I'm back in RVA now, and after discovering that Blackfinn has closed (boo) and a new oyster bar is on the way (where Louisiana Flair used to be), I felt inspired to get back in the kitchen and start creating again. After a food filled summer and a sporadic workout schedule, I've been motivated to eat really clean and get back to the shape I was in before the summer began. I think this is something we all have to accept: our bodies tell us what they need and mine is screaming for healthy food packed with vitamins. I've decided to go low carb and low fat for a while. Low carb, mind you, not no carb. If I eat a piece of bread I'm not going to lose it. But I think it's a good idea to be conscious of what's going in and for me, it works to just aim to cut certain things out rather than taper down their intake. I tend to work well with extremes...hey, that's just how I roll.
To kick-start my clean diet, I wanted to recreate a salad I made over the summer for my mom and sibs. It features some delicious summertime ingredients: basil, corn, and tomatoes. Yumm-Y!
What You Need:
4 fresh tomatoes, heirloom or regular
5 stalks corn, boiled or roasted on the grill
2 avocados, cubed
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh basil, torn
Salt and pepper to taste
What You Do:
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
Slice the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds. Arrange them cut side up on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the water has evaporated. This allows the sugars to caramelize and adds an amazing depth to the salad.
Cut the corn off the cobs, add this to the tomatoes, then throw in the black beans and the avocado.
Make a vinaigrette by mixing the lime juice and oil until they are well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour over the salad and toss to coat. Let marinate for about 20 minutes.
Before eating, tear the basil leaves into pieces being careful not to bruise them. No one likes basil mush.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
*Special note: This recipe will be featured in our school publication, The Probe! I was asked if I'd like to write a recurring column focusing on dental-friendly foods and recipes. I am so excited to have this opportunity to play in the kitchen and make healthy eating do-able and tasty.
And finally...dun da-da-da!!! I have some VERY happy news: I PASSED PART ONE OF MY DENTAL BOARD EXAM!!!! Such an accomplishment :)