Saturday, April 30, 2011

NEW - Spring into a healthy meal!

If you're anything like me, you start to develop a love-hate relationship with the leftover Easter pies and cakes very quickly. You spend lots of time preparing and baking your pies and breads to distribute to family and friends, only to receive twice as much back — at least that's how it is in my house. We came home Easter night with no less that four different varieties of cheese cakes, each one better than the other. But after just a few days, your diet (and waistline) can only take so much! So, earlier this week I decided to switch gears and do a complete 180ยบ turn for dinner. Healthy and light was the goal!

I took a trip to my favorite novelty market, Trader Joe's. I call it a novelty market because, unlike a traditional supermarket, I could spend hours checking out their wide variety of creative (and mostly organic) spreads, sauces, produce, baked goods, coffee and other products. Actually, the only items of theirs that I am a bit sketchy about are the 'fresh' meats. Tell me, have YOU ever seen a butcher or a meat counter in TJ's? Hmmmm....

Anyway, within just a few minutes, I was able to find the exact ingredients that I was looking for. Shredded broccoli and carrots, sweet Italian frying peppers, canned salmon and Sesame Ginger Soy Vinaigrette dressing. A little bit of chopping, shaking and stirring, and we had a healthy, crunchy and delicious meal. I would have preferred fresh salmon, but canned salmon works well in a pinch. If you're not a fan of salmon, try tuna, crab meat or chicken. You can also add whatever other crunchy and healthy ingredients you want - beans, almonds, olives, tomatoes, you name it! And with the warmer weather coming up, this will make a great side dish for your outdoor picnics and grill-outs.

So change those gears and enjoy a healthy meal...then you won't have to feel so guilty about having a little cheesecake for dessert.

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