Vegetarian Meals

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

pasta salad in stone colored bowl, on white table with basil and sun-dried tomatoes

 

 

Need a quick side dish for your next dinner party?!  Look no further my friends!  The longest part of making this pasta salad is just waiting for the pasta to cook ( and if you like your pasta al dente, then you don’t even have to wait the full time on that)!

I love this pasta salad, because the dressing and mediterranean veggies give this it a fresh and light flavor.  Although this recipe doesn’t call for cheese, don’t be afraid to add some goat or feta cheese if you really want to take it to the next level!

In order to make the best use of your time, chop veggies and prepare the dressing while pasta is cooking.  Dump all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and then stir in dressing right before serving (to avoid getting everything too soggy).

 

Mediterranean pasta salad in stone colored bowl, topped with grilled artichoke hearts

 

For this recipe, I used Banza Pasta, a gluten free alternative to regular wheat pasta, so I wouldn’t feel all that guilty going back for a second serving!  You could really add any of your favorite mediterranean inspired veggies…my opinion is, the more the merrier!

For me…nothing beats fresh chopped basil (cue romantic background music).  Sun-dried tomatoes add a deep savory flavor, while grilled artichoke hearts give it an awesome salty and smoky flavor.  Add any sort of nut for crunch (a good crunch in any dish is a totally underrated quality) and call it a day!

The dressing is super easy, just a combination of 2 parts extra virgin olive oil, mixed with 1 part balsamic vinegar, along with dried Italian spices.  If you’re feeling really fancy and have lemons on deck…don’t be afraid to throw some of that in too!

I think the best thing about this dish is that it looks super fancy, but really only requires you to have the right ingredients on hand, that can then be dumped in a bowl and mixed together.  Give it a try, you guys will love it!

 

close up picture of large bowl filled with mediterranean pasta salad

 

 

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Gluten free pasta filled with basil, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and onion!  Mixed with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette and packed with vitamins, flavor, and healthy oils!
Prep Time13 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: appetizer, artichoke, basil, mediterranean, pasta salad, sundried tomato
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 bag or individual box, Banza GF Pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 2 tbsp red onion chopped
  • 3 halves marinated artichokes pulled from stem and chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper each

Instructions

  • Cook pasta on stove top until soft, then rinse under cool water.
  • Transfer pasta to large bowl.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Add goat cheese or feta for added flavor!
Drinks

Haus Sangria

glass of sangria with orange slice, red sangria pitcher in background

 

Everyone please give a round of applause for this recipe, as it hails all the way from my homeland…New Jersey!  I have to admit, I tried it for the first time in Ohio when my Jersey-native friend Kristen blessed us with her mom’s sangria one fine evening, and let me tell you…this baby packs a delightful punch (as we soon found out)!

Now, if we could all take a moment to bow our heads and give some hella thanks to the NeiderHAUS (ahhhh see what I did there?) family for bestowing this sangria upon our lives.  I can now die happy…and sufficiently buzzed 🙂 

But for real, make this for any outdoor gathering and you’ll be MVC (most valuable contributor)!  And to make matters even better, this recipe is oh-so-easy.  The key is to get high quality orange juice.  You can freshly squeeze it yourself, or buy a 100% juice with oranges as the only ingredient listed.

 

ingredients for red sangria laying out on white table

 

Where you can save some cash money is on the liquor.  No need to go for top shelf liquor, a decently priced brandy, triple sec, and wine will do the trick.  I like to use the Costco Kirkland brand Cabernet because it gets you some serious bang for your buck!

Another key to help increase flavor is to let the liquors soak in fruit before adding wine and serving.  What I typically do is this…

  1. The morning of, chop up your fruit and add to a tupperware pitcher or large container.
  2. Take equal parts (i.e. 1 cup) brandy, triple sec, orange juice, and pour in with the fruit.  Stir and let sit in fridge.
  3. Before serving, transfer to a large pitcher and mix in wine.

 

fruit in pitcher soaking in alcohol with wine bottle in background
Fruit soaking in brandy, triple sec, and orange juice.

 

Can I make this sangria with white wine?

Absolutely!  Keep everything else the same, just substitute red for white.  Pinot Grigio is a great option for white!

Does it matter what fruit I use?

I’d say to go for whatever fruit makes you happy!  I think orange slices complement the OJ nicely (and they look pretty), I love strawberries, and apples are inexpensive.  

Now that my sangria brain is firing on all cylinders…you could do a Caribbean vibe and go with some kiwi, mango, or pineapple with a white sangria (ohhhh that sounds yummy)!

If I take this to someone else’s house, I usually bring a double batch in my serving pitcher, and then fill a tupperware pitcher with fruit and liquor, and then my extra bottle of wine in tow.  You know…for refills!

I hope you guys have as much fun making this as you do drinking it…enjoy!

 

glass of red sangria with orange slice and apple chunks

 

 

glass of sangria with orange slice, red sangria pitcher in background
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Haus Sangria

A red wine Sangria filled with fruit, brandy, triple sec, and high quality orange juice!  Great to bring to any backyard party, and sure to get the party started! 
Prep Time15 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: fruit, liquor, red, sangria
Servings: 8 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 cup triple sec
  • 1 cup high quality orange juice
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 orange sliced
  • 1 apple chopped
  • 5 strawberries cut in half, stems removed

Instructions

  • Chop all of your fruit and add it to a large pitcher.
  • Pour in brandy, triple sec, and orange juice.  Let the liquors and OJ soak in the fruit until ready to serve.
  • Once ready to serve, stir in wine.  Now your sangria is ready to enjoy!
Vegetarian Meals

Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna

black skillet with eggplant lasagna on white table, spinach and sweet potato pictures next to skillet

 

Public service announcement: NO NEED TO BE A VEGETARIAN to totally fall in love with this eggplant lasagna!  If my meat-lover husband can devour this lasagna in one sitting and not notice the meat is missing, then that tells me we’re in good shape for the blog!

My idea behind this dish is that I wanted to make it simple and healthy.  So let’s start with simple…

I used raw ingredients, that only required slicing, and baked them all together in a skillet (or casserole dish).  There is no need to pre-cook anything or get out a million pots and pans (which means less dishes…yay!).

For this recipe, I would highly encourage the use of a mandoline to slice your “layers”.  It is one of my favorite kitchen appliances, and can cut you a whole veggie in about 30 seconds flat!  (click the link below for more information on mandolines!)

 

 

cutting board with sliced eggplant, sweet potato, and chopped onion

 

I used a mandoline to thinly slice a sweet potato, and then a sharp knife to cut the eggplant approximately 1/4 in. thick width wise.  Chop an onion, grab some spinach, mix spices, and layer as follows:

  • sweet potato
  • eggplant
  • spices
  • onion
  • spinach
  • sauce
  • cheese

(repeat one more time) 

 

black skillet on white table, with eggplant lasagna
Lasagna before baking

 

Second, I didn’t want to use meat, or pasta, because I love eggplant and strongly believe it should get its time to shine every now and again!  Therefore, I substituted pasta with sweet potatoes, and meat with our star of the show…eggplant!  

The sweet potato acts as a low carb substitute for pasta and gives the lasagna structure, while the eggplant provides high fiber content and is rich with nutrients (such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants).  Instead of using traditional mozzarella, a cheese derived from cow’s milk that causes inflammation, I used goat cheese crumbles which contains less lactose and is typically easier to digest.

 

eggplant lasagna in a black skillet surrounded by green spinach

 

Once all of your layers are assembled, cover in foil, bake for 50 min, then remove foil and bake for another 25 min.  You can serve as a single dish, or with a side salad!    

 

eggplant lasagna in a skillet on white table with spinach in background

 

 

eggplant lasagna in a black skillet surrounded by green spinach
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Vegetarian Eggplant Parmesan

A one-pan, healthy, vegetarian, eggplant parmesan made with sweet potato, spinach, onion, and spices!  Creamy goat cheese used in place of traditional mozzarella, on top of a basil marinara sauce.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: eggplant, gluten free, parmesan, sweet potato, vegetarian
Servings: 6 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 1 medium to large eggplant skinned
  • 1 large sweet potato skinned
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 36 oz jar marinara sauce
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper each

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a large skillet or baking dish.
  • In a small mixing bowl, mix all spices and set aside.
  • Using a mandoline, slice sweet potato into round, thin pieces and set aside. Using a knife, cut the width of the eggplant to approximately 1/4 in. thick, set aside. Chop onion and set aside.
  • Take greased baking dish, and line the bottom with half the amount of sweet potato slices. Then layer half of the eggplant pieces directly on top.
  • Take spice mixture, and evenly sprinkle half the amount over eggplant.
  • Take half of chopped onion, and 1 cup of spinach and sprinkle over eggplant. Spread half of marinara sauce overtop and spread using a spatula.
  • Evenly sprinkle half of goat cheese over top marinara.  Repeat the same process again, starting with a layer of sweet potatoes.
  • Wrap tinfoil over top and bake for 50 min.  remove tinfoil and bake for another 25 min.  Let cool, garnish with extra herbs (if desired), and serve!