Mango Tango Summer Salad

Tropical grown mango pairs with local garden vegetables for a bright, delicious and nutritious salad.Magno Tango (3) I usually  get inspiration from foodie magazines like Cooking Light and Donna Hay, food photos in blogs and social media and from other RDs/RDNs (especially members of the Recipe Redux). But today’s source of inspiration is different. It’s  even a bit quirky. You see, Mango Tango is the last doggie shampoo I used to bathe my pups, and dang if I can get these words to stop runnin’ through my head. No, I’m not  using shampoo in my recipe! I’m using fresh mango; a  tropical fruit that’s available year round.

If you live in the U.S. you won’t get mangos in your CSA box (unless you live in Florida, California, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico. ) Don’t fret! You can eat well by eating foods grown in diverse soils and climates, and if you want  BIG variety, it’s prudent to do so. (For more on this topic, I refer you to this post written by my friend and colleague Regan Jones, Why I Don’t Always Buy Local Produce .)

Mango is versatile and adds delicious flavor to a balanced diet. Here’s a graphic  about the nutritional highlights of mango..Nutrition_Graphic_2016_Eng_682x370-1BTW, I also like  dried mango, and have used it  in this recipe  for Chicken Satay with Coconut and Mango Jasmine Rice and in this one  for Mango Curry Granola.

Today’s recipe uses the fresh  fruit  and pairs it with  cucumber and cherry tomatoes,  from my very own garden. You can cut the recipe in half if your cooking for two, like I am most days. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do. Mango. Tango.


Mango Tango Summer Salad

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 6 cups mixed salad greens (romaine, red leaf lettuce, arugula)
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber slices
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 fresh mango, peeled and cut into long slices
  • 2 tablespoons dried sweetened cranberries

for the vinaigrette

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon raspberry infused white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
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Watermelon Feta Kabobs

North Carolina grown watermelon tastes delicious paired with salty feta cheese and fresh basil. Thread all 3 ingredients onto a wooden skewer for a quick and healthy (20)

I hope you’re enjoying a myriad of  summer fruits and vegetables from the market, your CSA box, or a plot of dirt out back. If so, you’re going to relish this month’s Recipe Redux. Here’s our challenge

Get Your Fruits and Veggies in Shape


With produce galore, now’s a great time to enjoy lots of fruits and vegetables. Show us how you’re serving the bounty of gardens and orchards in shapes like ribbons, noodles, cut-outs, or other creative cuts.

Creatvie cuts..hmm. Not my strong suit. Therefore, I have one regret after reading this theme-> I still don’t own a spiralizer! But the show must go on so I bring you thisAttachment-1-2

watermelon cut into circles with a biscuit cutter and threaded onto skewkers alternating with chunks of feta cheese, and basil. (You can use cookie cutters to make any shape you desire and taylor to the theme of your party.) They make cute appetizers and help keep your summer entertaining menu light with only 76 calories and 3 grams of protein per kabob.  These are going to be perfect snacks for me on this hot July afternoon. Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post to see how my colleagues are getting their summer fruits and veggies in shape.


Watermelon Feta Kabobs

by Diane Boyd

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (10-12)

  • 1 personal watermelon
  • 6- 8 ounces feta cheese, cut into 1″ squares
  • fresh basil leaves


  • chef’s knife
  • 10 wooden skewers
  • 1 inch biscuit cutter


1. Place melon on a cutting board and using a chef’s knife, cut melon in half.

2. Working with one half of the melon at a time, place watermelon on cutting board cut side down. Trim away the rind with a chef’s knife.

3. Cut the watermelon into 1 inch thick slices.

4. Put out circles with buscuit cutter.

5. Alternate watermelon, feta cheese and basil on each skewer. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Rehydrate, Refresh, and Relax with the Power of Cranberry

Cranberry juice ice cubes are a refreshing way to add a cranberry twist to  plain water or other  beverages  and reap the benefits of this amazing fruit. (19)
Disclosure: The Cranberry Institute has sent me research updates, cranberry tips, some seasonal recipes as well as cranberry juice cocktail and a Flamen Fast Release Ice Cube Tray. In exchange, I’m  sharing  some of this information with you.  I was not financially compensated to write this post. Opinions are my own.

This is actually my latest beverage related obsession, and it began with a nifty ice cube tray that makes four  2-inch ice balls. Do they look like gigantic cranberries, or what !?!???..IMG_4538Each ice cube ball has  about 1/4 cup of juice,  providing approximatley  30 calories.  I love the   twist of cranberry flavor they add to my water,  and the health benefits of proanthocyanidins PACs.image008

Aside from adding to my  plan water, here are some ways I like to rehydrate, refresh and relax with the power of cranberry:

cranberry juice ice balls + pomegranate berry flavored sparkling water

cranberry juice balls + tangerine lime flavored sparkling water

cranberry juice balls + light lemonadeIMG_4556

Whether you’re rehydrating from exercise, or kickin’ back on the porch these cranberry ice cubes will add a delicious twist to your refreshment. IMG_4558

 What cranberry juice cocktail combos to you like?


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Fluid Requirements: One Size Does Not Fit All

10 (7)It’s HOT outside and not drinking enough water will nix  your energy levels.  Believe it or not, losing as little as 1% of your body weight as water will slow you down.  Proper hydration optimizes your body’s ability to regulate body heat in hot environments;  improves the ability to recover quickly from training; and  runs  interferance with fatigue, helping  maintain mental alertness.

Today during my run, I  calculated my sweat rate, the optimal way to determine fluid requirements,  ’cause one size does not fit all. (Please click here for your free handout on how to Calculate your sweat rate.) The result: I lost two pounds of water in one hour. What does this mean? It means my challenge is to  drink 32 ounces of water (or other appropriate fluids)  by days end to make up for the deficit.

I don’t know about you, but  consuming one quart of  fluids all at once would  make me feel uncomfortable and bloated. So  I consume smaller amounts throughout the day, and I also vary what I drink.   I prefer  water, but also hydrate with chocolate milk, smoothies and my latest obsession (to be  revealed in my next post).

My sweat rate also helps me plan for hydration when I am exercising for over one hour, in  similar environmental conditions. I  now know that I require  8 ounces of water every 15 minutes when it’s 83 degrees and humid.


Use this plan to balance drinking water and working out so you’re comfortable and perform your best, even during the dog days of summer.

Do you find it difficult to keep up with your fluid demands in the heat?  What tips do you have?



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Siggi’s and Sports Nutrition

My new favorite sports nutrition product goes to …

Drink_filmjolk@2x…  for their non-fat drinkable yogurt, aka filmjolk.

Disclosure: I am  a   siggi’s ambassador. By  including siggis in my blog post I am eligble to win a trip to FNCE in Boston. I was not compensated for my time. Opinions are my own.

A staple of Sweden, now filmjölk is a staple in my home. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Scandinavian dairy tradition, it’s a version of kefir.  If you’re a sports enthusiast, take note: this is a BIG league recovery drink that supports a healthy digestive system! I stock my refrigerator with both raspberry and vanilla.  After a 5 mile run, drinking 8 ounces of the raspberry flavored smoothie starts my recovery process IMG_4512

which includes rehydrating and replacing electroyles lost during exercise (8 ounces  provides 120 mg sodium and 240 mg potassium); preparing for tomorrow’s run by replacing glycogen stores (8 ounces provides 22 grams of carbohydrate); and repairing lean muscle  with high quality protein (8 ounces provides 8 grams of milk protein.)  Now here’s the icing on the cake,  it’s also rich in probiotic cultures (1 billion probiotics per serving)!   The tangy taste makes filmjölk the bomb! 

IMG_4511 sugar, aspartame, gelatin, artifical colorings , preservatives,  or high fructose corn syrup.   I think being active and eating healthy should be  simple and straighforward. Thank you siggi’s, for facilitating my healthy lifestyle.IMG_4510

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