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Grilled Avocados with Pico de Gallo (GF) (V)

avocadoThe season may have just changed to Spring for the rest of you folks, but in Arizona it already feels like Summer. In fact, it’s supposed to reach 97 degrees here by Wednesday. That’s right – BE jealous, America.

So… I can’t really take credit for this delicious recipe since it’s one that I stole from Nick’s mom, January. I always know these little avocados will be served up whenever she has a get-together at her abode. Anywho, this recipe is super simple and perfect for BBQs!!

 

Grilled Avocados with Pico de Gallo (GF) (V)

the ingredients

2 avocados, sliced in half
1 tbsp avocado oil
4 tbsp pico de gallo (recipe follows)
salt and pepper to taste

the method

Cut avocados in half and remove the pit. Slather each side with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill avocados until they get a nice char on them. Fill the pit with pico de gallo and serve. YUM!

Pico de Gallo (GF) (V)

the ingredients

3 red onions
12 Roma tomatoes (slightly under ripe is fine)
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
2 to 3 jalapenos
1 lime
Salt
the method
Dice up equal quantities of onion and tomato. Roughly chop the cilantro.Now, slice 1 or 2 jalapenos in half. With a spoon, scrape out the seeds. (If you like things spicy, leave in some of the white membranes.) Dice the jalapenos very finely; you want a hint of heat and jalapeno flavor, but you don’t want to cause any fires. Now dump the four ingredients into a bowl.Slice the lime in half and squeeze the juice from half a lime the bowl. Sprinkle with salt, and stir together until combined. Be sure to taste the pico de gallo and adjust the seasonings, adding salt or more diced jalapeno if needed.

 

Sangria

Sangria

Red Sangria:

The ingredients

2 bottles red Spanish table wine
1 cup brandy
1/2 cup triple sec
1 cup orange juice
1 cup apple cranberry juice
1/2 cup simple syrup, or more to taste (equal parts sugar and water, heated until sugar dissolves, cooled)
Orange slices
Apple slices
Blackberries
Blueberries
Strawberries
The method:
  1. Mix all ingredients together and let stand in a tightly sealed container or pitcher for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving.

Summer Pasta with Charred Roma Tomatoes

Zucchini nad Cherry Tomato Pasta with Charred Roma Tomato

Summer Pasta with Charred Roma Tomatoes

The ingredients:

  • 1 lb dried gluten-free pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 small zucchini, grated
  • 1 small yellow zucchini, grated
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced and seasoned with salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, to serve

The method:

  1. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, following packet directions, until tender.
  2. Preheat the broiler, and oil a cookie sheet for roma tomatoes, add the tomatoes until crispy (around 3-5 minutes total).
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small, non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add garlic, zucchini and tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until tender.
  4. Drain pasta, reserving 2 tablespoons cooking water. Return pasta and reserved water to saucepan. Add zucchini mixture, salt and pepper to pasta. Toss over low heat until heated through. Spoon into bowl. Top with parmesan, broiled tomatoes and serve.

Sloppy Joes and Oven Fries

sloppy joes oven fries Sloppy Joes

The ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 celery stock, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 package veggie meat crumbles (veggie version)/ 1 lb of ground turkey(meat-eater version)
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • squirt of srichacha sauce
  • dash of fresh ground pepper
  • gluten-free buns

The method:

  1. In a skillet, heat up the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute for about five minutes or until they start to soften.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until it has reached a desired consistency.
  3. Assemble mixture on buns; serve with oven baked fries (recipe follows).

Oven Fries

The ingredients:

  • 6 or 7 Idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/3-inch-thick French fry-style strips, soaked in cold water
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or some combo of dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, and basil
  • 2 cups freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into 6 cubes
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

The method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Drain the potatoes and pat dry with paper towels. Spread 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on each of 2 rimmed baking sheets and spread out the potatoes. Overlapping is fine.
  3. Sprinkle the dried herbs evenly over the potatoes. Liberally spread the cheese and parsley on top. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the cheese. Scatter the cubed butter around the pans.
  4. Bake until the potatoes are golden brown, rotating the pans after 30 minutes, for 45 to 50 minutes total. Use a spatula to lift off the potatoes with all the crusty cheese adhered to them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Summer Skillet Pasta

So, I’m not a huge fan of zucchini. There’s something about its vibrant color that makes you think you’re biting into a veggie that’s packed full of flavor. It’s actually the same way I feel about eggplant. However, the Whole Foods by my work had the most beautiful zucchini arrangement last week and I couldn’t help but buy one and hope that I that I find a yummy recipe to put it in. Turns out, I did.

I introduce to you, Summer Skillet Pasta. I took this recipe from one on of my favorite blogs, Iowa Girl Eats. Her recipe calls for chicken sausage, but since I am a vegetarian, I decided not to use that ingredient (obvi). I know that there is some yummy vegetarian sausage at every grocery store, and I’m going to be honest with you ­– I was too lazy to get it. In my opinion, omitting that spicy sausage flavor didn’t take away from the dish at all.

This skillet took about 20 minutes to make, so it was perfect. (Did I mention how lazy I was feeling that day?)

Summer Skillet Pasta:

Ingredients:

8 oz penne, dry (or any pasta)
1/2lb spicy chicken sausage
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 shallot, sliced
1 zucchini, halved and sliced
salt & pepper
10oz cherry tomatoes
fresh basil
Romano or parmesan cheese, if desired

The Method:

1. Heat the skillet over medium and add extra virgin olive oil to the skillet. Add garlic slices and shallots and cook until they start to turn golden brown, about 1 minute. Add zucchini, season with salt and pepper, then saute until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes then place a lid on top of the skillet and allow tomatoes to get hot and tender, about 3 minutes, stirring once or twice.

2. Meanwhile, cook penne in a large pot of salted boiling water. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water before draining.

3.. Add some of the pasta cooking water to create a sauce and make sure pasta isn’t sticking together Serve topped with torn fresh basil, and grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Grilled Buffalo Tofu Steaks

Well, it’s been summer for quite some time now – especially in Arizona – we’ve been hitting over 100 since May! The sweltering heat gets us in the mood for grilling on the patio. I had some tofu steaks on hand and Nick had just picked up his meat selection from some Groupon deal he bought awhile ago. Even though I don’t eat meat, I must say his steak choices were gorgeous and had perfect marbling. So perfect, that he didn’t even mess with it before putting it on the grill – just a dash of salt and pepper and he was good to go.

I had a hankering for something spicy and tangy – I think you see where I’m heading. Frank’s Red Hot “Buffalo” style sauce. The great thing about tofu is that it can pick up marinade flavors really well and in a very short amount of time. I just marinated the tofu for about 20 minutes, tossed it on the grill with Nick’s steak and let the grill do it’s thing. I served my tofu with a quick Garlicky-Lime Aioli; it was a nice cooling element with the spiciness.

Here’s a a picture of Nick with his prized steak:

Here is my recipe:

Buffalo Tofu Steaks

Ingredients:

  • 1 16-ounce block of extra-firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • 1/8 cup Earth Balance Soy-Free Butter, melted

The Method:

  1. In a bowl, combine the oil, salt,  paprika, hot sauce and melted butter.
  2. Cut the tofu into steaks and gently toss to coat with the mixture. Let the steaks sit in the mixture for 20 minutes before grilling.
  3. Place each tofu steak in a single layer on the grill. Grill for 5 minutes on each side. (Nick’s steak needed to be cooked for 6 minutes on each side, so we timed it accordingly)

Garlicky-Lime Aioli:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • pinch of paprika
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

The Method:

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix and serve.

It was so yummy that even my well-mannered pit bull, Eleanor was begging for table scraps: