Spicy Summer Squash

Summer squash is most definitely on my “Top 3 Favorite Veggies” list, right alongside zucchini and brussels sprouts.  Because all normal people keep lists of their fave veggies, right?  In any case, this recipe is a kicked-up version of one my mom made for us growing up, that I OBVIOUSLY loved (see “Top 3 Favorite Veggies” list above).  You’ll dig it, too.

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SPICY SUMMER SQUASH

1 lb. summer squash

1/2 yellow onion; thinly sliced

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Aperol Spritz

Aperol is a bitter orange aperitif that manages to be fruity and herbaceous simultaneously.  It also makes a fantastically refreshing and simple cocktail.  Enjoy a few of these over Labor Day weekend, and you’ll SWEAR you’re sitting in an outdoor Venetian cafe taking in the sunshine instead of watching your kids play on the trampoline in your backyard in Iowa.  It’s all about perspective, baby.

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APEROL SPRITZ

1.5 oz. Aperol

2 oz. sparkling wine or Prosecco (something inexpensive; you’re mixing, after all)

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Chicken Tinola

One of my closest friends is Filipina (or Pinay, if you’re hip to the whole Filipino thing), and I love it when she cooks up a storm of Philippines delicacies — mostly because lumpia and Spam make my heart sing.  She taught me how to make one of her favorite dishes, tinola, a chicken soup that’s traditionally served over white rice (or cauliflower rice, in my case).  This recipe is 100% authentic (according to her mom) and 100% on point (according to me).

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CHICKEN TINOLA

1 whole chicken; cut into pieces (or 2.5 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces)

2 tbl. coconut oil

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Best-Ever Mashed Potatoes

Let’s be honest — there’s nothing quite like a side of creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes to round out your dinner.  Everyone loves them, they’re easy to make and they’re the ultimate definition of “comfort food.”  Here’s a simple recipe to make the best mashed taters you’ve ever had…and they’re dairy-free, too!

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BEST-EVER MASHED POTATOES

2 lbs. yukon gold mashed potatoes; peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes

1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk

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Sloppy Po’s

We’ve all heard of Sloppy Joe’s — beefy, tomato-y goodness slopped on soft roll that pleases parents and kids alike.  May I present to you Sloppy “Po’s” — clean, nastiness-free Sloppy Joe’s on roasted portobellos instead of buns!  Beats the hell out of any Manwich I’ve ever had.

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SLOPPY PO’S

1 tbl. coconut oil

1 red bell pepper; seeded & diced

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Watermelon-Jalapeno Margaritas

I can honestly say that I’ve NEVER gotten tired of tequila.  Not once.  Even after a few rough Cinco de Mayos.

There are so many ridiculously delicious margaritas you can whip up with common ingredients around your house and garden, and when you use fresh fruit, there’s no need to add any shady artificial sweeteners!  Try these spicy bad boys out to mix up your margarita routine…you’ll be glad you got a little caliente.

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WATERMELON-JALAPENO MARGARITAS

1.5 oz. silver tequila (I like Fortaleza Blanco or 1800 Silver)

1 oz. Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

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