Spicy Watermelon Margaritas

I have three really great reasons why you should make watermelon margaritas this weekend: 1. It’s summertime on a Saturday! 2. These are so easy and require no additional sweetener aside from the watermelon so they’re borderline healthy(?) and 3. You made the Spicy Tomato and Watermelon salad on Thursday and now you have leftover watermelon hanging out in your fridge. Waste not want not!

Let’s get blending…

First, blend the watermelon and the lime juice. The juice will keep in the fridge for most of the week, so feel free to do that step in advance.

Mix the watermelon-lime juice with spicy tequila and that’s it!

You can make the jalapeño tequila to be as spicy as you like. Infuse it for 15 minutes and it’ll be mild. Infuse it for 1/2 to one day and it’ll be pretty spicy. Infuse it for 3 days and, well, even that was too spicy for me and I have a pretty high spice tolerance. If you over spice your tequila, just dilute it to taste with plain tequila.

Cheers friends!

Spicy Tomato Watermelon Salad

Spicy Tomato Watermelon Salad

I hope you have lots of tomatoes. Why? Because I have another really great tomato salad for you! This one is completely different from Tuesday’s salad – it’s really quick and full of spicy/sweet/savory/tangy flavor. You may recognize the gingery tamari-lime dressing from the cookbook and also from these rice bowls. It’s so perfect here because the contrasting flavors really make the sweetness of the watermelon pop. This is the salad that I’ll be eating until summer is over because it’s just so delicious and refreshing.

Spicy Tomato Watermelon Salad

And speaking of pop – this one is a little spicy because, in my opinion, hot days call for hot food. You can add more or less jalapeño depending on your spice preference, but I recommend not skimping too much. The cool watermelon and the creamy avocado help chill down the spice. Somewhat 🙂

Spicy Tomato Watermelon Salad

I love to serve this salad as a side dish with whatever I’m grilling!

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Thyme Couscous Salad

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Thyme Couscous Salad

We’re at that point in the summer where I’m starting to wonder: is an indoor herb garden possible? I love having a ton of fresh herbs around and I’m really going to miss them when they’re gone. They’re so delicious and oh so PRETTY. I often get asked about my food photography/styling tips and my best tip is always: Whatever dish you have, smother it in herbs!

Aside from lots of fresh thyme and basil, this recipe is all about the tomatoes. I slow roast half of them, and put the other half raw into the salad. It’s a sweet, tangy, bursty, crunchy, herb-y gem of a late-summer salad.

Here’s what’s in it, except I forgot to include the fresh basil in this photo. Just don’t forget to include it in the recipe when you make it 🙂

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Thyme Couscous Salad

First, I roast the tomatoes. This is not a difficult step, but it takes awhile for them to shrivel up and get nice and concentrated. I suggest starting these right when you get home… have a glass of wine, check your email… do anything besides stare at the oven waiting for your tomatoes. They’ll be done in no time and your kitchen will smell amazing. Note: if it’s too hot to turn your oven on, you can roast them at a lower temp for a longer amount of time so as not to heat up your kitchen.

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Thyme Couscous Salad

Once the tomatoes are roasted, prep everything else and toss it all together in a big bowl. Top with an abundance of fresh herbs and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Serve this couscous salad with a protein if you like, or just on its own (chickpeas = protein).

This is also delicious the next day for lunch. On day 2, I like to add a little bit more lemon and an extra pinch of salt.

Enjoy!

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Thyme Couscous Salad

Herb Garden Zucchini Pizza

Herb Garden Zucchini Pizza

Last week, I wrote all about our beautiful, flourishing herb garden. Over the next 2 days, it poured down rain, our big basil plant got overwatered, and now it’s sort of falling over on itself. It’s a good thing we planted two! It’s also a good thing that we’re not farmers because we can barely keep a few deck plants alive 🙂

Herb Garden Zucchini Pizza

We went to the farmers market last to get produce from ACTUAL farmers on Saturday, and I brought home these cute mini zucchini and tiny pattypan squashes. It inspired me to make a big green pizza to go along with our surviving herbs from basil plant #2 and lots of fragrant fresh thyme.

Herb Garden Zucchini Pizza

This pizza isn’t complicated to make, but I prepared the squash two ways, which creates a unique mix of flavors and textures on this otherwise very simple pesto pizza. First, I roasted the pattypan squash in the oven on top of the crust and the cheese. Then I peeled the mini zucchini with a vegetable peeler and marinated the thin strips in a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme.

Herb Garden Zucchini Pizza

The raw marinated zucchini goes on top of the cooked pizza along with lots of fresh basil, fresh thyme, generous scoops of pesto, and a healthy drizzle of olive oil. It’s a fun one to make and assemble because it’s so green and pretty! It’s delicious too – serve it with extra pesto on the side for scooping!

Herb Garden Zucchini Pizza

Guacamole Beyond Burgers w/ Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges

Guacamole Beyond Burgers w/ Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges

When I first tried to become vegetarian (many years ago), the concept was so new to me that I didn’t really know what to eat. My go-to easy “meals” were those tiny cardboard-flavored frozen veggie burgers. I’d eat them for dinner and I’d bring them to cookouts… they tasted terrible and everyone around me thought I was a little crazy. It wasn’t long until I quit frozen veggie burgers altogether.

A few weeks ago, we gave the Beyond Burger a whirl and wow(!), have plant-based burgers come a long way!

First off, you’ll actually find them in the meat case of the grocery store (which is a place I’m not usually accustomed to going). Second – they really do have a burger-like taste and texture even though they’re completely vegan, made with no soy, gluten, or GMO ingredients – the main protein is pea protein and the pink color comes from beet juice. They’re juicy and substantial, and a quick solution for late summer grilling because you literally just bring them home and put them on the grill. Easy as that.

To go with our burgers, I made a simple guacamole topping:

Guacamole Beyond Burgers w/ Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges Guacamole Beyond Burgers w/ Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges

A tip for grilling the Beyond Burger – they’re easiest to handle if you keep them chilled in the fridge until the moment you’re ready to throw them on the grill.

Because every good burger meal needs some fries, we made some spicy grilled sweet potato wedges to go on the side. The trick is to parboil the sweet potatoes before slicing and grilling. This way, the wedges become fully cooked as the outside chars. After they come off the grill, I sprinkled them with chili powder, smoked paprika, and a little cayenne.

Guacamole Beyond Burgers w/ Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges

At 20 grams of plant protein per patty, this was really a substantial (and fun!) grilling meal. Click here to find The Beyond Burger at a grocery store near you.

Guacamole Beyond Burgers w/ Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges