meal planning: nicoise salad

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Have you ever thought about what you are eating every single hour of your day? My response will forever be no. Sure, I have been on weight watchers and numerous other diets throughout my life, but I have never had to meticulously think about the nutritional value of the food I am ingesting this much. That is until I found out I was pregnant. Oh boy… After that moment everything changed. There are so many do’s and don’ts that I feel the need to google “can pregnant women eat (insert item)” Every single time my stomach screams for food – which is every other hour. I am serious. My iPhone already knows what I’m about to type and it always gives me a helping hand by filling in mid-way through my sentence. It happens everywhere; at the grocery store, restaurants, at the office and even at home. I have to admit it can get kind of embarrassing, but who cares right? I’m assuming everyone knows I’m a newbie at this and will continue to learn throughout the process. Pregnancy still freaks me out and amazes me all at the same time.
Anywho, let’s get down to business. Ever since my list of don’ts have increased exponentially, I've been having a really hard time figuring out what to cook at home. Since I am the first one home in the evenings, if there is no plan in place, I usually end up devouring a buttery grilled cheese standing up at the kitchen counter. Needless to say I have to get back on my meal planning game in order not to gain the 50 Ibs I am terrified of gaining and to feed this little peanut some nutritional value other than carbohydrates and dairy.
I was very excited when I came across this salad on Pinterest. It’s the perfect mix between cooked and raw veggies and it’s not boring – and has olives and carbs! Win-win in my opinion… The original recipe had canned tuna and after googling “can pregnant women eat canned tuna” and finding out that the answer consists in a very long debate, I decided to substitute it with chicken breast. 
Let the meal planing begin! 
Nicoise Salad (Serves 2)
• For the dressing:
2 tablespoons champagne vinaigrette
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper

• For the salad:
4 ounces green beans
½ pound small new potatoes
2 eggs
2 small heads of jem lettuce (or 1 head romaine), cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
¼ cup assorted olives
cooked chicken breast
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped

Whisk together champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until combined, until thickened and emulsified. Set aside.
Boil a saucepan of water, add green beans, and cook for about 3 minutes or until bright green. Drain, and place in an ice bath, drain again and set aside. Refill saucepan with cold water, and add potatoes. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let them cool. Toss the potatoes with just enough dressing to coat. Place eggs in a small saucepan of cold water. Bring to a boil and cover. Remove from heat. Set aside for 8 minutes. Place in cold water to cool, then peel and slice in half.
Assemble the salad in a large dish. Arrange lettuce, green beans, eggs, tomatoes, olives, and tuna. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with parsley right before serving. 

Hope you come back soon,


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