this past weekend, even though we were on a little vacation and there were hotdogs and hamburgers all around, we tried to keep it dense by making some smarter choices for dinner sunday night.  all recipes were concocted by my good friend Jane and had some really flavorful and nutrient dense ingredients!   along with our grilled porkloin, we had whole wheat pearl couscous salad with fresh tomato, basil, and balsamic, chickpea and parsley salad with lemon, olive oil, and parmesan, and fresh corn and basil stir-fry, which was probably the biggest hit even though it was the simplest by far to prepare! 

the corn and basil stir-fry was super simple.  cut the corn off the cob, saute in a large pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and finish off with some fresh cut basil, that's it!

the couscous salad had whole wheat pearl couscous (aka Israeli couscous), which is bigger than regular couscous, fresh tomatoes from the farmers' market, basil from Jane's garden, and good balsamic vinegar, and of course salt and pepper.   Jane, like me, gets inspired by recipes in magazines and cookbooks, but rarely follows a recipe exactly.  if you decide to try this out, do it to YOUR taste, you really can't mess it up too bad!  taste as you go and decide what needs to be added. 

same with the chickpea salad, how much lemon, parsley, and parmesan you add is up to you.  we used two cans chickpeas (aka garbonzo beans), drained and rinsed, juice from one lemon, about 1/2 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley, 6 chopped basil leaves, about 1/2 cup freshly grated parm cheese, salt and pepper, and 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. 

did i leave anything out Jane?

we had a lot of fun at the lake!  and i did have a leftover hotdog for lunch on monday!  thanks so much to Jane and Kevin's friend Dean for letting us stay at his place!

we got some sun, swam a lot, had a couple boat rides, Jane got up on some skis for the first time in 18 years, and ryan made it out monday after he got back from his guys trip in Destin late the night before!

after getting home last night, i was having a little trouble coming up with ideas for this week's dense dinners, so i turned to my beautiful vegetarian cookbook "Plenty" that was given to me by my friend Jessica and now i am ready for the week.  here is what i am creating...
roasted sweet and spicy slaw with purple cabbage, carrots, and mango
raw beet and yogurt salad with grilled pepper relish
purple potato and fennel gratin, hopefully with some fish
broccoli and edamame stir-fry with coconut and ginger along with honey/cocoa amaranth...that should be interesting! 

ryan's birthday is friday, so i am trying to decide where i want to take him for dinner.