tomato

Caprice Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

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CYMERA_20140323_203817Happy Monday! This one is short and sweet, but super yummy. Let's talk about basil for a minute. Basil was a highly respected herb in many ancient civilizations because of its many medicinal properties. As a member of the mint family, basil has similar health benefits to that of peppermint and spearmint. It's a great digestive aid, provides support for the intestinal tract and kidneys, and helps increase blood circulation.  Basil leaves also contain orientin and vicenin, flavanoids that protect against free radical damage in cells.

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For the Salad:

  • 2 Cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, whole or diced
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup green onions

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For the Basil Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Blend the dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth, and pour over salad. You'll definitely have enough for several salads.

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Other great additions to this salad are olives, sun dried tomatoes, or pine nuts. CYMERA_20140323_204931

Salsa: Pineapple Habanero and Easy Tomato

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CYMERA_20140313_135731 Tomorrow is my 26th birthday, and you know what I really want to make? Something rich and chocolaty, smothered in frosting. Topped with bacon. Buuuut...I already decided to make salsas for tomorrow night's party, so I'm stuck with jalapenos and cilantro instead. No chocolate. No bacon. Seriously though, these are actually both really delicious recipes that I'm looking forward to sharing. 

Side note, I got hit with some nasty cold/flu earlier this week. I was freaking out a bit because I didn't want to be sick over the weekend. So I've been slamming this "immune juice" multiple times a day and am feeling almost 100% better already. (This is in combination with a couple 11-hour sleep nights as well!)

  • 2 small oranges, or one big one
  • 1 Tb fresh ginger
  • handful of spinach 
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 large carrot
  • little bit of water to help with blendingCYMERA_20140313_143931

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Ok on to the salsas.

Pineapple Habanero Salsa

Roast time: 30 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Makes about 5 cups salsa

You'll Need:

  • 4 cups chopped pineapple (about 1 medium sized pineapple) (I can imagine that mangos would be a great sub for this recipe....)
  • 1 cup packed cilantro
  • 2 habanero peppers (roasted) 
  • 1 yellow onion
  • sprinkle of cumin
  • dash of salt

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Dice the onion into small chunks, and place on a baking sheet with peppers. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until peppers begin to wrinkle, stirring onions once or twice along the way. Turn oven up to broil, and bake for 3-5 more minutes. You want your peppers to brown and even bubble slightly, but keep a close eye on them while on broil because they go from brown to black very quickly! 

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While peppers are baking, chop up pineapple into small pieces. A food processor does this nicely.CYMERA_20140313_135310

Once the peppers and onions are done roasting take just one cup of the diced pineapple, 1 cup of cilantro, cumin, salt, and the habaneros and blend them in a food processor or blender.

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Note on habaneros: Don't underestimate the heat on these little guys. I recommend removing the seeds. Remember, you  can always add them in later if you still want more kick. Stir this mixture in with the remaining pineapple chunks as well as onions. 

 

Easy Tomato Salsa

Roast Time: 30 minutes

Prep time: less than 5

Makes about 4 cups salsa

You'll Need:

  • 1 - 28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 4 cups cilantro, packed
  • 1-2 roasted jalapenos (seeds included)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • dash of salt

Everything goes in blender. Done. 

This is a really easy go-to for salsa, and can be even easier if you buy the canned jalapenos rather than roasting your own. You can also add in onions, corn, or beans for extra flair.  

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Whew. I'm actually sweating a little bit just from taste-testing!