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Un-wimpy Early Summer Meals

May 25, 2011

It is getting way warmer here, how about where you are?  While, yes, I am still making soup on occasion (and some damned yummy ones at that…we had a couple of rainy weeks where they were much appreciated!), it’s getting to be time for those meals that utilize fresh produce and shine with summery goodness.  But, I still want to be full in the summer.  I don’t know about you, but eating raw veggies and cold soup and…what else do normal people eat during hot months?  Anyway, it’s not for me.  I still cook when it’s hot out, but I try to at least make the meals a little lighter (bathing suit season, what?).  I went through a huge Appetite for Reduction phase, so get used to seeing some awesome low-fat dinners for the next couple of posts.  (Now I’m in a huge money-saving-no-grocery-shopping phase because my work dies in the summertime, so I’m going to have to make these drag out a bit until I have enough cash to make something that isn’t spaghetti.)  Enjoy!

appropriate summer soup

Oh, I guess I’ll start with a soup, since I just said something about how it’s not soup season anymore.  But this is a summer soup!  It’s not cold (because, yuck, cold soup [for me, anyway]), but it does utilize lots of summer produce.  Therefore, it will be perfect for when your garden or farmers market is overflowing with corn and peppers and whatnot!  In fact, it’s even called summer lovin’ curried corn and vegetable chowder.  Soup forever.  Anywho, this soup was terrifically tasty.  The cobs are cooked with the broth for a while, so there is a really distinct fresh corn flavor.  And I love curry, and spiciness, so it’s a full-blown win.

taco time!

Tacos are for sure a warm weather food.  I kind of believe that anything handheld is seasonally appropriate in the summer.  Think about it.  Burgers, notdogs, corn dogs, popsicles…and tacos.  These are filled with unfried refried beans, chili lime rubbed tofu, lettuce, guacamole (so much for that low-fat thing), and salsa.  I’ve never had tofu in a taco before, but it made a really nice addition!  And the beans…Isa has this brilliant thing where she adds coriander seeds to beans sometimes and it is simply and amazing flavor combination.  I don’t really know why, but it just makes sense and tastes so perfect.  I ate the rest of the beans in a big bowl with some lettuce, salsa, and crumbled corn chips later that week.  Impromptu taco salad for the win!

salads are for the summertime.

So, I’m basically just winging this, guys, because I eat pretty much any kind of food all year round.  I just eat more fresh produce in the summer, since it’s cheap and local then.  I eat salads all winter long.  But I hear that salads are especially popular in warm months.  And you know what’s awesome on salad, no matter what time of year?  Falafel, that’s what.  This baked falafel is relatively easy to make (my food processor didn’t want to…process…it, but other than that), and is light and delicious to boot.  It pairs perfectly with the green goddess garlic dressing, which I could easily just eat with a spoon.  Tahini and falafel are made for each other, duh.

house burner.

Blackened tofu has a great southern flavor, and southern food seems to pretty much always be summer, since it’s warm down there most of the year.  I didn’t love this recipe, unfortunately, but it was ok.  Honestly, I prefer the recipe for blackened tofu in Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.  I  like the spice combo better.  You could probably broil that recipe, too, if you wanted to reduce the fat.  Speaking of broiling, though, this tofu set off 6 smoke detectors in my apartment building, so open a window or something if you make it.  Because that isn’t fun to deal with.  Those are the sweet and salty baby carrots (except I just cut up regular carrots, because I am morally opposed to buying baby carrots [not because they’re babies {ha}, but because they’re just regular carrots, already cut for you, that cost tons more than regular old carrots that you can just cut yourself, lazybones], and they’re pretty tasty.  Nice, basic and quick recipe.  Not mind-blowing or anything, but good for when you need another veggie side and you’ve got some carrots to use up.

show stealer.

So really, the star of this meal was the creamed corn!  I’ve never had creamed corn before, but I’ve been missing out, apparently.  It’s especially good to take a little bit of the corn and top it with a bit of tofu.  Awesome combination.  My only qualm with the corn recipe is that it calls for a pot that is way too big, so that when you go to blend it all up with your trusty immersion blender, you get splattered with bits of scorching hot corn.  Lame.  So next time I’m either going to double the recipe or use a pot that’s half the size.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


I love pesto so much.  Last summer, I went to the farmers market and bought something like $12 worth of basil, which was a huge plastic grocery bag’s worth and made approximately 584932754 batches of pesto with various nuts (cashew, pecan, and walnut, screw pine nuts, they’re too expensive and taste like worms) and froze it in ice-cube trays (because my mother is a genius) and then put them all in a huge freezer bag and I still have pesto left, suckers.  That’s my pesto story.  It doesn’t really have anything to do with how awesome the edamame pesto recipe from AFR is.  But it is.  Awesome, I mean.  And it doesn’t have stupid pine nuts, which is doubly awesome.  The edamame makes the pesto all creamy, smooth, and filling.  Less fat, more fiber and protein.  Pesto just won the race.  I didn’t make the spinach linguine recipe from the book because I can’t find spinach linguine around here, but I did just use some regular whole wheat linguine and cook down some red onions, yellow summer squash, and grape tomatoes in a teensy bit of oil to add in.  It was fabulous!  I can’t wait to make it again.  And since edamame costs a fraction of the price of pine nuts, all I have to do is wait for basil to come to the farmers market and I can make a few batches and freeze it!  Fresh pesto all year long!

What are your favorite summery, but still filling, meals?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2011 7:32 pm

    I’ve been totally obsessed with Appetite for Reduction lately, too! I’ve been eating the Arabian Red Lentil and Rice Soup for lunch the last few days.

  2. May 25, 2011 7:54 pm

    We are waving goodbye to summer in the southern hemisphere but that soup looks delicious and end of summer appropriate too!

  3. May 27, 2011 4:11 pm

    You don’t like pine nuts? You’re blowing my mind! Like when people say they don’t like french fries or pizza or potato chips…Pine nuts top all my pasta & marinara sauce dishes, their creamy fattiness replaces the cheese.

    Anyways, I was thinking about it and I don’t think I really change my meals much with the change of the seasons. Perhaps because I grew up in Florida and I’m not used to doing so? Whenever I read your blog it makes me want to cook from cookbooks, but I just rarely do it. I never seem to have most of the ingredients for what I want to make, so I just end up with a tofu scramble. :o)

  4. May 27, 2011 6:26 pm

    falafel sounds like an excellent addition to salads, i’ll have to give it a try! and i love pesto too, but somehow i’ve skipped over that edamame pesto recipe in afr. that needs to change — it looks awesome.

  5. lazysmurf permalink
    June 6, 2011 10:54 am

    Those tacos look out of sight! I have been making a lot of stuff from AFR too, that tofu set off our smoke detector too! I think I’m going to make the falafel again tonight. I have been craving it like mad.

  6. June 10, 2011 10:40 am

    i just found your blog and love it! your meals look amazing! i love appetite for reduction, too 😉

  7. July 2, 2011 9:58 pm

    I love the falafel picture. Gorgeous. Also, I’ve never heard of whole corn cobs being cooked in a soup before – I can’t wait to try it.

  8. July 8, 2011 8:30 am

    The tacos and creamed corn look amaze-balls. I would crush them!

  9. July 18, 2011 11:59 am

    This food looks great. My kitchen is being remodeled right now and I can’t wait to start cooking again.

  10. August 12, 2011 4:41 pm

    That all looks so delicious! It makes me want to make that edamame pesto, it’s one of my favorites!


  1. Basil Me This. « Awesome. Vegan. Rad.
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