Seattle has been oh, so beautiful these last few weeks. As summer approaches, all I can think about are the wonderful activities that end up taking over my calendar. The days are long and often spent with friends and family. The PNW, has so much to offer; kayaking, camping, hiking, music festivals, BBQs, and more.
Yesterday, I was invited to meet up with some of my nearest and dearest friends. The time was spent eating, drinking, catching up, and laughing hysterically (as always).
Between these individuals, a common “drink of choice” tends to be a gin and tonic. Cool, crisp, refreshing….and, in my mind, the epitome of summer.
As a contribution to the event, I wanted to create a spin to this classic (and favorite) cocktail. Although, it is impossible to beat the original, I have to say that this embodied the same traits: cool, crisp, and refreshing. Ahhhh, sips of summer…..life is good. 🙂
Blackberry, Grapefruit, and Mint- Gin & Tonics
- 8-12 oz of dry gin
- 12-18oz of tonic water
- 8-12 Tbsp grapefruit juice (or juice from 2 medium grapefruits)
- 20-25 blackberries
- 16-24 mint leaves
- (optional: for a sweeter drink- 4-6 tsp of sugar)
- Set out 4-6 lowball cocktail glasses
- In each glass, add 3-4 blackberries and 3-4 mint leaves (+ 1 tsp of sugar for a sweeter beverage)
- Muddle the berries and leaves until paste forms
- Add 2 Tbsp grapefruit juice to each glass
- Add 2 oz gin to each glass
- Add 2-3 oz tonic water to each glass
- Add 2-3 ice cubes per glass
- Garnish with grapefruit wedge and mint leaves
I absolutely adore Thai food and I feel so lucky to live in a city full of amazing Thai restaurants (Pestle Rock and Thaiku are two of my favorite in Seattle). I love phad thai, phad see iw, panang curry, and fresh rolls with peanut sauce. Mmmmmmm, now I’m hungry. The lovely things about Thai food are that many of the dishes are fresh, quite healthy and contain a good mix of protein and veggies. However, many of the sauces (including the peanut sauce) have high levels of sugar or loaded with ingredients to which many people are intolerant or allergic. Therefore, I wanted to create a dipping sauce that was just as delicious as said peanut sauce but without the gluten, wheat, soy, peanuts, or added sugar….and guess what? I nailed it. Recipe:
- 4 Tbsp Justin’s Classic Almond Butter (or peanut butter)
- 4 Tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce, tamari)
- 3 tsp chili paste
- 2 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp seasame oil
- 1-2 Tbsp Sriracha (optional)
- Mix all ingredients well, top with sesame seeds for garnish and ENJOY!
*The almond dipping sauce pictured is served as a compliment to fresh shrimp spring rolls containing Boston lettuce, soba noodles, mint, cilantro, and micro basil. **Would also work nicely, thinned, and used as a salad or slaw dressing. Santé! xoxo, Megan
Holy Moly! The last week has been utterly amazing! I was fortunate enough to spend the last 7 days with my wonderful boyfriend, enjoying the sunny beaches of Cabo San Lucas. We ate, drank, swam, explored, danced, socialized, relaxed, and total rejuvenated ourselves.
As much as I would love to be on vacation forever, it feels good to be back home and back in the kitchen! While it was lovely being able to have food at a moments notice at our all-inclusive resort, I definitely missed my homemade meals and having more healthy options. Now that we’re back, I’m ready to get back to cooking, meal prepping, and eating clean!
As I designed my meal plan for the week, I wanted to incorporate foods and recipes inspired by our trip. Ceviche, seared fish and salad, guacamole, tomatillo salsa, and spicy “pulled” chicken are all on the menu this week and I can’t wait for all the yummy, fresh, goodness.
While this recipe isn’t “Mexican” per se, it does incorporate fresh mango. While mangos are mostly found in India and Asia, most of those sold in the US come from our southern neighbors in Mexico. This clean and fresh recipe fuses whole grains, antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats. Pair this with grilled flank steak or fish and you have a deliciously balanced and nutritious meal!
Quinoa salad with mint, cashews, mango and a curry vinaigrette
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa
- 1 mango, diced
- 1/4 cup cashews, chopped
- 6 springs of mint, leaves removed and minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 and 1/4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Mix quinoa, mango, cashews, and mint in a bowl and gently toss with dressing.