Is it just me or is summer going by too quickly? Already we’re wringing our hands about back-to-school, and soon after that the weather will turn colder and we’ll be dealing with the coronavirus inside. Ugh.
So for now, my family is committed to squeezing out every drop of sunshine and fresh air we can. Cooking has been simple (ish), with a focus on enjoyment, so I’m doing another light, fun post about food. We can talk about serious nutrition issues and solve all the world’s problems in the fall, but for now, I thought it would be fun to share a few of our summer pleasures.
1. Sliced apples and tomatoes
I know, basic right? If I’m feeling fancy I might sprinkle a bit of salt on the tomatoes, but that’s about it. We can go through 2-3 of either if I put them out at the right time.
Our girls have been cooking more than ever since March, which has been a lifesaver, but it means the kitchen is full of more cheesy casseroles, tortellini, and baked goods. Putting out fresh fruit and vegetables is my way of balancing things without getting in the way of the culinary confidence building.
Speaking of which…
2. Nectarines and ataulfo mangos
‘Tis the season for these sweet, juicy treats. Again, slice them and watch them disappear. They’re at their best right now.
3. Do it yourself (DIY) bowls
This kind of meal lets you offer something for everyone in the family and use up leftovers while you’re at it. One of my longtime favourites is the Big Vegan Bowl from the Oh She Glows blog, although I rarely make it exactly as shown. It’s just a prompt to use roasted sweet potato in a bowl and enjoy the convenience of hummus instead of dressing. The rest is whatever we have.
Last week we tried this new one, these Barley Bowls with Roasted Tofu and Broccoli from the dietitians at the How to Eat blog. Yay for barley! Quick, hearty, high in cholesterol-lowering, blood-sugar stabilizing soluble fibre barley. Plus roasted broccoli, avocado, peanuts, and a tasty dressing. A great combination.
4. Summer rolls
I snapped this photo the last time we made them and I know, it’s not traditional, but it’s real. In our house this is just another fun way to use up odds and ends from the fridge. (I never seem to get a picture of the rolls because mine aren’t pretty, and I’m too busy eating.)
5. Noodle bowls
This all started when I bought a box of frozen vegetarian yakisoba bowls for my sister’s husband at Costco. Turned out I bought the wrong thing, so we kept them and the kids LOVED them. Cue the calls for more.
Being my dietitiany self, I wanted to steer the ship towards whole-grain noodles and have started adding carrots, mushrooms, fried tofu, and whatever other veggies I have around.
Also, to help with the sodium, I’ve found this ramen broth and these noodles with flavouring packet which are lower at least than most. (I know you can make broth, but summer.) Add the veggies, maybe some sliced fruit on the side, and it’s not bad. Still much lower than a fast food or takeout meal. I even added it to my camping repertoire!
6. Fresh greens and herbs
Every year my husband digs up another chunk of grass and plants something else in it. This year it was a spot right next to the sidewalk (technically on the city’s side) for a new vegetable garden, in addition to what’s growing in the backyard. So we’re eating a lot of salads!
Somehow when lettuce is freshly picked, it tastes so much better. Plus we’re growing arugula, basil, and oregano. Toss them all with a light vinaigrette and some parmesan cheese shavings… that’s summer right there.
7. Iced coffee
Four months mostly at home with the same four people, as much as you love them, and tell me you haven’t started drinking more of something.
So I’ve gone from one mug of coffee to two, and lately, I’m doing the second one usually iced. I mix a heaping teaspoon each of instant coffee, cocoa powder, and sugar with a half-cup of boiling water until they’re dissolved. Then I add a half-cup of vanilla soy milk and about eight ice cubes. Mmmmm. My early afternoon treat.
As always, this is an unsponsored post. Any mention of specific products is purely for your enlightenment, not for profit.