Archive | June 2017

Summer Sangria + The Perfect Party Side {or Main Dish}

Happy 4th of July Weekend, loves!

If you’re like me, when we hit this holiday, it finally feels like summer. I’m ready to be outside every night, eating on the porch, grilling and keeping my kitchen as cool as possible (it’s a for real struggle when you don’t have A/C, right?). By this point, I’m fully ready to transition to eating more raw salads, go overboard on all the herbs and welcome the simplicity (and decreased kitchen time) that brings.

When I am cooking (and eating), two things are always really important to me: flavor and color. Beautiful food that looks as good as it tastes, that gets my mouth-watering by looking at it, before I get to eat it. Afterall, digestion starts with your senses (did you know 30-40% of digestion actually begins + happens in the mind?) and then is increased with the pleasure and presence that we bring to the table.

So, this weekend, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite summer recipes – a summer sangria and the perfect (BBQ, picnic, party or backyard) side or main meal that gives you a little taste of what celebration (small + big) look and feel like around here. Both of these are recipes from my new (and first!) Living FULLy E-Cookbook (available for purchase HERE): the salad is actually in it and thishealthy cocktail is a the special {surprise!} bonuses I send as a thank you for purchasing it (along with 5 others upgraded version of your favorite cocktails – like the Moscow Mule, Margaritas (traditional + beet), Mojito and a La Paloma or Grapefruit Nirvana).

I hope you enjoy these sneak peeks (and send me a pic of or tag me in your pretty creations, would you?). Happy cooking + sipping, loves!

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans + Raw Summer Veggies

Inspired by Susie Middleton, this salad makes a great side or can stand-alone as a meal. If you’re looking to make it heartier, I love adding grilled or sautéed organic sausage. This salad is super easy to assemble because of all the raw veggies, especially if the quinoa is pre-cooked (and you can omit the quinoa too, as pictured!). If possible, always soak the quinoa overnight. Doing so is an ancient practice that helps make the grains more digestible, and reduces anti-nutrients for better nutritional value. It’s also great over lettuce or spinach or with microgreens + sprouts added.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Zesty Southwest Dressing
  • ½ cup quinoa, soaked overnight then drained + rinsed (optional)
  • 1 bell pepper, seeds and inner white parts cut out then sliced into strips and diced finely
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels cut off
  • 1 small container cherry tomatoes, sliced in quarters
  • 1 medium zucchini, ends cut off + sliced in half, laid flat, sliced diagonally and then diced horizontally into small pieces
  • 1 (15 oz.) can organic black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 2 organic sausage links (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Add ½ cup quinoa to 1 cup water and cover. Cook until water comes to roaring boil, then turn off (leave on heat).
  • If you’re adding sausage, slice 2 links horizontally into coins then sauté until browned, stirring occasionally (can also grill then slice).
  • While sausage is cooking or as your second step: prepare all your vegetables – pepper, zucchini, corn and tomatoes.
  • Drain + rinse black beans.
  • Blend dressing ingredients.
  • Toss all ingredients with the dressing and garnish with cilantro.

 

Zesty Southwest Dressing: Add all ingredients to a small blender and blend until smooth.

  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Juice from ½ blood orange (juiced with a fork, regular/Valencia orange okay too)
  • Juice from ½ lime (or 1 Tbsp.)
  • 1 tsp. cumin + coriander
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Handful fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp. raw honey

 

Summer White Sangria

A light, fruity white sangria screams summer to me. This one is great for making ahead – taking to a fun function or having as a pre-made cocktail when you’re hosting company. Feel free to swap out any fruit as desired. You can choose any dry, crisp and unoaked white wine, but I like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or Vinho Verde (a little sweeter). You’ll mix all ingredients together in a large pitcher, except the sparkling water. Let sit together overnight (ideally) or for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, fill glass with ice and fill ¾ of the way full, topping with sparkling water.

If you’d like to make individual cups: add 4 ice cubes, then ¼ cup of fruit. Fill 2/3 full with wine, then top equally with kombucha + sparkling water. You can either omit the ginger or Microplane grate it into the fruit.

  • 1 bottle of dry white wine
  • 1 bottle of ginger or berry kombucha (I recommend the GT Synergy brand)
  • Juice from 2 valencia or blood oranges
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 small frozen bag of cherries, pitted
  • 1 peach, sliced into bite-size pieces with pit removed
  • 1 plum, sliced into bite-size pieces with pit removed
  • 10 strawberries (or 1 small container), sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced into horizontal coins
  • Top with sparking water or club soda