salad recipe

A Few Meals

I’ve been making a summer salad lately that is really good! The first time I made it, I blanched the asparagus (2 minutes in boiling water and then into cold water) and mixed it with cherry tomatoes from our garden, fresh mozzarella, chopped onions and Italian dressing. It was really tasty.

This time I made a greek version. Asparagus, onion, tomatoes and then made a greek dressing, added kalamata and black olives and feta. It was delicious! I love this salad and it’s a nice way to use up asparagus instead of just grilling it.

So we had the greek salad, some naan bread and Michael grilled some lamb chops. (He marinated the lamb chops in olive oil with fresh onions, mint, rosemary and thyme.) The lamb chops turned out perfectly on the grill!

The next night we had some friends over for dinner. Michael got some fresh salmon (with the skin on) to grill. Michael seasoned the salmon with salt, pepper, lemon juice and fresh thyme.


Our friends brought various veggies to grill that they bought at the Farmer’s Market. They brought zucchini, corn and Walla Walla Sweet onions.

The veggies were just seasoned with ghee, salt and pepper. Everything turned out so perfect! The salmon fell off the skin in perfect chunks, it wasn’t dry at all and perfectly flavored.

Dinner was outstanding and our new favorite meal! We can’t wait to recreate it. It all went so well together and the grilled onions were to die for! If you’ve never done it before, do it asap.

Look at this feast:

I’m going to be thinking about that dinner for a long time. I mean, it’s all simple, healthy things but it was all really stellar. And of course, the fresh salmon was a million times better than the frozen farmed salmon we get from Costco. I know, it’s convenient and cost-effective, but after having the good stuff…I don’t know if I can go back!

For dessert we grilled up peaches and topped them with whipped cream. That was all we had. The whipped cream was nice and went well with the peaches (and low in calories) but I think next time it would be better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some granola on top.


Enjoy the Moment and Breathe

Do you ever have one of those weeks where it seems like nothing is going right and the Universe is out to thwart every attempt at happiness and stress-free living? Yeah, that was last week. And it sucks because it started off so well! I successfully snowshoed with no pain and had a wonderful holiday…and then things went downhill from there. By Friday I was pretty much done. I’d reached my limit of crap! I went to the pool and had a very nice, hard, fast swim trying to get out some of the frustrations. Of course, one of the lanes was full because two guys old enough to know better (seriously, like 35) decided to take up the whole lane splashing each other with the swim noodles. And then one of them decided to swim across the pool the wrong way and almost crashed into me. Despite the annoyances, my swim was great: 1.25 miles in 45 minutes with the first 1/2 mile done in only 14 minutes.

Michael and I watched “We Need to Talk About Kevin” Friday night (not exactly a “hey you had a bad day let’s watch a movie to take your mind off it all” kind of movie). I’d just finished reading the book (it was a difficult read but good) and wanted to see the movie adaption. I thought it was pretty good but I had a few complaints about the interpretation.

Saturday morning the gym was surprisingly quiet and damn near empty! I don’t know why, but I wasn’t going waste it. I got my kick-ass workout down in 1.25 hours and then spent some time stretching and foam rolling. I’d taken a few weeks off from the kettle bell because I’d tweaked my shoulder a little bit but it’s much better now and I gave it a go again Saturday. It went well.


For dinner on Saturday night we went out to Branch Whiskey Bar on NE Alberta. We’ve been there before with friends and I had a Groupon expiring in three days. Use it or lose it! The place was packed; I guess everyone else realized their Groupon was expiring too. We had to wait at the bar for a table for a little while but the atmosphere was cool and we were enjoying our Terminal Gravity IPA beers.


We finally got a table and started with an appetizer of their famous fries cooked in duck fat. They are amazing–crispy and salty and decadent. One of the things I love most about Branch is their music. I swear it’s my iPod — The Cure, Echo & The Bunneyman, Psychedelic Furs, Depeche Mode. It was a soundtrack of my favorite songs!


Eventually our dinners came. Michael had the steak cobb salad with blue cheese and homemade croutons. He loved it. I got the creamy polenta dish with pork shoulder and spicy chilies. It was flavorful, creamy and spicy. I didn’t get any good photos because it was so dark in the restaurant, but trust me it was top notch. I ate half of my entree and probably way too many duck fat fries and enjoyed two pints of my beer (that’s a lot for me).

It was nice to get out of the house and have a date night. It’s been awhile since we’ve done that. Sometimes you just need to get out of your head and leave your problems behind and just ENJOY THE MOMENT. I don’t do that often enough. I schedule, schedule, schedule!

Sunday I had a nice, quiet swim and then had the leftover pork and polenta for lunch. I also made a salad for lunches for the week.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Prep time: 20 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 8
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 TB chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 TB lemon juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss to mix.
Calories: 222

The salad was super easy to make. I made a few alterations: I used grape tomatoes because that’s what I had and I used a whole cucumber instead of half.


The salad was really tasty! I added a little bit of feta cheese crumbles to it and that made it even better. It’s a little bit higher in calories than I normally like for a salad, but it will be a nice and healthy lunch for the work week. I don’t know where I printed the recipe from but they calculated it as 80 calories a serving–that is WAY off! 222 is what I calculate.


This salad would be great for a potluck or dinner party. I definitely felt better about life by the end of the weekend. I guess I just needed a reset.

QUESTION: How do you decompress when the stress is too much?