Will someone please explain to me how it is the middle of July already?! On one hand, I’m loving the new summer produce showing up in my CSA share; on the other, the Schatteman wedding (yep, that means mine) is inching closer by the day. I don’t think I’m an uptight bride, at least not more uptight than I am in other areas of life, but it’s hard to focus on everything we’ve checked off the to-do list when there seems to be so much left on it. I might have even had my first wedding planning dream last night. At four months out, that’s about average, right?
The good news is that we’ve secured a venue, I found a dress I absolutely adore, wedding rings are done, and save-the-dates are out! Now I just have to find time to get back to Minnesota once or twice to work on flowers, cake, and the 98 other items on my list.
One thing that has barely crossed my mind–a wedding eating/workout plan. I actually just typed “diet” and then realized than never in my life have I used the word in that context. All the ladies I’ve witnessed getting married in the last couple years have looked amazing, but I’m all too familiar with the juice cleanses and general deprivation that went into it. I don’t really see myself going that route. What I’d like to do, and I really need to write something down and commit to it, is pare down snacking between meals that involves processed and/or non-vegan food, limit unnecessary munching as I prep recipes that involve cheese (aka all of them), as well as pick a cardio goal, like a 5k, to do before the wedding. It’s just not realistic for me to restrict my diet drastically, considering almost daily recipe testing and other cooking projects.
Getting my bod wedding-ready over the summer is a huge advantage, though, given the abundance of seasonal produce. Eating salads is actually a treat when lettuce is just-picked and tomatoes are juicy and ripe, and there are new veggies and herbs almost every week that only need an easy sauce or simple seasoning and brown rice to make a complete one-bowl dinner. Here’s how I used this week’s produce, and make sure to check out the new seasonal recipe index by ingredient for more summer produce recipes.
Summer CSA Week 4
- Green cabbage
- Lettuce (green and red)
This guy is still sitting in my fridge, and I honestly have no idea how he’ll get put to use. I’m kind of thinking cabbage rolls (so much work) or stir fry. Remember the Napa cabbage I got a couple weeks ago? No? Well, I took a shot at fermenting it, and it’s comin’ out of the jar this week! Time to find out if I can stomach fermented veggies. I think the key is probably to try not to think about how long (3 weeks) they’ve been sitting at room temp.
Salads all around! On Sunday night, we had leftover kohlrabi gratin for dinner, along with a salad topped with the cucumbers and tomatoes, also from my CSA, and a simple olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing. I ate about half a head of lettuce. I also used some as a topping for veggie tacos on Monday night, and I plan to make Mediterranean lentil lettuce wraps with the remaining red lettuce leaves. Recipe for those is on my to-photograph list. We’ve had them twice so far and they’re a winner!
Some time in the past two years, I created an awesome salad which consisted mostly of spiralized zuchinni and summer squash, feta, and loads of cilantro. Simple enough, but the key, if I remember one thing about it, was the dressing. Over the weekend, I searched every possible notebook and electronic record for that dang (delicious) recipe to no avail. Grrrrr. My hope is that the dressing, which maybe, maybe, contained lime juice, will come to me in a vision so I can recreate this faux veggie “pasta” salad.
I combined a good handful of cilantro with one of the tomatoes, minced red onion, lime juice, and a little pepper to make a quick salsa for Monday’s veggie tacos. It happened to also be perfect on the roasted potatoes I made as a side.
These went on many a salad, including one I made for lunch today with honey mustard dressing. The dressing was easier than it sounds–just a simple vinaigrette, except I replaced the dijon with honey mustard.
Steve announced a major craving for pita bread slathered in hummus, baba ganoush, and a host of Mediterranean veggies, so I may have to indulge him with the remaining cucumber. If not, I’ll likely throw it into a green smoothie.
Monday night was zucchini tacos! Okay, it was supposed to be zucchini and butternut tacos, but butternut squash is terribly out of season, and the cubes I had stored in the fridge for just a couple days were slimy and gross. Not happening.
I sautéed 1 inch chunks of zucchini with red onion in a super hot cast iron skillet. After they had been sizzling a few minutes, I added the last of my kale stash, plus ground cumin, dried oregano, and chili powder. After both the onion and zucchini were slightly browned and softened, I turned off the heat and stirred in salt, pepper, and some Frank’s hot sauce. I served my veggie concoction over charred corn tortillas (things you can do with a gas stove) with grated manchego cheese, sour cream, CSA lettuce, and the simple salsa I mentioned above.
Two big tomatoes disappeared quickly: one in Sunday night’s salad, the other in the salsa for zucchini tacos. I’m looking forward to more ‘maters in this week’s share, and over the rest of the summer.
For once, I did something with the berries, my first blueberries and raspberries of the season, besides just scarf them down on the long drive home from the farm. Miraculously, I had all the ingredients on hand to satisfy my Saturday morning pancake craving, and Steve wasn’t the least bit sad to come home from his group bike ride to these fluffy cakes. I use and swear by a recipe from Gluten-Free Goddess. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it–just add berries.
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