Friday, June 27, 2014

yummy summer eats

 I love to cook but not so much in the summer when the temps are in the 80's and 90's
and the humidity makes my hair look like I stuck my finger in an electric socket.
No one wants to be standing over a hot stove or turning on an oven in that kind
of weather. And I don't know about you, but I'm not big on Crockpot foods in the summer
either. Hot meat-laden dishes just don't do it for me.

So one thing I rely on in the summer are salads. I made this one up last night
and it was delicious! I could've eaten it as my main meal, but hubby it's not
quite enough for my hubby, so I made BLT sandwiches, too. 

Early in the day when it was cooler, I boiled a pot of pasta, drained, and ran
cold water over the noodles until they were cool. I drained them well, then put
them in a big bowl. In the meantime, I also roasted a pan of veggies. Again, you
can do this in the early morning before it gets too hot. And you can roast
whatever kind of veggies you and your family like: onions, peppers, zucchini,
yellow squash, fennel, mushrooms. All I had on-hand was red and yellow peppers
and onions, so that's what I used. Let the veggies cool down, then add to the pasta
 in the bowl. I then added halved chopped grape tomatoes and kalamata olives.
 Artichoke hearts would be good, too. At this point, you could also add chunks of
 mozzarella cheese or any diced meat or tofu. Good way to use what you have leftover 
in the fridge! I then used a jarred pesto sauce (you can make your own and I usually do
 in the summer, but my basil isn't prolific enough yet to make a batch of pesto) to cover 
the pasta and veggies.

Another thing I made yesterday was a big batch of hummus. I found the recipe
 here - on Inspired Taste.   It's a tasty, nutritious snack when served with raw
 veggies and pita chips. And no heating up the  kitchen! If you can't find tahini 
in your supermarket, a good substitute is peanut butter. It won't quite taste like 
authentic hummus since tahini is made from  sesame seeds, but it's a close match
 and actually gives the hummus a unique (in a good way!) flavor. I like to spread the
 hummus on a plate, sprinkle with  paprika, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.

 Happy eats and happy weekend!

Sharing these recipes with The Homesteading Hippy.


  1. hello, melanie! Another Illinois girl here, but we live farther south. I clicked over from Blondie's Journal. Your salad sounds delish! Would you share your hummus recipe? I bought tahini, but never used it and now I can't find the recipe I thought looked like a winner. Thanks! Newest follower!

    1. Hi, Susan! Thanks for visiting me from Blondie's blog and for becoming my newest follower! The hummus recipe is in the hyperlink on the word that I'm looking at my blog, I can see that it might not be obvious enough. I'll go back and make an edit. Thanks!

  2. Great ideas for no cooking or not a lot of cooking when it is hot! I am with you about not wanting to eat lots of meat and hot things in the summer, we have been on salads for weeks and it is so lovely - and less cooking and washing up too! xx

  3. Melanie, your yummy summer eats are the perfect cold plates for the horrible heatwave we have been enduring for the past two days, with temps at 97°F!! I will definitely be making this, heatwave or no heatwave! Thanks for sharing!


    1. We're at 87F today - I definitely wouldn't want to be 10 degrees higher, though we do get that kind of weather in July and August.

  4. I saw that hummus recipe the other day and plan to make it as soon as I can get to the store for ingredients. Greg has just finally decided he likes it and the grandboys love it, so homemade is the way to go.

    1. It's so easy to make and sure beats the premade stuff in the grocery store which usually contains canola or soybean oil and preservatives.

  5. I'm with you, I cook similarly when it's hot. Your food looks delicious. Stay cool and have a great weekend.

  6. Hi Melanie
    I went to high school with a Michael Kniffen our freshman year at Mt Vernon Township High
    is that anyone you know? our high school reunion is coming up in September this year maybe he is on our list to come?

  7. Your salad sounds wonderful! Will try that. Hummus is one of my favorites. I make a batch at least once a week.


    1. Oh, wow. It's a great, nutritious snack. My husband loves it, too.

  8. I really enjoy hummus. I just finished making a pasta salad. I haven't tried using pesto in mine. Sounds good, I'll give it a try.

    1. It really adds a different dimension to pasta salad instead of the usual olive oil or mayonnaise-based dressings.

  9. I've been making my own hummus for awhile now, and it's such an improvement that I can barely eat store bought now. I had to laugh when there was so much buzz over that hummus recall, like it never occurred to anyone to make it themselves! It's pretty easy too, as you know. If you aren't in a big time crunch, I find it improves the hummus even more if you "peel" the garbanzo beans one by one before hand. It just takes a second to rub each one between your fingers.

  10. I have never made my own hummus, but I do love to eat hummus so maybe I should try.

    Yours looks wonderful.


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