The weather earlier this week was insane! You want to talk about a scorcher? I thought that I was back working Coachella! Thank goodness I could jump in a pool to cool off. I wish that I had this salad to cool me down from the inside out, though.
I was inspired by a salad that I had years ago, with watermelon, tomato, mint, and feta, plus some vegetarian roe for a salty kick. This one is slightly different, with creamy pine nuts changing up the texture, and a combination of mint and basil to make it interesting (and pretty!).
The best part about this salad is that it comes together in mere minutes. If you chill the tomato and watermelon before assembly it works out even better. This is the perfect side for a summer party, BBQ or as a light snack. Throw a little white balsamic vinegar on there and call it a day!
First off, I hope that everyone had a great Labor Day weekend filled with great food and even better company. I saw a lot of family this weekend, some that I haven’t seen since my Grandmother’s passing in May; so that was really nice. But, whenever family is over for a holiday that is centered around food, I’m always in the kitchen trying to make some space to make food that is suitable for me. Sometimes this is a little hard when you are surrounded by racks of ribs, chili dips, hamburgers and hot dogs. :/ What is funny, is that everyone is always interested in what I’m making for myself; asking me what kind of dish I’ll be making this time, what’s in it, etc.
I love it when I get others (non-vegans, mostly) interested in trying new things, or at least learning more about them. The recipe I made this past weekend was inspired by an accident of sorts. I have a guest post in the works for Vegan Miam, and had some extra ingredients left over from the end result. It turns out that if you mix lentils and tomato sauce together, it ends up being a delicious combo. But, it didn’t stop there; I knew that I’d want to elaborate on the mixture and make it into an awesome Sloppy Joe recipe.
Last year, I tried my hand at making homemade burger buns, and although they turned out okay I thought I’d change them up a bit and use them to cradle my sloppy joe mix. Well, it turns out that I forgot to add salt and I may have not let them rise enough because they ended up pretty dense. So, unfortunately, I will not be posting up my modified recipe; but, this sloppy joe mix… Is so damn good. After I was done seasoning it, my cousin tried some and then proceeded to force almost everyone else at my house to try it as well. One of my older cousins who just had heart surgery even said, “Wait, you’re sure there’s no meat in here? This is good!” I’ll take it!
Can you believe that it’s almost September? Just thinking about it gets me super excited! After all, September does play host to my birthday (;)), the beginning of fall, and a new set of produce to work with. Fall is my favorite season; the weather cools, the aroma of damp leaves and smoke from fireplaces mixed with the lowering sun create this warm rusty aura around the thought of it. Alas, it is still Summer, and this smoothie uses some of its quintessential ingredients to end August on a good note.
Bright peaches with soft skin locking in their sweet juice grace counter tops all over the states, while humongous watermelons are being sliced and enjoyed at the last of the Summer BBQs this Labor Day weekend. What happens when you combine these two great fruits with a berry back-up singer and refreshing mint? A icy-cool treat that is great for Summer mornings. The addition of hulled hemp seeds ups the creaminess and protein content, a win-win!
My garden’s harvesting is coming to an end soon, with the exception of some tomato plants that I started pretty late in the season, and overall it’s been pretty successful! Even though these Summer wraps are a simple dish in execution and ingredients, I am extremely proud of them. Four of the main ingredients came from my garden, and that is something that I wouldn’t have been able to say just a couple of years ago.
Even though the corn stalks I had didn’t produce much, and the cobs are pretty miniature, they tasted great and had some excellent kernels. If my zucchini plant hadn’t fully succumbed to powdery mildew this wouldn’t have been my last homegrown zucchini of the season; but, you gotta take the good with the bad. I’ve never grown carrots before this year, and that was a very cool, patience-testing experience. Pulling a grand-looking, orange root from the earth was definitely a highlight for me. Then there’s the chard, which was started a little late but continues to grow and is quite the sight to see with its multi-colored stalks and deep green leaves.
With the addition of some red onion, tomatoes and mushrooms, these wraps have an array of colors and are not only delicious, but easy on the eyes. Salt and pepper are the only tools used for seasoning other than fresh Farmers Market basil, keeping it basic by letting the fresh produce shine through. Being wrapped in chard makes these wraps healthy and great to serve as an appetizer at a Summer dinner party.