Cucumber Corn and Radish Salad

Why my leave of absence? 10 facts about what I’ve been doing the last month.

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1. I have officially nailed down two clinical volunteering opportunities. Double win.

2. My boyfriend has been in the hospital for a partial shoulder replacement surgery. The scar is wicked. So are his staples.

3. My kitten has gotten older and finally calmed down slightly. He sleeps through the night and just turned 3mo old.

4. I realized that I love slightly sweetened iced green tea from Starbucks (and iced caramel macchiatos!) and want to try the raspberry syrup instead of simple syrup in the green tea.

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5. I got this super cool water bottle from Target for $8.

6. I tried Jif Whips S’mores and let me just tell you, “EMERGENCY ONLY” written in Sharpie doesn’t mean anything to a girl with cravings.

7. I picked up the piano again. “Go the Distance” from Hercules is pretty freaking awesome. Just saying.

8. I have officially gotten over the stress of the fact that grad school starts up in a week and am on the “let’s get cute office supplies, and super awesome smelling lotion will totally keep my hands dry and make me happy” side.

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9. I installed a ceiling fan in my room. And when I say I, I mean my boyfriend. And it’s AWESOME. Fans are addicting and amazing and allow you to super cuddle up under your winter blanket in the summer. Win.

10. I have a goal to blog twice a week during the school year. Anyone wanna help me stay accountable?

Anyway, I made this salad forever ago but it’s tasty. Refreshing, light, and great to eat on the back porch with some wine.

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Cucumber Corn & Radish Salad

2 cucumbers, chopped
1/4 c corn
3 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 c feta
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
Optional: mango coconut dressing from Fresh Market

1. Mix all.

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Mexican Rice Bowl

This weekend I went to visit a friend for her birthday. And man did it feel good to get out of town.

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It will full of manicures and ice cream, 90’s movies and girl talk. It was just what I needed.

Now that I am back in the rush of grad school life, the recipes are quick and easy. Ain’t nobody got time for crazy recipes that take an hour for prep and an hour to bake + a million ingredients. Ain’t nooo–body got time for that.

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Except if it’s worth it or if it’s the weekend or something like that. But it’s not the weekend. It’s a Tuesday. And I’m sending an easy recipe your way.

Oh, also? Speaking of friends hanging out and doing awesome things? She decided to choose a focus for her blog, and started with the 365 days of pictures. And, because I’m a total copycat, I’m doing the same. Check it out on my Instagram.

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Mexican Rice Bowl

1/2 c brown rice
1/4 c broccoli slaw
2 mini bell peppers (or 1/2 regular bell pepper), sliced or chopped
1/4 avocado, sliced
3 tbsp salsa (or just a big dollop)
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (or just a normal sized dollop)
3 tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
3 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp shredded Mexican cheese

1. Cook rice according to directions.
2. Combine remaining ingredients.
3. If desired, microwave for 30-60 seconds to melt the cheese slightly.

Thai Quinoa Bowl

Now, I don’t meant to brag, but this is good.

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Seriously, Ambitious Kitchen. You really did it this time. My boyfriend was drooling and if we weren’t so full from the deliciousness the first time, we would have been going back for seconds.

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I guess I have been afraid of slaws. I don’t know why but they just seem… intimidating. But have no fear, people. I’m sure you don’t, but just in case… Just buy a bag of broccoli slaw! I couldn’t find cabbage, but I feel like broccoli is more nutritious than cabbage (I should probably actually know that since I’ll be a dietitian in a few years…), and it worked out perfectly.

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Gotta love Thai food. Spicy meets nutty meets delicious. I see lots of Asian food in my future. Spring rolls and lettuce wraps and who knows what else.

Thai Quinoa Bowl
Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

3/4 c uncooked quinoa
2 c broccoli slaw
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 c red onion, diced
1/2 c carrots, shredded or diced (use more if broccoli slaw doesn’t include carrots)
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1/2 c cashew calves

Dressing:
1/4 c crunchy all natural peanut butter
1/4 tsp ginger
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
1 tsp sesame oil

1. Cook quinoa according to directions.
2. Combine dressing ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute, then stir to combine once peanut butter is melty.
3. Combine quinoa, dressing, and remaining ingredients. Sprinkle fresh cilantro on top for garnish.

Avocado and Pea Quinoa Salad

They have a new pumpkin line out at Bath & Body Works and I am in love.

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Things like pumpkin cupcake and pumpkin caramel latte candles are sweeping the store, and I need them.

I am on the fence about fall, though. I’m ready for school, for structure and learning and a challenge and the road to being a dietitian. I am ready to smell these candles for the rest of my life (if they go on sale and I buy them..). I am not ready, however, for jeans and falling leaves and nippy air and being cold at night. I still want to wear dresses and sip mojitos and eat watermelon on my back porch.

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I am also not prepared for being a real person. While I am not in the real world, I am having to figure out how this whole electricity, gas, renters insurance, and internet thing works. Apparently you’re supposed to allow a two weeks heads-up at the electricity company, but because there is someone still living in my apartment, I can’t set up my internet.

So I was all willy nilly, hanging out, relaxing until the 1st of August to deal with these things and then holy mackerel it’s August 2nd and I need electricity sooner than two weeks or they won’t let me in if I don’t have it and now I want to crawl in a hole and cry because WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO DANG STRESSFUL?

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Let’s just hope this is one of those moments that is stressful in the moment and we laugh about later. Sound good? I thought so. Who wants feta + avocado + peas + quinoa? Cheese heals stress. Duh.

Avocado and Pea Quinoa Salad
Inspired by Two Peas & Their Pod

1 c quinoa, cooked
1/2 c peas
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/4 c feta
1/4 c pine nuts

For dressing:
1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp tangerine olive oil (or plain)
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp fresh cilantro (about 5-6 small leaves or 3-4 big ones)

1. Combine quinoa, peas, avocado, and feta.
2. Combine dressing ingredients in a mini food processor, and drizzle over quinoa salad.

Sweet Potato Fries with Cilantro Yogurt Dip

My dear friend posted something incredibly inspiring and personal on her blog yesterday.

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She, along with many of us, including myself, is addicted to sugar. I mean, hey? Who isn’t? I actually interned at a cooking demonstration yesterday that was hosted at a high fructose corn syrup manufacturing plant. Cool, Winston Salem. Didn’t know we were that bad. Between that and the tobacco, we might as well throw in the towel.

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Anyway. Back to the point. She has been a fab friend to me, between inviting me to New York City, experimenting with vegetarianism, and dropping assorted baked goods on my doorstep at various times of the day. I applaud her for being so courageous in sharing a personal tidbit about herself on her blog and I wanted to give her a motivational shout out.

Maybe I’ll consider lowering my sugar intake too? Maybe. Strength in numbers. We’ll start with some healthy sweet potato french fries. Sound good? Baby steps.

Also, sorry for the lack of pictures. My other two were blurry. We’ll just say I was hungry?..

Sweet Potato Fries with Cilantro Yogurt Dip

1 sweet potato
1 tbsp lemon pepper
1 tbsp garlic salt
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 c plain Greek yogurt
3 tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp lime juice

1. Peel sweet potato and chop into thick slices, like fries.
2. Put fries in a bowl and coat with olive oil, pepper, and salt. Toss so that fries are coated equally.
3. Spread fries onto a wire rack, and place rack on top of cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes at 400°F.
4. In a food processor or chopper, combine yogurt, cilantro, and lime juice.
5. Dip fries into yogurt sauce.