Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vacation Food

You know how on most vacations you sit on a beach, eat like a fatass, drink like a fish and then come home shocked that you weigh more than you did leaving (or is that just me?)

Yeah...not this vacation. As you saw from my post yesterday, this vacation involved very little sitting or resting. Just like it involved very little "eating like a fatass". All breakfasts were less than 400 calories, lunch less than 300 and dinner less than 500. There is the aforementioned smoothie/juice bar which doled out protein shakes for those of us lifting weights (or, those of us, aka me, who is only 24 years old--when the average Miraval guest was significantly older--and still has a speedy metabolism that rocks through that many calories with one workout, much less six.

Breakfasts and lunches were served buffet style, as seen with the first two pictures, but also offered a couple of specials. The breakfast burrito (pictured below) is now my favorite start to the morning ever, and I will be making it every weekend and every week day I'm not scrambling to get out of the door. In addition, the buffet had a few hot options that rotated (including the stuffed french toast), but always included steel cut oats, fresh fruit, teeny tiny freshly baked muffins and breads, a selection of homemade yogurt and a healthy sausage (chicken apple was my favorite).

Lunch included a salad bar, a couple of chef-made salads, like the first two pictured below, more fruit, at least six hot options, a selection of cured meats and cheeses.

Below were some of my favorites that I remembered to take a picture of prior to gorging myself on. I loved the food so much that I got the Miraval cookbook, and have already flagged about half the book to try to make!

Thai Roasted Chicken Salad

Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salad

Honey Mustard Marinated Salmon with Broccolini and Wild Rice Pilaf 

Grilled Filet Mignon with Basil Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Balsamic Tomatoes and Roasted Veggies

Breakfast Burrito
(my favorite breakfast EVER)

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast
(that is a very very small piece, which is how Miraval managed to keep the calorie count acceptable)

Tortilla Crusted Chicken in Mole Sauce with Pico de Gallo, Spanish Rice and Grilled Asparagus

Chef's Table

The last night we were there, my mom booked us at the chefs table! It was absolutely amazing; we got a tour of the kitchen with Chef Chad, had a small app made for us personally by his sous chef and had an absolutely delicious dessert. I went a little buckwild with pictures, but it was a really great experience and all of the kitchen staff were very welcoming of having four women, including one wielding a camera with a flash, sitting in the middle of their kitchen!

Here are some highlights from our tour...

The line, with a giant window for diners to look in to. I always think restaurants with open kitchens are the best, since they're clearly not going to take short cuts while their paying customers are watching!

Making polenta for the next day's meal

Can you imagine having spices in this MASSIVE size? Or cooking for enough people that spices in this size are necessary?

HUGE pantry that stocks about $50,000 worth of food...and has to have supplies reordered every couple of days

Chef Chad at the line expediting!

The fabulous chef!

In addition to a wonderful tour, the food was great too! We had a four course meal, plus a glass of champagne (of course). We had a choice for the appetizer and entree and the chefs designed the first course and our absolutely glorious dessert. I even managed to take pictures of both mine and Freddi's dishes! Victory, all around.

Watermelon cored with basil ricotta, arugula and balsamic
Pre-appetizer appetizer from the sous chef--a first taste of summer. Yum

Sauteed Sea Scallop with Sweet Corn Relish
My appetizer--cannot believe the serving size for a scallop app is only one scallop! My world has been rocked down to its foundations.

Freddi's appetizer! It was delish, but I cannot for the life of me remember what the heck was on it. The day before I had this amazing flatbread with proscuitto, canteloupe and goat cheese. Just wanted to share that.

Beef bistecca in a red wine reduction with roasted veggies and garlic mashed potatoes 
Fuzzy pic, so obviously its my entree that I'm trying desperately not to gorge on prior to taking a picture. The meat was so tender and the potatoes were amazing. How is this considered healthy?!

Seared Halibut with Red Pepper Sauce
Freddi's entree. Ate half of hers too. Seriously, while my mother was perfectly content with the serving sizes, I felt like the fat kid at the table and ate half of hers too. So what? I'm a growing girl...

White Chocolate Mouse with Crushed Graham Crackers and Fresh Fruit
Best dessert ever. No joke. I downed this poor thing in about 2 minutes. And, more impressively, my mom downed it, and she does not "down" desserts. That would be beneath her.

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