Thursday, June 28, 2012

Holy Balls It's Hot!

Mississippi. Summer. Instant Sweat. Our forecast here for the past few days has been 100+ degrees every day! Needless to say, like the last thing you want to do is turn the oven on. I mean, the electric bills are bad enough. So I decided to make a quick healthy dinner from local and home grown ingredients. My garden this year is looking spectacular. Three types of tomatoes (including some amazing san marzanos!), squash, zucchini, jalapeno, onion, raddish, fresh basil, oregano, and a whole bunch more. I love the garden. So here we go.

Caprese Salad
  This is the best salad for summer. At least in my opinion. It's savory, sweet, and includes all the junk your parents tried to make you eat as a kid but never made taste right. It's super simple.

   one tomato per person, sliced thick
   one half a fresh motzarella ball, sliced thick
   a handfull of basil leaves
   1/4 c a good fresh olive oil (don't buy junk!)
   cracked pepper
   a good quality salt
   zaatar spice (so optional but after visiting Israel, a necessity on most things for me)
   red chili flakes (optional too but good for your mental health)

Alternate a good pattern of cheese, tomato, and basil on the plate. (see picture below)
Drizzle olive oil on.  You don't have to use the whole 1/4c. Jeff likes less, I like more. Depends on who you are I guess. As my Dad would say, if you're asking with or without... it's always WITH! More sauce!
Sprinkle with pepper, salt, chili, and zaatar.

You're so done! How cool is that? Looks beautiful and takes like 3 minutes to make. It's insane. Try with fresh garden tomato and basil too. Makes such a difference.

Summer Sandwhiches
Use whatever you like here. I made two variations because I like a different sandwhich than Jeff. This seems like a pattern! Hahaha.

A good, fresh, artisan bread
lunchmeat, chipped (I love smoked turkey fresh from the deli. And I use Boars Head when I can. Love that)
provalone cheese
avacado for me
pepparoni slices
lettuce - generally the baby greens are my favorite
olive oil mayo

If I have to explain how to make a sandwhich, my guess is you haven't been reading our blog long.

What I put on mine - bread, sliced avacado, provalone, smoked turkey, lettuce
What I put on his - bread, mayo, pepparoni, provalone, smoked turkey, lettuce

I hate mayo, although the Hellmans stuff isn't bad, not quite so... snotty. Couldn't really think of a better word. Sorry to be gross. At least it has some flavor.

I make guac 3-4 times a week. It's a favorite amongst family and friends and never gets old. Delicious and healthy, just keep some avacados in the house.

1 whole avacado, pitted, removed from shell (do this with a spoon, it's awesomeness), and mushed with a fork
1 whole jalapeno, diced fine, seeds about half removed depending on how much heat you like
like a pinky sized piece of a sweet onion, diced
Adobo, go for the red topped one. It's the best
a heaping tablespoon of Sour Cream, I'm a total Daisy snob. It tastes better, I swear.
a few dices of the tomato you were using earlier. Or you can add a whole one if you want. This is your par-tay...

Mash it all together into a loose paste. Tada! You made guac. That wasn't so hard huh?

I put it all on a plate all pretty like. To mine I was craving some marinated artichokes so I threw a few of those on and some beets for good measure. Can't go wrong with beets.

All in all it took less than 15 minutes. You have amino acids, healthy fats, dairy, 3 servings of fruit/veggies, antioxidants, peppers with capsaisin that not only raises your basal temp buring more calories but also releases endorphins to make you happy. So hell, if you don't like the dinner, your brain will at least tell you you're happy anyway! Top off with a glass of good merlot and some dark chocolate for the ultimate meal.

It's just damn satisfying on a hot as balls day.

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