Smoked Salmon Salad

Smoked Salmon Salad

I’ve really been embracing salad recently.

Honestly, it wasn’t too long ago that I turned my nose up at leafy greens, but now I’ve started craving them. This salad is one of my favorites. It falls very low on the effort scale, but very high on the flavor scale. Here’s my smoked salmon salad!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of fresh “spring mix” greens
  • 1 serving of cherry tomatoes (around 10)
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 1 fillet of seasoned smoked salmon
  • Oil & Vinegar
  • Pepper

How to Make This Smoked Salmon Salad

Easy! Wash your spring mix, halve the cherry tomatoes, chop up the hard boiled egg and throw it all together with your salmon on top! Sprinkle some oil, vinegar and pepper to taste, and voila! You’re done!

The salad ends up at just around 300 calories, so I usually serve this will some wild rice or quinoa. Hope you enjoy!

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

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Coffee Cup Quiche

quiche

I recently stumbled on a blog post about about coffee cup cooking and fell in love with the concept. Not only is the meal made in minutes, but it’s also automatically set up for adorable presentation. This morning I created my own gluten free coffee cup quiche, and can promise I will be making it again, and again. Hope you enjoy!

Prep time: 

3 minutes

Ingredients:

(I can almost guarantee you have all these items laying around!)

  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk (may substitute soy or almond)
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/8 of a Shar Gluten-free baguette (you can also substitute 1/4 a bagel or a similar amount of bread)
  • 2 teaspoons cream cheese
  • 1 slice of ham
  • Cheddar Cheese

How to Make a Coffee Cup Quiche:

1. Beat the egg and milk together with a fork in a coffee cup, adding salt and pepper to taste.

2. Tear bread into dime-size pieces; stir in. Add cream cheese; stir in. Tear ham into small pieces; add to mixture.

2. Microwave on high about 1 minute 10 seconds. Sprinkle cheese on top; microwave for an additional 30  seconds or until done.

Cals per serving:

approx. 230 calories

There is no sincerer love than the love of food.

There is no sincerer love than the love of food - George Bernard

I mean, really.

Food is pretty amazing, and I’m not shy about saying that I love it, deeply and sincerely.

Food nourishes my body. It has the ability to act as my medicine. It brings me closer to those I love, whether through sharing a meal or swapping foodie tips and tricks. It provides venues to mix with diverse groups of people and an accessible way to share one’s culture. Yeah, I’m a big fan of food.

Food is wonderful in another way, that I would be remiss if I weren’t to mention: Food provides comfort, which I am often happy to accept.

Yes, I am a self-proclaimed comfort (emotional) eater, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. When I return home after a particularly challenging day, I wash my face, put on a pair of comfy sweats, and head to the kitchen to start cooking.

Like most emotional eaters (EEs), I have an arsenal of comfort foods for any given day. One of my favorite savory go-to’s is the cheesy, delicious, loaded quesadilla.
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Here’s how I like to prepare mine.

What you’ll need:

  • Tortilla (I use a gluten-free version)
  • 1 thawed chicken breast
  • seasoning (garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper)
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1/2 cup of white rice
  • 1/4 cup of Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/3 avocado
  • lime
  • Fresh Salsa (homemade or store-bought)

How to Make My Quesadilla

After thawing my chicken breast, I usually brush on some light olive oil and sprinkle it with garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper. I throw my black beans on the stove to cook and usually add some garlic, onion and jalapeno if I have it lying around.

While heating up my pan, I dice the chicken and check that there is enough seasoning. (I prefer cooking diced chicken in general because it’s so easy to gauge how quickly it’s cooking and avoid drying it out.)

As the beans simmer and the chicken cooks, I move to assemble the quesadilla.

I start by spearing on some lightly seasoned rice (I’ve been in an instant rice kick) and then sprinkle about half a serving of cheese on top. I slice my avocado, add some lime and garlic salt, and place it on top of the cheese and rice. When the chicken is ready, I put that on top, then take a helping of beans and spread it across the other side of the tortilla. This way, I can trap the “top layer” of cheese and avoid some mess!

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I think you all can imagine the rest, but make sure to spray your pan and flip the quesadilla a few times until each side is a warm, golden brown and CRUNCHY!

Then, dig in and enjoy! I know I did!

Alright, I shared one of mine! What’s your favorite comfort food?!

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

A Taste of KLUTCHclub

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If you know me even remotely well, you’re probably aware that I’m a proud and committed thriftser. I love browsing seasonal sale racks and have come to love the internet’s equivalent.

I first became hooked on two deal sites—Groupon and LivingSocial—during a winter spent in the Chicago area. Recently, as I scrolled through LivingSocial’s national deals, I came across a $1 coupon for a “best of box” from a service called KLUTCHclub.

KLUTCHclub is a monthly subscription service that sends “themed” boxes of holistic health, fitness and wellness products. As with similar subscription services, like the popular beauty equivalent BIRCHBOX, subscribers get to try out and learn about new, niche brands and products that fit their interests.

Even though I’m not big on monthly subscription sites, I thought, “Hey, it’s only a dollar! Whynot?!”

After redeeming my coupon and paying the $8 shipping and handling fee, I anxiously awaiting my health and wellness box’s arrival.

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A few days later, my KLUTCHclub box arrived and I was ready to rip it open and explore the organic, healthy, fit products within.

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As I pulled the items out of the box, I was impressed with the variety of products. Definitely worth the $9 investment! Products ranged from a soy joy health bars to organic energy drinks to a rejuvenating facial cleanser.

Though I haven’t tried out many of the products yet, I’m really looking forward it and plan to keep you all updated with a few product reviews.

Today I brought and “organic flavrz,” an all-natural liquid drink mix to work with me. The flavor is called “boost” and has a citrus-hibiscus taste. It’s USDA and Quality Assurance International certified Organic, non GMO, gluten-free AND delicious. At 70 calories per pouch, it’s a great, low-cal way to add a little extra flavor to your day. One point for KLUTCHclub! 

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The quest to find the best gluten-free products…

scampi

Shrimp Scampi made with Heartland gluten and wheat free spaghetti, fresh shrimp, olive oil, fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, pepper and lemon juice

It’s not like gluten-free products are ridiculously expensive, but when each product is marked up 50 cents to a dollar, that difference can easily add up. It takes time to build up a new catalog of favorite, trusted brands. And there’s a lot of trial and error involved because, trust me, there are a lot of less-than-savory gluten free substitutes. So I’m here to be a taste-testing guinea pig, and hopefully save others from buying products that don’t fulfill our high GF expectations! I’m on a mission to find the best products–pastas, breads, flour, granola–all the carbs that a new GF individual feels that they can’t live without.

Yesterday, I branched out from my normal, go-to brand for gluten free pasta to try something new. As I browsed the specialty diet section of my local Giant Eagle, I noticed a brand I had never tried, Heartland.  I liked the packaging as was interested in it’s claim of “Traditional Pasta Taste!” So I snatched up a package of the corn and rice blend spaghetti and headed home to make a scampi.

pasta

Product:

Heartland Gluten Free Spaghetti

Serving size:

  • Dry Pasta: 2 1/8″ (circumference)
  • Cooked Pasta: 1 cup

Nutritional Information:

  • 200 calories per serving
  • 0g Saturated Fats
  • 0mg Sodium
  • 0g Sugars

Cook Time:

9-11 minutes

Rating:

★★★★☆

Cook time for the pasta was pretty true to what was directed–about 11 minutes boiling until it reached the perfect texture. As usual, I used a tablespoon of olive oil to help keep the pasta separated–a trick I learned from my childhood best friend’s chef father. Like most gluten free pastas, this one caused the water to become cloudy and starchy as it cooked, but no worries, this is normal! If you use oil too, it will help keep the pasta from sticking to itself.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with the taste of the pasta and how it held up once cooked. Many gluten-free pastas fall apart once you try to toss them with sauces, veggies or protein, but these noodles remained intact. I would highly recommend this brand to anyone who wants the same pasta eating experience as before they went gluten free. You can barely tell the difference! Good work, Heartland!

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

About Alternative Eating

Welcome to my new blog, Alternative Eating!

If there’s one thing that my finicky stomach has taught me, it’s that not all foods work for all people. I’ve learned that by adopting a specialized diet, a person can experience significantly positive side effects–from weight loss to increased energy and improved mental health. I tried out the gluten-free lifestyle and I’ve (almost) never looked back!

Here’s my theory:

Happy tummies lead to happier lives!

If your diet isn’t working for you, try something new! Explore different diets and ingredients to find the foods and flavors that work best for you. That’s what this blog is all about. Exploratory eating. Alternative Eating.

Here’s to eating, drinking & loving life,

Lo