In celebration of a day off!

Happy Fourth of July weekend!!!

(I know it falls on a Wednesday but it is such an inconvenient day, that I’m just gonna pretend the weekend starts tomorrow)

I love the Fourth of July.  I know that (like most people) I probably love it for all the wrong reasons, still, I think it’s awesome that it is a day (or weekend) filled with happy traditions that don’t require hours of cooking or very many clothes.

Tomorrow, we will be spending the day with some friends swimming, barbecuing, and then watching the fireworks. It will be great!

Since it’s been so hot, I was thinking about making some sangria and bringing it over.  I really do love my sangria. However, I can’t find it in my heart to make it very often because the thought of adding one cup of sugar to what is already a really highly caloric drink does not seem responsible to me.

This is why when I go out I pretend I don’t know how to make it 🙂

Anyway, I found a recipe that’s somewhat similar, yet healthier and with a million fewer calories on the Whole Foods newsletter this week. I think I will probably be making this.

Wine Tea Punch with Summer Fruit

I know it is nowhere near as sexy as a well made sangria; HOWEVER, I think that at the end of the day I’ll feel better about drinking this than I would about drinking sangria. But if you want to make some sangria, the recipe is below.  After all, who am I to deprive you of one of life’s pleasures 😉

Sangria
Ingredients:

2 gallons red Zinfandel or a nice Rioja
1 cup brandy
1/2 cup Cointreau
2 quarts orange juice
2 cups lemon juice
1/2 cup superfine sugar
2 quarts chilled club soda
3 oranges, thinly sliced
3 lemons, thinly sliced
ice

Preparation:

Thoroughly chill all ingredients. Pour the wine, brandy and Cointreau into a large punch bowl. Stir orange and lemon juice with the sugar until sugar has dissolved. Then add to bowl and stir to blend. Add ice cubes and soda and garnish with fruit slices.

****You can add whatever seasonal fruits you want.  It works beautifully with apples, pears, berries, etc.

I am also debating whether or not I should bring some hummus and crudites or be hard core and use the same ingredients to make a garbanzo salad with cilantro-lime dressing or both…I do have to admit though that making hummus is a pain in the behind so if I do make it, I’d have to make a huge batch.

Hummus
Ingredients:

1 tsp. ground cumin
1 25-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup tahini
3 Tbs. lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, chopped (about 1 Tbs.)
¼ tsp. hot paprika
⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Preparation:

In a food processor, blend garbanzos, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, paprika and cayenne until finely chopped. With machine running, add olive oil in steady stream, and process until smooth. Spoon mixture into shallow bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Garbanzo Salad with Cilantro-Lime dressing
Ingredients:

1 (25oz) can garbanzo beans, drained
6 cups romaine lettuce, torn
6 cups baby spinach
1 cup shredded carrots
12 ounces asparagus spears, sliced
1/2 each red and green bell pepper, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, quartered, reserve 2 quarters for dressing
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves

Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic
Reserved tomatoes
1/2 cup Cipollini onions, quartered
1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos

Preparation:

Drain beans and set aside in a medium bowl. Combine romaine and spinach in a large bowl. Layer with carrots, asparagus, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Reserve mint for garnish. Place the oil, limejuice, cilantro, tomatoes, onions and Bragg Aminos in a blender; Process for just a minute. Combine in the bowl with the garbanzo beans. Let sit for at least 5 minutes and spoon over salad. Serve.

I hope you all have a lovely holiday tomorrow! If you do try to make any of these recipes, go to my Facebook page and post some pictures! I would probably do that more often if my food had prettier presentation lol

If you do spend time with friends and/or family outside, please wear some sunscreen and keep hydrated! It is too damn hot out there to neglect our bodies.

Anyway, until next time!

Annush 🙂

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