a large bowl with garlic, vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and 2 Tbsp. oil; set dressing aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high until shimmering. Arrange squash cut side down in skillet, breaking into smaller pieces if needed in order to fit in a single layer, and cook, moving around in pan to ensure even browning, until golden brown on cut side, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover (if you don’t have a lid use a baking sheet), and continue to cook until very tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly.

Cut squash into 2″ pieces and toss in reserved dressing to coat; season with kosher salt and black pepper. Let sit at room temperature, tossing occasionally, 15 minutes. Pluck out mint sprigs; discard.

Meanwhile, zest lemon half into a small bowl, mix in ricotta and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil; season with kosher salt. Hang on to that lemon.

Spread lemon ricotta over platter. Top with squash and their juices. Squeeze reserved lemon over. Pull leaves from remaining mint sprigs (you want about ¼ cup). Scatter mint and hazelnuts over squash. Drizzle generously with oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

(recipe found on www.bonappetit.com)

 

 

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GRILLED LOW COUNTRY BOIL

Traditionally a low country boil is a Southern stew made with a combination of shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes. Here is a new take—just grill it! It can’t be easier. This is my new favorite summer recipe–you have to try this!

ingredientsIMG_1844

1 lb tiny new potatoes (for larger ones, cut in half)

3-4 ears of corn, broken in half

1-1 1/2 lb shrimp, cleaned and deveined

4 pork or chicken andouille sausages, sliced

old bay seasoning

1 lemon, quartered

olive oil

white wine

directions

Pre-heat the grill to high.

Using extra heavy aluminum foil, lay four sheets on the counter—about 20-24”. Divide the potatoes, corn, shrimp and sausages in the center of each sheet. Season with Old Bay and drizzle with olive oil. Fold the sides of the foil in, and squeeze ¼ lemon over each portion. Add a splash of white wine. Make a foil packet by pulling over one side, folding the edges to seal. Then fold the remaining two edges. Don’t seal the packet too tightly–you want to leave some room for the steam to expand.

Put foil packets on the grill, close the lid and let them cook for 20 minutes.

Remove from grill and enjoy!

 (This recipe was given to me by my friend, Alyssa.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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