This time of year if you are hot, bored in the kitchen or just plain busy, then you are like me and looking for some simple summer dishes. It's easy to get stuck in a kitchen rut... and when you are entertaining a 9 month old all day, some days you wish dinner would make itself.
Summer Veggie Quick Fix Tips:
Although, something great about summer is the fresh local produce. If you have a garden that is starting to give back to you, then you are probably finding ways to get creative with veggies and new flavors. Or maybe you are noticing more ripe options at your local farmer's market and want to find ways to try and eat more veggies while they are fresh and ready for eatin'. Not to mention, when you can buy summer squash 2 or 3 for a dollar... you can really save a bunch on your grocery bill with fresh food. I have a few tips for you as you try and get creative in the kitchen with those summer veggies...
1. Keep it simple. Either steam, saute or chop up raw and toss with the basics of lemon, olive oil and sea salt and pepper and you may just have a fresh dish all on it's own. Don't over-think fresh veggies recipes. They are yummy just as they are.
2. Fresh herbs are a perfect addition to most summer veggies. If you just add some fresh herbs with your steamed or saute veggie I bet you will have a gourmet main or side dish.
3. Use some of your favorite real condiments to add a flavor as well. i.e. this recipe is using mustard and honey. Both condiments are real ingredients and combined to make a fabulous flavor duo that is quite simple.
4. Summer is a great time of year to focus on just eating raw or fresh as well. Or in the least, force yourself to try new veggies (or fruits) you may have seen before but didn't have guts to try. So, find that veggie that seems to be scary to you. Buy it, and then google a simple recipe know how to cook best. Fresh market produce is pretty amazing so if you need motivation to pick something new out...head to your local farmer's market!
5. Lastly, eat the veggies while they are super fresh. They taste best that way. Don't let swiss chard sit in the fridge for a week before you dice it up, saute it and eat it. Seriously, it won't taste as good as it could if you just let it "rot". Local produce that is picked that day has the most flavor and nutrients ever!
That is how this recipe came together in minutes. I had a handful of summer squash from the market (cheap cheap summer veggie), and instead of just a quick saute with olive oil I added a few more flavors to come up with a simple and yummy side dish that may just turn into a main dish if you don't stop eating...
Honey Mustard Summer Squash Recipe
2 medium summer squash (about 3 cups of chopped raw squash) I used a zucchini and a yellow summer squash
1 TB of coconut oil or ghee for sauteing
Saute the raw squash in either coconut oil or ghee for best nutrient absorption. Then when squash is soft add the following ingredients:
1 TB of local honey (maple syrup or agave could sub here for vegans)
1-2 TB of prepared mustard
1 TB of extra virgin olive oil
sprinkle of sea salt
sprinkle of cracked pepper
sprinkle of fresh lemon juice
1-2 TB of fresh chopped parsley
Mix all together with hot sauted squash in the pan and serve when it is a bit cooled. It could be a cooled summer dish if you want to serve chilled from the fridge, or it could be served from the stovetop. Just make sure not to burn your tongue...honey and squash stay hot a while.
It is a simple dish, but has a bunch of flavor and could be devoured by 2 people for sure.... could serve 4-6 as a side dish. If you want to add more flavor in sauteing.... add a little bit of sweet onion and minced garlic while sauteing. Then add the dressing as the same as above.
Well friends, I hope you have a nice summer-week with lots of fresh and colorful food!
Much love to you!