Aggie's Kitchen

Almost Summer…

I really hope that by now, most of you are finally starting to experience warmer weather. Our Florida summer weather has definitely made an appearance here over the last few weeks. We have been well into the high 80s, and even the 90s most days. Our pool is “open” and the kids have been enjoying splashing in the afternoons. I even found myself jumping in a couple of very warm afternoons last week.

With that said…I welcome all the fun things that come with our summer weather…relaxing beach days, sunny afternoons in the pool, enjoying a glass of chilled white wine in the porch with a friend…oh and, of course all while trying to stay cool wearing shorts and bathing suits. The staying cool part tends to creep up on me and its usually a rude awakening that last year’s shorts are a bit snug.

Last Minute Sesame Noodles

But no worries…if you are in the same boat as me (the snug shorts boat) then I can confidently say that with a few weeks of good clean eating and some extra sweat sessions at the gym, those shorts will no longer be snug just in time for when the real heat starts to kick in.

Asian Couscous Salad

I’m sharing with you today a couple of delicious power packed recipes full of good for you stuff that can help kick start any healthy eating routine. Both can be a light meal on their own, or a protein packed dish with some additional grilled chicken or shrimp. Make them ahead of time so you can pack them for lunches or easy weeknight meals. Enjoy!

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I’ve partnered up with Nakano Rice Vinegars to spread the word about their Splash Madness Sweepstakes with a new top-of-the-line refrigerator as the Grand Prize.

Sweepstakes Details:

“Like” the Nakano Facebook Page and enter a favorite “splash tip” using Nakano’s Seasoned Rice Vinegars for a chance to win. The sweepstakes ends on May 17, 2011 so you have plenty of time to enter and the entry is simple – all you have to do is fill out the sweepstakes form and inlcude a “splash tip” of how you would enhance your meals by adding Nakano rice wine vinegars to them.

The prizes include:

Grand Prize – new, top of the line refrigerator (valued at $1500)

Second Prize – Juicer or Blender (valued at $500)

Third Prize – Selection of Nakano Vinegars plus a cooking accessory i.e. garlic press or lemon zester (valued at $100)

Limit 1 (one) entry per person and/or email address per day. Official Rules apply.

Not too shabby huh?  Go enter yourself and good luck!

(Disclosure: Both recipes above feature rice vinegar in the dressing. Nakano provided me compensation for this post but as always, my opinions are my own. I’ve been enhancing my meals with rice vinegar for some time now.)

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16 Responses to “Almost Summer…”

  1. Erica posted May 3, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Hooray for heat! What a fun contest. I love Nakano Rice Vinegars, I use them in a variety of dishes- but my favorite is peanut noodles & veggies 🙂 Hope you’re doing well 😉

  2. JulieD posted May 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    I love Nakano rice vinegars too, Aggie. Your sesame look so good with edamame in them! Going to enter now…

  3. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel posted May 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Fun! Such beautiful colors in the first pic!! And I’m totally jealous of your swimming time already. Brrrr still way too cold to swim up here.

  4. Amy's Cooking Adventures posted May 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    How wonderful! I haven’t used rice vinegar before, but this sure makes me want to!

  5. Oh I’m super jealous of pool weather. It’s been way too cool and rainy here still. Your photos are gorgeous and I’m anxious to try both these recipes. Anything with an Asian spin and my hubby LOVES it. Have a great day….

  6. Jamie posted May 3, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    I love eating lighter and healthier as the weather gets warmer. And I use Nakano Rice Vinegar. I just used it in some salad dressing I made.

  7. Caneel posted May 3, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Wow – I really need a new fridge. I’ll be entering this one! And these dishes look yummy! I recently made a chicken dish with Nakano rice vinegar in the sauce. It was delicious – love that stuff!

    Here’s to all of our shorts being a little less snug in a few weeks. I guess I need to stop nibbling on the kids’ Easter candy …

  8. paul jennette posted May 4, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I have to admit that there is frost on the ground here in Chicago-land this morning! We have received over three times the amount of rain that we usually see in April…so not yet:-( I love the Last Minute Sesame Noodles! I’ve been cooking whit some Asian flavors myself lately. Love them!!

  9. Lisa Dearen posted May 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Summer’s hit in San Diego, too. Love your warm weather salads, I’m trying to work toward my skinny shorts too. I’ve wanted to try sesame noodles for awhile now, thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Karen posted May 6, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Yum!! Such fresh and light flavors. Love all the veggies in the noodle dish.

  11. Lauren Slayton posted May 9, 2011 at 8:37 am

    See, you get summer before we do in NYC so you get a jump start on shorts and judging their snugness. We just have to do the work knowing once summer comes it’s too late. Love rice vinegar and these recipes look fantastic. I love sesame anything.

  12. Diana @ frontyardfoodie posted May 9, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Yup, here in the midwest the summer has definitely hit as well. Over 90 today and it doesn’t look like it’ll be any different, anytime soon!

    That salad is SO colorful, it makes me want to paint it.

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