Monthly Archives: June 2011

meatless mondays: fresh from the farmer’s market…

Only one more day until the official start of SUMMER!  I started celebrating early this weekend, despite the rain and gloomy weather.  In the morning moments of sunshine, I headed out to my favorite farmer’s market.  If it isn’t going to act like summer outside, then I can at least pretend by shopping and eating like its already summer.

My best friend in NYC was out and about in her warm, sunny city (I’m jealous) and was inspired to make gazpacho.  She asked me to send her my recipe, which made me realize that I had yet to share it here.  It also planted the seed and made me crave it,  so I mixed up my first batch of the season!  On Sunday morning, I set out to collect my ingredients.

I must admit, I was a little disappointed with the early summer market pickings.  I got what I could and stopped by my food co-op to supplement where necessary. This recipe will turn out even more delightful once the heirloom tomatoes start to ripen.  I was lucky enough to get a few from a greenhouse farmer.   Here is my market bounty and what I made with it:

 

 

Recipe:  Mango Gazpacho

3-5 large tomatoes (preferably a variety)
2-3 mangoes (peeled and cored)
1 cucumber
1 red pepper
1 small red onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed (or more if you like it spicy)
2 garlic cloves
juice from 1/2 lemon (more to taste)
1 tablespoon vinegar (balsamic, rice, apple, or white)
salt and pepper to taste

Optional:
tomato juice or water to thin
sriracha or other hot sauce for extra spice
watermelon, green onion, carrots, or any other fruit/veggie that sounds good

Finely dice ingredients and mix in a bowl. If you like it soupy/saucy, you can take half of the vegetables (before all of your hard dicing work) and puree them in a blender or food processor.

Serve cold.
Top with a good balsamic, truffle oil, or just eat it up!
Hint:  It tastes better if you make it ahead of time and let it mingle.

ho hum and a bottle of rum…

Well hello there stranger!  So nice to see you again.  I’m sorry its been so long.  And really, its not you, its me.  I went on a wonderful all-inclusive vacation and just haven’t been able to get into the swing of things upon my return.  I’ve had a case of the post vacation blahs. 

My lax Mexico attitude carried over into my every day life, attempting to sabotage my hard-earned weight loss and healthy sense of being.  Combined with erratic weather, I felt like a mess in a dress.  Ok, maybe not that bad, but certainly off balance.

I couldn’t seem to properly grocery shop, eat right, cook balanced meals, practice my regular exercise routine, lose weight, maintain adequate sleep, or write.  I DID seem to be able to socialize a lot, eat out a ton, and drink too much wine and beer.  I even drank rum, a liquor I usually avoid (note: it was in Julie’s special punch at her party where I socialized a lot, ate a ton, and drank too much wine, beer, and rum 😉 ).  

I’ve spent the last week trying to snap out of it with healthy home cooked meals, riding my bike to work, doing yoga, and going to bed early.  I think its working.  I actually passed up cake at work today and am attempting to write this rambling post.  I functioned on 2 cups of coffee this morning instead of my regular 3+.  Hey, I’ll take my achievements where I can get them!

When I have the blahs, there are certain things I can exert control over, like diet, exercise and sleep.  They really are the foundation of my sanity.  Things like the weather are obviously not within my scope.  And let me tell you that this spring, the weather has kicked my butt. 

I remember this feeling from Seattle.  Seasonal Affective Disorder, affectionately known as SAD.  I’m not sad, I’m just blah.  After over 2 months of almost solid rain, you would be blah too, and if not, then I want some of what you are on!  Kidding,  jokes!

It’s hard to go for a run when its 38 degrees, windy and rainy.  It’s also hard to motivate when its 98 degrees with 85% humidity and a heat index over 100.  Both have been the case in the past 2 weeks here in Chicago, seriously. Sometimes its nearly happened in the same day.  Maybe the crazy rapture people are on to something?   

For a full month, I’ve been pulling out the summer clothes, organizing my closet, packing away my sweaters and heavy coats, and then pulling everything back out of storage again.  My closet looks like a war zone.  Add to that the various clothing sizes that I insist on keeping in anticipation of losing more weight or *gasp* gaining weight back, and it looks like I’m running a thrift store out of my bedroom.  Don’t even get me started on the piles of shoes… When my closets are unorganized, my life feels chaotic too.

Bring on normal summer weather please!  Sun-filled brunching on a deck,  breezy bike rides to the farmer’s market, and comfortable afternoons at the beach!  Fresh fruit, crisp salads, iced tea, and herb gardens! Sun dresses, flip flops, outdoor music and festivals! (with coats, boots, gloves, and sweaters all neatly tucked away in bins in the back of the closet)

Can I just have some solid, consistent summer weather that doesn’t require carrying an umbrella, winter gloves, and a beach blanket at the same time?  Patience grasshopper!  Its only the beginning of June.  

Can I get rid of the fat clothes?  Yes I can!  **I have control over that part of the equation 🙂 

Can I recommit to my weight loss plan and still have a fun summer?  Balance is possible.  I have the tools and motivation to succeed! 

Can I write a coherent post explaining my absence and write something of substance?  Um, maybe next week when its sunny and 70 and I’ve had a good night’s sleep.  See you then! *End Rambling*