Watermelon Green Juice

BLOG_December 29, 2013

Watermelon has been my go-to snack lately, so why not put it in my green juice? Now, mixing green and pink juices together does not result in the most beautiful of colors, but the taste is delicious. This juice is sweet and super refreshing – perfect for summer!

Watermelon Green Juice
Recipe Type: Beverage
Author: Adapted, Kris Carr
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 2-3 cups watermelon
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 bunch kale or romaine
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 2 cucumbers
Instructions
  1. Prep and wash all produce. Juice and serve. This makes about 3 regular sized mason jar servings for me. I store extra in the fridge and consume within a day.

 

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Pork Tenderloin with Strawberry Nectarine Relish

 

This delicious, decidedly summer meal is oh so simple and healthy. Using just a handful of whole food ingredients, you can create a beautiful dish bursting with summer color and flavor.

I served with a salad and pearl couscous – simple perfection. I recommend an ovenproof skillet (I use my cast iron), but I also give instructions if you don’t have one available. Enjoy!

Pork Tenderloin with Strawberry Nectarine Relish
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Q&DK
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 55 mins
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 lb. each) – or a large 2 lb. tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup beef or chicken broth (or plain water)
  • 2 nectarines, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced strawberries
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 tbsp. orange juice
  • 1-2 tsp. honey or agave
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Using a large ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown each side of the tenderloins in the skillet, about 1 minute per side. Add the broth (or water) into the skillet with the tenderloins. Transfer the ovenproof skillet to the oven. (If your skillet is not ovenproof, you could transfer the pork to a Dutch oven or a rimmed baking sheet. The broth is added before placed in the oven.)
  2. Cook the tenderloins for 45 minutes at 325 degrees – meat should reach 165 degrees. Take out of the oven and let rest 10-15 minutes. Slice and serve with the relish.
  3. To make the relish (I do this while the pork cooks) – Combine the nectarine, strawberries, parsley, orange juice, and honey in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust as needed; some may want it sweeter than others. I also added a dash of salt.

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Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini

zucchini

This is a recipe-ode to one of my favorite summer vegetables. They are sweet and delicate and oh so versatile. If you have a garden, chances are you have some of these babies growing. If not, the farmers’ market will have plenty come summer.

This recipe is a great way to complement, rather than drown, the sweet zucchini flavor. You can use regular sausage or vegan crumbles. I used the crumbles and really liked it. If you have fresh summer herbs around, feel free to add some of those healthy leaves to the mix. Enjoy!

zucchini

Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini
 
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: slightly adapted, Martha Stewart
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Olive oil
  • 4 zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed OR one package soy crumbles (I used the Lightlife Gimme Lean Ground Sausage)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, or fresh breadcrumbs
  • Zest and juice from one lemon
  • 3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Chopped fresh parsley to garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle a large baking dish with oil. Scrape seeds and soft flesh from zucchini and reserve 1/2 cup. Place zucchini cut side up in the baking dish.
  2. Heat a splash of oil in a large skillet over med-high heat; add the sausage and onion. Cook, breaking up sausage, until it is cooked through, browned, and onion is softened, about 5 minutes. (If you use non-seasoned soy crumbles or regular sausage, season with some Italian spices and pepper). Add garlic and reserved zucchini; cook another minute.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients (breadcrumbs to egg). Divide mixture among zucchini. Bake until the filling is firm and each zucchini is tender and wrinkled around the edges, 30 to 40 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan and parsley.
 

 

How to make Vietnamese Summer Rolls

summer rolls

Well winter is approaching so it’s completely appropriate to be in the mood for something that reminds you of hot summer days. Right?

Perhaps I’m the only nutty one around here but I’ve totally made peace with that 🙂

In any event, no matter the time of year you choose to make these they will be refreshing, unique, and tasty. You can literally fill these suckers with anything. The picture above contains shrimp, mango, and avocado … but the options are endless. Some of my favorites include:

* Mint, cucumber, avocado and sauteed tofu

* Chicken, crushed peanuts, and snow peas

and ground pork, cilantro, lettuce, and lime. Yum. Yum. Yum.

These can be a little daunting at first, if you have never worked with the wrappers before, but once you get the hang of it these become a simple and satisfying dish. When shopping make sure you purchase “spring roll skins” also sometimes called “wrappers” or “banh trang.” You may need to visit an Asian market or go online to find them. If you’ve ever had fried spring rolls, these are the same wrappers, but they are not fried and thus become summer rolls.

These can be a lot of fun with a group – set up an assortment of ingredients and let everyone create their own rolls. Oh, and don’t forget the dipping sauces!

Okay, so you will need the following basics (will vary based on the filling you choose):

  1. Spring roll wrappers/skins
  2. Vermicelli rice noodles (a 4 oz. pkg. makes about 8 rolls)
  3. Thinly or matchstick sliced vegetables
  4. Fresh herbs
  5. Protein (tofu, tempeh, shrimp, chicken, etc.)

STEP ONE

Prepare your fillings – cook (and cool) your protein and prepare your vegetables and herbs.

Cook the vermicelli rice noodles – pour boiling water over each 4 oz. package and soak for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse.

STEP TWO

Prepare a flat surface, such as a cutting board, to work on while filling each roll.

Fill a wide, shallow dish with cool water. Working with one wrapper at a time, soak until pliable, about 20 seconds. Transfer to your flat surface and smooth out the wrapper with your hands (it helps to dip your fingers in water as you work).

Place a layer of ingredients on the bottom third of the wrapper, leaving a border around the wrapper of at least an inch. Top with a bit of the noodles and then another layer of ingredients (so … ingredients, noodles, ingredients).

Fold bottom of wrapper lightly over fillings. Roll over once, tuck in sides (like a burrito) and continue rolling to close. Transfer rolls to a plate and cover with a slightly damp paper towel until ready to serve. They will last a few hours in the refrigerator if you want to make prior to company. Longer than that and I’m not sure how the wrappers hold up.

Serve with dipping sauces such as sweet chile sauce, soy sauce, or Sriacha.

 

How to: Classic Basil Pesto

basil pesto

You just may have some basil hanging on in the garden and in that case, you should definitely use it up before it’s too late. I snipped all my basil plants and made some lovely pesto. I also like to make herb patties, but I was craving pesto big time.

I made a big batch and ate it with pasta and canned diced tomatoes each day for lunch last week. Talk about easy, healthy, and tasty. You can do so much with pesto. Pasta is the obvious companion, but it’s great on bread, chicken, steak, tofu, or fish. I also love to saute tempeh in olive oil and add pesto at the end; I eat that over salad or wild rice.

For my vegans, simply omit the cheese. I also like to mix up the nuts I use and often switch out the pine nuts for walnuts, which are my favorite. This is the basic recipe but you can get pretty creative with pesto.

How to: Classic Basil Pesto
 
Recipe Type: Sauce
Author: Q&DK
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh packed basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, Romano, or Pecorino cheese
  • 2/3 cups olive oil
  • S/P
Instructions
  1. Combine the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and cheese in a food processor or blender. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the olive oil and process until incorporated and smooth. Taste and season with S/P as needed.
  2. Stays about 2 weeks sealed in the fridge and freezes for up to 3 months.
  3. Makes about 1 and 1/2 cups.