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Beaches, Work Transitions, and Pizza

I love going to the beach. My fiancé and I get up early and usually hit the beach no later than 9am which for me is the best time to be there. It's quiet, peaceful, not too hot, and not crowded. There's nothing better than listening to the sound of the ocean and enjoying the sunshine. We had a great day and enjoyed lunch at our usual spot, Martell's Tiki Bar in Point Pleasant, NJ. Our romance began there and it's become a summer tradition for us.

This week was a busy week of transition between my regular job and my summer job. What is it I do you ask? During the school year I teach dance for several studios and over the summer I choreograph musicals for Summers and LREI's Musical Theater Workshop. I truly love what I do but going from starting work at 3pm to starting at 8am takes a little adjusting. Meal planning was essential for me this week as getting home at 6pm and then starting dinner was not going to happen. For Father's Day I made a huge batch of quinoa tabouli to ensure I would get a few meals out of it.

It was absolutely delicious and it was a great new flavor for my taste buds this week. The combination of mint, parsley, and lemon was so refreshing! I used the large pieces of lettuce to create a wrap for the quinoa and it made both tasty and convenient. Here is the recipe (taken from Donna Gate's The Body Ecology Diet recipe section):

2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (I used a mix of both white and red)
1 cup cucumber, diced small
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup scallions, finely sliced
1 cup Mint-Garlic Dressing (1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup unrefined oil, 2 garlic cloves, 1 Tbsp. mint leaves minced. Blend all ingredients except oil to combine. With blender running on low slowly add the oil till emulsified)
Lettuce leaves as garnish.

1. Combine cucumber, parsley, scallions, and quinoa.
2. Add mint-garlic dressing. Chill salad in fridge before serving.
3. Serve on lettuce leaves.

I ate this at least 3 times this week. It was super easy and an easy go to meal.

I was also craving pizza badly this week. I had bought cauliflower to ensure I would make it this week. On a previous post I made pizza using a cauliflower crust that I modified from 2 blogs. Over the last few weeks I've done a lot of searching on Pinterest to find a gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free crust recipe and I'm happy to report I found it here! The crust was pretty sturdy and had I had more time I would have flipped it to brown both sides. By far this was the best crust I've made to date.
For my pizza toppings I used the following:
1. Pizza Sauce: Roast a red pepper on an open flame till charred on all sides. Put in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. Peel off the skins and chop pepper into small pieces. In a blender combine red pepper pieces, 1-2 cloves of garlic, and just enough water to blend. Finish with extra virgin olive oil to taste.
2. Sauteed red onions with garlic.
3. Steamed Kaleidoscope Chard.

It was the most delicious dinner I had all week! I am not ashamed to admit I ate this whole pie myself and I did it without being over stuffed. What I love about this recipe is the toppings are endless! The only Body Ecology restriction on this one is do not put any starchy vegetables or nuts on this; the egg in the recipe is animal protein and will not combine with these ingredients. But feel free to use any organic free range meats :-)

Lessons for the week:
1. Big batches of food are life-savers for a busy week.
2. Pizza is a great treat and when it's made of cauliflower it's OK to eat the whole thing :-)
3. Beach days are great for charging up for a busy week.

What's your favorite way to gear up for a busy week?


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