Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day Weekend!  I definitely did.  The weather was fantastic and I was able to enjoy every minute of it.  I spent time around town, drinking and eating too much.  Visited our friend’s pool for a little relaxation, and was even able to make it to the beach for a day.  Why are margaritas so delicious?  I do not enjoy the super sweet ones, but the margaritas made with tequila and lime juice, yum yum!

Memorial Day is the official start of the summer; not only in the south, but all over the place (I do not care what the calendar says!).  My parents in the North can finally start using their pool and the sunny days keep getting longer and longer.  I love when it stays light outside until 9 pm.  In addition to the sun staying out longer, it also comes out earlier, which means I can start my runs a little bit earlier and get a few more miles in, before rushing off to work. 

I have had to add to my morning to-do list to water the garden.  It doesn’t take long, and every day it seems as though my plants are growing a little bit more.  I made guacamole over the weekend, and it was nice being able to go out to the garden and just cut a bit of fresh cilantro to add.  I picked my very first cucumber and I was overjoyed.  It was big!  I also know there is going to be a lot of tomatoes to eat this summer.  A fresh salad that is great to bring to any picnic is a cucumber and tomato salad.  It is quick and easy to prepare, but very delicious!  Plus the cucumbers, tomatoes, and basil are all from my garden. J

Cucumbers, Peppers, and Tomatoes in the garden

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

2 cucumbers
2 tomatoes
Fresh basil, a couple of leaves
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
Salt, Pepper to taste

  1. Dice cucumbers and tomatoes.
  2. Tear basil into small pieces.
  3. Throw cucumbers, tomatoes, and basil into a bowl. 
  4. Drizzle EVOO and balsamic vinegar over everything. 
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Enjoy!

~ Savannah FitNut aka Morgan McNeal

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spinach Turkey Patties

First beach visit of the season is complete with many more to come. Why doesn't everyone live near the beach? It was so relaxing sitting on the sand with the sun beaming down on me absorbing lots of vitamin D. I wore sunscreen although may have forgotten to reapply after we were there 8 hours. Now I have my base tan. No lectures please about me being a sun worshiper.  People think I look 6 years younger than I am, so when I quickly get wrinkles or whatever, I may look my age.  I look better tan, it makes my teeth look whiter. I think I will be back at the beach this weekend. Be jealous, it's okay.

I did a bit of traveling this week for work, just to Atlanta. Because I drove, I was able to pack healthy items. My hotel room also had a fridge, so I was able to buy some groceries at the local market, instead of eating out for every meal. I went to Whole Foods and honestly, cannot wait till they open in Savannah. They are scheduled to open in September and every time I drive by the site, it looks as though they are making progress. I'm excited!! Why? Because I need a place for better foods. I want good grass fed meats, more options for organic produce, and their smoothies are really yummy. Also, I think with the addition of Whole Foods, we (Georgia, haha) are providing more access to healthy foods. Don't get me wrong, I do not believe everything Whole Foods sells is absolutely healthy, but it does provide a lot of options.

Speaking of smoothies, I know I throw lots of spinach in my smoothies to make sure I am eating lots of greens.  I usually buy a huge container of baby spinach each week and sometimes, I need to use it quick.  So this week, I decided to throw a huge amount into some turkey patties.  Yum yum!  Also, sprinkled some bacon on top for garnish, haha.  Right, the only reason I ate bacon was as a garnish.  Biggest Lie Ever!

Spinach Turkey Patties

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup egg whites
3 cups of spinach
1 TBSP Cumin
1 TBSP Chili Powder
1 TBSP Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp minced garlic
4 slices cooked crispy bacon, broken into small pieces
Olive Oil
Salt, pepper to taste

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, throw your spinach in with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Sauté until spinach is wilted.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all your ingredients including your wilted spinach.
  3. Form small patties from mixture and cook over medium heat, turning once.
  4. Garnish with bacon.  J
  5. Enjoy!

~ Savannah FitNut aka Morgan McNeal

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Radishes, Jicama, I am trying new things!

I think I am open-minded when it comes to trying new foods.   However, when it comes to vegetables, I was almost certain I have tried all there is to try….. And then the other day I was on Pinterest and low and behold, a recipe for roasted radishes.  Radishes?  Hmmm, I have only seen those on salads and I never buy them.  I do not really enjoy the bitter taste.  From the reviews of the recipe though, I thought I would give it a try.  The recipe was simple enough and a 16-oz bag of radishes was $1.29, so I thought why not give it a try?  I am glad I did!  The roasted radishes were very good (however, some of the reviews stated they tasted like potatoes…. I did not agree with that, haha).

Also, a few months ago when I was in San Diego, I went to a restaurant and enjoyed a spicy shrimp burrito in a jicama shell.  It was tasty, but when I returned back home, I never looked for it, because I really had no idea what it was.  Then, our friend invited us over for dinner and she had raw jicama cut up.  Again, another amazing vegetable I have been missing out on.  Often referred to as a “Mexican turnip,” it looks like a white potato. You can cook jicama too, but I have been eating it raw.  It has mild sweet taste, but is good for dipping into homemade guacamole.

I decided I need a week off from work to make all the recipes I have saved, printed out, emailed myself, etc.  Honestly, I must have about 50 that I really want to try making, and just not enough time to make it all.  Do you think my boss will be okay with that?  Probably not, haha.  Oh, and I also just received a new cookbook from Juli Bauer of which has a bunch more recipes I need to make.  I am glad the radish recipe is easy to make and takes no time at all…. Leaves me time to make lots of other things (I miss my double oven!). 

Roasted Radishes

1 – 16 oz. bag of radishes
Olive Oil
Salt, pepper to taste
** Experiment with this, try different herbs and see how they turn out.  I used some fresh thyme from the garden and it was very good.

  1. Preheat oven to 455 degrees.  Place a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet (helps with easy clean up).
  2. Toss radishes with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl to coat.
  3. Spread the radishes on the aluminum foil lined baking sheet in an even single layer.
  4. Roast for 20-30 minutes.  Check on them frequently and give them a little stir to prevent burning.
  5. When the radishes are a little brown, wrinkled, and soft, they are done.
  6. Enjoy!

~ Savannah FitNut aka Morgan McNeal

Friday, May 3, 2013

Beach Time Bliss and a Raw Dessert

Cilantro for Cinco de Mayo!
I have to say goodbye to April and hello to May, which when you live in Georgia means it is about summertime.  Soon, the weekends will be spent at the beach and my skin will turn a nice shade of brown.  Don’t worry, I will be wearing my sunscreen, but when you live at the beach, you are bound to get a little sun.  I am quite happy about this, as my white legs are starting to annoy me.  Haha.

My husband and I took a mini vacation to Chattanooga this past weekend.  We had planned to do a little trail running and simply unplug.  We stayed at a place called “Cabin in the Clouds.”  I booked it through VRBO.  It was a really cute cabin and had a great view.  However, it rained all weekend.  Kinda torrential downpour type of rain.  On Saturday, we did a little trail running and we were quite wet and muddy when we finished.  Sunday though, we had planned to go to the aquarium, but instead, stayed in our pajamas and watched movies all day.  It was a much needed getaway.

I was worried about my garden since I was away for the weekend, and it did not seem as though Savannah had the same downpour that Chattanooga had.  But luckily, everything still looks good.  I still need to buy stakes since the plants are growing taller and taller every day.

Recipe this week is a raw dessert.  While I was in Chattanooga, I was leafing through one of the magazines that were left behind and I found this amazing recipe.  I have no idea what the magazine was, so sorry for stealing the recipe, but it is too good not to share.  Enjoy!

Bliss Cup
¾ cup pitted dates (about 16)
3.5 cups of water
1 cup raw cashews
2 TBSP vanilla extract
½ tsp sea salt
3 avocados – peeled, pitted, and mashed
¾ cup raw carob powder
1 pint raspberries
1 TBSP agave nectar (optional) - I did not use it, raspberries were sweet enough.

  1.  Soak dates in 1.5 cups of water for 20 min.  Drain and reserve the date water.
  2. Soak raw cashews in 2 cups of water for 20 min.  Drain and set cashews aside (you do not need to keep this water).
  3. In food processor, blend ½ cup dates, half of vanilla, and half of salt until smooth.  Add mashed avocados and process until smooth.  Add carob powder and 1-2 TBSP of reserved date water.  Blend into smooth mousse.  Set aside.
  4. In blender, combine cashews, remaining dates, vanilla extract, and salt and ½ cup date soaking water.  Blend until you get smooth cream.
  5. Mix raspberries with agave in separate bowl.  The agave is optional though.
  6. To assemble, spoon ½ cup of mousse into bottom of parfait glass.  Follow with ¼ cup of berry mixture, and then ¼ cup of cream.

** Makes 4 servings

~ Savannah FitNut aka Morgan McNeal