If Life Gives You Limes…

“If life gives you limes, make margaritas!”- Jimmy Buffett

So I have a confession. I have given up refined sugars, many carbohydrates and foods high on the glycemic index(!!!) and yes, it is about as much fun as it sounds (probably equivalent to a root canal). It has been hard but I needed to make some changes to be my best self, to have more energy and to take a moment to focus on my future well being. This isn’t forever, I just needed to challenge myself to try something different and what a challenge it has been. It is hard to make things taste wonderful and multidimensional when you can’t use honey, maple syrup or even balsamic vinegar (Ha!). Wine is something I do miss and not drinking wine and eating carbohydrates sure does makes it hard to go out and socialize. I didn’t really recognize how much the culture of my friends and family was dependent on food and drink until I began this little experiment. It has been seven weeks and although I have not had a sweet or wine in that period of time, I have started not to miss them (gasp!). The first week was hard, it took a lot of research and a lot of meal prep. As it turns out, I truly was the epitome of a sugar and carb junkie. When I made the “big cut” I had headaches, I craved sugar and I felt like I was dragging my arse behind me everywhere I went. This surprised me because generally I am a healthful eater but after about a week, the cravings went away. I had more energy, my skin started to look great (maybe even “glowy”) and my hair started to grow like crazy. I have shed some weight and I have actually had a bit of a ball in the kitchen trying to concoct healthy, low carb meals that taste great. I am always up for a challenge and this time I was ready to go toe-to-toe with carbohydrates. Don’t worry though, this doesn’t mean I won’t be sharing decadent recipes for sugar laden sweets and cocktails. There are plenty of those coming down the line!

Anyway, that is not what I meant this post to be about. What I really want to talk about is limes. Tart, tangy limes that leave the perfect sour smack on your taste-buds. Turns out, limes are almost free at Costco. By almost free, I mean that three pounds of fresh, bright green, juicy limes are only $2.99. Lets be frank, limes are on average two for $1.50 at most grocery stores and believe me when I tell you, I haven’t had a dry one yet and I have almost gone through six pounds from Costco. What does one do with all of these limes? Well I have been making the most delightful, summery-fresh salad dressing that is wonderful on fresh butter lettuce or mixed baby romaine with a toss of arugula. You could also be like Deb Perlman and make a dangerously tempting key-lime pie like she does on her blog Smitten Kitchen (recipe here). You could whip up some fresh mojitos (my recipe here) or you could use them to make fresh salsa (like Martha’s fresh pineapple-lime salsa here). The limes are your oyster.

Here are some simple tips and a little lime love from celebrity chef Bobby Flay..

“Lime juice makes things taste fresher. I use it for drinks, salsas. relishes, soups and sauces. You want some give to your limes- firmness means the insides are dry- and they will stay softer longer if you don’t refrigerate them.”

Find my recipe for simple, summery lime salad dressing below!

 Delicious (and simple) summer salad dressing

You will need…

  • Juice from four limes (~1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil (grape-seed oil would work too!)
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1-2 tbs of honey to taste OR stevia to taste. ** the sweetness is required to cut the tartness of the lime but go sweet free by all means if you like it!

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar or bottle of choice. Shake well and serve on a bed of fresh lettuce with a sprinkling of fresh arugula. Really it tastes fresh, like summer on a plate! Enjoy!

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