Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Summer of No Cooking

Last week, my friend Lara wrote about food preparation vs. cooking. Her post reminded me of the fact that I hadn’t cooked anything in weeks. Sure, I had prepared a lot of food, but I surely hadn’t cooked anything. And I hadn’t even prepared anything new. My summer of no cooking has been “documented” by the lack of photos… Hubby has been asking me, “Don’t you want to take photos?” And I keep on saying, “No. It’s really nothing (new).”

Instead of cooking, I keep preparing old staples over and over. Not that I mind as I love summer foods, which to me are mostly lots and lots of tomatoes as well as “interesting” fruits, such as cherries, watermelon, and figs. Our tomato plants have been very good to us, and we have been enjoying homegrown tomatoes daily. The toddler is still insisting that the cherry tomatoes are all his…

Our CSA boxes consist of a lot more fruits as well. Plus some lettuce. Again, not much to cook.

So what exactly have we been eating you ask? Here are some of our recent “nothing new meals.”

Probably my favorite summer food: Caprese salad. I never get tired of it, and we eat this a LOT.

Real pasta as well as "zucchini pasta" with tomato/basil/almond pesto. I almost always have tomato/basil/almond pesto in the fridge. It’s so easy to make, and it makes a great pasta sauce, sandwich topping, or dipping sauce for veggies. To make simply put the following in the food processor: tomatoes, basil, almonds, a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. So simple. Yet so good. It’s summer at its best for me.

Salmon, salad, and corn. We have a variation of this meal at least once a week.

Super easy pasta dishes: sautéed veggies, some protein, and fresh herbs.

Easy Pasta 01
Lots and lots of Greek-inspired salads. They all look something like this…

Sprouted grain toast with avocado, cheese, and tomatoes. Yes, I know. Lots of tomatoes… Smile In my book this can be breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Tomato/Lentil/Cilantro (TLC) Salads:

And bowls and bowls of “summer salad:” Well, what would summer be without summer salads? Right!?!

In addition to simple food preparation, I have also relied on my friend (Trader) Joe a bit more. Here is one of my favorite salads he prepares for me (click on pictures to make them bigger, if you’d like).

I also love his lentil wrap. It’s an easy lunch or picnic food.

As I commented on Lara’s post, I tend to go through phases when it comes to cooking. I also (attempt to) cook a lot more in the fall and winter. In fact, I’m looking forward to fall afternoons spent in my kitchen, with a nice veggie stew or soup bubbling on the stove. But for now, I’m fully enjoying my summer of no cooking.
Questions:  Do you tend to cook less in the summer? What’s the last thing you cooked and/or prepared? What’s your favorite summer food?
Be well,