Panzanella Salad – Last Bite of Summer Ripe Tomatoes

At peak freshness, tomatoes are begging to be the star ingredient for your summer salad. I’m savoring every last bite of summer with this vibrant dish complete with crusty, crunchy croutons to soak up all their juices. If you think it looks good today, just wait until tomorrow, when the leftovers are even tastier.

Panzanella – Mediterranean Tomato and Cucumber Salad

3 cups cubed (1 inch size) sourdough bread

2 lb ripe tomatoes

4-5 Persian cucumbers

1 red bell pepper

half a red onion, sliced thin and soaked in a mixture of a few tablespoons of sherry vinegar and water (this mellows the sharp onion flavor)

10 oz fresh mozzarella

1 avocado

large handful fresh basil

1 cup Vinaigrette dressing

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Slice sourdough bread into thick pieces, then across, and finally into large cubes, about an inch thick. I leave it on a baking sheet overnight to dry, but you could also toast it on the oven for a few minutes. Drying out the bread helps ensure it won’t get soggy when mixed with all the vegetables. I cut all the vegetables the same size – tomatoes, cucumbers, vinegar soaked red onions and red bell peppers, so I get all the flavors in every bite. I toss them all, along with cubed sourdough croutons, ripe avocado and fresh mozzarella and a generous pinch of salt, in a large salad bowl. I rip fresh basil, and then toss the whole thing in vinaigrette.

Lemon Herb Vinaigrette

1 lemon, juiced

1 clove garlic

teaspoon of Dijon mustard

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

pinch of sugar

1 teaspoon of fresh herbs (you can use parsley, dill, chives, or if using dried herbs, Herbs de Provence works best, but reduce to half a teaspoon)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Chop the garlic, add some salt and mash my knife back and forth until it becomes a paste, so you don’t bite into any raw garlic pieces. Add Dijon mustard, herbs, salt, cracked pepper, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.   I store it in a mason jar for easy pouring.

Thai Peanut Sauce – Three Ways

Forget a sandwich with jelly, you’re about to look at peanut butter in a whole new light.  Thai peanut sauce sounds and tastes exotic, but it’s as simple as combining some pantry staples in your blender and it adds incredible flavor to shrimp and mango spring rolls, chicken satay or the simples Asian peanut noodles. Chicken-satay Thai Peanut Sauce 10 oz natural, salted creamy peanut butter 1/3 cup water 1/3 cup […] Read Full Post

No Stove, No Oven, No Microwave: No Problem

I’ve had so many people ask about No Bake Recipes after my last segment aired, that I thought I’d share a few more of my favorite summertime recipes! Here are appetizers, main dishes and even a dessert that can be made using just one appliance, the food processor. And there’s no heat required. Tuna and Basil Bruschetta 1 can very good quality canned albacore tuna (packed in water and drained […] Read Full Post

Summer Food Trends to Try Out Now

Ramen Noodle Burgers? Sushi Burrito? Chocolate Chip Cookie Shots? Your Instagram feed may be flooded with outrageous foods from the country’s coolest cafes and restaurants. And now you can make them yourself at home. Here are the coolest food trends of the moment and how you can get them at home (or at least know what to order the next time you’re out). oreo-bagel   Crazy Indulgent Snacks: Vegan, gluten free, Paleo, […] Read Full Post

No Cook Recipes for Summer’s Hottest Temps

Zucchini-Roll-Ups Do you really want to get stuck cooking over a hot stove or pulling food out of the oven? During summer’s hottest days, the last thing I want to do is sweat it out in the kitchen, so I turn to these no-cook dishes that only require a little chopping, dicing and chilling.  From citrus and cumin infused ceviches, to sun kissed tomato and watermelon gazpachos, these are my summer […] Read Full Post

Hot Summer Drinks and Eats to Cool You Down

  It’s HOT, I get it. But there’s no reason you can’t celebrate summer, by the pool or the grill, with good friends (and a few drinks). Do it in style with these easy recipes that will seriously impress your guests. I was inspired by the granita when I ate a similar version topped on briny oysters at the outstanding Dallas restaurant, Gemma. And I always keep cans of sparkling […] Read Full Post

Homemade Ice Cream: Classic Vanilla and Unique Combos

Store bought vanilla ice cream has given the flavor a bad name… plain, boring, lifeless.  But once you try my homemade version of the classic, with its velvety smooth, silky texture and incredibly vanilla-y flavor you’ll be a forever convert.  But if you’re more adventurous, Fig &Olive Oil is another new classic in my kitchen, and fried ice cream bites couldn’t be more decadent.  Follow these recipes exactly though, otherwise […] Read Full Post

Blast Belly Fat with these Recipes

Exercise has amazing benefits for your overall health, but you might be surprised to learn the quickest way to lose weight is by simply adjusting your diet.  From breakfast, to lunch, dinner and dessert, here are some recipes to try to get a flatter stomach and leaner body, within a few short weeks. Breakfast: Cut out dairy, which can make you bloated and gassy. Swap milk in your coffee for […] Read Full Post

The Ultimate Green Smoothie

When you juice, you don’t get all of the fiber from fruits and vegetables, which is essential for keeping you full and helps with digestion. I’m combining the ingredients from my favorite green juice to make the ultimate green smoothie and obtain all the nutrients in one glass. A dash of cayenne also adds subtle heat and revs up your metabolism. 1 heaping cup of Dino Kale 1 heaping cup […] Read Full Post

Plant Based Protein – Get Lean without the Beef

I wanted to share some interesting stats:
  • 1 pound of pea protein is 10 times more efficient from a greenhouse gas perspective than grass-fed beef.
  • Beef contains 7 grams of protein per ounce for about 75 calories, there are many plant based foods that have more protein per ounce than meat
I’m not sure when we became obsessed with meat, but I think it’s about time we consider other resources […] Read Full Post