After spending an indulgent week in Spain, I returned home and immediately found myself back at the office immersed in a 2-day BBQ bootcamp of sorts. Rough job, I know. 🙂 My colleagues and I spent time with award winning BBQ Grand Champion pitmaster Harry Soo, learning the art of competition-style BBQ. Harry flew in from LA to teach us about the art and science of low-and-slow barbecue. Harry and his wife Donna showed us how to make brisket, ribs, pork shoulder, chicken, tri-tip and tuna. Before we got to chow down on all of the deliciousness, he started the day by serving us what he affectionately calls Breakfast Fatty’s – scrambled eggs, cream cheese and apple fritters wrapped in pork sausage and bacon. I need a Zantac just writing that! Seriously, my job is the best but it’s a constant challenge to be around all of this food and stay in shape. I try really hard to eat healthy and stay fit, so this kind of food is just not what I normally eat, but it’s part of my job so I try to strike a balance which isn’t always easy.
And because God obviously has a sense of humor, all of this waistline-destroying food was consumed just two very short weeks before a long awaited girls weekend in California. Aaarrrggghhhh! Breakfast Fatty’s and bikinis DO NOT go together! So needless to say after all of that decadent, salty, protein-heavy food, I have been craving food that’s fresh, light and seasonal.
I’ve been eating a lot of grilled salmon and vegetables with just a little olive oil, salt and pepper and that’s been hitting the spot. The other day I was at the grocery store and the vine-ripened tomatoes were so beautiful and ripe…I had to have some. I picked up some fresh basil and fresh mozzarella and headed home to make a salad. I cut up the tomatoes, tore the mozzarella and basil into small pieces and combined them with extra-virgin olive oil, cream of balsamic, kosher salt and a little black pepper. I like cream of balsamic in this recipe because it’s slightly sweeter and thicker than regular balsamic vinegar, but regular will do just as well if that’s what you have on hand. If you’ve never tried cream of balsamic, I highly recommend it! It’s great on cheese, fruit, grilled veggies…I sometimes drizzle it on vanilla ice cream and strawberries. Num, num, num!! It’s kind of expensive but it keeps in the fridge forever and I promise you’ll end up using it all the time.
I had the salad for dinner last night with some grilled chicken and I’ll have the rest for lunch tomorrow. And now I have three days till my girls weekend to try and undo some of the damage of the last few weeks. The good news is – marathon training is in full swing so I’m getting plenty of exercise. The bad news is – Sunday was National Ice Cream Day and who am I to argue with that?!
I’d love to hear about how you balance a love of eating and staying fit! What do you eat to get back on track after an unhealthy-food binge?