With the type of eating I’ve been doing lately, there is little room for exploring new recipes and new cookbooks the way I used to. It’s very “clean” eating, using ingredients as close to their “naked” start as possible. It completely takes the focus off of food, something that takes a little getting used to for this food writer. It is very reminiscent of how and what I ate when I worked out with a personal trainer years ago. There was nothing with “ingredients.” The food was grilled, roasted, steamed or stir-fried, but was as close to nature intended as it could get.
So when I’m looking for recipes now, I’m focusing on fruits, vegetables, salads, or some combination of all of those. There are huge benefits to eating this way for sure. The prep time to get a meal on the table is minimal because the less you do to a food item, the quicker it’s ready. Nothing is any more labor intensive than a little bit of chopping or peeling. The meals itself are a snap to get used to. For me, the challenge is more in changing the mindset. I mean, you’re talking about someone who loves to plan dinner parties, menus, meals weeks on out. That’s all gone. Food is no longer the focus. But I can’t argue with what it’s done to me and my body. It’s simple, takes no thought and doesn’t get much healthier than this.
That being said, it takes me a little longer to find a new recipe I want to make because the criteria is changing. My parents came over for dinner tonight, and usually that would mean the opportunity to try out three or four new recipes, including something sinfully delicious for dessert. Not now. Dinner was grilled chicken and sausages, along with roasted asparagus and a vegetable stir-fry. I did, however, manage to find a new appetizer to try out that kept largely to some of the rules I’ve placed on myself.
I found this recipe for Cucumber-Feta Toasts in a recent issue of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. While the vegetables were getting stir-fried for the main course, I started on the appetizer. It took literally five minutes to make, five minutes in the oven, and satisfied the “clean eating” requirement, along with getting my “try a new recipe” fix out of the way. The opportunities are still there, for sure, it just takes a little more thought as I’m not just grabbing any recipe that looks good.
With the tang of the feta cheese and the lemon juice and the coolness of the fresh, crisp cucumber, it was the perfect start to a light, yet satisfying, dinner.
June 29, 2010, Photo #119
I love when the ponytail happens. It’s not often. We usually have to give her a reason why she needs to put her hair up. Today I told her because she was going to the beach, if she put it up, she wouldn’t get sand in it. She bought it, and it stayed in for a few hours. She much prefers the Little Orphan Annie look.
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, July/August 2010
1 French baguette (I used whole wheat)
3 oz feta cheese
3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and black pepper
Heat over to 450. Slice the baguette in half lengthwise, or in rounds. Toast for five minutes. In a small bowl, mash together the feta, olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Once the bread is toasted, spread feta mixture onto each baguette round. Top it with 2 small English cucumber, thinly sliced. Drizzle the top with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Aww Maddie looks so cute with the hair back! I used to hate keeping it back as well, although my mom never failed to try to coerce me to put it up!
I feel you on the clean eating front. I’ve been trying to clean up a bit as well….lose some winter weight before I have to be in a bikini on my vacation in two months. I love how simple this is. I would love a sandwich of this!
These look very clean, just like you described them.
Making me checking into seeing if I can find some english cucumber seeds. I like the english ones better and would probably eat a whole lot more of them if I could grow them.
Do you ever make a sushi salad? I like sushi but hate to roll it so I do it in a bowl. I make my rice in the microwave. Heat a couple of tbsp. of rice wine vinegar and dissolve a tbsp. of sugar in in. Pour and mix over the rice.
bottom of bowl, layer of rice, layer of fake crab flakes, layer of finely chopped cucumber, layer of thin sliced avocado, finely torn up toasted nori and then layer of rice – sprinkle with rice seasoning, Masago Roe and Sesame seeds
Eat with Lite Soy Sauce
fast, easy and I luv it.
This recipe sounds so delicious :)
No way! One of my fave food bloggers is clean eating too?!?! Reading food blogs has been torture for the past couple of months, so I’m excited to see what you’ll have to share.
Anna – so glad to have someone else on the “eating clean” bandwagon!
Eliana – so good!
Ramona – love the idea of your deconstructed sushi – will definitely give it a whirl.
Joanne – whenever she’s ready, I have a plethora of barrettes, hair clips and the like all rarin’ to go!