Friday, June 10, 2011

Simple Suppers and Wrap it Up Lunches

When it heats up outside, the last thing I want to do is slave over a hot stove in our kitchen (no A/C!), but we have to eat. Especially, since we have hours to spend at the park/pool, we need to refuel, but we need to get back to the fun as soon as we can. Here are a few quick, simple meals we've made to beat the heat.
Whole wheat fettuccine with sauteed garlicky collards and kalamata olives.
Sauteed farmer's market Asian greens (I say this because when Rob buys them from farmer Greg, he says they are "Asian greens") with black "Forbidden" rice, pan seared tofu, topped with tahini sauce and hot sauce
Vegan Dad's Peanut Tempeh with Noodles (this is an old fave or ours, but I haven't made it for a while, great with whole wheat spaghetti if you don't have rice noodles on hand, I didn't have any cilantro, but I added peas as it cooked and cashews for garnish) served with mangoes and cherries
Vegan Diner Q Sandwich on whole wheat bun, mixed greens salad with raisins, chickpeas, walnuts, and homemade tahini dressing, yellow pasta and peas with hot sauce (this is what my eldest used to call vegan mac and cheese when he was two and it still sticks for whatever yellowish sauce I come up with to serve over pasta)

Okay, that last one comes together really quickly if you do some prep work ahead of time, but it isn't like the others which you can blow off dinner until the last minute and use what you have on hand. The Smoky Seitan from Vegan Diner is the base for the sandwich and it smells wonderful steaming. All the seitan recipes are super simple and quick to put together, the steaming takes most of the time, but that isn't active kitchen time. The Smoky Seitan calls for porcini mushroom powder, which might be hard to find, but it is worth it. Of course, it would work fine with any seitan recipe. Rob made the Sandwich Slaw (also from Vegan Diner) a day before. He thought it cold be more vinegar-y, but I thought it was just fine and it was good to let it marinate in the refrigerator for a day. I made the Rough Rider Barbecue Sauce (Vegan Diner), but I had to sub maple syrup for the agave nectar since we were out. This just might become my go-to bbq sauce. Yes, we went from using bbq sauce once a year or less and now I might make some sort of bbq a couple times a month.

Quick lunches are often wraps, but I rarely photograph them because it is hard to make them look good. You can put pretty much any leftover in a whole grain tortilla and you have a winner. All our leftover Indian food from Memorial Day ended up as wraps....yum! The tortillas we prefer right now are Maria and Ricardo's 12 inch whole wheat tortillas. For some reason at our co-op, they only carry the white flour or sometimes the sun dried tomato, but I buy the whole wheat ones through our buying club. Tortillas are more fun than bread and lighter, but still have about 10 grams of protein per serving, if you are tracking that sort of thing.
Here is one of Parker's latest creations. Yes, this has vegan hot dogs in it. We bought some for our friend/neighbor, Jair's pool birthday party/cookout (loads of fun!) and had a few left over. We had just roasted some asparagus for soup and Parker asked if he could use some for his wrap. He also included Vegenaise, guacamole, mixed greens, pickles, za'atar, hot sauce, and mustard. He loves coming up with new combinations of foods. He finished of this one and went for this baby next.
Leftover black rice, Common Ground Co-op Brazilian Black Bean Soup, hot sauce, and guacamole. I am always surprised how much my eleven year old eats and I love that he enjoys making healthy foods.

What is your favorite quick and easy summer meal?

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