Monday, June 20, 2011

Guest Blog - In the Pink and Green

WELCOME TO MY NEW BLOG NAME AND BLOG DESIGN. If you're wondering what happened to Earth, Wind and Fire - it's still here, just under a new name. I felt like it was time and I think this is more along the lines of what I'm looking for. I hope you likey!!

Today is special because we have a guest blogger!!! My friend Jane from In the Pink and Green is going to write about something special. I met Jane in late 2010 when she came to work with me at System 1. Jane is from Michigan and we instantly bonded over food, exercise and our love for the earth. We traded recipes and she introduced to me sites like Passionate Homemaking and books like

Super Natural Cooking

This book is cool because it helps you understand how to replace all your old, processed ingredients with organic products. It's also got some neat recipes.

Anyway, Jane is moving to Colorado and I. AM. DEVASTATED. So, in honor of her relocation, she is going to be talking about summer foods.


Hi everyone! I'm excited to be doing my first guest blog post for A Southern Yogi to start off the week. Wendi and I are co-workers, but our many common interests (such as blogging and eating!) are what helped us form a friendship. Since a common topic in both of our blogs is healthy cooking, I wanted to share a few of my favorite summer tips/recipes that are perfect for times when the temperature soars. (aka this week in Greenville, it's supposed to be 100 degrees tomorrow!)

-Use your slow cooker: People seem to tend to use their slow cookers primarily in the winter months for chilis and stews, but this is one of the most versatile and useful kitchen appliances that can actually really come in handy in the summer! It's perfect for those times that you don't want to heat up the house by turning on the oven or stand there slaving over a hot stove, and it's nice to come home from work to a meal that's all ready so you can go out for a swim or just be lazy :) One of my absolute favorite crock pot recipes is Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas; they're super easy and something everyone in your family will love. They're made by rolling veggies and black beans inside tortillas (I like to use whole wheat for even more fiber) and then covering them with salsa and a little cheese. They can easily be made non-vegetarian by adding some cooked chicken or ground beef, but I encourage you to try them the way they are first because they're suprisingly hearty and filling! (My husband, who normally doesn't like vegetarian dishes, loves these without meat!) This recipe is courtesy of one of my favorite food blogs, the kitchn, and you can find the full recipe here.

-Eat more fish: When it's hot out, the last thing I feel like is eating a super heavy dinner, so incorporating more fish in your diet is perfect for this time of year because it's light, yet filling and nutritious. I also love that it typically cooks very quickly, meaning less time stuck in the kitchen and more time to enjoy the summer! My dad is a big fisherman, so I've been fortunate to be able to eat fresh fish a lot of my life, however, now that I no longer live near my parents that means I have buy fish. I like Whole Foods because they typically have a great selection of fresh fish that is caught/farmed using sustainable practices. I got this wonderful fish recipe from my dad via Allrecipes, and it's a quick, delicious way to prepare fish for a summer dinner that has a little bit of a Mediterranean flavor.

One of my many bean salads from last summer :)
-Learn to love salads: One of the great things about living in the South is the abundance of fresh local produce available during the summer months, which can easily be transformed into a delicious salad, a perfect summer lunch or dinner. However, I tend to get sick of eating green salads too much, so when I want a salad with a little more substance my go to dish is my summer bean salad. I like to make it in the early part of the week, that way we can have it as a main dish for dinner one night (since it's so full of protein and fiber, it's actually very filling!), then we have leftovers for lunches/side dishes the rest of the week. I made a few swaps from a traditional bean salad recipe to make it a little healthier; here's the recipe I came up with:

Summer Bean Salad
  • 6 oz flax rice pasta (I used spirals from Eden Organic, they have tons of healthy pastas, many of which would be perfect in this salad)
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of green beans, drained and rinsed (you could also use fresh green beans instead of canned)
  • 1 can of black pitted olives
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 1 tbs of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbs chopped garlic
  • 4 oz shredded parmigiano reggiano
What I love about this salad is that it's super easy! Start off by adding your pasta to boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. You'd rather the pasta be a little bit more on the al dente side then over cooked, otherwise it's going to get mushy in the fridge. Just a little note about why I chose to use flax pasta--since we weren't having meat in this meal, I wanted to make sure to pick a nutritionally sound pasta that would give the salad some extra protein. The flax rice pasta is both a good source of protein and fiber, as well as providing a good serving of essential fatty acids which are important since I'm trying to make our diet more heart healthy. I also like the fact that the pasta is a little bit darker because it gives some nice color to the salad. You could use any kind of small pasta shape in this salad, as well as trying other things like quinoa or kamut pasta.

Once the pasta is done, drain and let cool. Once pasta is cool, combine it in a large bowl with the next nine ingredients. What's great about a salad like this is that you can just use whatever you like (or have on hand at the time!), so feel free to experiment with different types of veggies and beans. I personally really like using the red pepper and the red onion because they add great color and flavor to the salad, and then I threw the olives in there because my husband loves them.

Next, wisk together the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, oregano, and garlic. Again, feel free to experiment with the dressing by substituting different oils, vinegars, and herbs. Pour over the salad, along with 2 oz of shredded parmigiano reggiano cheese, and combine until everything in the salad is well-coated. Top salad with the remaining cheese, and refrigerate. The more time that you refrigerate the salad, the more time the flavors are going to have to combine and it's only going to get better, so it's definitely something you could make a day ahead of time if you were having company.

One other note is that I didn't include any salt or pepper in this recipe; my hubby is really trying to watch his sodium intake, whereas I tend to like things super salty. I've been trying to just leave the salt out of recipes, that way we can salt/pepper our meals to taste individually.

This salad is great as the main course or a side dish, and it's packed with fiber and protein from the beans and pasta, as well as looking colorful and summery :)

I hope that y'all enjoy these recipes, and thanks to Wendi for letting me share them with you!



1 comment:

  1. Great post! I need to break out my slow-cooker's been too long.