Caprese Salad Recipe

This is one of my absolute all-time favorite dishes! I love any excuse to eat fresh tomatoes, and when the organic and local ones are heirloom, it's even better! I thought that using a mix of yellow and red tomatoes really gave this plate a more vibrant and special look. I actually created this recipe for the Burnt movie, to help promote their movie. Check out my Burnt project, on Pinterest HERE, entitled Food, Romance, Love.

Caprese Salad

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 2 SERVINGS)

* 10-15 organic yellow and red cherry tomatoes (or other small tomatoes)

* Fresh Organic Basil (I found mine as a plant at the grocery store. Bonus points for ORGANIC!!!

* Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

* Olive Oil

* Balsamic Vinaigrette

* Salt to taste

Caprese Salad

Cut tomatoes into quarters. Slice mozzarella cheese with a knife, or create small pieces of cheese with your hands, and set aside. On a plate, drizzle a small amount of balsamic, like I did in the above images. Place tomatoes and cheese onto plate. Also top the plate with basil leaves, as many as you can handle! Drizzle some olive oil and salt over the top of the plate, and you are all done! I also like to serve this with an extra plate of small French bread slices and salami. 

This would make an incredible snack, appetizer, or even a light meal! It tastes SO incredibly good, I hope you enjoy it! If you are also a Caprese Salad-lover, comment below to let us know. 

Smoothie Time With Annie's Homegrown Organics

I have been on a major smoothie kick lately, and after making one almost every day, I have found my perfect blend of ingredients to make a smoothie that I haven't gotten tired of yet! I will alter the recipe just a little bit, depending upon what fruit I have in my fridge or freezer, but I basically use the same formula each time. 

I have always been drawn to Annie's Homegrown Organic products, so when I saw this yogurt at our local Schnuck's, I grabbed a couple of containers, lots of berries, and also re-upped on unsweetened almond milk. 

I have also learned that to make a smoothie the best (most drinkable) consistency possible, you can't use all frozen fruits. Otherwise, it freezes all of the other ingredients, making something more like soft sorbet (which is great for smoothie bowls or making nice-cream). Also, adding the almond milk definitely helps to thin out your smoothie, but the taste can be overwhelming, so just test your smoothie before pouring it in the jar. Lastly, with the yogurt, I add a good amount, because it tastes SO good! So, the amount of each ingredient just depends on your taste preferences. 

Yummy Smoothie
MAKES 2 LARGE SMOOTHIES

MAKES 2 LARGE SMOOTHIES

- Annies Homegrown Organic Very Vanilla Yogurt

- Unsweetened Almond Milk

- Frozen Raspberries (I freeze fresh ones in jars)

- Frozen Blackberries (I also froze some fresh ones in jars)

- Fresh Strawberries (tops sliced off, cut into smaller pieces)

- Fresh Blueberries 

- Fresh Banana

- Ice

- Sugar is your fruit isn't very sweet or too tart

super tasty smoothie
smoothie instructions

 

1.) In a blender or food processor, add sliced strawberries, fresh blueberries, frozen raspberries, frozen blackberries, a dash of almond milk, banana, 1/3 container of yogurt, and a handful of ice.

2.) Hold the blender down, and begin to blend and puree your ingredients! Keep blending for a bit, because you want everything the same consistency. Note - unless you have a super-awesome blender, the ice will sound rough at first when you blend...

3.) Pour into a big jar, and enjoy! This smoothie keeps me full well past lunch time, it's amazing!

Find more about the Annie's Hiomegrown Organic yogurt, here!

yummy smoothie
smoothie recipe

Smoothie Time! Mixed Berry and Banana Smoothie - Negative Calorie Recipe

Smoothies are so refreshing and actually filling! Here is an idea for a quick "power meal in a smoothie"! I always buy organic fruits, vegetables, and produce, and it makes me feel that I'm not getting a bunch of unnecessary chemicals from pesticides. Another great thing, is that (besides the yogurt), every ingredient in this recipe are Negative Calorie Foods! Meaning they take more calories to burn than they contain. So cool. Well, enjoy your smoothies!

Awesome Smoothie Recipe!

INGREDIENTS for about 2 smoothies:

1 Cup Ice - (blend this in the blender before adding fruits and spinach)

1/3 pint blueberries

1/3 C. raspberries

2 bananas - cut into pieces

A small hand full of spinach, chopped or ripped into small pieces

1/4 - 1/2 Cup Pineapple Juice (or any juice you have on hand)

1/2 C. - 1 C. Vanilla or Strawberry Yogurt 

Awesome Smoothie Recipe!

INSTRUCTIONS:

Crush ice in blender. Add fruits and spinach, and blend for about 30 seconds, or until completely combined. If you want a thinner smoothie, just add more juice.

Awesome Smoothie Recipe!

This smoothie was very tasty. You get a nice taste of each of the ingredients, without tasting the spinach too much :) I am sure you could use frozen fruit as well. 

I hope you enjoy these, they kept me more full than expected!

Farm To Table // A New Market in Carbondale, IL

Last week, Carbondale saw the start of a new Farmer's Market! It's super close to our house, and it is organized by one of my friends, Courtney Smith. This market is super convenient because it runs from 4-7 pm on Wednesdays, which is right before I would be making dinner. We ate all of the veggies right after I got home from my market visit, and had an amazing vegetarian dinner of mashed potatoes, green beans, and raw carrots for the appetizer! The reason I named this post Farm To Table is because I spoke with a couple, from Homer Grown, who were vending at the market. They grew most of the vegetables pictured below, and they seemed so incredibly passionate about what they do. They knew so much about each and every vegetable and bean picked, and would even grow you something you request! 

Carrots
These organic carrots were so good! 

These organic carrots were so good! 

Fresh Carrots from Farmer's Market
Fresh Green Beans

We chopped off the ends of these green beans, and then fried them in 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil, some chopped red onions, and one piece of bacon we had baked the day before for Bloody Mary's :) I didn't get a great photo of the potatoes, but we chopped up the red potatoes and white potatoes and boiled them with a little bit of salt and onion. After they were soft, I strained them, and added a splash of milk, more salt, and some butter. Just taste as you go, and see what you think tastes best. They were amazing with the beans! Beans (above) and Red Onions (below) from Homer Grown.

Red Onions From The Market
Red Onions

I also found myself some beautiful flowers from Flora Bay Farm. They're also from my friend Courtney, and she is great with floral arrangements. It's so fun to see what she grows each season, and I will definitely be making this new Farmer's Market a weekly thing! 

Bouquet from Flora Bay Farms
Bouquet
Flora Bay Farm Bouquet

And, some super fresh BASIL! What a beautiful smell :)

Fresh Basil
Catnip by Flora Bay Farms

Catnip by Flora Bay Farms

My Free People Reusable Shopping Bag and my market finds

My Free People Reusable Shopping Bag and my market finds

Garlic Scapes by Flora Bay Farm

Garlic Scapes by Flora Bay Farm

Isn't this the cutest Farmer's Market Stand you've ever seen? They built it and are proud that it helps identify the market to people who pass by and hope it makes them want to stop. Homer Grown has some of the best veggies around! 

Homer Grown Farmer's Market Stand

If you're in southern Illinois, please visit the newest Farmer's Market in Carbondale!! 

New Farmer's Market in Town!