Spring Sangria

Spring sangria

I tried the most delicious white wine sangria the other day at a local restaurant and it immediately inspired me to recreate it at home. This sangria is so light and fruity and complements my shrimp ceviche and mango avocado salsa topped tilapia so well. This drink will definitely be my drink of choice for entertaining this spring.

Spring Sangria
Makes about 8 servings

Ingredients:
1 bottle (750 ml) pinot grigio
1 can of sparkling orange flavored water
1 cup orange juice
1 small granny smith apple, sliced thin
1 small orange, sliced thin
1 tbsp agave syrup
12 mint leaves
Ice

Directions:
1. In a glass pitcher, add in agave syrup, 3 orange slices and mint leaves. Mash the mint leaves into the agave and orange slices with a muddler to release the flavor of the mint leaves.
2. Pour in the rest of the oranges, apples, orange juice, pinot grigio and sparkling water and stir to combine.
3. Serve over ice.

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Shrimp Ceviche

Shrimp ceviche
Happy Sunday! I’m so glad it’s finally spring! These last couple of weeks have been a little inconsistent with cold and rainy weather one day and warm and sunny the next, but I’m excited for the next month or two of warm weather before the hellish Texas heat sets in for the summer. I’m looking forward to evening walks, dining outdoors, spending Easter with my family and my husband’s commencement ceremony.

What are your favorite recipes for springtime? If I had to choose a favorite meal, I’d have to say this shrimp ceviche would be the winner. The freshness and simplicity of this recipe is so great. This is the perfect meal for entertaining on a spring afternoon. Serve it alongside tostones or corn tostadas for a beautiful presentation. My husband, dad and grandfather really enjoy this ceviche so I’d say it’s a crowd pleaser, even with the most picky eaters.

Ceviche tostada

Shrimp Ceviche
Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients:
12 oz cooked shrimp (peeled and deveined), roughly cut or kept whole
2 large Haas avocados, diced
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 1/2 cups cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 3 lemons
Juice of 3 limes
2 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp sea salt

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, add tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic, shrimp, lemon juice and EVOO and combine.
2. Add the avocado, lime juice, salt and pepper and carefully combine.
3. Chill ceviche in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.

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Paleo Cajeta

Paleo cajeta
After several (bad) attempts at making a dairy-free cajeta, this one came out perfect. Cajeta is a milky, caramel-like sauce used to top desserts like churros and ice cream and is traditionally made with goat’s milk and piloncillo or sugar cane. I was beginning to think paleo cajeta was not possible after several rounds of sticky, burned pots. This cajeta is amazing drizzled on top of fruit, coconut ice cream, paleo pancakes and coffee. Try it as a sweetener to my café con leche.

Paleo Cajeta
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients:
21 oz full fat coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
1/3 cup organic coconut palm sugar (I get mine from Trader Joe’s)
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking soda

Instructions:
1. Shake the coconut milk cans very well and pour into a large stockpot. Add in the vanilla extract, baking soda and coconut sugar and stir to combine. Throw in cinnamon stick.
2. Turn on heat to medium and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring cajeta with a wooden spoon every 10 minutes.
3. Turn off heat after 1 hour, remove cinnamon stick and let cool for about 30 minutes. Enjoy cajeta with your favorite dessert or pour into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

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Pork Chops and Zucchini in Salsa Verde

Pork Chops and Zucchini in Salsa Verde
Please excuse this crappy picture. I took a couple of really quick pictures because I couldn’t wait to eat.

I think pork and zucchini are so great together, especially with salsa. I thought this salsa verde was pretty spicy, but my husband said it was not spicy at all. You be the judge. 😉 Either way, we both thought it was delicious. Speaking of delicious things, I tried a new Mexican seafood restaurant this weekend. Twice. I also had menudo, corn chips, french fries, bbq and mango shaved ice. I think I had a little too much deliciousness this weekend and I’m paying for it today, feeling very sluggish and grumpy. I barely made it through my cycle and core class this afternoon. Here’s to a week of eating strict paleo and sticking to a strict workout routine!

Pork Chops and Zucchini in Salsa Verde
Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:
4 pork chops
3 Mexican zucchinis, sliced
4 tomatillos
1/4 small onion
2 jalapenos, sliced open and seeded
3 cloves garlic
1/8 tsp Mexican oregano
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp EVOO
4 cups water

Directions:
1. Add water, tomatillos, onion, jalapenos and garlic to a saucepan and boil on high for 20 minutes. Turn heat off and put tomatillos, onion, jalapenos and garlic in a blender along with oregano, cilantro, 1/4 tsp salt and 2 cups of the liquid used for boiling and purée. Set aside salsa purée.
2. Heat cast iron over medium heat and add 1 tblsp of EVOO. Season pork chops with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper and place in skillet. Cook each side for 8 minutes and remove chops to a plate.
3. Add 1 tblsp EVOO and zucchini to skillet and sauté for 4 minutes.
4. Add pork chops back to skillet and pour salsa verde over zucchini and chops. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving to allow sauce to thicken.

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Café Con Leche

Cafe con leche
So this Texas weather is insane. Yesterday we were in the 80s and wearing shorts and today we’re expecting cold rain and temperatures dropping into the 30s. I love Texas. On mornings like this, I love to have a hot cup of café con leche. Café con leche is basically equal parts coffee and milk, much like café au lait. There is something magical about coffee with hot milk and a touch of cinnamon.

Cafe con leche

Café Con Leche
Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:
2-3 tbsp fresh ground strong coffee or espresso beans
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tsp raw honey or other sweetener (optional)

Directions:
1. Heat almond milk and vanilla on medium heat in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. While milk is heating, brew coffee in a regular coffee maker or using a French press.
3. Once milk has come to boil, turn off heat and stir in raw honey.
4. Carefully pour brewed coffee into the milk and stir to combine.
5. Ladle coffee into a mug and top with ground cinnamon.

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