Music: The Beau Hunks, The Original Little Rascals Music
Fresh fruit bowl: pluots, green grapes
I don't know about you, but when these dog days of hot summer hit, I find that my appetite kind of vanishes. I crave more fruit and fruity drinks and ice cold water. When I feel like this, I really listen to my body and just eat when I am truly hungry. It's easy to fall into the trap of looking at the clock and thinking, "I should probably eat something" when you may or not be really hungry.
Also, when it gets warmer, I just don't want to be in a hot kitchen. So I'll usually make some salads early in the day if they involve cooking a grain or other vegetable, then chilling it in the fridge until my appetite calls for it.
I made some delicious Patty Pan squash one day which I then served with a side of some barley tabbouleh. I used the same recipe I've used for bulgur except I changed the grain. I didn't have tomatoes so I used some carrots instead. I also threw in some avocado slices on the side.
And this is a super easy Paella from Lorna Sass' Shortcut Vegan. With some very lightly sauteed Farmers' Market brussels sprouts and Jim's homemade bread, it felt like a special meal.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 C chopped onions
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/4 C water
1 vegan bouillon cube
1/2 tsp safflower
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 C white basmati rice
1 C diced carrots
1 6 oz. jar marinated artichokes OR 1 C frozen peas, defrosted
1 C frozen corn, defrosted
1/2 C diced roasted red pepper
1 15-oz. can of black or red beans, drained & rinsed
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat oil in large pan and saute onions and garlic carefully watching that they don't burn. Cook for about 1-3 minutes (I like to wait until the onions are translucent but be very careful that the garlic does not brown). Add water, bouillon cube, safflower, and salt. Bring to a boil then add rice and carrots. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 18 minutes. The water should almost be absorbed.
Add peas (or artichokes), corn, beans, and red pepper. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for about 2-3 minutes. Add pepper and more sea salt if needed. Stir well. This dish makes a lot so it will last a few days and it reheats very well in a saucepan with a little water.