Best Things We Ate, July 2016
Welcome back to the “Best Things We Ate” series! Wow, July was an amazing month. Matt passed his CFA exam (!!!). We sold our house (!!!). And we went to Vegas and Cape Cod, where the eatin’ was real good. In fact, we were on vacation for 15 of 31 days last month, and if I’m being honest, the 80-20 rule (more on that here) looked a bit more like the 20-80 rule.
But that’s okay. After a year of eating super healthy and doing several elimination diets to reduce my inflammation and heal my gut, my body is finally in a place where it can handle a little indulgence and not throw everything totally out of whack.
Related: 15 Things I Learned from Whole 30
I feel so grateful that I could go on vacation and truly enjoy myself, without any guilt. Last summer, I didn’t think that would be possible. But, once again, it’s proof that food is medicine, that food heals and that food is one of the greatest joys of our lives. Enjoy it. Savor it. And know that you can always come back from vacation and do a quick cleanse or detox to get yourself back on track.
To wit, here are the best things we ate in July, with a few healthy eating tips thrown in:
Seafood on The Cape
One of my best tips for eating healthy while traveling is to pick the foods that will bring you the most happiness, that will truly be worth it to you, and then try to eat as healthy as you can the rest of the time. For example, when I go to Cape Cod, if I didn’t allow myself to eat fried clams and lobster rolls and clam chowder, I would be so depressed. So I gave myself a few meals throughout the week to enjoy those dishes, and then in between I ate veggie omelets with pastured eggs for breakfast, and big salads for lunch with superfood smoothies and local, organic produce. I skipped out on the generic bread at restaurants that I knew wasn’t anything special. I passed on eating french fries with my lobster roll, because I knew that I didn’t come to the Cape for french fries. I came to the Cape for seafood. So just get the side salad instead, and I promise you won’t miss the fries when you’re savoring that perfectly buttered bun and decadent lobster claw.
After returning home from Vegas, where we ate some of the best Thai food at Lotus of Siam, I was hungry for more of those bold flavors. So I made one of my favorite chicken recipes: Thai Grilled Chicken is a fun twist on BBQ chicken with a bright and tangy Thai marinade. Thai chicken is easy, healthy and bursting with authentic flavor, the perfect American-meets-Thai food recipe for summer grilling.
Gambas al Ajillo at The Impudent Oyster
Okay technically this could’ve also fit under the seafood on Cape Cod category, but this shrimp dish was so beyond delicious that I felt it deserved it’s own spotlight. As a food writer, I’m always asked questions like “What’s your favorite restaurant?” or “What’s your favorite food?” and, of course, that’s impossible for me to answer. There’s too much good food in this world to just pick one. But if I were to make a top 10 list, gambas al ajillo (or shrimp with garlic and chiles) would definitely be on the list. I first fell in love with the dish at one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Estadio in D.C. Matt and I were so enamored with the flavors that we served this at our wedding, and whenever I see it on a menu, I have to order it. Chatham’s Impudent Oyster’s rendition did not disappoint. And bonus–it’s super healthy. The shrimp is sauteed in olive oil and gets its pack-a-punch flavors from herbs and spices. Win win!
Veggie Burger at Houston’s
I admitted last month that, loathe as I am to endorse a chain restaurant, I’ve become a Houston’s convert. Turns out, the brand is the benchmark to which nearly all great restaurants aspire–the level of consistency and attention to detail at Hillstone restaurants has set the gold standard in the industry. Fortunately, there are three Houston’s within a 10-mile radius of my house, so I happened there for lunch a couple weeks back and opted for the veggie burger. At first, I thought they accidentally sent out a beef patty, it was so perfectly “medium rare” (thanks, beets!). Ridiculously delicious, even this carnivore was all “meat who?” by the end of the meal (of which I could only eat half of, the burger was so ridiculously enormous, but bonus meals are even better!). And the kale salad on the side was one of the best salads I’ve ever had. Houston’s, you’ve done it again.
Brunch at Harvest
Another healthy eating tip: when in doubt, pick the item on the menu with the most produce. If you’re at a really great restaurant, as we were in Cambridge last month at Harvest, it will likely be the most underrated and best thing on the menu. This strawberry, beet and burrata salad was summer in a bowl. It was fresh, full of flavor, and a dish we could feel good about ordering. Matt and I stopped by Harvard on our way home from the Cape and wandered into this unassuming spot for brunch. I was BLOWN AWAY by our meal here, remarkable in its simplicity, a good reminder that going back to basics can be a
good great thing. Their cocktails were also on point–go for the Kina Kir (ketel one vodka, st. germain, lillet rosé and prosecco). Cheers!
And after all that, I definitely need a few dozen of these green detox smoothies. It’s a refreshing, healthy, vegan smoothie with pineapple, ginger, citrus and cilantro, perfect for weight loss and cleansing your liver. Plus, it’s delicious and so easy to make!
What was the best thing you ate this month? Share in the comments below or tag us on Instagram @rootandrevel.
Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser
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