five of my go-to clean eating salad recipes

As someone who’s been (mostly) vegetarian for well over a decade now (since middle school!), I can’t count the number of times when I’ve been invited to a restaurant with a meat heavy menu only to be told, “But, it’s okay, they have salads!” My fellow vegetarians know how irritating this mostly well meaning statement can be because who wants to spend their money going out to eat only to order a sad salad most likely consisting of iceberg lettuce and sad, mealy tomatoes?

This is especially true when we know that we can just stay home and make our own beautiful, delicious salads from scratch. I would say most days I eat some form of salad for lunch and have begun to master the art of creating good, filling ones. Here are five of my go-to salad recipes that you can make for lunch or dinner.

creamy balsamic garden salad //
This one is really more about the dressing, so you can throw together whatever vegetables you like but I’m partial to dark lettuces as found in spring mix, halved cherry tomatoes, hemp or sesame seeds, cucumbers, and avocado. Top with the dressing which is made by blending together 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp dijon mustard, 1 tbsp honey, then salt and pepper to taste.

butter lettuce with caramelized walnuts + green apples //
This one always makes me feel like i’m eating at a luxury hotel because it’s sort of a clean riff on the traditional Waldorf salad. Start with a base of butter lettuce, then top with diced apples, preferably green and caramelized walnuts. To make the walnuts, heat a pan over medium heat and add the amount of walnuts you want to use, maybe a handful. Drizzle maple syrup to lightly cover the walnuts, then heat and toss until they become candied. I recommend using Organic Girl’s White Cheddar dressing over this. It’s delicious and not nearly as bad as most dressings, which I tend to avoid.

gwyneth paltrow’s green goddess salad //
I’m obsessed with this recipe from Gwyneth’s book “It’s All Good”. It’s a big chopped salad with corn, chopped romaine, black beans, chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced scallions, and diced avocado topped with her insane Green Goddess dressing. To make the dressing, blend together 2/3 cup Greek yogurt or Vegenaise, 1/4 cup cilantro (which I omit because I hate cilantro), 2 chopped scallions, 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, 1/2 green jalapeño, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1 tablespoon of raw honey.

kale salad with lemon vinaigrette + shaved parmesan //
For a super easy, elegant salad, massage chopped kale with a little bit of olive oil then top with a vinaigrette made from lemon juice, salt, olive oil, and crushed garlic. On top, shave a little bit of fresh parmesan. So, so good!

mediterranean cous-cous salad //
This isn’t the traditional salad as it’s not on a base of lettuce but I still consider it to be a form of salad. It’s inspired by a meal from the Kayla Itsines’ sweat app although hers used quinoa which I’m replacing with cous-cous. Prepare cous-cous according to box directions. Spread a can of drained chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil then top with dried thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Add chickpeas to cous-cous, then top with halved cherry tomatoes, hollowed out cucumber, and a little vinaigrette made by combining olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, more thyme, and a tiny bit of honey.

a tea + my thoughts // no. 1

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Last year, I did a bunch of “Coffee Talk” posts where I talked about some random topics on my mind and I wanted to continue that this year but with a new twist. The truth is, I don’t even drink coffee, so why was I naming my posts that? This year, I’ll share a new tea with you each month along with my thoughts on whatever random things pass through my mind.

The tea for this month is a drink I love to make when I want to feel really cozy. It’s a maple chai latte made with almond milk. I’ve experimented with different methods for making chai lattes at home and I think this is the best one. I use my Keurig to fill a cup about halfway with hot water and then add a chai tea bag to steep for about three minutes (I like Celestial Seasonings’ Mountain Chai bags). Meanwhile, add about 1/4 cup of almond milk to a small pot and simmer. Remove from heat, add a little bit of maple syrup to taste (about a teaspoon or so), whisk it together. Pour the maple milk mixture into your mug with the steeped chai tea and enjoy!

While you sip your chai, here’s a couple of things on my mind:

exploring your own town //
My friend, who no longer lives in my state, was in town recently and took me to her favorite coffee shop that’s like 15 minutes from my house, yet I never knew it existed and it was so cute. This happened another time with a coffee shop 15 minutes from my house in the opposite direction. I’m always so shocked that I, of all people, have been missing out on such cute spots that are so close by because I’m always driving to Orlando/Winter Park for cute places. I definitely urge you all to spend more time exploring your own hometowns because it just goes to show that you don’t have to live in New York/L.A./Charleston/Other Big City to have access to really great, local places to hang out. I know I’m certainly going to make more of an effort.

you must remember this podcast //
I love Karina Longworth’s podcast about all things old Hollywood. Recently, I’ve been listening to her Blacklist series which is about how certain screenwriters, actors, and other entertainers were blocked from Hollywood productions because of suspected ties to Communism around the mid-20th century. This is very much centered around Hollywood (Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Howard Hughes, etc.) but it really explores the broader context of Cold War fear and how this era continues to impact us politically and culturally.

a series of unfortunate events //
Did you guys read these books when you were kids? I was obsessed with them and, to this day, credit them for my interest in books, reading, writing, and my vocabulary. I remember when they did a film adaptation of the first three movies in 2004 and I was kind of disappointed. But the Netflix TV series has been amazing and such a good homage to the books. I just finished watching the final season and it just made me so happy. It even reminds me of Wes Anderson a little bit.

social media hiatus? //
Lately, I’ve been kind of annoyed by social media, namely Instagram (because I don’t have any other social media accounts). I haven’t experienced this much in the past like I know so many others have, but am definitely feeling it now. I think I’m just tired of the inauthenticity that I see a lot as well as the self-centered nature of posting every little detail of one’s life. I love Instagram for keeping up with my friends, being visually inspired, and using it as a creative outlet for my photography, but I’m considering stepping back in some way or another for a little while because it’s just getting annoying. 😹

outlander //
Yes, another TV show but I’m legitimately obsessed. I did an Instagram poll to see if I should read the books or watch the show. A slim majority voted for watching the show and I’m grateful because I’d much rather watch four seasons of a show than commit to reading 12 long books in the same series, no matter how much I love reading. Plus, sorry, but I wanna look at Sam Heughan. I don’t often get super invested in TV characters but when I watch Outlander, I swear it’s like I get sucked into that world. If any of you watch, can we talk about how insane Jack Randall is? I mean, good God.

start fresh in the new year with these organizing projects

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Have you all been watching the new Marie Kondo show on Netflix? I was planning this post before it came out, but since I started watching it, it seems even more appropriate. My favorite thing about the new year is starting fresh and setting up organization systems to carry me through the year. Here’s a few projects you can take on this month to start off on the right foot.

clean out your closet
I read that thrift store donations have spiked since Marie Kondo’s show came out because people are cleaning out their closets and saying goodbye to the things that no longer spark joy. That’s the principle I recommend following when going through your closet. Marie Kondo suggests gathering every piece of clothing you own in one spot, going through, sorting what does and doesn’t spark joy, saying thank you and goodbye to things you’ll get rid of, and then donating everything you can to your local thrift store. Then, go back with the things you’re keeping and use her incredible folding method to keep your closet and drawers neat.

purge your beauty products
If you’re anything like me, you have a ton of half used beauty products stored under your sink from the past who knows how many years. It’s sometimes hard for me to part with them because I love skincare, but I start by trashing anything that’s past it’s expiration date (yes, skincare and makeup have expiration dates) because it doesn’t require any “should i keep this or not?” It’s expired, goodbye. After you’ve sorted through, try your best to finish off anything you’ve kept before buying new products. I’ve put all of my non-expired cleansers in a little Glossier bag so I know where they are and can go through them before buying new ones.

sort through papers + magazines
I absolutely hate papers! They give me such a feeling of clutter and I try my best to not have them in my sight. 😂 Any paper I need to keep for future reference, I place in one single accordion hanging file. If I don’t need the physical copy, I’ll scan it onto my laptop then shred it. As for magazines, I try to only keep ones that I really, really love and I display them neatly in a stack. You can even scan pages you love like recipes or articles, then donate the magazines to the library.

empty your email inbox
I know a cluttered inbox is a source of stress for a lot of people and I totally get it because it’s just like my aversion to paper clutter. Go through your inbox and save important emails in designated folders to the side, then mass delete everything else. You don’t need all the coupon codes and newsletters, I promise.

unsubscribe
To help keep your inbox and mind clean, go through and unsubscribe to email lists. Also do this with your podcast app and any YouTube channels you follow. Unsubscribe to anything you’re not super excited about. If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.

pretty things no. 31

Happy Saturday! Today is the first edition of pretty things for 2019 and there isn’t much of a topical theme, it’s mostly just a collection of gorgeous pieces that work together. Lately, I’ve been loving classic style, great silhouettes and earth tones, with a few dramatic elements to spice things up.

The teddy coat trend has been going strong for quite a long time now and I think it’s here to stay because they look cute, but mostly because they are so nice to wear on super cold days. They truly make you feel like you’re wrapped in cocoon. I like this one from Vince, though, because it’s a little more subdued and comes in a nice gray that’s good for pairing with any other color.

One of my favorite style elements in the entire world is volume. I absolutely love a dress or top with big, billowing sleeves to pair with straight skinny jeans because it creates such a visually appealing silhouette. One designer who has always done volume really well is Caroline Constas. This white top of hers is perfect for every season. I love it with denim shorts and sandals in the summer, then black skinny jeans and a boot in the cooler months.

If you need a new statement shoe, I find this pair from Rejina Piyo super inspiring. I think they’d look cute with vintage jeans and a t-shirt or even a little black dress for going out. They’re the kind of thing that would work really well with messy hair and a red lip, which is obviously why I like them so much!

If you’re looking to get out of skinny jean world, I highly recommend venturing into the world of wide leg trousers. I thought they wouldn’t work for me, but now that I’ve tried them, they’re kind of my favorite thing. This pair from J.Crew is so cute and can be dressed up or down.

In the winter, I love a luxurious, warm scent and, yes, it has to be packaged in a gorgeous bottle like the Oud perfume from Francis Kurkdijan which has notes of oud, patchouli, Bulgarian rose, chamomile, violet, and vanilla.

My favorite piece on this list, by far, is this bag from Staud because, oh my god, it is gorgeous. It’s so chic and almost has a midcentury vibe to it. To me, it’s the ultimate statement bag and a total measure of great personal style. You could literally wear black Lululemon leggings and a white t-shirt but this bag would make it insanely chic.

what's your enneagram?

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I’m obsessed with all things personality and have taken just about every big test there is out there: Meyers-Briggs, numerology, The Four Tendencies, you name it. I’m an INTJ, 6 life path, questioner if you’re wondering. Although my favorite measure is the Enneagram. I swear people probably get tired of me talking about it, but there’s just so much depth and interesting insights with this test!

I wanted to share a little bit about the Enneagram as well as some thoughts about my own type just because it might tell you more about me and also intrigue you to learn more about your own personality. I think combining insights from Enneagram and Meyers-Briggs can be super useful for understanding yourself and how you move through the world.

First things first, if you don’t know your Enneagram number, take the test here. Once you have your number, there are tons of websites where you can read all about your type and even some really cool Instagram accounts like @enneagramandcoffee and podcasts such as Typology. I promise you’ll want to know the numbers of all your friends and family so that you can compare and figure out why you like each other or why you argue.

There’s a lot of complexity to the Enneagram, so there’s a lot to dig into and study. This is a really good place to start for understanding what the chart means and how all of those lines connect. It’s even more interesting when you compare your Enneagram with your Meyers-Briggs or even your astrological sign. You may find that there are contradictions, but then you realize that human personalities do tend to be pretty contradictory. I find that when I blend my INTJ personality with my Taurus sign and my Enneagram, it all paints this really eerily accurate picture of my personality.

So, I’m an Enneagram 4w3 (four wing three) which essentially means that I’m a Type 4 who has aspects of Type 3. To better make sense of this, you should know that the Enneagram is a circle. If you’re a 4, you have two wing possibilities. You’re either a 4w3 or a 4w5 because those are the numbers that connect to the four. As far as I understand, you couldn’t be a 4w7 or a 1w5, because they don’t connect along the outer circle.

The inner lines represent the paths we follow when we go through shifts in behavior or awareness. For instance, as a Type 4, my line connects to Type 2 and Type 1, my dynamic points. Here’s some more information about moving along the lines and what those inner triangles mean. In this post, they say that the Wing Point is like a neighbor. It’s easy for you to move over and adopt the point of view. Whereas your Dynamic Point isn’t easy to visit. It would require a major shift in perspective.

We each have two Dynamic Points, one forward and one backward. As you can see in the chart, my Type Four connects forward to Type 2 and backward to Type 1. This means that in times of stress, I can move to Type 2 to access some knowledge or resource to move forward in the world even though it’s uncomfortable. On the flip side, Type 1 is my relaxation point. Moving here means I’m inhabiting a personality trait that I find important for my development. It’s kind of funny that my relaxation point is Type 1, because both of my parents are actually Type 1s (my mom is 1w2 and my dad is 1w9, which is even weirder when you look into it more).

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More About Type 4

A four is called everything from The Individualist to The Romantic to The Romantic Individualist. But, I’ve seen a 4w3 called “The Aristocrat” and that makes total sense to me. 😅 Some key motivations for Fours are to surround ourselves with beauty, curate an individual image, and to find themselves and their significance.

Some famous Fours are Rumi, Jackie Kennedy, lots of classical composers, Virginia Woolf, Anne Frank, Anais Nin, Tennessee Williams, Hank Williams (the fact that both Hank and Tennessee are on the list reminds me of the song “Good Ole Boys Like Me” haha), Frida Kahlo, Diane Arbus, Judy Garland, James Dean, Francis Bacon, and Vincent Van Gogh (the most four Four of all time if you ask me).

I’ve always found it interesting that Type 4 consists of so many sensitive, artistic types whereas my fellow INTJs are people like Thomas Jefferson, JFK, Augustus Caesar, Vladimir Lenin, Nikola Tesla, Stephen Hawking, Sartre, Karl Marx, and Elon Musk. That contradiction is intriguing and poses a lot of questions about how I should be utilizing those dual personalities.