Sunday, June 16, 2013

Apple Zucchini Salad

Well, it's been a month.  Sorry about that.  BUT I have a good excuse--the Coach and I are officially homeowners!  We closed on a condo on May 21 and moved in May 25.  The whole process felt like it took forever with lots of last-minute, fun-filled drama but we did it.  And it feels SO good!  We're completely unpacked and have made some purchases but we just have more space to fill up than our wallets can handle--moving from 1 bathroom to 3 = more towels, garbage cans, soap dispensers, etc. plus bedding for the additional bedrooms and all that jazz.  Slightly overwhelming.  Which is why we were so eager for our vacation this past week!  Prior to signing our lives away, we had planned on going on a cruise this week but once we solidified the real estate upgrade we changed our location. 

We spent a few days in Providence, RI where the Coach went to a conference (which I've learned is a euphemism for fitness professionals binge drinking in athletic gear) and I enjoyed the perks of hotel living.  This entailed lots of rest without thinking about mortgages and house duties or work stressors, plus meeting with my sister who lives in the area and walking around Providence during the only two nice days of the whole week.  And obviously I found a Whole Foods to stalk.  For anyone who is planning a visit to Providence, I have two restaurant recommendations for you: 1) Luxeburger, where you can create your own burger from dozens of gourmet toppings and gorge on cheddar tots, and 2) Siena in Federal Hill (Providence's North End / Little Italy) which has the best risotto and homemade ricotta-topped meatballs.  Yum!

Then we travelled to Boston to stay at a gorgeous hotel the Coach's amazing sister-in-law got for us.  The weather was meh so we splurged on multiple daily naps in the fancy digs.  We also managed to walk around Beacon Hill and Back Bay a bit (in jeans and hoodies with umbrellas in tow, so lame for June), and went to dinner in the North End with the Coach's dad who works in the city.  Even in bad weather, there's something about being in Boston where I grew up so much that makes me super happy, so the Coach and I really enjoyed hitting up our old haunts and catching up with family.

We spent Wednesday-Saturday on the Cape with the Coach's family which was the perfect end to a week of taking it easy.  Good food courtesy of my culinary-genius father-in-law and catching up was exactly what we needed to get our souls ready to jump back in to work.  The weather held out enough for us to walk to the beach twice and OF COURSE to get some ice cream at the famous Four Seas.

Today my parents came up to visit for...Father's Day!  Happy Dad's Day to all the wonderful dads out there!  Except sorry--I think I might have the best :)  My parents allowed me to show off our new place and then gave me a huge pot filled with herbs to put on the deck.  Yup, we have a deck (!) that will soon be furnished with a brand new grill (thanks Mom and Dad!).  I am beyond pumped to turn the Coach in to a grill-master and enjoy some smoky treats this summer.

Alright, have I done enough gushing yet?  This past month has been crazy, but we are so grateful to finally be homeowners after lots of hard work.  I have been a neglectful blogger but now that I'm completely rested from a low-key week off from work, I'm ready to get cooking in the kitchen and working in the gym and to share it all with you!


So workouts have been fleeting these past few weeks.  I finished the last program the Coach gave me right before we moved in to the house, and had been just doing my own thing at the gym until we went away.  I was super ambitious and packed a ton of gym clothes in my suitcase, hoping to take advantage of swanky hotel gyms and work in a beach workout but I only ended up working out twice.  The rest of the time I just enjoyed walking around the city and strolling to the beach and decided not to stress over quality gym time.  That starts tomorrow (and it's needed after a week filled with glutenous food + lots and lots of ice cream).  I ended up lucking out in Providence with a pretty sweet hotel gym, filled with lots of free weights and space to get some good work in.  I also did one workout in our room that looked like this:

10 squats
10 each reverse lunges
10 each single-leg deadlifts
10 push-ups
50 jumping jacks
Repeat 3-5x

This is my go-to workout when equipment is limited.  The jumping jacks get my heart rate going like crazy, and the single-leg deadlift is one of my favorite moves.  Basically you keep a slight bend in both knees and then hinge forward, reaching one leg backward as your trunk comes forward, like this: cute guy with cute form.  The video shows doing it with a weight but in the absence of dumbells or kettlebells I opt for increasing the sets to get the volume I want.  Do this routine a few times in a row at a fast pace (without compromising good form of course) and let me tell ya your buns will be burning in the morning!


So since my mom brought me a pot of fresh herbs to hopefully change my black thumb to green, I decided I should trim some of the overgrown cilantro and use it in tonight's dinner.  Given all the yummy food the Coach and I have indulged in this past week, we were both more than ready for a light and fresh meal.  I served this apple and zucchini salad with some homemade meatballs and it was just what I was looking for: zucchini and cucumber are said to help with bloating because of their high water content and lemon juice supposedly is a detoxifier, so this dish seemed like the perfect answer.  I first made this salad a couple of years ago and I remember loving it, but this time I left out the added sugar and opted for a sweeter apple instead.  Here's how it came together:

Apple and zucchini salad
3T olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
2T apple cider vinegar
1/4-1/2c cilantro, chopped
1/4t salt
1/4t pepper
2 apples (I used golden delicious), diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cucumber, diced
4 scallions, diced

This is so easy.  First mix the first 6 ingredients together to make the vinaigrette, then chop up your apples and veggies and toss everything together.  You want to let this salad sit at least 30 minutes before serving but 2 hours is ideal to let the flavors really meld. 


This is the perfect summer side dish.  The flavors are really bright and simple so the produce really shines.  This would be a great side to bring to a BBQ and is so versatile--peppers, celery, and carrots would all be great swaps!

I hope you all weren't too devastated by my long absence, but you can rest easy now that I'm back :)  Hope everyone's week starts off well!