Thursday, February 9, 2012

{about the single girl}

made me smile : )
via A Cup of Jo

salad: the mystery untangled

Can you tell that I've been watching a lot of Downton Abbey by my post title? To say I love that show would be a HUGE understatement. It's tasteful drama, scandal, gossip, outrage, unrequited love and PBS. My Jane Austen heart literally... pitter patters. It's pretty intense.

Katherine gave me the good idea to write about my favorite salads since I seriously eat them daily and I was ready to have a series about salads but I think it deserves a precursor. Like any good food, salads have a foundation to them. Once you get the foundation down you can put ANYTHING on a salad and have it taste good. The options are so limitless!

We'll start with the salad itself, move onto toppings and end in dressings.

Now if you're an iceberg lettuce kind of person you should be ashamed. It has no nutritional value whatsoever. The fact that I just said that is APPALLING to me because I used to never CARE about nutritional value. But if I'm going to eat a bowlful of vegetables only to have them not count as anything, good nor bad for my body is pretty stupid of me. If I'm gonna eat well, let's do it! If I'm gonna have Harold's fried chicken then I've already resolved to eat like crap. woo!

Lettuce should be romaine, mixed greens, spring greens, fresh spinach and/or something nutritional like... shredded brussels sprouts or cabbage or kale... but you know my feelings about kale. I'm willing to give them a chance in salads. Never fear! Myself, I'm a combo kind of girl. My salad ALWAYS starts with thinly chopped romaine lettuce, fresh spinach and broccoli slaw.

*sigh* Broccoli slaw. How did I survive salad eating without broccoli slaw?! It's literally just shredded broccoli and carrots in a bag, but it adds depth to salads to where I don't feel like I'm a giant... brown... rabbit. I feel like I just ATE something legitimate.

Toppings. Toppings are where you can get creative with your salads because it's a mix of everything you like. In terms of vegetables I usually always put on either cucumbers (pickle cucumbers are the BEEEST - the skin is not too thick and they're super tiny!) and radishes - they're crunchy and bright. Love them. At any given time, in my kitchen, I have the following toppings:
  • Tortilla chips (great for literally any salad)
  • dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries, raisins
  • raw almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans and spanish peanuts
  • chicken (poached, sautéed, fajita...ed.) taco meat, roast beef, steak
  • fresh peas, fresh avocado 
  • black beans
  • mexi-corn (a word I'm pretty sure made up by Aldi... but it's so tasty.)
  • garbanzo beans (chick peas) 
  • sautéed vegetables like peppers or mushrooms
  • Granny Smith apples, mandarin oranges
  • shaved coconut
  • feta, gorgonzola, shredded cheddar cheese
  • bacon (duh.) in bit form or whole and crumbled
see!? the possibilities just keep going! This is just stuff I have in my house, not stuff I bought, but I know for a fact that all of these things can be bought at ALDI or WALMART for super. extra. CRAZY CHEAP. It just turns out that my mother has loads of food because she's amazing. True story. I plan on having her guest post pretty soon for a "How to Grocery Shop" feature story. So many younger people have no knowledge of how to shop. I think once you get the basics down you're totally set. I get to sit at the master's feet daily and she needs to impart some KNOWLEDGE. Nutrition for your EYES. 

You can't have a good salad without the finishing touch. Like earrings on a woman, so is dressing to a salad. It is the perfect finisher. My personal favorite is my mother's vinaigrette (literally. good on EVERYTHING) and Trader Joe's spicy peanut vinaigrette. Ranch? A timeless classic and pretty much a girl's best friend next to diamonds. 

...and there you have it! I make all my salad's heavy on the vegetables and the good nutritional stuff and light on the dressing and fattening stuff and it always turns out to be a great meal. Happy eating!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


via Pinterest, the female world's tumblr.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

life according to my iPhone

Hi, how are you?

Do you ever find that the most daunting question? People ask me this and I feel like I need to come up with something grandiose like "Oh, I rock climbed the face of Mt. Rushmore this past weekend and I'm currently working on inventing an iPad that floats with you while you walk. What's up with you?"

Honestly, that's the reason I don't write. My in-between moments seem so ordinary. I don't have an inspiration or something cool to say, sometimes I just want to check in and be like "hey. whats up?" I think the in-between moments are pretty okay, too. I'll have to check in more often. I miss this space just to speak. I have to stop myself when comparing myself to other people or other blogs cuz I tend to close myself off at that point. Who cares if this blog is never popular? This is my outlet to say something, or nothing, as often as I like. I'm just glad you're here with me, reading from time to time; really I just want to make you smile today.

I'm learning to live with responding to "Hi, how are you?" with a sincere, "Awesome," and a smile, because I am just that.

This will be a growing year - I can just feel it. I've got some growing pains.

1. I had great nom/girl time with Kate a couple weeks ago. I lurve her. Like Celine Dion lurves everything in all her songs. Legit // 2. Milky tea. I am the only black person I know that puts milk in their tea like the english. Well, me and my family. We're so weird. Try it, though. Milk in black tea is DIVINE and so relaxing // 3. This was a wake up view. I love the light in my apt - makes me feel like I live by the sea // 4. Sunday morning sun. It was chilly with a hint of spring in the air. My iPhone camera blows me away sometimes // 5. I eat a salad everyday, lucky I love salads but I always admire the natural ombre of chopped lettuce. Also my mother's cutting board makes me long for butcher block counters in my future home // 6. Hey remember that one time I'm completely nerdy in real life? Also check that hair flower. Check it! // 7. This was me baking yesterday evening making Kate's birthday breakfast muffins. I still dream of the Night Owl Bakery - ask me about it. I'll tell you sometime! // 8. January, for all it's crazy weather, hit full force at the very end of the month with a crazy cold snap and pretty patterns on bathroom windows. 

if you want to totally follow me on Instagram (the greatest app to ever be borned) please do at abbyblujay : )


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