My husband and I just got back from a trip to South Beach, Miami. It was his Christmas gift to me. When I opened the box with our plane tickets in it on Christmas morning, I reacted as anyone would... I was horrified!
I know it sounds totally ridiculous, but immediately my mind went to the thought of having to put on a bathing suit in my pale white winter skin which had eaten one too many pieces of Pandoro French Toast. He had arranged for my parents to stay at the house with the kids (I know...so thoughtful) BUT, that would mean I'd have to do a military style cleaning job before we left AND all the Christmas decorations would have to be long tucked away. The dogs would also have to be fully groomed, since my mother is allergic (of course). Soon, my mind went to that scary place it always does whenever we have to get on a plane without the kids. Then came the guilt (there's never really a good reason for such "indulgence"). I was feeling faint. Is there anyone out there who can relate to my insanity?!
Anyway, I kept smiling and thanking him for the amazingly thoughtful gift and continued to carry on with Christmas.
Now that we're back safe and sound and I've caught up with the housework, I can say that we truly did have an amazing time together and of course it was all worth it, despite being in the company of too many gorgeously tan women in thongs! It's nice to know that after almost 17 years of marriage we still love being with each other (even though we clearly aren't as cool and hip as the South Beach crowd.) Although it can be incredibly difficult, it's so important to take time out and just reconnect, whether it's a date night or a special trip away. I'm extremely grateful to have had that opportunity and to have an amazing man in my life!
Since we've been back, it's definitely gotten a lot colder. This week's recipe is inspired by the delicious citrus fruits of Florida that make for bright and beautiful salads.
In winter, I seriously pump up my intake of vitamin C as well as other antioxidants and minerals to help protect my body from nasty winter viruses. This citrus and "super grain" salad is perfect for that! The particular grain mix I used is from Whole Foods 365 brand and it's a combination of quinoa, millet and buckwheat. If you can't find a super grain mix, you can substitute any type of grain you like.
I hope your plans for healthy eating this year revolve around experimenting with different foods. That's why I'm using endive here. The same old greens can get boring. Endive livens things up with a slightly bitter kick and a bit of crunch. Don't let it's pale yellow color fool you! This leaf is full of nutrients including antioxidants, vitamin K, magnesium and a powerful flavonoid called kaemperfol, which has been found to inhibit cancer cell growth.
The dressing I use in the salad is just a blend of fresh juice from the naval oranges, dijon mustard and honey! Simple, but so yum!
If you're in the mood for something light and clean, have the salad as is. Or, jazz it up with olives, feta or even top with some avocado if you'd like something with a bit more pizzaz! All of the above combos are delicious and healthy! Hope you enjoy!
Citrusy "Super Grain" Salad
- 2 cups cooked super grain mix or grain of choice such as quinoa
- 3 naval oranges 2 oranges peeled and cut into segments + (1 orange squeezed or pressed to obtain about ½ cup juice)
- 2 heads of endive chopped
- handful parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp honey + more for drizzling
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- coarse salt
- To make the dressing whisk together orange juice, mustard, honey, oil and a good pinch salt and pepper and set aside.
- To a large bowl add cooked super grain mix, endives and orange segments and pour dressing over top.
- Toss to combine and garnish with fresh parsley.
- Drizzle additional honey over top if desired.
- Add additional salt, pepper to taste.