Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: A Day At the Beach
Tips and recipes to help you stick to that diet while enjoying summer socializing
Most of us think that, because we are on a special diet, or have decided to feed ourselves differently, we need to stop all social interactions and activities that made us happy in the past. There is nothing farther from the truth. This new chapter in your life is all about sustaining a lifelong choice of a lifestyle that complements your recovery.
In fact, I learned many diets ago that, when you want to make sure that you are eating within the confines of your diet when in a public setting, your best bet is to bring something to the party that fits not only what you can but also what you love to eat. This way, if the whole buffet is made of foods that you either cannot or do not want to eat, you can turn back to the dish that you brought and gorge on it until the party is over or until someone calls you out on hoarding it…
Potlucks are a great invention and will fit this scenario perfectly, but sometimes, you just want to enjoy some time outside the house, either on a hike or at the beach and wonder what foods you can safely bring along with you.
One of my rules of thumb is to prepare foods that do not contain mayonnaise, dairy or raw eggs that could easily turn sour with a mixture of heat and exposure. Rather than deviled eggs, bring whole hard boiled eggs and a few different types of salt shakers: red salt, fleur de sel, Hawaiian or Himalayan salt, Maldon salt and compare the tastes and texture of each.
As well, forgo the chocolate mousse which will decompose rapidly, bring along one of our extra dark chocolate brownies or just a bar of 72% cocoa dark chocolate for a quick pick-me-up.
Pasta absorbs dressings and retains humidity so it is a great resource for picnics as long as the dressing is oil-based. The recipe for Israeli Couscous with radishes and cucumbers is a perfect illustration of a picnic ready recipe, with crunchy bites and refreshing tartness tossed along with a sustaining pasta.
As for desserts – no meal would be whole without it – bring along something that is already very rustic, as the Skillet Raspberry Tart attached, where the structure of the cake is already denser and less delicate and will not crumble away during transportation. The fruit that laces the dough of the cake also provides a bit of acidity and flavor and can easily be any other type of fruit in season at that particular time.
This allows you to foresee what your meal will look like and leave any worries aside that you would stray from your new regimen.
Just as you would read the menu before deciding which restaurant would be your better choice for an outing with friends, this will ensure you peace of mind in the food category so you can devote all of your attention to your friends, partner, kids or just the beautiful offerings of mother nature.
Enjoy your life!
French Tuna Salad Lavash Sandwich
Serves 2, but multiplies easily
- 1 package whole-wheat lavash bread (can also be replaced with whole-wheat pitas for a sturdier sandwich.
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half
- 4-6 basil leaves
- 1 (6oz) can tuna
- 3/4 cups Niçoise or Kalamata olives, sliced
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
- 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 jar or can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1/4 cup blanched French green beans, sliced into thirds
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Roll out the Lavash. Brush with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Rub each with the garlic. Line the front quarter of the lavash with the basil leaves.
In a mixing bowl, combine the tuna, olives, red bell pepper, onion, parsley, artichoke hearts and green beans. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk the lemon juice into the olive oil until it is emulsified/combined. Pour the vinaigrette into the tuna mixture and stir to combine. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
Spoon tuna mixture over the basil leaves. Roll the wrap over itself and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and cut in half.
- 1 cup pearl (Israeli) couscous
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 a ripe avocado
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 5 tablespoons avocado oil (or extra-virgin oil)
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1/2 cup edamame
- 1 small bunch radishes
- 1 small Persian cucumber
- 1 small serrano chili
- 3 scallions
- 2 handfuls arugula
Cook the couscous with chicken stock, instead of water. Read the package instructions for quantity of liquid per cup of dry couscous. Add a little salt and pepper, depending on saltiness of the stock. After cooking, toss the couscous with half of the dressing.
Make the dressing: Spoon the avocado into a small bowl. Using a fork, give it a good smooshing, until the avocado is mashed. Add the lemon juice, and a little salt and pepper. Pour the oil in a thin stream, whisking as you go, until the dressing is creamy. Taste to verify saltiness.
Wash and cut the ends off the radishes. Cut the radishes and cucumber into chunky pieces,
The chili and the scallions should be cut more thinly than the radish and cucumber. Wash the chili and cut it in half lengthwise. De-seed it and then thinly slice crosswise. Wash the scallions, and cut the white parts crosswise.
Toss the couscous, the edamame, the radishes, the cucumber, the chili, the scallions and the arugula together in a large bowl. Add the remaining dressing, and toss until everything is evenly coated.
Raspberry and Fig Cake
- Dry whole-wheat toasted bread crumbs, for dusting
- 1 cups palm sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- Finely grated zest of 3 limes
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 pint raspberries
- 4 fresh figs, cut into eighths, or additional 1/2 pint raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and coat with bread crumbs. In a bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the granulated sugar and eggs at high speed until fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in the butter and two-thirds of the zest. At low speed, alternately beat in the flour and lime juice until almost incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the batter until smooth.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Gently press in the raspberries and figs. Bake the cake on the bottom third of the oven for 40 minutes. Transfer to the upper third of the oven and continue baking for 35 minutes longer, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean with a few crumbs attached.
Transfer the cake to a rack to cool. Run a thin knife around the edge and release the springform. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar. Sprinkle with the remaining lime zest, cut into wedges and serve.