As summer is winding down, I have been dreaming of the cool breezes of Fall time. Pumpkins, squash, curries, camping, warming soups, raw candy apples, comfy sweaters and jeans, sleeping with the windows open, backyard pit fires….ahhh, I cannot wait!
Let’s not jump out of the present too fast now. Summer’s not over just yet. My cucumber plants are bountiful, there’s still farmer’s markets to be visited filled with baskets of peaches, tomatoes, & the last of the watermelons. I plan to savor these last few weeks by enjoying the last harvest of some of my favorite produce. Here are some meals I have been enjoying with local in-season produce!
My cucumber plant is so abundant this season! It has latched on to its neighboring bushes so I have cucumbers peeking out of everywhere. I’m amazed at how fast they grow. One day there is a little spud and a few days later its a full size cucumber. It’s always such a rewarding thing going out and finding yet another cucumber hiding & ready to be picked.
|What have I been doing with all those cucumbers? Adding them to juices for one. A new favorite snack seen on the right, are sliced cucumbers with scallion cashew cream cheese and jalepeno sauerkraut. So good! I also made this great cooling salad with cucumbers thats perfect for end of Summer.|
Chickpea, Cucumber & Tomato Salad
with Zingy Oregano Dressing
1 can of organic chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1/2 medium size cucumber//de-seeded and chopped small
1 large tomato, chopped
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, minced
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar//or balsamic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
1/2 tablespoon honey
salt & pepper and//or dulse to taste
Splash of fresh lemon juice
Mix all together & allow the flavors to marinate
in the fridge for an hour before eating.
Basil Balsamic Tomato Salad with Ribbon Thyme
Summer Squash & Almonds
I don’t have a recipe for this. I kind of made it up as I went. I started by making summer squash ‘fettucine’ by slicing thin on the mandoline. I marinated it in a little olive oil, salt//pepper, thyme & honey. Then I sliced a variety of tomatoes – heirloom, cherry, tomatillo, plum. I layered them on a serving plate and sprinkled a few dashes of balsamic vinegar & olive oil, salt//pepper. Added zucchini on top with rosemary marconi almonds & fresh basil leaves. The sweetness of the tomatoes goes very well with the sour balsamic. Add a little crunch factor with the almonds & a layer of fresh flavor with the raw zucchini and you have yourself a simple fresh summer salad.
We can’t forget about eggplant! My friend Lauren posted an Eggplant No-Parm Recipe which inspired me to make my own. I used egg white and bread crumbs to bread them and then baked until crispy. Added a little Daiya cheese to each slice of eggplant and returned them to oven until the cheese melted, then stacked them with fresh marinara sauce in between each layer. Served with fresh chopped basil.
Stuffed Portabello Caps
A week is never complete without having kale highlighted in a dish! I had some leftover eggplant that I diced and sautéed in olive oil with garlic, red pepper flakes and whole bunch of kale. I then stuffed that into big sauteed portabello caps and served with marinara sauce.
Forget about strawberries and cherries for a minute. Let’s highlight the blackberry! This is my new favorite berry to snack on at the moment. Its sweet and sour and so juicy. I’ve been making them the star ingredient in our morning smoothies. It creates such a beautiful vibrant purple color shake that’s really fun to drink.
Speaking of fun, last week was my honey’s birthday!!! I love celebrating birthdays – as you can see I went all out with decorating. He LOVES fresh squeezed orange Juice (No Tropicana in this house!) so I made fresh organic OJ for him to go along with his favorite breakfast. The breakfast was not Vegan of course, otherwise I would share a pic.
Yes, I even made Bowie wear a birthday hat. He did not like me for that.
A post wouldn’t feel complete without something sweet. Hail Merry Miracle Tarts come in Persian Lime flavor. One memory I always have of summer is eating an old fashioned Key Lime Pie from our local country market Delicious Orchards. They have since retired making this flavor pie and I’m (somewhat) glad because I would be tempted to go buy one! I’ve been on a hunt for something to fill that craving. This tart is pretty darn close in succeeding with that. So good and hard to believe its completely raw! Even my non-raw eating boyfriend enjoyed it. Yum!
Hope you are enjoying the last bounty of summer produce! Are you excited for Fall as much as I am? What are your favorite things about the Fall season?