3-Bean Salad

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One of my best friends has been following a vegan diet for the past few months and claims she has never felt better. I eat vegetarian accidentally all the time and have tried eating vegan once before. There is a ton of information out there about the benefits of veganism, so I thought I’d challenge my self to eat plant based last week. I prepped some delicious overnight oats, and this delicious 3-bean salad, but dinner got away from me when I ended up at a new Dallas hot spot and dove into enchiladas completely forgetting about my “vegan” diet. OOPS!

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Anyway, back to this salad. I love beans, but I feel like they can get a bad rap. For vegans and vegetarians, beans are an incredible source of protein. Even for meat eaters, I think we should all love a bean now and then. There was a little sandwich spot at OU that my friends and I loved to go to. I’d almost always order a 1/2 sandwich and salad combo with my salad choice being their 3-bean salad. It wasn’t a popular opinion amongst my fellow 20 year olds, but I loved the kidney bean, green bean and chickpea salad they served.

I’m going down a rabbit hole and I’m not surprised if I lost you, but if you are still here, I’m basically just here to tell you that this 3-bean salad is great. Great for lunch balanced with some berries or apple on the side, would be great as a side at a barbecue or could even make a great dip with Fritos or tortilla chips kind of like a Texas Caviar situation.

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3-Bean Salad
yields about 4, 1 cup servings

Ingredients:
1 -15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1-15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1-15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado, cubed
2-3 Tbsps. olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste (I use a decent amount)

In a large mixing bowl add first six ingredients. If serving immediately add avocado. If serving later, wait to add avocado until time to eat. Add in olive oil, lime juice and salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Serve as an entree with fruit, a side dish or with chips for a dip!

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Will stay good for 5-7 days (without avocado). I take this salad as lunch and divide amongst 4 of my favorite jars and take 1/4 of an avocado with me to add day of right before I eat.

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Annie

Bites of My Life

Popping in on a Wednesday for one last bite as an official OKC resident. I cross the border tomorrow to stake ground in Texas. But let’s recap a really great last week before I go.

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-You may remember me mentioning my co-worker Ethan back during my stint at Topgolf. We hadn’t seen each other since we left that job three years ago, but we ran into each other at a stoplight, literally, which then proceeded to plans to get drinks before I moved. It was like things never changed when we got together!
-If you love ginger like I do, run to TJ’s for this lemon and ginger sparkling water.
-To celebrate Global Running Day, Chlo and I traded our normal path to run through the prettiest area of the city followed by a Whole Foods breakfast after.
-Exhibit A of Whole Foods breakfast. Somewhere on our run our conversation made a turn to yogurt. We satisfied the craving immediately with a non-dairy yogurt and fruit and granola from the breakfast bar.
-A work happy hour to celebrate my work-wife’s HR certification and a last toast before my move. PSA if you didn’t know, I’m keeping my job just working remote. ILY Social Order!
-My friends threw me the best going away party last Friday. We grilled out, there was a balloon garland, adorable cookies and a few too many rounds of flip cup that resulted in a few too many tears…
-Wedding #2 to celebrate our princess bride Em alongside my best friends from high school.
-Quick break from packing for this clean out the fridge meal: grapefruit, salami, pickles and mustard. I wish I could say this was weird and strange, but I often eat meals that look just as odd as this.
-Mom made this orzo and farro salad alongside this sheet pan meal for a last Sunday dinner and it was delicious night of and just as good for leftovers these past few nights. Would be amazing to take to a summer cookout.

p.s. Did you catch last week’s post on the Best Brandy Ice in OKC?

Forever grateful for you Oklahoma. I’ll be back soon (in a month 🙃)

Annie

Bites of My Life

It’s always hard to jump back into the week after a really great weekend. This weekend was a really great one. I spent the past three days at the lake with some of my best college friends. We’ve been "lake ratz” for the past three years, with confident plans to resume next year as well. It’s one of my favorite traditions as well as the perfect way to kick off summer. The weekend has consistently fallen on my birthday which is just an added bonus.

Spent the first day of my 26th year, starting to pack and prep for my move and ended with an impromptu birthday dinner with mom and dad (we are celebrating Friday!). Mom made two of my favorites. This salmon and this salad. Finished the day with The Bachelorette because I am unashamedly loving Alabama Hannah’s season!

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-Last Monday was the epitome of living in Oklahoma. The day went something like this: weathermen predicting severe weather, the entire state cleaning out their storm shelters and parking their cars in every open garage, businesses shutting down, all for nothing to happen. Yes after staying home from work and “taking shelter” at my parents, all we got was rain…
-Can’t wait to start Save the Plums. Thanks to Ellen for the early bday gift!
-Shared how I prep then freeze Perfect CCCs when I’m making cookies in advance on instagram stories last week. All the tips are saved in my highlights!
-The Best Breakfast Casserole made it’s appearance at the lake this weekend. Always a crowd pleaser and always great for a bigger crowd.
-Oklahoma has been dumped on the past few weeks. We rolled up to our rental to find a foot of water covering the road leading up to the house and the ramp to the dock halfway under water. Don’t think for a minute this stopped us from wading through it to enjoy time on the dock.
-Coffee (tea) and cards before the days got started.
-Lake food is the best food, but it also makes me not want to eat it for another year. So many chips and beers consumed….
-We had a table on the deck of our rental that fit all 14 of us around it. We spent each night after dinner circled around this table playing rounds of picolo and playing song after song.
-The packing has begun, but first I’m having a garage sale to purge my belongings.

Annie

Okie Southern Salad

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Disclosure: I'm totally ripping off a salad I had recently. The idea of roasted okra in a salad had me anxious to recreate. This salad takes the flavors and ingredients of Oklahoma in the summer. I guess Oklahoma is technically the "midwest" but Okie Midwest Salad doesn't have the same ring to it. My current binge of Bravo's Southern Charm must have me feelin' southn'.

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Corn, okra, pecans, black eye peas, all the goods make it in here! And it all comes together with a grainy mustard vinaigrette. I prep all the ingredeints and eat on it for a week, but it also makes for a great entree salad for about 4 people. 

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Okie Southern Salad
yields 4 servings

Ingredients:
2-3 romaine hearts, depending on size (i buy the 3 pack from Trader Joe's)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled
1, 15 oz can of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 small red onion
1 lb. fresh okra
1 1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn (2 cobs)
3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
chive, small chop
olive oil
salt and pepper

Mustard Vinaigrette:
1 tbsp. grainy mustard
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
2 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. honey, agave or maple syrup
salt and pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wash and pat dry your okra. Trim the ends off and slice about 3/4 of an inch thick. Place on a roasting sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, tossing half way through. 

While the okra is roasting, time to make the dressing. In a mason jar combine all ingredients. Twist on the lid and shake to combine. A small bowl and whisk will work fine I just prefer the jar method!

Slice the ends off your romaine hearts. Chop into big shreds and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse your black eyed peas and set aside. Slice your small red onion in half and finely dice 1/2 of it, set aside. Slice your grilled chicken breasts into thin slices, set aside.

Your okra should be finishing up. Once out of the oven, transfer the okra to a plate and set aside. Using the same roasting sheet add your fresh off the cob or frozen corn. Turn the oven up to broil and broil for 3-5 minutes watching it the whole time. This is my longtime method of getting that grilled corn taste without having to deal with the hassle of a grill. You don't even have to thaw the frozen corn. 

Time to assemble. Over the chopped romaine, add in black eyed peas (you can heat in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute or leave them room temp), roasted corn, diced red onion, roasted okra, chopped pecans and chicken. Drizzle over as much or as little dressing as you like. Toss to combine. Garnish with chopped chive and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 

*This salad is really just a process of prepping ingredients and then tossing all together. When I make this for one person (moi), I prep each ingredient then store separately in the fridge. To make, just reheat the chicken, okra and corn. Then toss with remaining ingredients, portioned out for one serving. 

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Annie

Bites of My Life

This week I was reminded of how much can change in a year, or really more of how different things can be at one point in time, just a year apart. Thank you Timehop for always reminding me of these moments. This week last year, the restaurant group I work for was opening our biggest undertaking to date. I was working around the clock, I hadn't seen my friends in weeks, I was pale from not seeing the sun, there was no time for blogging, reading, watching TV, seeing movies, but I was still loving every minute of it. And have never been apart of something more rewarding. If you are in town this weekend, help us celebrate!

This week, this year, things are relatively slow work wise (a nice break from the hustle that was april-may-june), I'm loving all the time I'm getting with friends and family and yes I'm tanner than I've ever been in my life (LOL). I have time to bake (cue campfire cookies), binge on TV (currently: Southern Charm), saw a movie for the first time in forever (got the invite to an early screening for Crazy Rich Asians: it's so good!!!) and reading. Yes, reading. I finished my 6th book of the year this weekend. 

It's nice to have the change from last summer. This summer has been really "summer-filled" if that makes sense. Lot's of time to enjoy the things you can only really do in the summer. This weekend was spent at the lake with my fam. It was a relaxing, fun and the perfect summer weekend.

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-#NationalPinaColadaDay celebrated a bit more healthy in the form of a protein shake, but it still took me back to Waikiki Beach!
-Princess Elsa at your service! Hilarious but cutest way to start my Tuesday after being asked to dress up as Elsa from Frozen to surprise a bunch of 4-year-old girls while they enjoyed "Princess Camp."
-Trader Joe's Frozen Chicken Tikka Masala doctored up with some peas for color and greens. What is your favorite TJ's frozen meal?
-Got to put my flavor input on this weekends featured drink at The Jones. Included my current favorite things: blackberry, ginger, lemon, gin and tonic.
-I just really love this picture, that is all.
-Campfire Cookies! I mean JK's Campfire Cookies, renamed by my brother-in-law. Get the recipe here for these s'more/Perfect CCC hybrid cookies.
-#LakeBaby
-My favorite breakfast casserole courtesy of one of my besties family recipes! Perfect lake breakfast or breakfast for a crowd.
-Chips in your sandwich or you're doing it wrong.
-Book #6 finished! The goal is 12 in 12 months. 
-Waterloooooooo!!! Who else has tried the new sparkling water craze? I bought the black cherry flavor and I'm loving it. 
-Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto made for the best veggie filled dinner after the all-carb diet at the lake.

Annie