Monday, July 29, 2013

Corn & Feta Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Pasta salad is the answer to summer time cooking (or anytime of the year that you don't want to spend time in the kitchen in the evening)!  Make it in the morning (or the day before)  and stay out of the kitchen for the rest of the day!

This recipe uses a very small pasta, like stars, orzo or even Israeli couscous.  There are many other small pastas available, so choose one that's cute, fun or that the kids might like.  The pasta is so small it almost looks like rice, but it's not!

Bring it to a family BBQ, have it for dinner, bring it for lunch, have it as a snack.  Just try it.  You won't be disappointed!

*Corn & Feta Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette*
Cook Pasta:
1.5 c. small pasta (orzo, couscous, little stars, mini bow ties, etc)
  • Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water until pasta is cooled.
3/4 c. fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/3 c. olive oil
2 TB red wine vinegar
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Combine all ingredients in a small mason jar and shake to combine.
Veggies, etc:
1/2 c.  sweet onion, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
1 can sweet corn, drained and rinsed OR about 1 cup of fresh corn, cooked
6 oz. feta cheese crumbled.
  • Prepare all veggies and place in a large bowl.  Add cooled pasta and dressing.  Toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  (This dish can also be served over salad greens.)

*Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad

"Summa time and the livin' is easy"..... unless you don't have central air conditioning.
This summer, we are living in a small apartment with western exposure. We have a small window A/C unit in our bedroom, but the kitchen remains stifling hot.  Cooking dinner (AKA the hottest part of the day) is no bueno when your kitchen is approximately 85-90 degrees.  I am not complaining however, because summer is my favorite time of the year and I embrace (or adapt to)ALL things summer, even hot kitchens.

My adaptation is Pasta Salad.

Pasta salad can be made in the AM when it's nice and cool, and it just gets better as the day passes.  My trick to cooking in the summer is Pasta Salads and Grilling (fish, burgers, chicken, etc).  So I will be sharing a couple of my fav Pasta Salad recipes.  I just finished off the last of this one for lunch.  IT's REALLY GREAT: It's a new twist, it uses up your garden veggies, it's pretty and it's just awesome!

*Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad*
Cook Pasta:
6-8 oz. of dry pasta, about 1/2 of a normal bog/box (I used a combination of rotini and penne)

  • Cook pasta to al dente.  Drain and rinse with cold water until pasta is cool.

1/4 c. fresh lime juice
1/4-1/2 c. fresh cilantro
2 TB olive oil
1 TB honey
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  • While pasta cooks, combine above ingredients in a blender or food processor for 30 seconds.
Veggies, etc:
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 c. green onions, sliced (could also use a 1/2 c.  of sweet onion here for substitute)
1 mango, peach, nectarine, etc, cut in 1/2 inch pieces (I used a nectarine)
1 avocado, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
2 bell peppers, chopped (Use a variety of colors!)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped.

  • Prepare veggies and place in a large bowl.  Add pasta and dressing, toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. ENJOY!

*Recipe adapted from: &

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I'm Back...with a new Name!! (edited)

So it's been almost a year since my last blog post and a lot has changed.  I wanted to change the name of my blog, since my days as "Trailer Trash" are now over.  I wanted it to reflect me, both as a person and as a nutrition professional.  At first I was going to name the blog, "Life in Moderation," because my favorite quote from Benjamin Franklin goes something like this, " Everything in moderation, including moderation."  BUT I realized this name was extremely B-O-R-I-N-G and U-N-O-R-I-G-I-N-A-L, so I thought of all my favorite things in life: Food, Fitness, Family, Friends, and Fun, not to mention Freakin' awesome wine and Friggin' good books....then.... "The F Spot" was born...AND THEN I DECIDED I LIKED VITAMIN F even better!  It's fun, a little sassy, lightly edgy and draws you in, right? :)

Let's talk a little more about the idea of moderation, because it's truly the way.  There are many famous quotes/sayings that completely agree with this school of thought.

By Definition: "Moderation is the elimination of extremes."
How perfect would the world be if we could achieve this?!?!

I've also heard some humorous versions:

  • "Too much of anything is bad, but too much whiskey is just enough." - Mark Twain
  • "Abstinence is a wonderful thing, but only in moderation." - unknown source ;)
  • "Everything in moderation, including the truth." - unknown source... (Don't tell your kids this!)
  • "Moderation is a fatal thing, nothing succeeds like excess." -Oscar Wilde
  • "Yo, I can't do anything in moderation. I don't know how." - Eminem

There are also some versions that really make you think:

  • "The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom" -Aristotle
  • "If one oversteps the bounds of moderation, the greatest pleasures cease to please." -Epictetus
  • "Moderation is the center wherein all philosophies, both human and divine, meet." -Benjamin Disraeli

When it comes to Food:

  • I always say: "Eat a little bit of everything, not too much of anything"
  • In Ancient Greece, the temple of Apollo at Delphi was inscribed Medan Agan, which means "nothing in excess."

Okay, with all of the crazy talk about moderation, I hope that my blog inspires you to live moderately: eat well, splurge enough, work hard, play harder, and love lots!