Monday, August 15, 2011


As part of my Body Love way of life, I have found myself consciously observing what I intake.  Rather than worrying about calories or diet restrictions I have solely focused on fresh, healthy, but delicious ingredients.  I have also started listening to my cravings & am finding that now that I don't give myself any food restrictions my cravings tend to be healthier & more well rounded.  I guess it all comes down to the fact that you always want what you can't have.  If your diet dictates NO carbs, well then you WANT carbs.

I eat based on my energy level assessment rather than urges or impulses & I find that I am snacking less & am eating more well-balanced meals.  Now don't get me wrong I love wine, I drink a diet coke a day, I have a decaf latte every morning, I NEED a square of chocolate a day, & I am a mac & cheese connoisseur.  My new Body Love mentality has allowed me to still enjoy all of those guilty consumptives, because, again, I have no restrictions.  My emphasis on eating according to energy level has also resulted in the WANT to workout mentality rather than the HAVE to exercise demand I used to put on myself.

When I grocery shop I look for labels such as:  organic, fresh, wild, antibiotic free, hormone free, grass fed, cage free, free trade, I avoid items that have ingredients I can't pronounce, & I tend to figure the less packaging the better.  Sometimes these items come with a slightly higher price tag, but my body & my health are well worth it, the Louboutin's can wait.

We have a few weeks of summer left, so I have put together some of my favorite recipes that are fresh, light & most importantly, full of flavor.   As a bonus, they are quick & easy to prepare.  I hope you enjoy these recipes straight from my new found Body Love kitchen & more importantly I hope you truly love your body.  Stop counting calories, throw away the scale, focus on foods that fuel your machine yet taste great, & then you may just find yourself converted to the diet-free-Body-Love life that you deserve... and I just know that you will look feelin'-good-fabulous!

1.  Watermelon Arugula Salad
1/2 pound baby arugula leaves
2 pounds seedless watermelon, 3/4-inch-diced (3 pounds with the rind)
1/3 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2-pound chunk Parmesan cheese
Place the arugula and watermelon in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour enough dressing on the arugula to moisten. Toss well and place on 6 salad plates.
With a very sharp knife or a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan into large shards and sprinkle them on the arugula and watermelon. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

2.  Lemon Chicken Breasts
1/4 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don't allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.
Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn't browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.
Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?

3.  Watermelon Spritzer
My own concoction...  delish!
Left over watermelon from Arugula Watermelon Salad
Soda water, 7Up or Champagne (my suggestion)
Puree watermelon.  Pour into glass of soda, 7Up, or Champagne.  Warning:  for some reason the carbonation of the soda/7Up/Champagne & watermelon are an explosive combination.  Pour slowly & over a sink!
Body Love original recipe

4. Turkey & Blue Cheese Salad
I made this one with chicken & it works just as well.
2 heads Boston lettuce, broken into large pieces
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 pound sliced roasted turkey or chicken
4 ounces blue cheese
1/4 cup store-bought vinaigrette (I like Cardini's balsamic vinaigrette)
Divide the lettuce, onion, and almonds among 4 bowls.
Dividing evenly, top each with the turkey and blue cheese; drizzle with the vinaigrette.

5. Spinach Shrimp & Avocado Salad
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped capers
1/2 teaspoon honey
kosher salt and black pepper
8 cups spinach
1 pound cooked, peeled, and deveined medium shrimp
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, capers, honey, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.  In a large bowl, toss the spinach, shrimp, tomatoes, and avocado with the vinaigrette.
Real Simple Dinner Tonight -- Done!

6. Emeril's Kicked up Tuna Melts
This is a great one for kids too!  My 2-year-old is gluten sensitive so we serve his on a gluten free cracker & he devours it.
4 cans (5 ounces each) solid white tuna packed in water, drained
1/3 cup mayonnaise, plus more for spreading
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
4 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled between your fingers
4 slices crusty bread
8 thin slices tomato
4 slices provolone
Heat broiler, with rack in highest position. In a medium bowl, combine tuna, mayonnaise, onion, capers, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oregano and stir until thoroughly combined.
Arrange bread on a baking sheet and spread a little mayonnaise on each slice. Divide tuna salad evenly among slices, then top each with 2 slices tomato and 1 slice cheese. Broil until cheese is golden brown and bubbling, 3 to 4 minutes.

7.  Skillet Poached Eggs with Prosciutto
This is one of my favorite breakfast recipes.  There is a lot of prep immediately before serving so I don't necessarily recommend it for a group larger than 4 or 6, but it is a fabulous, tasty, breakfast!
1 cup finely chopped green onion tops
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
4 1/2-inch-thick slices country-style sourdough bread, each about 4x6 inches
3 ounces arugula leaves (about 4 cups)
8 thin slices prosciutto (about 4 ounces)
8 large eggs
Fresh Italian parsley sprigs
Finely chop the green onion tops by first cutting them lengthwise into long, thin strips. Combine chopped green onion tops, extra-virgin olive oil, minced Italian parsley, and salt in small bowl; whisk to blend. (Can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
Lightly toast 4 sourdough bread slices. Spread each with 1 tablespoon green onion oil. Arrange 1/4 of arugula on each bread slice. Top each with 2 slices prosciutto. Transfer 1 prepared bread slice to each of 4 plates.
Divide remaining green onion oil equally among four 1 1/4-cup custard cups or ramekins. Using pastry brush, spread green onion oil over inside of each cup to coat (most of mixture will fall back to bottom of cup). This will keep the eggs from sticking, making them easier to unmold later. Break open 2 eggs into each prepared cup. Place cups in large skillet. Pour enough water into skillet to reach halfway up sides of cups.
Set skillet over medium-high heat and bring water to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover skillet and gently cook eggs until whites are just firm to touch and yolks are set to desired consistency, about 6 minutes.
Using spatula and oven mitt or hand towel as aids, lift cups with eggs from water. Cut around eggs to loosen. Turn 2 eggs out onto each prepared bread slice. Garnish with Italian parsley sprigs.
Bon Appetit via Epicurious

8. Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
This is a great salad to serve with the protein of your choice.  Also a favorite to bring to a BBQ or party.
1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound orzo or rice-shaped pasta
For the dressing:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To Assemble:
4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts), toasted
3/4 pound good feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large sheet pan. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.
Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.
For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on the pasta and vegetables. Let cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pignolis, feta, and basil. Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.
Barefoot Contessa Parties!
"This recipe is a slight variation of a wonderful summer dish invented by Sarah Leah Chase in her book The Open House Cookbook."

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