When I was a child, my mother could not get me to eat anything besides hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese. As an adult, my culinary preferences could not be more opposite. I crave healthier, whole foods and love tucking into a massive, satisfying salad. Inspired by the left overs in my fridge, here is a quick and easy salad that I whipped up recently over the weekend featuring kale, sweet potato, avocado and grilled chicken.
It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re not traveling a ton. Compared to March, where I was quite the jetsetter, April found me exploring London, trying new recipes and other fun unexpected adventures.
The month started with lots of long walks around London. The above photo is from my happy place – Regent’s Park, but I also ventured to a number of other places, including…
A lovely walk along Embankment Bridge and South Bank on a sunny day.
…And exploring a very cool hidden garden within one of London’s ugliest buildings, The Barbican.
I also got to partake in a mixology class. My first ever – suffice to say, mixing up amazing cocktails is a LOT harder than it looks!
For a country that has a reputation for being grey and rainy, there sure seemed to be a lot of sunshine this month. I definitely appreciate sunny days a lot more now that I live in London – a bright day like this immediately turns into an outdoorsy day! Here I am pictured exploring Hyde Park.
An interesting trend in London has been experiential museum exhibits from luxury brands. A great way to immerse oneself in the brand’s history and craftsmanship, I loved exploring Hermès Wanderland at London’s Saatchi Gallery. Fun fact: this gallery always has really cool exhibits on and is free!
This month also resulted in a number of cool discoveries – including a velvet-wrapped Rolls Royce. Only in London!
I also explored a few cool spots around London, including The Artesian at The Langham, repeatedly named one of the best cocktail bars in the world!
On a healthier note, I finally got to try a juice to go at Roots & Bulbs in Chelsea. The green apple, strawberry and coconut H2O was a refreshing pick-me-up after tons of walking.
I also discovered a new favorite place for hot yoga and green smoothies – Triyoga! Very calming, I am smitten and will definitely be back. The Soho location adjacent to Carnaby Street also makes for a nice spot for grab & go smoothies and healthy vegan/vegetarian eats.
Unfortunately not all of the month generated zen-like bliss. I had a stressful morning when my shower blew a major fuse and knocked out all of the power to my flat. I’ve never lived in a flat where everything is electric – including the shower! It’s kind of like a scene in a horror movie when you’re in the shower and everything goes black. It took about a week to get my shower back up and running – THANK GOODNESS I had a gym 10 minutes away.
Luckily, the £2 morning coffee and pastry deal at Carluccio’s is EXACTLY what one needs to ‘recover’ from such traumatic experiences.
As is getting AMAZING and unexpected presents from dear friends. My friend Betsy Weber totally made my month by sending me my lego mini me in the mail! Side bar: When you’re an expat, mail from home is always an amazing surprise. It may be hard – and expensive – to send large packages, but a simple letter is always a thoughtful gesture!
I also went to Pret A Diner, a very cool bohemian traveling dinner party. This one was hosted at the posh Hotel Cafe Royal in London and was an incredible experience. I would have blogged about it, but the lighting doesn’t do it justice.
I also cooked up a storm this month, including a Chicken, veggie and brown rice stir-fry.
And chicken thighs with edamame, butternut squash and curried brown rice. Yummmmm!
Spiced cauliflower couscous was also a success!
As was a breakfast treat in the form of a matcha, banana, watermelon and protein smoothie.
Thank you April for a great month. Who’s ready to ‘hop’ into May? 🙂
I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I consume a greek yogurt parfait way too often (e.g. multiple times per week). Guess that’s what happens when you’re super busy during the work week and don’t have much time to cook. My favorite combo? Fage 2% greek yogurt with cinnamon stirred in, a gala apple (chilled in the fridge) and a little museli or granola to top it off. There’s also the occasional drizzle of raw agave nectar (yum).
This salad is one of my go-to’s when I want a quick, healthy lunch. Combining items I already have in my apartment, plus a teensy bit of prep work, this salad comes together in a flash. I take chopped kale, roasted butternut squash, edamame, peas, feta and dried cranberries and toss it in a homemade apple cider/Dijon mustard vinaigrette. The end result is so delicious and a great way to add extra veggies into your diet.
Have you heard of chia seeds? You probably have and you don’t even know it – think “ch-ch-ch-chia.” Yep, crazy to believe, but the seeds behind your beloved Chia pet also have rockstar status in the superfood world. Nutrients found in chia seeds include omega fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, calcium and protein. Don’t believe me? Read this blog entry on chia seeds from Dr. Oz’s team.