winter citrus salad

citrus_salad_960

citrus_diptych

one of the few things i really love about this time of year is that citrus gets really good. when the high in NYC promises to be something crazy like 18 degrees, peeling a clementine or segmenting a cara cara orange over my salad honestly makes me feel like i’m somewhere beautiful and warm. it tricks my brain.

last winter, i kept ordering the citrus salad at one of my favorite restaurants over and over. it disappeared from the menu once spring hit, and i’ve been pining for it ever since. this is the version i make at home… it has a few additions, but it’s ever so lovely and quite easy, too.

you’ll need:

1 each cara cara orange, blood orange, navel orange, ugli fruit, and pink grapefruit

1/2 of a small fennel bulb, thinly sliced on a mandoline

3 tablespoons greek yogurt

2 tablespoons pickled cranberries, halved (see note)

1 tablespoon honey

small handful arugula

sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper

good olive oil

garnish with:

hulled hemp seeds

reserved fennel fronds

to assemble:

mix greek yogurt with honey. set aside.

with a small, sharp knife, cut away all citrus peel, including the white pithy part. i like a combination of segmented citrus and sliced citrus for this salad, and would suggest segmenting the grapefruit and ugli fruit and slicing up the rest. put all prepared citrus into a bowl with the sliced fennel, arugula, and pickled cranberries. toss with your hands to combine.

transfer to a plate. spoon the honeyed greek yogurt onto the side. add sea salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with nice olive oil. give a generous sprinkle of the hemp seeds and tear some fennel fronds over the top, and you’re done. this salad creates its own vinaigrette as the juice from the citrus mixes with the olive oil, salt and pepper. it is so, so good, and pretty cleanse/detox friendly, if you’re into that this time of year.

a note about the pickled cranberries: skip them if you want. but i love the tangy-sharp crunch they add. here’s a quick recipe:

place 4 oz. of fresh or frozen cranberries into a container with a tight-fitting lid. bring 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons each of salt and sugar, and 1 teaspoon each of black peppercorns and juniper berries to a boil. pour over cranberries and let sit for 2 hours or overnight. use the leftovers in any sort of quinoa or rice bowl, in a green salad, with leftover chicken, etc.

 

photo credit: laura kinsey

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

six healthy things

bkp_6healthythings6-3-13

in february, i decided to really buckle down and try to lose about 10 pounds. getting stronger was also part of the goal, since i knew a lot of my back, shoulder, and neck pain was due to the fact that i had almost no core or upper body strength. i forgot, however, that when i strength-train, or just work out a lot, i tend to gain weight. aaack! so now i’m a couple months in to adjusting my eating habits as well. really tough, since i have almost no willpower when it comes to food. so, this post is all about the six things i’m totally relying on to help me reach my goal…

1. the vitamix! one of the best kitchen investments ever. you can do completely unhealthy things with it too, like make frozen margaritas and cream-based soups, but i use it for my morning green smoothie. i’ve also made hummus, tapenade, pesto, and salad dressings in it. works like a dream, and i use it every morning for that smoothie.

2. & 3. for the purpose of this post, these two – rice cakes and avocados – go hand in hand, but they don’t have to. one of the stylists i work with turned me onto this combo. it’s so much lighter than everyone’s favorite lunch, avocado on toast. i treat the avocado the same was as if i was putting it on toast- slice, place on top of rice cake, drizzle with sea salt & pepper, red chili flake, lemon, and olive oil. avocados are a dream on their own, too – i add half of one to my morning smoothie, and find use for the other half in that day’s lunch or dinner. and the rice cakes from Lundberg are great – they come in lots of flavors and most have just two or three ingredients. that i can pronounce! they’re also great with a schmear of almond butter or hummus. basically, they are the perfect alternative to bread, crackers, and chips – stuff i used to eat way too much of.

4. kale. oh i know, it’s so ubiquitous now. but totally delicious and filling, plus eating it will make you feel super righteous. i either braise it with beans (like this) for lunch or add it to that green morning smoothing.

5. megaformer class at Brooklyn Bodyburn. the best workout EVER. for the first time in my adult life, i’m starting to have visible abdominal muscles. do you know what was there before? abdominal rolls. i’m serious. this is a completely addictive exercise that engages the entire body, and the studio i go to has great instructors and a killer playlist.

6. tera’s whey grass-fed, unflavored, unsweetened protein powder. if you’re not into that soy isolate crap and hate the chalky fake taste that literally every other protein powder on the market imparts to a smoothie, try this one. i love that it’s unflavored and adds 22 grams of grass-fed whey protein to whatever i’m making. i add it to my green smoothie (last time i’m mentioning the green smoothie, i swear) and it literally adds no taste. but if you want a flavored version, they do offer those, too. i’ve added their bourbon-vanilla protein powder to fruit and yogurt based smoothies, and it was great.

okay, so there are my six little healthy things. i’d feel derailed if these things were suddenly gone from my life. what about you? any health-helpers you’d feel lost without?