I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with spring transitioning into summer! With warm weather comes fresh produce! Farmers markets, home gardens, and community shared agriculture are easy ways to source the freshest, most local food for you and your family. I typically eat with the seasons. What this means is that I eat what my region is able to produce given the time of year. A Bostonian eating watermelon in January doesn't quite make sense. June in the northeast is known for greens: spinach, lettuce, kale. And of course ruby red strawberries! I will be providing monthly recipes that coincide with nature's food of the northeast region. So source out your local farmers market/farmer and add some local food to your life.
Admittedly, I love to cook. I enjoy it, I plan it. With that said, I am no master chef. I like cooking simple meals that are time efficient and give me leftovers to have for another meal. I cook once and eat at least twice. I like cooking but I also don't want to spend hours a day in the kitchen. The meals below take 30 minutes or less to prep and cook. They are full of nutrition and will hopefully get you trying new things and playing around in your kitchen.
Happy and healthy cooking to you!!
1. BBQ Salad
I love the idea of a salad, but salads can get old and boring very fast. This salad is a mix of spinach and purple lettuce. I simply topped it with a turkey hotdog because I feel salads without protein are not sustainable. For more flavor and crunch I added pumpkin seeds and nutritional yeast. Lastly I whipped up a very quick honey mustard dressing to drizzle on top. This dressing is a no-brainer. It is equal parts honey, mustard, mayo, vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar). Done and done.
2. Kohlrabi Fritters
I received one bunch, with 3 kohlrabi bulbs, at my Week 2 CSA pickup. I had never cooked with kohlrabi but was ready for the task. I found a recipe from The Kitchn which I slightly modified for my taste preference.
3 kohlrabi bulbs
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup fat for frying (butter, oil)
Chop the leaves off the kohlrabi. Peel the outside bulb layers or scrub well under water. Peel the carrot. Dice the kohlrabi and carrot (I put them in the food processor). This next step is very important: the diced veggies need to be drained. I put them in a cloth bag and wrung it out. You may also put in a kitchen towel and wring as much liquid out as possible. Put the dried veggies in a bowl with the egg and salt and pepper. Mix.
Heat a skillet up to medium with your fat of choice. Form small patties from the fritter mixture and put in the skillet. Cook until browed on both sides. I served them with none other than my favorite condiment: mayonnaise.
3. Southern Salad
Again with the salads...I know! But the greens are local and in season right now. And it's just so easy to make salads this tasty! The bed of greens is just purple lettuce this time. Feel free to add spinach, kale, or any other green you like.
3 medium tomatoes
1/2 medium zucchini
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 can drained and rinsed black beans
Chop up the tomatoes and zucchini and put in a skillet with butter. Add the turmeric, cumin, and salt and pepper. Mix and sautee until the tomatoes and zuc become soft. Add the beans and stir. That's it. This part of the dish tends to be in a lot of liquid so I used a strainer spoon to scoop it out and put on top of the greens. Then I added a couple small spoonfuls of the liquid to the salad. For added yumminess I sliced up an avocado and topped with....mayo.
4. Chia Seed Pudding
This is one of my most favorite no-bake desserts. Since strawberries are in season, I made a strawberry-blueberry chia pudding. Fresh or frozen berries are fine. You can use any berry you prefer or have on hand. Blend a big handful of berries and 2 cups of water. Pour the liquid into a medium mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of chia seeds and 1/8 cup maple syrup to the liquid and stir. The chia seeds need time to soak up the liquid and gel. For best results, let sit for at least 1 hour. While sitting, intermittently stir the mixture until you notice a thick, pudding-like consistency. You can top the pudding off with fresh berries, whipped cream, ice cream, or nothing at all.
5. Creamy Mayo
Have you noticed a theme this month? I love me some mayo! Making this condiment at home is the easiest recipe of all, without any of the unnecessary ingredients in store-bought mayo. What makes this recipe so easy is making it in a wide-mouth mason jar with an immersion (stick) blender. Recipe is adapted from The Healthy Foodie.
1 large egg
1/2 cup olive oil (make sure it is 'LIGHT TASTING')
2 tablespoons vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
pinch of salt
small squeeze of mustard (optional)
Put all ingredients in your mason jar and stick blend away. Cap it. Refrigerate it. Done.
Lastly, hydration is key. Water is so crucial to maintaining healthy weight, feeling energized, and reducing cravings. Plain water can be boring, so mix it up and make it a treat. The good old lemon or lime is an easy go-to and aids in digestion. As the summer veggies are becoming more bountiful, add some cucumber slices to your water bottle, or even cucumber with mint. Playing around with adding different fruit to your water may help you drink up those 60+oz your body so desperately wants.
Happy cooking my friends!! Step out of your comfort zone and try something new! If there is a food item or ingredient that you are interested in learning more about, please shoot me a message so I can be sure to include it in future recipes!