Summer Menu Ideas

file0001754951452For the sake of

  1. Freshness,
  2. Living with Nature, and
  3. Frugality!

I think it’s always better to eat “seasonally.”  That is, choosing the foods in your diet around what is seasonally ripe and available (local and organic).  For example, if you eat a lot of bananas in the middle of winter (NOT seasonal, at least in Texas), you may end up with some type of Qi imbalance.  Plus, they have to be imported from who-knows-where in the tropics and that drives the cost up.

In the cooler months, the foods available seasonally and locally for you are naturally what your body needs to warm up and nourish your Qi.  In the warmer months, the foods available are more cooling and cleansing.  Your diet should fluctuate with the seasons.  

Eating the same foods day in and day out makes your body prone to infections and weakness of the digestive Qi.

June, July, and August are the best months for all sorts of fresh fruit.  I advise against eating too much fruit because, you know, fructose, or fruit sugar.  Especially if you are prone to allergies, weight gain, fatigue or candida imbalance, you should limit your fruit intake to no more than 1 piece per day.  Local, seasonal fruits include:

  • Peaches!
  • Watermelon!
  • Blueberries
  • Melons
  • Tomatoes

A little bit of watermelon every day in the summer, according to Chinese medicine, keeps “summer-heat” (heat stroke or dehydration) at bay.  But – stop in the fall.  Watermelon in the fall they say damages the lungs.

Vegetables in season now include:

  • Cucumbers
  • Corn
  • Herbs
  • Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Arugula
  • Squash
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Eggplant
  • Beets
  • Peppers

In my mind, when I walk through the produce section at any given time of year, I see what is local and organic, (usually what is in-season) and put together meals in my head.  Then I realized, maybe this is not easy for other people to do.  Listen, I am maybe the world’s laziest cook, but I do cook.  I only make something if it

  1. Has only a few easy-to-find ingredients,
  2. Takes less than 30 minutes to make, and
  3. Deosn’t require measuring.

If you’re looking to be a world-class Michelin star chef, don’t ask me for any pointers.  Well, I do make a mean omelette, but that’s still within my qualifications listed above.

So here are just a couple of my super-easy menu ideas for summertime cooking:

 

SALAD #1

Cucumber:  slice the skin off with a veggie peeler, then slice it thinly

Tomato:  diced and seeds removed

Onion:  diced into very small pieces

Herbs:  sliced cilantro or whatever you have on hand; not necessary, but nice if you have it

Avocado:  thin slices

Lime:  juiced on top of everything when you’re done for flavor and to help the avocado not get all yucky and brown overnight if you want to eat the salad tomorrow again

Vinegar:  the brown kind; Olive Oil; Salt and Pepper:  altogether makes a nice light dressing

Cheese chunks:  optional

(*without the cucumber and with more avocado this makes a great dip for chips!)

 

SALAD #2

Seasonal greens like arugula

Creamy dressing:  I like mine from a bottle ’cause it’s easy.  But please do read the label to make sure there’s not yucky stuff in there like tons of sugar.  My favorite brand is Annie’s – they have a “goddess” dressing that is divine.

Mix greens in the dressing.  Top with diced chicken or ham, etc.

 

SOUP

Corn:  sliced off the cob

Tomatoes:  2 or 3, sliced and de-seeded

Bone Broth:  ~ 1 quart

Squash:  quartered lengthwise then sliced thin

Cilantro: to put on top when you’re done

Potatoes / Meat:  optional

Simmer on low for 20 minutes; or crock pot on low for 6 hours

 

STIR-FRY

Butter:  grass-fed, ~ 1 T

Onion:  quartered and sliced small

Garlic:  I get the kind in glass jars that’s already peeled and squashed.  Just need a spoon!

Red Bell Pepper:  sliced the long way

Meat / Tofu / Quinoa / whatever you like or have on hand

Fry it all up.  

Cilantro or herbs to top if desired.

 

SALMON WITH CREAM

This is one of my all-time favorite things to make.  It’s a recipe I got from a friend who used to run an Italian restaurant in West Austin.  

1 lb. Atlantic Salmon

1 pint raw cream

bunch of greens:  asparagus is good, or kale / broccoli / whatever

Grass-fed butter

Directions:  use 1 T butter to cook greens until tender.  Remove from pan.  Use another T of butter to cook fish.  When fish is half done, pour cream over the top.  Add sea salt and pepper to taste.  Put greens on your plate then top with fish and sauce.  

 

Anyone else have any favorite summer recipe ideas to share?

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. My favorite is a quick easy Gazpacho. Put about a cup of water in a Vitamix or similar strong blender. Toss in 3 or 4 carrots broken in half, a couple of tomatoes, a couple of celery stalks, some red pepper (or any color pepper), half a cucumber, a little garlic, a green onion (if you like onion), a pinch of sugar (I use organic coconut sugar), a little organic balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. I use all organic veggies and vary the mix depending on what I have on hand. Once it’s all in the blender jar, just blend till it’s all chopped up and thick soup consistency. This makes about 2 large bowls. It’s cool refreshing and nutritious. Eat and enjoy.

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