A Traveler’s Terrene

You only live once. What are you going to remember the most?

Healthy Eating: Grapefruit Salsa January 23, 2009

My parents are from the Midwest and they still love cooking food they grew up on, especially my dad–he is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and truly believes that bacon makes everything tastes better. He’s not the only one though, in 2008 bacon became a huge fad. Stores and restaurants around the U.S. introduced items such as bacon flavored salt, bacon flavored toothpicks, bacon ice cream, bacon as a martini garnish and even bacon cupcakes.  What are they going to come up with next, Bacon flavored lattes? Oh wait…they already did. Honestly, some people wonder why many Americans are overweight…I mean seriously adding bacon to cupcakes, that is just a heart attack waiting to happen.

Don’t get me wrong, I like bacon, but in moderation and not everyday. Since I’ve been at my parents while I apply for my Italian visa, I’ve taken over the cooking.  And, surprisingly, my dad has loved everything I’ve made—which have all been healthy dishes! I think for most people it’s not that they wouldn’t like to cook healthy, it’s  that they don’t know how and fall back into the routine of what they know. Recognize why you eat unhealthy food, then stop making excuses. Experiment people…come on!  Open your fridge, find a healthy ingredient you already have, get online and run a recipe search.

The other night I looked in fridge and saw a grapefruit. We planned on grilling sturgeon for dinner–grapefruit salsa came to my mind as a perfect accompaniment. After doing a five minute search I had a handful of recipes and mixed and mashed ingredients to form my own easy and healthy version. My dad could not stop raving about it, so I thought I would share it with you:

Grapefruit Salsa:

2 Grapefruits
1-3 cloves of chopped garlic
2-3 Tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 lime, squeezed
salt and pepper

Peel and de-membrane the grapefruit, cut into chunks and toss in a bowl. Add the chopped garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper and voila!–a gourmet looking salsa is created in less than 10 minutes. Add the grapefruit salsa to grilled fish, top with an avocado slice and serve with whole wheat Couscous or Quinoa (I like the Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joes). Store the leftover salsa in the fridge and use the following day on a spinach salad or omelet. Delish!

Simple to make, healthy to eat and beautiful presentation.


Priorities January 27, 2008

Filed under: Round The World Trip — italicana kitchen @ 7:59 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I don’t have a fairy godmother leaving me 100 bills under my pillow nor did I win the lotto (I wish!). To save up enough money to travel for seven straight months is simple. You set priorities on how you spend your money. Do you want that $400 purse or do you want a plane ticket to another country? Do you want that $4 latte every day or do you want a bungalow on a beach?

It is a simple concept but not always simple to do. America is a materialistic society. We want…want…want. We buy..buy…buy. I will be the first to admit it, I flirt with this mad game of consumption daily. However, in order to help overcome this fight, I give myself a few little rules of thumb to follow.

1. Limit unnecessary shopping. Does this item serve an actual purpose (like toothpaste) or is it unnecessary (like a new shirt)? If it is the latter, I don’t buy it. I don’t need new clothes, shoes or other fashion items. I won’t take it with me on my trip so what is the point of buying it now as it will be out of fashion when I get back?

2. Be a cook. Cooking is almost always going to be cheaper than going out to eat unless you plan to hit up a fast food restaurant every night. I cook almost every night and I always bring a lunch with me to work. I can not express how this in itself has saved me so much money. My only downfall is that I absolutely love to cook but I don’t like to cook cheap. If you are coming over for a dinner party you will find yourself enjoying a 5 course meal. But the cost for that one dinner alone is the cost of living in Asia for a week. So, this kind of cooking falls under “entertainment” and I only do it occasionally.

3. Limit entertainment. The key here is not to deny but to limit your favorite hobbies and past times. I love snowboarding and glorious powder. I adore getting dressed up and going out to dinner. I cherish the end of the day when I grab beers and happy hour with friends. I get excited to go to the movies, plays and concerts. However, traveling is also my hobby. So I have to pick and choose. Would I rather spend a day trekking in the jungle or day on the mountain?

These three simple rules have helped me think carefully about how I spend my money. It’s not that I really deny myself of anything, I just limit the number of times I do it. This has allowed me to balance living in the moment and planning for the future.

So, if you want to go on an around the world trip there is no,”I wish I could.” Rather, what you should be saying is, “I can”–then start prioritizing.