Simple Delicious Food: Keeping It Lean with Protein
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Eating healthy does not have to be a complicated endeavor.  Nor does it have to be boring and tasteless.

Gone are the days of eating a plain poached chicken breast as a means of healthy eating.  My rule of thumb is cut the junk!  No need for tons of sauces and extras.  Let your ingredients be the star.  Quite often, salt and pepper is all you need.  The shrimp below were marinated for 20 minutes in just salt, pepper, some fresh squeezed lemon juice with a touch of oil.

Who says every meal needs a starch?  Try going double veggies.  We often do a salad and an additional veg as our second side.  Believe me, I’m a Southern girl and was raised on meat and potatoes but, I promise you will not starve if the potatoes don’t hit your plate every night!!  Here are a couple side dishes that are incredibly easy to make, will tickle your taste buds and won’t send you to the couch with a food coma.  I forgot to mention also super easy on the eyes.  You would be proud to serve to your family, for a party or bring these dishes to any event.

Caprese Skewers

These guys are super pretty and really easy to make.  You can make ahead of time (same day) and save the olive oil and Balsamic drizzle until right before serving.  We used small pear tomatoes but you can easily swap out for any type just cut them down to bite size.  Same goes for the fresh Mozzarella.  We found the tiny sized Mozzarella balls and cut them in half.

Ingredients:

  • 2 baskets pear or cherry tomatoes (approximately 4 cups)
  • 2 bunches fresh Basil
  • 14 ounces fresh Mozzarella
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper (2 pinches of each)
  • 1 pack of bamboo or wooden skewers (smaller sized or cut standard skewers in half or in thirds depending)

 Directions:

  • Rinse and pat dry your Basil.  Then take each leaf off separately.
  • The trick to this recipe is making your skewers bite sized.  It is easy to want to fill a whole skewer but I promise they are much easier to eat if you make them as they are pictured above.
  • Assemble your skewers by placing a tomato first, then folding a piece of Basil in half as you put on skewer, followed by a piece of fresh Mozzarella and then another piece of Basil.
  • Finish with one more tomato.
  • Lay all the skewers on your serving platter then drizzle with olive oil and Balsamic vinegar.
  • Finish with good pinches of salt and pepper.

Feta and Watermelon Salad

This salad couldn’t be simpler to make and truly is a showstopper.  I love the balance of salty and sweet and the fresh flavor factor is through the roof.  Who knew watermelon and feta cheese were friends like this??

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups small cubed watermelon
  • ¾ cup feta cheese
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint

 Directions:

  • Remove leaves from mint stalk.
  • Rough chop leaves.
  • Save a few leaves use as garnish.
  • Place cubed watermelon in a serving bowl.
  • Add feta cheese.
  • Top with rough chopped mint.
  • Toss just before serving

Keeping things simple doesn’t mean you are lacking anything in the flavor department.  On the contrary, you are allowing the natural flavor of your food to shine!!  The same goes for entertaining.  Simple can be very chic.  Don’t overdo it.  You don’t have to exhaust yourself in the kitchen and with your décor to make a beautiful evening.  I hope you use these recipes and enjoy them as much as I do with my friends and family.  Below are some of my fav finds in the land of serving pieces and entertaining.  Bon Appetit!!!

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Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.