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Some words about SUMMER'S BLOG

I love peanut butter, avocado and oatmeal. Not together of course, but nearly any recipe that calls for these ingredients I'll probably enjoy. I have the misfortune of living with some food sensitivities but the extreme fortune of knowing what those sensitivities are - gluten (only mild, thank goodness), nightshades, lactose, and refined sugar. I'm not a formally trained chef, but I love cooking (and eating!) delicious, guilt-free food. I'm a fitness model, certified nutrition coach, trainer and an IFBB pro bikini athlete... and I eat 6 times a day. When I'm not in the kitchen preparing something extraordinary, I'm - in the gym, rushing off to an audition, at a photo shoot, studying nutrition, or planning a vacation. Hope you enjoy my site! For nutrition consultations or more information on training, contact me at summerwhitefitness@gmail.com

Heart of Palm Salad with Dijon Basil Vinaigrette

Being out of the country for several months definitely made me realize how important food is in my life. I mean, I like pretty much all cuisines from different cultures; Indian, Thai, and all things Latin being my favorites (and who doesn’t love eating out and being social?), but what I notice myself gravitating towards is my own food. Freshly prepared, organically sourced, tasty, nutritious, homemade meals.

An old friend of mine introduced me to the wonders of breakfast oatmeal years ago.  It was flavored with honey and a drizzle of milk (I think at the time I was drinking soy), then topped with cinnamon, peanut butter, and raisins. Oh boy, was it dreamy! I’ve had that bowl of oatmeal every single day for 8 years (although I cleaned it up and removed some things, to watch my calories)!

So when I travel, you best believe I’ll be eating my oats one way or another (side note: you’ll always find a bag of dry, gluten-free, rolled oats in my luggage… just in case). Sure, the hotels I stay at boast breakfast buffets that are fit for kings. Yes, michelin star and popular TripAdvisor-approved local restaurants abound, but if you’re trying to stay fit, eating right becomes a lifestyle.

Along with that lifestyle, as we all know (and some like to ignore), comes eating lots of fresh veggies.  This is where I ran into problems, during my past journeys. Many countries do not recommend foreigners eat their local veggies raw.  Coming from, what I like to call, the West Coast salad culture, there is no way I could live without my green smoothies or raw salads! I mean it is that important to me.

So now that I’m back in lovely Los Angeles, summer salads have been all the rage in my kitchen.  I’ve been tossing organic romaine with just about any veggie I can get my hands on! Inspired by the ever-popular Urth salad at Urth Caffe (theirs is made with mixed greens, crumbled feta, garbanzo beans, and pine nuts), I’ve come up with a heart of palm salad.  I have paired the heart of palm salad with a bit of diced apple for sweetness and a simple dijon mustard, basil, balsamic vinaigrette for a bit of acid, which compliments it very well.
*For any bikini girls reading this recipe, reduce the olive oil in the below recipe by a half to give you around 6-7 grams of healthy omega-6 rich fats per serving.

Heart of Palm Salad with Dijon Basil Vinaigrette
Serves 1 

1 tsp basil, dry or fresh chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp unsweetened coconut milk
stevia to taste
fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste
4 ounces baked, poached, or grilled chicken, chopped 
1 piece heart of palm (roughly 50 grams)
6 leaves of romaine lettuce
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup fuji apple, diced

In a container with lid, a magic bull, or a food processor add the basil, Dijon, and vinegar. Shake or pulse until combined. Add the olive oil and coconut milk, again agitating till combined.  Add powdered or granulated stevia, pepper, and salt to desired taste. Pour over chicken and set aside.

Slice heart of palm rounds to about 1/2″ thick, then cut each in half. Roll the 6 leaves of romaine together length-wise, and finely slice from heart end to tip, giving thin ribbons of lettuce. Combine heart of palm, romaine, red onion, and fuji apple to a large salad bowl.  Pour chicken and vinaigrette mixture over salad. Toss and serve or cover and refrigerate.

**For those of you that want this salad a bit more delectable, and aren’t counting calories, try adding an ounce of gorgonzola cheese, and 2 ounces of diced avocado!


This entry was posted in Chicken, Food, Gluten-Free, Heart of Palm, Nightshade-Free, Salads, Sauce or Dressing. Bookmark the permalink.

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