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Beetroot Hummus with Tortilla Wedges

Yum! Is all I can say. I love eating buttered beets and I have always prepared them one way. Now, I found another reason to grow even more this summer. Beet hummus with baked, salted tortilla wedges.

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Cedar Planked Salmon on the Grill

Enjoying Cedar Planked Salmon on the Grill

My husband loves salmon and orders it frequently when we go out as his meal. When grocery shopping on Monday our regular store had a one day special closeout on salmon. While I was browsing the selection another gentleman (who is the chef at an upscale restaurant) and I were talking. I told him that my husband loves salmon but I had never made it before. He helped me chose my salmon and explained a unique way to make salmon on the grill. Cedar plank salmon on the grill was his recommendation.

cedar plank

Chosing Your Boards
There are two ways to purchase cedar boards. Most big box stores carry them in the grilling section or stop by a local lumber yard. Purchase 1×8, untreated cedar planks and cut them into 16 inch pieces. If you have the time and want to save money, the second method is the way to go. Cutting your own boards allows you to hold larger pieces of salmon.

Prepping The Boards
About 2-3 hours before you want to grill your salmon, soak your boards in water. You can also soak them in wine, it gives your salmon a whole different taste. I chose to use the water method for the first attempt.

Prepping The Grill
While you are boarding up the salmon let your grill warm up to a medium heat.

Prepping Your Salmon
Wash and pat your salmon dry: leaving the skin on the salmon. You can choose to marinade the salmon at this time if you wish or use a rub you have prepared.

Place the salmon skin side down on the planks. If you have marinated the salmon you are set to grill. If not, now is the time to season it. I generously sprinkled sea salt, cracked pepper and rosemary on the skinned side that was facing me.

To Grill
Place the boards on the grill grates. I used a gas grill. As the boards dry out on the grill keep a water bottle handy and spritz the boards occasionally. The boards will blacken on the underside a little but will not catch on fire. You will need to keep an eye on the boards during the grill process; just keep them damp.

Your salmon will take between 15-25 minutes to cook; depending on the thickness of your fish. It is finished when the salmon is a light pink.

Removal From Grill
Transfer the board onto a plate. Using a knife and a fork, remove the under skin; it comes off fairly easy. Plate up the salmon and let rest for a few minutes. The salmon really needs that rest period to meld the flavors.

Re-Using Your Boards
You can reuse the boards as many times as you see fit.  Just be sure to wash them immediately with warm soapy water and rinse well.  Let air dry.

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Update – No Soda For A Month Challenge

It has been exactly one month for our “No soda for a month challenge” in our home.  Out of the four members of our family, two went without soda the entire month.  The additional two cheated, twice.

For me, I didn’t cheat.  I craved soda for the first three weeks.  The headaches for the first two weeks were terrible.  Drinking soda is an addiction.  The caffeine and sweetness fed the need for me to get through my day.

By the third week, the headaches were gone.  The scale showed an 8 pound weight loss and I knew that I could get through my days without soda. I had regained some of my energy and I didn’t seem to need that extra pick me up in the afternoon.

For my husband and son, both also suffered headaches as well.  We went through three small bottles of pain reliever during the month.  The guys came home from school and work and took naps a few times over the first three weeks.

Both guys cheated.  My husband took pain reliever the first week and by day 8 he couldn’t stand his pounding headache.  He had a soda at that point.  In about a half an hour his headache had subsided.  The second time we were out for dinner.  By mistake, he ordered a soda.

My husband lost 7 pounds over the course of his month without soda.

Our son, he was truthful.  He cheated once while staying up studying for two school tests and the second time was when he went out for a ride with his friend who had just got his license.  At least that is what he states 😉

I don’t believe he lost any weight for the month.  Although, he is so fit due to his fitness routines I am not sure where he would loss the weight from.

For our daughter, she didn’t suffer the headaches because she has been drinking caffiene free soda for a little over 9 years.  She noticed weight loss of 5 pounds and that she wasn’t craving as many sugary foods after dropping the daily soda habit.

All together we dropped 20 pounds between the family in one month.  Instead of purchasing soda for the home for the week, we saved the money for a trip.

1 Month Benefits
$44.00 in savings toward a trip –  (2 – 12 packs of soda)  x 4 weeks  = $44.00
20 pounds of weight loss

Are we going to stick with this plan?  We intend on not purchasing soda to keep in the house.  Opting for healthier choices like Infused Water.