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.


Vietnam: Highlights and Memories: Sapa to Hanoi August 9, 2008

1. Trekking through the rice paddy fields of Sapa and spending the night at a home stay.

2. Drinking rice wine with the Lo Chai women and playing card games while laughing and talking candidly.

3. Riding on a moped through the countryside, past small villages and waterfalls.

4. Watching the Water Puppet Show in Hanoi, and marveling over the unique instruments that the band used to create the music.

5. Meeting up with my Australian friend Sara, who I had gone to uni with in Perth. It’s amazing how with some friends, no matter how long time passes, you can always pick up where you left off.

6. Meeting “old friends” along the beaten path. It was great to see David, John and Victoria (friends we met in De lat) while we were in Hanoi. The backpacker community is truly unique in that you are thousands of miles away from your hometown, but run into people that you “know” so the world never seems that large. In fact, it’s small.

7. Hanging out with 7 Spanish guys and being mesmorized by their accents. “Zapatillas”, which simply means “shoes”, is now the sexiest word in my dictionary.

8. Going to the movie, Sex in the City.  I know, “bad tourist”, but after 5 months of traveling, you sometimes need to incorporate a few comforts that remind you of home.

9. Taking a nap in the sun on the roof of a boat overlooking Halong Bay. Waking up and falling asleep to beauty is one of nature’s glorious gifts.

10. Riding a bicyle, around Cat Cat Island.

11. Getting a massage, while sitting outside at a bar drinking a cocktail. Kind of bizarre as the massuse moved from one person to the next in the group, but it still felt amazing!

12. Running through the rain in search of Pho’. With the rain pelting down around us, Sara, Suzanne and I happily ate the most delicious Pho’ under a tarp at a street stall vendor. The cheap and amazing food from street stalls is something that I am going to tragically miss when I go home.