My favorite summer salad and celebrating 8 years!

After being cooked for and eating out the last two weeks, I found a renewed energy for cooking again, and came home with a long list of recipes I wanted to make this week.

I’m linking up with Jenn again at Peas and Crayons.  Check out what everyone else is eating, too!

I’m also linking up with Brittany for Munchkin Meals. Despite some delicious meals while traveling, it’s always nice to be back to our own food again.  Here’s what I ate yesterday- a few more sweets than usual, but it was a special day:

[Breakfast (post-spin class): Plain yogurt +homemade granola + banana; Snack: bites of L’s shredded pb and apple; Lunch: Summer grain salad over spinach;  Snack: almonds, raisins and dark chocolate; Dinner: Zucchini crab cakes with avocado-wasabi dressing, Mini- spanokopita; Dessert: Toasted coconut brownie bites and Mini Zucchini-Apple Cakes (Because you get two desserts on your anniversary, right?)]

My favorite Summer Grain Salad (print recipe)

  • 1 c. bulghur
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4- 1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained or 2 c. cooked
  • (optional) salmon or chicken, diced
  • 3-4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • salt and ground pepper to taste

Cook bulghur in boiling water, or for chewier bulghur pour boiling water over the bulghur and let it sit in a bowl, covered for 30 minutes.  Drain and cool bulghur, and add veggies, herbs, chickpeas and salmon.  In a small bowl, mix lemon juice, oil and mustard.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over salad and stir to combine.  Eat warm or cold.

I love the flexibility of this salad.  You can replace the bulghur with quinoa or couscous, and can add other veggies you have on hand, kalamata olives, or feta cheese.

Depending on her mood, L will sometimes eat this with me.  She likes the cherry tomatoes and chickpeas. Yesterday was a pickier eating day, so her lunch was a tortilla roll-up with peanut butter, shredded carrots and shredded apples.

The brownie bites were so good! I based them off Gabby’s recipe. I just stumbled across her blog this week, and she has some delicious gluten-free recipes! Here’s what I put in mine:

Toasted Coconut Brownie Bites (no-bake)

  • 1/3 c. nut butter (I prefer almond)
  • 1/4 c. ground flaxseed (such as this one)
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate Life Shake protein (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey

Combine all ingredients and roll into balls.  Toast coconut for five minutes on the stove, stirring constantly (I used unsweetened coconut).  Roll brownie bites in toasted coconut and store in the refrigerator.  Yum!

On a personal note, yesterday was our 8th anniversary! We celebrated with a few days in the Finger Lakes alone last week, and will go out again on Saturday when we have a babysitter.  Last night, we were content to eat at home and have a relaxing evening.  L is still catching up on sleep from the trip and crashed by 7pm, giving us extra down time.

A lot happens in eight years.  Since getting married in 2004, we lived in Philadelphia, then upstate NY, and are now getting our southern experience in Houston.  We’ve had a few job changes, said goodbye to four grandparents, battled 18 months of infertility, and now have a sweet 2-year-old who we can’t imagine life without.

I feel so blessed to have married such a hard-working, supportive, engaged, loving partner and father.  We’ve found it is true that marriage takes work, but all that hard work to grow the relationship and practice selflessness is well worth it.  I’m looking forward to what the next 8 years will bring!



61 thoughts on “My favorite summer salad and celebrating 8 years!

  1. Happy Anniversary! You have a beautiful family. Marriage is not easy and you all have had some major changes and challenges and your still going strong. I can appreciate and sense how much you love your man. Here’s to many more happy years together.
    Your food as usual looks fresh, wonderful and delicious.. must try that salad.
    I got your email.. Iam so excited! I will email back you tomorrow. Today is the first day of school and we get the keys to our new house! yikes! I’m busy! xoxo
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..Wordless Wednesday and the Winner of my Nature Box GiveawayMy Profile

  2. Congrats to you and yours….

    I agree marriage is WORK…it seriously is like having another job where a pay check doesn’t come every two weeks but the benefits of making it work are priceless.

    Brownie bites look yummy…I will have to try those for sure.

  3. Happy Anniversary! Thanks for the recipes, when I find a spare minute I want to print off lots of your recipes – I am getting organized on the meal planning front, spurred on by one of the guest bloggers, Jill Conyers!

  4. Happy Anniversary Laura! Those brownie bites look yummy. I have never tried adding shredded carrots to peanut butter but for my picky one, this may help get her to eat more veggies. That salad looks delicious. I love bulgur.
    Robin recently posted..My 5 Hour Training DayMy Profile

  5. Happy Anniversary! Here’s to many more years of wedded bliss. Your eats look amazing as usual. I see lots of zucchini, which I have a ton of, so I’ll be making these recipes for sure!
    Marcia recently posted..Off the Deep End. Again.My Profile

  6. This recipe looks great- I always love your recipes, but with your new recipage and format, I haven’t figured out how to comments on the recipe. So, I figured I’d comment before I made the cocoballs this time. I just made the spinach-black bean dip last night for the second time. I put a little more spinach in this time- I still love it, but I think hubby prefers your version.
    Happy Anniversary!
    Amy G recently posted..Watch Her Grow…My Profile

  7. Happy Anniversary! My husband and I recently celebrated 7 years. It’s amazing how fast the time flies. Time flies by when you are having fun, right? But, you definitely speak the truth in that a marriage takes work, but it is SO worth it!

    Also, I love your recipes, especially the salad. I’ll have to give that a try for dinner one night!
    Melissa @ Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy recently posted..Cauliflower Rice and a typical WednesdayMy Profile

  8. Oh wow, that all looks good. So good. And I just realized I am starving!! I am going to make those bites this weekend for sure (gives me a good reason to finally try my husband’s protein powder). And why is it food always looks so fancy when you drizzle a dressing or sauce in a zigzag pattern?? Note to self: only read your blog AFTER I have eaten.
    Joanna @ Midwestern Bite recently posted..Munching Quickly and ConvenientlyMy Profile

  9. wanted to let you know i made this salad this week and it was WONDERFUL — it’ll definitely be a new staple in my lunch rotation.

    i used some veggies from the garden, but had to skip the cilantro because my grocery store was all out (!!!)
    i also added some feta and ate it over a bed of spinach. it was awesome, and i bet it’d be even better with cilantro.
    Amanda K. recently posted..Party on, babyMy Profile

  10. Happy Anniversary. What you said is true; it takes work, but you seem to be doing a great job working at it! What cute pictures of you guys! I love those old photos; they are priceless.
    Travel Spot recently posted..Capture the ColourMy Profile

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