Tag Archives: Orange Zest

Sunny Basil Orange Salad

Beautiful BasilHappy Humpday Night!! Only two more days until the weekend! I got my weekly produce box this evening, and it came complete with a beautiful bunch of basil. I hadn’t planned to make an attempt at a BSI recipe just yet, but I couldn’t help myself. I came up with a quick and easy salad that is light, bright and tasty! I had another dish in mind, and if I have time, I may give that a shot too. You can’t have too much basil! Here’s tonight’s creation and a BSI: basil entry:

Sunny Basil Orange SaladSunny Basil Orange Salad


1/2 cup boiling water

1/4 cup loosely packed basil

1 Tbsp. Turbinado Sugar

2 Medium Carrots

Zest of one orange

2 Naval Oranges

1 Tbsp. basil, thinly sliced


Making the Sugar Syrup:

Very roughly chop the 1/4 cup of basil. The goal is to bruise the leaves a bit but not create a bunch of little pieces that have to be picked out later. Four or five passes with your knife should be enough. Place the basil in a heat safe cup or bowl. Pour the boiling water over the basil, cover, and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Place the turbinado sugar in a small pot and add the basil and water. Give it a stir. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3-5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the sugar is dissolved. Scoot the basil to the side of the pot, separating it from the liquid. Allow the syrup to cool for five minutes.

Preparing the Carrots and Oranges:

Peel the carrots and grate them into a medium sized bowl. Remove the zest from one of the oranges and add that to the carrots. Cut the tops and bottoms off of the oranges, slide your knife down the sides to remove the peel, and then separate the sections of the orange from the membrane. Add the orange sections to the carrots and the zest. 

Putting it together:

Drizzle the sugar syrup over the carrot and orange mixture. Use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to press the excess liquid out of the basil and on to the carrot mixture. Sprinkle the tablespoon of sliced basil over the top. Allow the salad to stand for a bit so that the flavors can blend— at least 10 minutes.  

This makes 2 unofficial 1 point servings!

I love to infuse a syrup with the freshness of herbs. Yum! It’s kind of like making basil tea!

SteepingI used turbinado sugar, but plain sugar would work too if that is all you have on hand.


Make sure to squeeze the extra liquid out of the basil. It is nice and… basilly! You could use a strainer, but I thought it was easier just to scoot the basil to the edge of the pan. Plus, it dirtied up one less dish.


Orange zest adds so much flavor without racking up the calories!

ZestyI had cara cara naval oranges from my produce box. I think this would be awesome made with red grapefruit too! I thought this orange was so pretty!

Cara CaraI love that this salad is so basic and has such a short ingredient list, but yet packs a huge punch! It’s light, refreshing and sunny!

Yum!I ended the day with this salad, but I started it by making tea… in my French press. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to make tea in my French press! I bought a ton of loose black teas from Adagio Teas awhile back, and I haven’t made much of a dent. I decided that, rather than buy more coffee, I would start having tea lattes in the morning and use up some of my surplus! I wanted to make enough to fill up my thermos and have some to sip on while getting ready this morning. The French press worked perfectly! Pay no attention to the dishwasher spot. Oops!

French Pressed Tea!This morning’s tea was a mix of black teas in chocolate, cherry and coconut. I added it to my usual half and half mix of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze and skim milk. I also added a splash of vanilla sugar free Torani. It was so yummy! I’m excited about making some more in the morning. I’m also excited to use up some of this tea and make some room in the pantry. 

Do you start your morning with tea or with coffee? Inquiring Sweetie Pie wants to know!

Before I go, I want to remind you about my CONTEST! You have until tomorrow night to comment on the post. Link back to that post if you have a blog or send me an e-mail for a second bonus entry. The snacks are ready and waiting to come to your door!!

I’m off to bed to read some more of Diet Girl’s book and sip some tea. Have a good night and a lovely Thursday!


Filed under BSI, diet, Fitness, Food, Recipes, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers

Just Sweet Enough Soy Orange Roasted Sugar Snap Peas

Just Sweet Enough Soy Orange Roasted Sugar Snap Peas


I’ve had a pretty busy day today, but a good one. While I was walking to an appointment in the District this morning, I passed a Chinese restaurant and caught a whiff of something delicious. That fragrance has been on my mind all day! I think that a mouthwatering aroma is the best advertising device ever. There is a waffle place up the street from my apartment, and I’m convinced that they pipe the smell outdoors on purpose. It seems to travel for blocks just begging people to come in and order a big yummy pile of waffly goodness. Very clever!

Now that I’m finally home, I decided to see what I could come up with to satisfy my desire for something with an asian twist. I considered making a stir fry, but I wasn’t in the mood for that. Instead, I turned to one of my favorite vegetable preparations. I love roasted veggies so much, but I had never tried to roast sugar snap peas. I think roasted green beans are amazing, so I sort of expected to feel the same about the peas. I wasn’t disappointed. I usually steam sugar snaps, but this way was so much better. Why am I not surprised??

I decided to come up with a little glaze for the peas that would incorporate some of my favorite asian flavors. I love anything that is sweet and hot. Throw in some fresh citrus flavor with a bit of toasted sesame love, and I’ll be hooked. If these ingredients aren’t your style or if you don’t want the extra little points bump, you can certainly just roast your sugar snap peas sprayed with cooking spray at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes. If you are in the mood for a little something special, with a bit of fresh orange flavor, you might like this recipe! Plus, it was very quick and easy!!

The TeamNote: I was busy zesting the orange already, and I didn’t think that a photo of a partially naked orange would be very appealing. As a result, the orange is the kid who missed picture day. 

Just Sweet Enough Soy Orange Roasted Sugar Snap Peas


Nonstick cooking spray

1/2 pound sugar snap peas with the tough stems removed

2 Tbsp. orange juice

1 tsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. toasted sesame oil (you could use another oil, but I love the flavor of sesame oil… yum!)

1 tsp. honey

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp. orange zest, divided

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet well with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the sugar snap peas in a single layer on the baking sheet and spray the peas with cooking spray. Roast in the oven for 8 minutes. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 6 ingredients plus half of the orange zest. 

After the peas have roasted for 8 minutes, remove them from the oven. Drizzle the orange juice mixture over the peas, and then return them to the oven for an additional 8 minutes. That will give the drizzle time to caramelize.

Remove the peas from the oven, sprinkle remaining orange zest over the top and enjoy!

This makes 2 unofficial 2 point servings

Sugar SnapsI had some leftover brown rice and some leftover grilled chicken to go along with these peas for my dinner. As usual, I liked the color and flavor of the roasted veggies so much more than the steamed version. I also liked the little hint of orange and soy that these peas delivered plus the spicy little bite of the crushed red pepper. 

I often roast my veggies plain, which certainly keeps the fat and calories at a lower level, but when I’m in the mood for a certain flavor combination, I’m always so happy when I can satisfy that craving using healthy fresh ingredients rather than being tempted by take-out. 

Now, it is time for me to put away the dinner dishes and head to the gym. Only two more days until the weekend! Hooray! I had Monday off for the federal holiday, and somehow the short weeks often seem like the longest. Tomorrow is a work at home Thursday, and I’m planning to post another “day in the life.” I have a feeling that the rest of these peas will be on the menu. Yum!


Filed under Cooking Light, diet, Fitness, Food, Recipes, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers