I really enjoyed Monday’s guest post, ¿Buen provecho?*, and thought that it would only be fitting to investigate some at-home, healthy recipes so that we can all enjoy our own siesta!
1 1/2 cups mixed colorful bite-size melon pieces, such as cantaloupe, honeydew, Ogen, or Charentais
1/3 cup sugar
1 750-ml bottle crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
1/4 cup brandy
2 tablespoons Triple Sec, or other orange-flavored liqueur
3/4 cup sparkling water, or club soda
Lime or star fruit slices, for garnish
1. Stir melon and sugar together in a large pitcher. Let stand for 15 to 30 minutes to draw out the juices.
2. Just before serving, stir wine, brandy, Triple Sec (or other orange liqueur) and sparkling water (or club soda) into the pitcher. Add ice cubes to 6 glasses. Fill the glasses with the sangria, spooning some of the fruit into each glass. Garnish each drink with a slice of lime (or star fruit) and a sprig of mint.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Finish with Step 2 just before serving.
Per 1 Cup serving: 198 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 0 g protein; 0 g fiber; 14 mg sodium; 191 mg potassium.
Wine and Tapas? Yes please!
Smoky Tomato Relish:
1 green bell pepper
2 tomatoes (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (optional)
6 (6-inch) pitas, each cut into 4 wedges
1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes.
2. Flatten one bell pepper half with hand; add to skillet, skin side down.
3. Reserve remaining bell pepper half for another use. Add tomatoes to pan. Cook 10 minutes or until blackened, turning frequently. Remove from heat; cool pepper and tomatoes to room temperature.
4. Chop tomatoes, and place them in a medium bowl. Chop bell pepper; add to tomato. Stir in onion and next 8 ingredients (through garlic). Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve chilled or at room temperature with pita wedges.
Now on to the main course!
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups instant brown rice
1 1/3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 large pinch saffron (see Note)
1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp (21-25 per pound)
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 pound mussels, scrubbed well (see Tip)
4 lemon wedges (optional)
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice, broth, thyme, salt, pepper and saffron and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Stir in shrimp and peas. Place mussels on top of the rice in an even layer. Cover and continue cooking until the mussels have opened and the rice is tender, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let rest, covered, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
Note: The dried stigma from Crocus sativus, saffron adds flavor and golden color to a variety of Middle Eastern, African and European foods. Find it in the spice section of supermarkets, gourmet shops or at tienda.com. It will keep in an airtight container for several years.
Tip: To scrub mussels, hold under running water and use a stiff brush to remove any barnacles; pull off any black fibrous “beards.” Discard mussels with broken shells or whose shell remains open after you tap it.
In preparation for the summer, I encourage you to incorporate this training into your week! These drills are tough, but keep at it. You will improve and it will get easier!
Slippery Mountain Climbers:
Find a wooden floor or flat surface and place your feet on two wash clothes or a folded up towel. (I am known to use paper plates in my classes as they work well too!) Start in a plank position, and keeping the upper body still pull both of your legs into a tucked under position and quickly pull them back out to resume your plank; repeat!
Cardio Interval: Walk or run at a high intensity for 60 seconds. Bring your pace down for 90 seconds. Repeat the 60 seconds interval at your faster pace, and then lower your pace back down once more. Continue like this for 1 mile for beginners and 2 miles for the runners! These are long intervals; not just the 20 seconds that we are used to with cardiovascular interval training. These longer drills will increase your stamina and leave the body asking: “What just happened?” In a good way of course!
I recently spoke with a lovely woman who I often see at the gym. She told me that Thursdays were her favorite day of the week. She starts her day with a yoga class, does something for herself such as getting her hair done, and they ends up at home with a glass of wine. We both agreed that Thursday was the new Friday! She said to me that was true for her. She said while resting at home she realizes there is just one more day for the work week before the weekend greets you. Just like we say, you can do anything for 30 seconds, she says: You can do anything for a day!
Try it Thursday or carve out time to try it this weekend! Enjoy!