Early Summer Recipes for the Non-Practicing Cook
5 EFFORTLESS MEAL IDEAS TO CALL IN SEASONAL ABUNDANCE
As summer arrives, it's uplifting to enjoy the days stretching longer, catch the sky saturated with every color, and fill your kitchen with in-season produce. This time of year, there's a lot to choose from. Mother Nature gives us so much to play with now.
To align with the slowdown pace of the season, it's nice to have a range of recipes, that use intuition over instruction. To spark inspiration, we asked Sakara Wellness Coach and avid plant home cook, Sasha Pagni, to share what she's making as the world shifts from spring to summer. Her roundup is rainbow-drenched, simple, and relies heavily on spicy dips and spreads with punched-up flavor. Dig in, and celebrate the small things that remain in flow with the universe.
- Charred Snap Peas with Mint: Fibrous, slightly sweet snap peas provide an excellent crunch if you eat them raw. But pairing them with a few simple ingredients take the shoots to another level. Saute snap peas on medium heat until char spots appear (you can saute without oil, on a well-heated cast iron skillet), then plate. Toss them with lemon, chopped mint, flaky salt, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
- “Kitchen-Sink Greens” Pesto: For this recipe, use anything you have on hand. Sasha often adds produce that is starting to lose its luster. In a blender, add a few handfuls together, like basil, arugula, nettle, carrot top greens, watercress, ramps, with two cloves of garlic and two tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Add a handful of seeds to the mix—whatever you like really—but some varieties that work well include sunflower, pumpkin, pine, or hemp. Finish with a bit of Himalayan salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Continuously blend and scrape down the sides until it forms a paste. This thicker texture and consistency is the chef's choice. If you prefer a smoother pesto, blend longer or add water.
- Zucchini and Beet Noodles: Start with one whole zucchini and half of one beet. There are so many gorgeous varieties, including candy cane, bright orange, or the traditional deep crimson, so have fun with it. With a spiralizer, create a plate of “noodles”; if you don’t have a special spiral tool, create long, straight strands with a vegetable peeler. Combine noodles with your favorite dip or sauce of choice like the “Kitchen Sink Greens” pesto above. Then, plate a bed of arugula or rip up some radicchio, lay the noodles on top, and finish with fresh basil and sundried tomatoes.
- Plant-Rich Trail Wrap: For long hikes, road trips, or after a walk in the neighborhood. Start with a wrap of any kind; some options that provide the ideal crunch include rice paper, dehydrated veggie wraps, nori, coconut, or toasted cassava wrap. Lay down the wrap, spread hummus or avocado generously, and layer on matchsticks of cucumber, carrots, radishes, and big leaves of chard. Don't forget salt and pepper. Roll up the wrap and give it some punch by dipping it in a spicy sauce or creamy dressing.
- Cacao-Rose Ice Cream: This early summer treat makes use of super-ripe frozen bananas, Metabolism Super Powder or cacao powder, and dried rose petals for a nourishing and edible cool-down. Blend 1-3 frozen bananas, 1 pitted date, and one scoop of Metabolism Super Powder or cacao until thick and smooth. To help the blender along, you may want to add a few tablespoons of plant-based milk, but be conservative or it will become too liquidy and turn into a smoothie rather than ice cream. Once the mixture is completely smooth, scoop out and place the custard in a mixing bowl. Firm it up in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. When it reaches the desired consistency, scoop out and top with roses or Dark Chocolate Granola.
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