Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heatwave

Yes, it is hot out there. I know we are not alone. I won't complain, but the coolest part of my day (after a quick mid-day dip in Vicky and Greg's pool, they are saints, I tell you) was cycling to the gym. I have noticed that when the indoor temp in our coolest room in the house hits 83 degrees (meaning the rest of the house it probably well above 86) there is a little thing inside me (maybe my soul?) that just melts. I can deal with the heat until then, but all bets are off when I sweat just sitting in a chair attempting to read. My kids get a little (a lot) snicky and everyone feels a little out of sorts. It even sucks the appetite out of my hungry little crew and I sure don't feel like spending much time in a hot kitchen. What to do? Well, we usually start out the day with a smoothie jam packed with nutrition so it fills us up as it cools us down. This morning we had kale, beet, carrot, frozen blueberries and strawberries, flax seeds, and soy milk. It was an awesome magenta color (sorry it was consumed before I could snap a picture) and totally satisfying.
If you aren't into smoothies or just need something with a little more bite, leftovers are a great way to beat the heat. Here is Amelia's Black Bean Pasta Salad (she graciously gave us some after the meet-up) and Blackened Spicy Chickpeas (from The Indian Vegan Kitchen) served over Jasmin's Mattar Pulao. I don't think I mentioned in my post about the meet-up that the author of The Indian Vegan Kitchen
is also a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Science in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Illinois, Urbana (our little college town). Small world.
Make whole wheat dough before hand (stores well in long-term in the freezer or refrigerator if using in a couple days). Whip up some pizza sauce, add whatever you have on hand (carrots from our mini-CSA, kalamata olives, fresh pineapple from our neighbors who are out of town and gave it to us, basil from the garden, and bit of Daiya cheese) then cook in the oven while you are playing at the park. If you don't want to mess with a tomato sauce, use hummus, it makes a great alternative. Quick and easy with little clean up.
Here is yet another pasta salad, this one I made based on the Last-Minute Italian-Style Pasta Salad from 1,000 Vegan Recipes. It takes longer to type out the name of the salad than throw it together. It doesn't call for chickpeas, but I always put them in. You could add any veggies you have on hand. Perfect for when everyone is too hot to move. The sandwich is a typical Parker favorite baked tofu with veggies, but a special twist. Melody from Vegan for $3.33 a Day posted a recipe for a sauce/mayo sub on Facebook (who says FB is just a waste of time?) and I knew we had to try it. We made a double batch so I plan to use it on everything. A winner! (I have contacted her to see if I can link to her recipe because I don't see it on her blog.)
Or you can let others cook for you while you enjoy some allusive air conditioning. Josie enjoying a Southwest Salad at Aroma and below a Junior Hummus Plate also at Aroma. Yes, both easy to make at home and wonderful hot weather options. What are your favorite ways to beat the heat? Stay cool!

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