smoked salmon, mango and veggie salad

Today I made a really easy and healthy salad for lunch. I basically just used whatever I could find in the house 🙂 It tasted really good! If I would have had capers I would have put in a table spoon or two as well, but it works great without too. This salad serves 4.

What you need:
salad with smoked salmon

100 grams (3.5 oz) smoked salmon, cut in smaller pieces
3 cups of green leaves, such as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce (I mixed 3 different types).
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 red onion, in thin slices
1/2 cup snow peas, trimmed and cut in half
1 carrot, peeled and cut in thin slices
1 ripe avocado, cut in bites
A handful Alpha alpha  sprouts
1/2 Mango (can be replaced with apple or pear)
1/2 cup broccoli, lightly steamed
1/2 cup cauliflower, lightly steamed
1/2 cup brussel sprouts, steamed
1 handful of nuts and/or seeds (I used walnuts and pumpkin seeds)
1/2 Lime
olive oil plus salt and pepper

1. Steam the brussels sprouts for about 4-5 min and let them cool
2.Steam the broccoli and cauliflower for 2 min and let it cool
3.Add all the ingredients in a large bowl
4.Drizzel over olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
5.Squeeze half a lime over and add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: You can serve this salad with toasted whole wheat bread or whole wheat pita bread. Also, experiment with other ingredients if you don’t have what I used.

Bon appétit 🙂
salad with smoked salmon

chocolate Peanut butter cookies

I love these cookies made of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)! They taste great and are really easy to make.  No flour or eggs needed! This recipe makes about 14 cookies.

You will need:

1 1/4 cups of canned chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinse well and pat dry with a paper towel.
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons natural 
peanut butter
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn’t have salt in it
1/2 cup or 80 grams of dark chocolate

*Preheat the oven to 350˚F or 175˚C
*Blend all the ingredients except the chocolate until smooth in a food processor, mixer or blender.
*Stir in chocolate chunks.
*Line a baking tray with baking paper/parchment paper and make about 14 cookie balls.
*Bake for about 10-12 min.

healthy cookies

Note: Make sure you use a natural peanut butter (made of peanuts and salt only) such as Whole foods 365 creamy peanut butter or Arrowhead mills, organic peanut butter. Check the ingredients before you buy it. Almond butter also works in this recipe!

Winter in Cali

Yet another beautiful day! 23 ˚c/73 ˚f in winter is not bad for a Norwegian! To me it seems like its always sunny in California! I think I’ve only had 2-3 days of rain since I got here. That’s how I like it 🙂 I didn’t make any huge new year resolutions this year except for two that I will be able to keep! 1. Floss my teeth every night (haha). 2. Exercise more. So far so good, haha. Anyway, I’m just so motivated to exercise these days, I think it’s because it’s a new year and I’m determined to keep my promise to myself and be more active. I notice that my mood drops if I don’t stay active or eat well.

santa monica beach
Santa Monica Beach
santa monica beach
The ocean is so beautiful and sparkling
santa monica beach
Power walk in the sand

santa monica beach

It’s NEVER too late to start a healthy lifestyle. Make a plan and do your exercise early in the morning, in your lunch break or after work. I prefer waking up early and go for a long walk in the sand. For me, music is important to keep me motivated, so update your playlist often to make your exercising more fun!

My favourite song right now 😉

santa monica farmers market sunday

As we’ve been away we haven’t been able to visit the farmers market for a few weeks. It was so nice to go again today!  They have a great selection of fruits and veggies and its all so fresh and organic. It’s such a nice atmosphere there with live music and a park area where you can sit and enjoy the sun. You can buy freshly squeezed juice, organic coffee and other fresh food from food stalls around the market.  You can also make your own flower bouquet and bring fresh flowers home 🙂 The farmers market is held every sunday on main street from 9:30 am – 1:00 pm. We usually buy all our veggies for the week here. christina lindal at santa monica farmers market christina lindal santa monica farmers marketsanta monica farmers market christina lindal at santa monica farmers market

veggies
Catch of the day 🙂

The Florida Keys

We just decided the night before to go on a day trip to the keys, mainly the first key : Key Largo. We went to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park area and lay on the beach for a bit. Justin checked out the snorkeling there, but the water was too murky and it wasn’t much too see. We went to the boat rental place next door and were really lucky to get a boat in the end. We called several places and they were all booked out for the next coming days. TIP: book a boat in advance ;). Our boat was only available for three hours, but it was so worth it. If you’re going down to the Keys I would definitely recommend going out on a boat and doing some snorkeling and soaking up the sun in the front of the boat. We had a route we had to follow due to the shallow water along the reef. We stopped and anchored the boat next to one of the posts on our map and jumped in the water with our snorkeling gear. The water was crystal clear and the first thing we saw was a huge stingray. We also saw a couple of barracudas and lots of colourful fish. The main attraction, which was a Jesus statue on the bottom of the ocean was pretty spectacular and well worth the trip. We loved it.

justin brannock key largojustin brannock in key largo christina lindal and justin brannock in key largo, florida.christina lindal in key largo, florida.

After the sun had set, we were hungry and started looking for a restaurant with good seafood in Key Largo. Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen was ranked number 1 on trip advisor so we decided to give it a try. The portions were huge! (Like everywhere else in the US I guess). We ordered the grilled fish of the day, which was grouper. It was good and the service was very friendly and good.

mrs. mac's kitchen mrs. mac's kitchenmrs. mac's kitchen

Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen

We were supposed to drive back to West Palm Beach later on, but decided on going all the way to the last key; Key West. It took us about 2.5 hours from Key Largo and we arrived around 10 pm. We tried to get a hotel room, but as it was in the middle of the holiday season everything was fully booked. That’s what’s happens for people who don’t plan anything like us. Haha. Key West is known as the party island of the keys, so most bars and restaurants were filled with cheery and tipsy people. We decided to take it easy as we were a bit tired from going out the night before, so we just had one drink in a bar and watched people walking past. Then we just slept in the car in one of the side streets, it was very warm and cozy! 😉

christina lindal and justin brannock sleeping in the car
Our night in the car

christina lindal

The next day we woke up to the garbage truck beeping like crazy and decided it was time for a little walk down to the beach and get some coffee. It was a nice morning, cloudy, but the sun was just about to break through. We walked to the pier and to the southernmost point of the USA, only 90 miles from Cuba. Thereafter we got a coffee from one of the few cafes that were open that early, Café Mocca. A charming place for a morning coffee! Then it was time to head back home and celebrate the new year.

key westkey west marine parkkey westkey west

christina lindal and justin brannock
Happy New Year everyone!!!! 🙂

 

The Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge

I really wanted to see wild alligators, so Justin took me to the swamp area where we spotted 3 alligators. I have to admit I was a little bit nervous when we saw this huge alligator looking at us in the water. He looked hungry. When he suddenly jumped out of the water to steal a fish a man had gotten on his hook, I was ready to run to the car. But we didn’t get eaten this time!!

alligator in floridajustin brannock in the swamp the swamp

We continued to walk around on trails through the swamp and spotted two more alligators. They are really fascinating to watch, just floating smoothly through the water. One was trying to get a bird and was sneaking up on him, but the bird saw him just in time and ran off. We stayed until after sunset. The sunset was magical, the sky exploded in red, pink and yellow and we just stood there and took it all in before we headed back home.christina lindal in The Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge alligator in The Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge christina lindal in The Loxahatchee Wildlife RefugeThe Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge sunset in The Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge

FLORIDA

We spent 2.5 weeks in Florida with Justin’s family. We had an AMAZING time. Florida really is beautiful and perfect for people who love an all year around warm climate and gorgeous beaches. His family lives in West Palm Beach in a really nice and safe neighborhood. West Palm is about an hour drive north of Miami. I really loved the Palm Beach area and think I prefer it over Miami.

Every morning we would start with a big cup of coffee outside on the back patio overlooking a gorgeous canal with lots of wildlife: birds, turtles and sometimes even alligators. A perfect start of the day! After that we would either go for a morning walk, take the dogs for a walk, go for a bike ride or go straight to the beach.

morning coffee on the back patio
morning coffee on the back patio
Back Patio
Back Patio

Christina lindal

christina lindal and justin brannock

christina lindal

christina lindal
Morning walk in the neighborhood

If you’re going to Florida I would definitely recommend renting a car so you can see different places. It’s quite difficult to get around without a car as most places are pretty far away from one another.

Food and travel for thought