Sunday, June 16, 2013

Watermelon Salad

listening to: Daft Punk
drinking: iced coffee

Good afternoon! I've had two very productive mornings this weekend.  I always want to sleep in during the week, then when the weekend rolls around I can't sleep in and get up early.  My cat probably has something to do with that... he doesn't like sleeping in.

Yesterday morning I got up and headed out to the Saturday morning farmers market downtown Austin. I found some veggies, including PURPLE BELL PEPPERS! Yes- purple. I am so excited.  I haven't thought of what to make with them yet.  I of course took pictures of them, you can find them on my instagram @nataliesanders.

I absolutely love watermelon.  It is super summery and reminds me of my littlest sister.  Her and I once cut up an entire watermelon and ate nearly the entire thing in one sitting.  I mean, that's healthy right?

Watermelon salad sparked my interest recently.  I never thought about pairing a cheese, tomatoes, or any veggies with watermelon..

In my watermelon salad I included red onion, tomatoes, and feta cheese that I let marinate in balsamic for a good 20-25 minutes.

The salad itself is very simple.  I thinly sliced the red onion, and left the tomatoes and watermelon pretty chunky.  I did add some freshly cracked black pepper to taste at the end.  This salad gets better as it sits in the fridge for a bit.  I can't wait to enjoy it tonight for dinner!

juicy tomatoes and watermelon :)

Watermelon Salad
Time: 10 min
Makes: ~4 cups

1 watermelon, cubed
5 tomatoes, diced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 c feta cheese crumbles
balsamic vinegar to coat/marinate feta
fresh cracked black pepper to taste

1. Marinate feta cheese in enough balsamic vinegar to coat the cheese for about 20 minutes.
2. Cube watermelon, dice tomato, thinly slice red onion.
3. Toss all ingredients, add black pepper to taste.
4. Let sit in fridge for at least 1 hour before enjoying.

You can feel free to add more tomatoes, or use less. Same for the onion, this salad is really about your right balance of flavor!

Follow me on twitter @veggie_ology and pin this recipe below using the 'Pin It' button.

Happy Cooking,

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Homemade Blackberry Ice Cream

drinking: Shiner Ruby Redbird beer
listening to: 6AM by Fitz and the Tantrums

I had a lovely weekend filled with sleeping, good food, and some Blackhawks!  Much needed after this long, hot week of work.

Aaand this weekend, I finally purchased an ice cream maker.  I found a (sort of) cute ice cream maker for CHEAP and couldn't resist.  After talking with my mom about stealing hers for years, I figured I should just go and buy one.  And, naturally, I had to break it in the second I got it! 

There are so many interesting ice cream flavors out there today.  I encourage you to do some looking  in to the ice cream flavor world, ive seen strawberry balsamic, bacon, chocolate jalapeno. There's a ice cream place in Austin called Amy's that has some wild and delicious flavor combinations. Just a few weeks ago my mom had some ice cream with tequila in it at Amy's! So, so good.  Here is link to some funky Chicago based ice cream places.

My refrigerator was hosting some blackberries that were about to go bad, and instead of just freezing them I wanted to come up with a recipe to use them up.  After some research on ice cream making I found a good balance of healthy/creamy to satisfy even the sweetest tooth.  In this recipe I used greek yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, honey, and blackberries. That's IT! And it tastes absolutely decadent.  I don't know how I will resist eating the whole batch tonight.... yikes.
lovely pool of honey right there

I started by blending the blackberries, sweetened condensed milk, and honey with my beloved immersion  blender.

Next, I folded in the greek yogurt to the blackberry puree.

kinda weird, kinda cute?
Then I let my ice cream maker do the rest.

And ta-da! My very first ice cream. SO creamy and refreshing.

omg I just want to dive in
Homemade Blackberry Ice Cream
Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 2 pints

3 c fresh blackberries
3 c Greek Yogurt
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c honey

1. Using a conventional or immersion blender, combined blackberries, sweetened condensed milk, and honey.
2. Fold in greek yogurt until completely combined.
3. Follow directions on your manufacture's ice cream maker.

I think this may be my favorite blog post yet.... what do you think?
Follow me on twitter @veggie_ology, and pin this recipe below with the pin it! button.

Happy Cooking,

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mushroom, Kale, and Zucchini Lasagna

listening to: alt-j
drinking: topo chico mineral water (so refreshing on this hot day!)

Hello! I apologize for my lack of blog posts.  I have recently accepted a promotion at work and I am now living in Austin, TX.  Fort Wayne to Austin was a big move!  I am sure going forward, my recipes may change from the midwestern feel to the south.... I am hoping to share some tex mex recipes soon!  The great thing about living in Texas is I now have an excuse to eat tacos for every meal :)

I have had this recipe ready to blog for quite some time now but did not get it typed up and posted! I was craving some lasagna one day and wanted to load it up with some veggies to bring as much flavor.  I also have been interested in making my own tomato sauce, so this was a perfect way to try out both.  I made this lasagna using zucchini thinly sliced instead of noodles, and whipped up a tomato sauce to go along with it. I won't say I have nailed down a perfect red sauce yet, but that can be for a whole separate post :)  I will include the tomato sauce I used here as well. The filling is ricotta cheese with kale and mushrooms and is SO delicious.

The sauce simmering made my apartment smell wonderful!

hello friends
First, I cooked down the kale and mushrooms with some garlic.

creamy goodness
Next, I combined an egg, parmesan cheese, and ricotta cheese in a bowl, then added the kale mushroom mixture.

The tricky part was thinly slicing the zucchini to be as even as possible.

Next, I spread some sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, then layered zucchini, the kale mixture, sauce, cheese, and repeated.

layered goodness
oh yeaaaah
The end result was INSANE! So delicious!! I was able to enjoy this as leftovers through my week.

has there ever been such a beautiful sight?

Basil Red Sauce
Time: 20 min prep, 1 hr simmer
Makes: 3 cups

5 tomatoes, whole
1 small yellow onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic
2 tbps basil, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

1. Blanch tomatoes, peel, then puree (I used my hand blender)
2. Sautee onion in olive oil for ~5 minutes
3. Add garlic, cook another ~2 minutes
4. Add the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients and stir over medium heat
5. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occassionally

Mushroom, Kale, and Zucchini Lasagna
time: 45 min prep, 40 min bake
makes: 6 servings

2 large zucchinis, sliced thinly length wise
3 c kale, chopped fine
8oz mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8oz ricotta cheese
1/2 c fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 c red tomato sauce
1 c fresh mozzarella cheese, grated or sliced
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Cover bottom of baking dish with sauce
3. Sautee garlic in oil for about 1 minute, add kale and cook another 5 minutes
4. Add mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes
5. Combine egg, parmesan cheese, and ricotta cheese in a bowl
6. Add cooked kale mixture and stir with spatula
7. Layer zucchini, then kale mixture, then sauce and repeat
8. Cover top with mozzarella cheese and bake at 350F for ~40 minutes or until the top is slightly brown and bubbly

Will you guys try this veggie lasagna? Let me know if you have made something similar before, I know a lot of people use eggplant, but I am more of a zucchini fan!

Happy Cooking,

ps -- pin this below: