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!
Appetizers

Pineapple Shrimp Salsa

pineapple shrimp salsa in a white bowl with chips

 

The weather in Ohio gets a little bit warmer (and when I say warmer, I actually just mean the sun came out), and my mind immediately goes to…SALSA.  Fresh raw veggies, light flavor, and a healthy, munchy snack!  Which makes me proud to announce…its time for us to say bye to seasonal depression, and hello to good-vibe salsa season!

The best thing about making salsa, is that you can make it different every single time.  For me, it depends entirely on whats in my fridge.  While rummaging through my inventory this time, I had a couple of thoughts…

  1. I have a heck of a lot of colorful bell peppers
  2. I have a beautiful whole, ripe pineapple 
  3. I have some shrimp in the freezer

Alas, my inspiration for this PINEAPPLE SHRIMP SALSA!

 

colorful pineapple shrimp salsa in a white bowl

 

This recipe turned out so-so delicious…and also super colorful (which I’m always a huge fan of)!  What I love about this salsa though, is that you can eat it with chips, OR use as a topping on baked chicken, or fish!

I ended up bringing this salsa to my friends house the other night, when she hosted us for a fish taco dinner!  I’m telling you…the sun comes out once in Ohio and everyone defaults to Mexican cuisine lol

How to make this recipe?

The most time-efficient way to make this recipe is to cook your shrimp first, so you can chop veggies during the cook time.  Cook the shrimp on stovetop over medium heat, with oil, and garlic.  Once the shrimp is finished cooking, remove from heat, mix in lemon juice, and let cool.

Take all of your chopped ingredients (peppers, onion, cilantro, pineapple, shrimp) and add to a large mixing bowl.  Whisk together oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and then mix into salsa before serving.

 

pineapple shrimp salsa in white bowl with chips surrounding bowl

 

Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room…how the heck do I cut up a whole pineapple?

First things first, don’t let it scare you!  There is truly nothing more delicious, then a fresh whole pineapple!  I think it tastes SO much better, than precut pineapple you’d find in the grocery store.  So lets take it step by step…

  1. Using a large, serrated knife, chop the top off the pineapple.
  2. Stand it up straight (exposed flesh facing up) and begin to cut the skin off.  Start your knife at the top end, where there is open flesh.  Cut a thin layer all the way down, to remove the tough exterior skin.  Repeat this until all exterior skin is removed.
  3. Similar to an apple, pineapples have a tough core.  You’ll want quarter the pineapple (from top to bottom), by slicing off a large chunk on all four sides around the core.  
    1. Sometimes you can see where the core is, or you’ll know because it will be harder to run your knife down the length of the pineapple.  Ripe pineapple flesh is very easy to cut through.
  4. Take your four large chunks of pineapple meat (they will be different sizes) and cut into smaller chunks for serving.  Or for the purpose of this recipe, cut small pieces that are similar sized to your chopped peppers.  

How can I tell if a pineapple is ripe?

There are two indicators of a ripe pineapple.  First, look out for yellow skin.  A yellowish colored skin indicates ripeness, vs green indicates it isn’t ready yet (similar to bananas).  

Second, it smells sweet.  Seriously!  If you smell your pineapple skin and it smells sweet, it means its ready to eat!  How cool is that?!

I know cutting up a whole pineapple can be intimidating, but it is hands down worth it!  It’s so juicy and flavorful, you’ll likely never go back to pre-cut pineapple.  I like to store mine in the fridge and eat throughout the week, or add to salsas or smoothies!

 

pineapple shrimp salsa in white bowl with chips in background

 

Pineapple Shrimp Salsa

Healthy and flavorful salsa made with ripe pineapple, lemon garlic shrimp, and bright, chopped veggies! Garnish with cilantro and serve with chips, or use as topping to your favorite fish or chicken!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: healthy, pineapple, salsa, shrimp
Servings: 6 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 2 bell peppers chopped
  • 1 cup shrimp chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp EVOO or avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper each

Instructions

  • In a small to medium saucepan, add 1 tbsp oil and minced garlic to medium heat.  Sauté for 2-3 min, then add shrimp.  
  • Cook shrimp until pink all the way through, approx 7-9 min. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and mix around.
  • While shrimp cools, chop bell peppers, pineapple, onion, and cilantro.  Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  • Prepare dressing by adding all dressing ingredients into a small mixing bowl, and whisking together until combined.
  • When shrimp have cooled, chop into small pieces and add to large mixing bowl with veggies.
  • Drizzle on dressing, mix together, and serve.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.