Oh, there you are summer! The temperature has been like a fickle teenager in love lately – first it’s warm, then it’s cool – today, it was finally HOT! Blazing hot, actually. Which gave me a good excuse to get outdoors and exercise.

I haven’t run in a week in a half which feels like an eternity, so instead of jumping in with two feet, I dipped a couple toes in. Whenever I take some time off of exercising, I tend to go too hard too fast when I get back into it. Then I get sore, want to take a break for another couple days, etc, etc. So today I eased myself back into a schedule with a 4 miler – 2 miles walked and 2 miles ran. Given the current temps and the fact that I hadn’t run for so long – I thought it went really well!

I came home stARving…but had a plan…

A couple of weeks ago I saw an amazing article hanging in a break room at work titled, “101 Simple Salads for the Season ” written by Mark Bittmanfood blogger (hello!) and writer – for the New York Times. You all know my love for salads, so my eyes almost misted at the endless (well, 101) possibilities to turn farmers-market-fresh ingredients, into some of the most delectable salad combinations I’ve ever seen. Look at the picture that accompanied the article:

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Gorgeous!

I read a few of the recipes and decided right then and there that I had to navigate my way through that list – come hell or high water! Many – nay, most – of the recipes are not lettuce based, so don’t think these are your average, run of the mill, cobb salad creations either.

Each recipe, according to Mark:

  • Should take around 20 minutes or less to create
  • Minimize the use of hot cooking methods
  • Highlight the fresh fruits, veggies and herbs that are in summer-induced abundance right now

Now, I probably won’t be making each one of these recipes but honestly – the list sounds so spectacular, that I’m willing to try and make a big dent in it!

First up: #95: Citrus CousCous Salad.

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I combined 1 cup of cooked, whole wheat couscous, with the segments and juice from 2 oranges, a tablespoon of EVOO, a handful of dried cranberries, a couple tablespoons of red onion and some S&P. After mixing everything up, I spooned the salad over a bed of fresh baby spinach.

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Light the candles and bring out the violins – this was so gourmet, so fresh, so re-freshing…why go any further down the list? Recipe #95 is incredible!

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Made with everyday ingredients, this salad is easy to prepare, easy to assemble and would please any palate. 

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The bursts of juice from the orange segments are the perfect dressing for the bed of spinach.

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If you guys try any recipe from Mark’s list – make it this one. You will NOT be disappointed!

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In other news, you guys are amped for the PURE Bar Giveaway! I’m so glad! So glad, in fact, that I felt the need to have two PURE Bars today, wheeee!

As part of my breakfast, I had the Cherry Cashew bar.

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Chewy & tart from the cherries, crunchy and buttery from the cashews. Divine!

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For my after-dinner dessert I had my favorite bar…the Chocolate Brownie bar.

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Seriously…seriously…are you joking with me. This bar is like the most decadent, chewy, moist and fudgy brownie that you have EVER tasted. EVER I say!

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It is “order an entire box” worthy.

Which, hey – you CAN for 30% off and for $0 shipping! Head over the the PURE Bar website and type in the code: PURESUMMER to receive both discounts! You can also check out places to buy PURE Bars on the website. Go there quickly, you are missing out if you are not eating these!

Well, I felt the need to buy massive quantities of fruit this weekend and coupled with the overflow of fresh veggies I’ve gotten from various home gardens in the past week or so – I have some chopping to do tonight!

Don’t forget to enter the PURE Bar Giveaway – you’ve got until 10pm central on Wednesday night!