Mediterranean Cannellini Couscous Salad

Holy yum.

Mediterranean Cannellini Salad 2

I stumbled across this book when I was working with a dietitian on a Mediterranean nutrition class. I’m still focusing on a soft diet with my dislocated jaw (sounds worse than it is.. basically, don’t get stressed and don’t grind your teeth, people), and we made this salad at each of the classes and it’s so.good. I adapted it a little but it’s super simple and great to throw together before work.

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Allow me to let you in on a little secret. The Mediterranean diet is what’s up. Studies are revealing its incredible protective benefits against heart disease and cognitive decline.

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Do the right thing for your head and your heart. Make a big bowl of this for salads for the week.

Mediterranean Cannellini Couscous Salad

Adapted from The Oldways 4-Week Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan

Salad:
1 cup couscous
1 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups spinach, chopped
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup kalamata olives, halved
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup crumbled feta

Dressing:
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Dash of garlic powder

  1. Cook couscous in vegetable broth according to directions (hint: adding olive oil may help keep couscous from sticking together and to pot).
  2. Combine remaining salad ingredients with cooked couscous.
  3. Whisk dressing ingredients together and toss into salad.

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What’s for Lunch?

Okay, I have been thinking long and hard about what I want to blog. I have a couple recipes [Sweet Potato Fritters, Chopped Thai Salad] that have been sitting in the draft section of my blog posts [FOR MONTHS], and I just haven’t taken the time to search for the photos or remake the recipes to make sure that everything is right.

So, I am showing you some of the meals I had during my internship.

Oh. Backup. Update. I’M A DIETITIAN! Yes. A registered and licensed dietitian in the state of North Carolina. [Insert party emoji] How the heck does that sound!? Pretty stinkin’ good. I finished my internship in early May, took my exam late May, and a few weeks ago I accepted a job in the area at a hospital. I will write a post on all of that soon, but I wanted to throw a food post in first.

During my internship, I had to pack lunch almost every day. This was a struggle sometimes but a great learning experience and let’s just say I was eating pretty dang well!

Here are some ideas for lunches and snacks. I eat a morning snack and afternoon snack, so that’s why it looks like so much food, haha! I find lunches to be hard (as well as dinners.. planning can be tough!) so hopefully you can find some inspiration.

Oh, and here’s how this is going to go down: M = meal, so there’s M1-5 (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner). That means if M2 = morning snack, M3 = lunch, and M4 = afternoon snack. Lastly, please excuse the photo quality. I packed these bad boys at night when there is no sunlight.

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M2 .. Okay, I’m really trying to remember how this one went. Hah! We will say M2 grapes & nuts, M3 asian cucumber salad & sweet potato chips, M4 hummus & peppers [and this was probably a Monday, on which I did spin at 6pm and usually ate a banana beforehand, hence TWO M2s!]

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M2 Larabar [the best flavors are Coconut Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Brownie! OH and the Mint Chocolate Brownie is TO DIE FOR], M3 salad with all the fix-ins like black beans, tomatoes, edamame, spinach, carrots, etc. & grapes, M4 granola bites at my internship and a banana on the way to the gym!

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M2 Larabar & apple slices, M3 salad & tortellini with homemade sun-dried tomato pesto [holy yum], M4 yogurt & banana [can you tell how much I like bananas yet?]

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M2 Clif bar & pear slices, M3 wrap & sweet potato chips, M4 grapes

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Pictured above is meal prep madness! This is 2 days worth of food: M2 Larabar, M3 Chopped Thai Salad & pears with cinnamon or mixed berries, M4 banana!

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M2 yogurt + clementines, M3 salad [with sun-dried tomato pesto!] & pears, M4 tomatoes

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M2 mixed fruit, M3 salad & cucumber with guacamole, M4 banana!

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M2 trail mix, M3 salad & apple, M4 not pictured – WHAT?! Maybe a banana?!

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And lastly, snack edition! On Wednesdays, I would get a shrimp burrito bowl [Burrito Bowl Wednesdays!] so I only packed snacks. M2 nuts & pear, M4 guacamole & celery!

Hope you all enjoyed this peak into what I’ve been eating. Despite not blogging, I’ve documented a lot of my meals and might incorporate some into posts but I do like an official photoshoot with my food to make it pretty for the blog. Hang tight for that and tips on how to become a dietitian (and how to stay sane while doing it!).

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Smashed Chickpea Salad

As a vegetarian pescatarian (does anyone feel like I’m being snooty when I say pescatarian? Should I just OWN it?), we don’t get a lot of opportunities to have tasty smashed salads.

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Like chicken salad. I use to LOVE chicken salad. Gah, there’s this place called the Carving Board in Winston Salem and they have the BEST chicken salad. True story.

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And now that I’m thinking about it, I guess there are opportunities for smashed salads. Egg salad. Tuna salad. I’m not really into tuna salad. Tuna isn’t really my thing. I got ahi tuna the other night at a new restaurant that my husband and I tried before Mockingjay Part 2 (THE BEST) and it was… different.

I digress.

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This, my friends, is an opportunity for you to have a non-chicken-salad-smashed-salad. Something to slather on crackers. Something to put in a wrap or on hearty whole grain bread. Something to dollop onto a bed of leafy greens. This chickpea salad is delicious. It really is. The dill makes it. And the finely chopped celery. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Smashed Chickpea Salad
Adapted slightly from the Oh She Glows cookbook

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c dill pickle relish
1/4 c finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 c low-fat cottage cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp dried dill
3 tsp lemon juice
Salad toppings: black olives, feta, avocado, olive oil & balsamic vinegar

  1. Smash the chickpeas with a potato smasher or pulse in a food processor until chickpeas are roughly chopped into small pieces, but not smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients! Stir and enjoy!
  3. If choosing to do a salad, put chickpea salad over greens and add avocado, black olives, feta, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

1 Kaylie Signature

Greek Kale Salad

One of my dear friends from college came all the way from Boston to shoot engagement photos of my fiancé and me. She brought her dashing boyfriend with her, and they are the dream team of photographers.

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Katie used my camera to take photos, while he used hers, and I finally have the itch to really understand this camera. It’s intimidating. It’s big and it has a lot of buttons and features and words that I have no idea what they mean. However, it takes a mean and beautiful photo, so I am excited to give it a try.

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I’ve dabbled with auto focus and have had success, but the time has come for me to graduate to manual. I can do this. I can do this. Katie is an unbelievable inspiration with her photography, between taking photos of landscapes, people, and food. She also makes a mean mojito.

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So, with my inspiration shining bright, I decided to plunge back into blogging. I cooked for the fiancé, wrote down the recipe, and snapped a few pictures. I’m quite proud of myself, actually. Goal: two posts a week. What do ya say?

This greek kale salad is pretty amazing. If you’ve never massaged kale, you’ve clearly never lived. Raw kale is crunchy and tough and predominantly unappetizing. However, massaged kale is soft, tasty, and full of whatever flavor you rub into it. Add it to some tangy feta, salty kalamata olives, and juicy edamame, and you have a summer salad at its finest.

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Greek Kale Salad
Adapted slightly from Jeanette’s Healthy Living

4 stems of kale, leaves ripped off and washed
1/8 tsp garlic pepper
1/8 tsp lemon pepper
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1/3 c kalamata olives, rinsed and sliced into thirds
1/3 c crumbled feta
1/4 c olives oil
1/4 c raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1. In a medium sized bowl, massage 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic pepper, and lemon pepper into kale leaves until leaves turn dark and softer.
2. Add zucchini, kalamata olives, and feta to the bowl of massaged kale.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 c apple cider vinegar, thyme, and oregano. Pour over kale salad and top with fresh parsley.

 

Balsamic Pear, Avocado, and Portobello Salad

So I have been gluten-free for two weeks today. And dairy-free for… 10ish days. I really wanted some shrimp scampi from Costco, so I decided to see how dairy went. Plus, a lot of chocolate has dairy in it and this girl needs chocolate.

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This is my first gluten-free, dairy-free post, despite my dietary change for the past two weeks. If you want to see what my current speculation is on my stomach problems, you can read that at the end. For now, the best salad ever.  Continue reading