Apricot and Kale Salad with Cumin-Scented Chicken

I feel like we’ve been heavy on the dessert posts over the last few weeks, but as tasty as they are, that’s not all we fill our bellies with – honest! During the week, we aim to have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes, which usually means we fill our plates with a salad and some type of protein, saving our treats and time-consuming meals to enjoy on the weekend. It’s a good thing we love our greens!

Salads are so easy to throw together and rarely require a recipe. Case in point is this apricot and kale salad. With all the great benefits of kale, it’s a no-brainer, adding it to your daily diet. And the last-minute addition of a cumin vinaigrette definitely elevated our salad game this evening ๐Ÿ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Apricot and kale salad

Our salads are quite formulaic and we generally add ingredients that follow the same basic FASST rule. What’s this rule I speak of? Well, let me tell you ๐Ÿ™‚

The FASST rule:

  1. FAT: Use an oil (olive, peanut, sesame) in your dressing, or slice up an avocado. Fats help the body get the most nutrients out of your salad greens.
  2. ACID: Aย squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, or vinegar (white wine, red wine, balsamic) will really brighten up the taste of your food.
  3. SALT: Add just a pinch of salt to really bring out the flavours. A splash of tamari, soy sauce or fish sauce will do the same.
  4. SWEET: The sweet balances out the salt. More often than not, we add fruit. Fresh fruit is easy in the summer, but dried fruit (dates, cranberries, raisins) are nice and easy as well. No fruit in your house? Add a drizzle of maple syrup in with the olive oil.
  5. TEXTURE: Adding some crunch or chew to your salads will keep them interesting and filling. We add cooked grains (farro, quinoa, lentils) or nuts and seeds, and usually other raw veggies.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Apricot and kale salad

The time-saving weeknight cheat:

We will often buy a roast chicken earlier in the week and add it to our meals over the following few days. It’s a life-saver on those nights when you’re rushing home from work, or when you need to bulk out a meal and time is of the essence.ย This salad comes together in about 15 minutes and, like all of our weeknight salads, can be filled with whatever you have in the fridge.

Hopefully you’ll take advantage of the last of the late-summer stone fruits! I know that peaches and nectarines would be great in this salad, too.

Apricot and Kale Salad with Cumin-Scented Chicken
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
For the salad:
  • 1 bunch of kale, thinly chopped
  • 4 ripe apricots (or any in-season fruit)
  • Handful of blueberries (grapes would be great)
Add ins:
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • Chopped cilantro or parsley
  • Roast chicken breast, shredded
For the Vinaigrette
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground paprika
  • ½ fresh lemon, juice and zest
  • Pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Finely chop the kale. Whisk up the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or jar and pour over the kale leaves. Quickly massage the vinaigrette into the leaves, to soften. Allow this to sit while you prep the remaining ingredients.
  2. Slice the apricots into medium-sized wedges and roughly chop or shred any roast chicken you have on hand. Add to the salad.
  3. Toss in blueberries, sunflower seeds, toasted almonds and chopped cilantro.
  4. Mix thoroughly and serve.
Notes
This salad holds up well in the fridge over a few days. Great for leftover lunches.

Enjoy this Apricot and Kale Salad!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Apricot and kale salad

Easy Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

If you’re living on the West Coast, you’re probably in for another soggy weekend and are looking for something to warm you up. If you’re living in Eastern Canada, you’re probably in for another hot weekend and are looking for something that doesn’t require you to turn on the oven. My food solution for both? This easy chicken satay!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Easy chicken satay

One of the first cookbooks Jonty and I bought together (along with a Toast-R-Oven that we still have today, over 15 years later!) was this Thai cookbook. The recipes were easy to make, with relatively few ingredients, and the food always tasted good. For two young students on a very tight budget, this was a good thing, as it meant we didn’t have to go out to our local Thai restaurant for our spicy-food kick – we could just make it at home!

Fast-forward 15 years later, and we’re still looking for ways to incorporate the spicy, flavourful Thai-inspired foods. Chicken satay is one of those dishes that people love to eat. Maybe it’s the food-on-a-stick thing, or maybe it’s the spicy peanut flavour. Whatever the reason, this recipe is a keeper and with BBQ season in full swing, it makes a great addition to any summer grilling plans.

As with most marinaded foods, the longer you leave the chicken hanging out in the marinade, the more flavourful the satay will be. I mixed this up in the morning and grilled the chicken in the afternoon, a few hours later. If you can leave it for at least 30 minutes, however, I suspect your taste buds will be more than happy!

If you have a handful of skewers, feel free to use them. If you’re a skewer-free house, don’t rush out to buy any, just grill the chicken pieces as is. In one way, it’s almost easier if you don’t use skewers!

The only accompaniment you need for the chicken satay is a simple peanut sauce, and we’re pretty firm that you cannot omit this, because peanut sauce is one of the greatest sauces known to humankind ๐Ÿ™‚ We shared a recipe for our easy peanut sauce a few weeks ago, and now’s the time to bring it out! If you want to make an even easier peanut sauce, just blend up some peanut butter, lime juice and soy sauce and thin with water.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Easy chicken satay

We mixed up a simple salad to serve the chicken satay with, and it was a perfect bowl-food dinner!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Easy chicken satay

So get your summer grill on and make this easy chicken satay!

Easy Chicken Satay
 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Adapted from the book Simply Thai Cooking
Ingredients
  • 750 - 800 g boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into 5-mm thick slices
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 - 3 red Thai chilis, finely chopped (or omit, if you don't like spicy food)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
Instructions
  1. Slice the chicken into 5-mm thick strips, that run the length of the chicken breast. To make this easier, place the chicken in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm it up.
  2. Mix up marinade and pour over the strips of chicken. Marinade the chicken for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.
  3. Grill the chicken under broiler or on the BBQ.
  4. Serve the chicken satay with a simple salad and peanut sauce.

Enjoy!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Easy chicken sataySave

Beet Green Smoothie with Mint and Chia Seeds

We eat a lot of beets around here, quite often on the form of this tasty dip. We eat them raw or roasted, quite often in salads, but I have never thought to have them in a smoothie before… until now!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Beet-mint lime-green smoothie

A few months ago, I saw a recipe for a Beet smoothie in a Bon Appetit magazine edition, and it was this gorgeous deep-purple colour. That version does not include any greens, but mine sure does ๐Ÿ™‚

The smoothie is packed full of the good stuff – beets and a banana give it a touch of sweetness, kale for the greens, mint and a healthy squeeze of lime juice to give it a nice kick.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Beet-mint lime-green smoothie

With the addition of greens, I wasn’t sure if the smoothie was going to keep its vibrant colour, but it definitely did! It’s amazing how much one very small beet will turn everything a deep purple hue ๐Ÿ™‚ And the taste was quite refreshing – it will not have the sweetness of an all-fruit smoothie, so I would suggest adding a small amount of maple syrup until you’re happy.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Beet-mint lime-green smoothie

Aside from having this vibrant colour, this green smoothie boasts a great list of health benefits.

Big Beet Benefits:

  • High in nitrates, which help increase the blood supply to hard-working muscles, especially during those long, strenuous workouts (hello, climbing!)
  • Great for lowering blood pressure
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • High in anti-oxidents, vitamins and minerals (hello, iron, calcium, vitamins A and C!)

So whether you’re drawn to the colour, or drawn to the health benefits, both roads lead you to the same answer – you should make this smoothie! ๐Ÿ™‚

Beet Mint and Lime Green Smoothie
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1 large smoothie
  • Serving size: 1 smoothie
  • Calories: 225
  • Fat: 4.1 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 47. g
  • Sugar: 20.4 g
  • Sodium: 86.2 mg
  • Fiber: 11.9 g
  • Protein: 7.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 55 g (1 small) red beet, chopped
  • 75 g kale
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (to taste)
Instructions
  1. In a high-speed blender, blend together the beet, kale, mint, chia seeds and water.
  2. Add the frozen banana and lime juice and blend until smooth.
  3. Add maple syrup, if desired, and blend again.
Notes
For a cold, thick smoothie, make sure the banana is frozen.
Depending on how sweet your beets and banana are, you may need to add a bit of maple syrup, to taste.

Enjoy!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Beet-mint lime-green smoothie

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Chocolate Orange Smoothie

Sunday Smoothie: Week 4

Goodness! How can we be entering the final week of January already? I only have one smoothie recipe for you today, but if you like those Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, this Chocolate Orange Green Smoothie will probably be right up your alley! ๐Ÿ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Chocolate-orange smoothie

Now, since starting the January Smoothie Challenge, I have learned a few things.

First – You can pretty much use ANY type of fruit, and your smoothie will taste just fine!

Second – You can pretty much use ANY type of green, and your smoothie will taste just fine!

Case in point – Rainbow chard was on sale last week, so I picked up two big bundles of it, and have been using this as my green for all Week 4 smoothies. And (spoiler alert!) all the smoothies have tasted great ๐Ÿ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Chocolate-orange smoothie

I suppose Swiss chard is a fairly neutral green anyway, but still – don’t be afraid to use any green you’d like, spinach and kale are not the only two options! Also, I always add the stems to my smoothies (if you have a high-speed blender like a Blendtec, getting the smoothie smooth should not be a problem). This adds a good amount of fibre to the drink and once the fruit has been added to the mix, you won’t taste any bitterness at all.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Chocolate-orange smoothie

One more note – I usually add chia or flax seeds to all the smoothies. It’s a great and simple way to add additional fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients to your diet, just a tablespoon or so does the trick!

Chocolate Orange Smoothie
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1 smoothie
  • Serving size: 1 smoothie
  • Calories: 218 cal
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 47.4 g
  • Sugar: 24.8 g
  • Sodium: 205.7 g
  • Fiber: 10.2 g
  • Protein: 5.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Drinks, Breakfast
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 90 g (1 cup packed) rainbow swiss chard (or any other green)
  • 1 cup water (or coconut water)
  • 1 banana, chopped into pieces and frozen
  • 1 small mandarine orange
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • ½ tbsp dark cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Blend together the swiss chard, flax seed, cocoa powder and water until smooth.
  2. Add the orange and banana and blend again, until smooth.
Notes
Try strawberries, instead of oranges, for another flavour option.
Make sure at least one piece of fruit is frozen, if you want a cold, thick smoothie.

Enjoy!

Climb Eat Cycle Repeat | Apple Ginger Smoothie with Lime and Chia Seeds

Sunday Smoothie: Week 3

Well, I’ve just finished Week 3, and it’s been Smoothie Sailing! ๐Ÿ™‚ But seriously, it’s been a pretty tasty challenge I’ve taken on! I may not be following the daily recipes religiously, as I’ve tried to use them more for inspiration and as a guide in order to expand my fruits and greens combinations.

The winners this week were the Apple-Ginger Smoothie (with ginger, lime, apples and chia seeds)…

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Apple-ginger smoothie

… and one I’m calling the Tropical Fiesta Smoothie, with kiwi, oranges and pineapple.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Tropical-fiesta smoothie

Mornings can be a bit of a rush, so I always make sure to prep my smoothie ingredients the night before. Once you get into the habit, it’s pretty easy. I weigh out the greens and liquids into the BlendTec jar, along with extras like chia seeds, flax seeds and ginger. The fruit gets chopped up and put into the freezer, so it’s always nice and cold.

In the morning, Jonty blends up my smoothie for me (because it takes me longer to get ready!!), all he has to do is put the frozen fruit in the blender jar and he’s good to go! Making them takes a minute or two and just requires tweaking the liquid to get the perfect consistency as the ingredients are blending!

Preparation is the key for success ๐Ÿ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Apple-ginger smoothie

As always, these smoothies make one big glass, so if you have a few people in your house who want to partake, feel free to double the ingredient list.

Also, I can’t stop seeing a face in the Tropical Fiesta Smoothie picture above, do you see it too?! Those big green eyes and kiwi nose staring at me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great Sunday, and Happy Smoothing!

Apple-Ginger Green Smoothie
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1 large glass
  • Serving size: 1 smoothie
  • Calories: 245
  • Fat: 4.4 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 51.1 g
  • Sugar: 25.3 g
  • Sodium: 284.2 mg
  • Fiber: 13.2 g
  • Protein: 7.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 70 g (1 packed cup) kale
  • 1 cup coconut water (we use the King Island Pure Coconut Water)
  • 1" piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (or ½ tsp ground ginger)
  • ½ banana, chopped
  • ½ medium apple, cored and diced
  • ½ lime, juice
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Place the kale, lime juice, ginger, chia seeds and coconut water in a high-speed blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Add the banana and apple and blend again until smooth.
Notes
For a cold smoothie, make sure at least one of the fruit is frozen.

Tropical Fiesta Smoothie
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1 large glass
  • Serving size: 1 glass
  • Calories: 270
  • Fat: 1.4 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.9 g
  • Sugar: 41 g
  • Sodium: 39.8 mg
  • Fiber: 11.2 g
  • Protein: 6.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 70 g (1 cup, packed) kale
  • 1 cup coconut water (we use King Island Pure Coconut Water)
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and chopped
  • 1 mandarine orange, peeled
  • 160 g (1 cup) diced pineapple
Instructions
  1. Blend together the kale and coconut water until smooth.
  2. Add the kiwi, orange and pineapple and blend again, until smooth.
Notes
For a cold smoothie, ensure at least one of your fruit ingredients is frozen.

Enjoy!