Cool Summer Recipes

Some of my herbs after the rain.
Some of my herbs after the rain.

Summer brings many things that bring me joy: my garden, lake swimming,  long weekends and seasonal local produce.  Summer also bring heat and humidity, sometimes to a point where I get slow and lazy.  We’ve got two realities, delicious summer produce waiting to be created into something outrageous and my lack of energy or desire to go next to an oven.

Over several summers, I’ve managed to create some go-to recipes for hot and humid day.  Easy to prepare, delicious, nutritious and you don’t need to use an oven or stove!

Easy Bean Salad

Ingredients

3 cups Canned beans (whatever bean you desire, I tend to use kidney or mixed beans)
1 Red pepper (chopped into bite sized pieces)
1/4 cup Red onion (chopped finely)
2 stalks celery (chopped into bite sized pieces)
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs  (I tend to use parsley, basil, thyme and tarragon)
salt and pepper to taste.

Mix first four ingredients together, than add oil and vinegar.  Top with fresh herbs, salt and pepper and serve.  It will keep for a few days.  Great picnic dish!

Pesto

Pesto is simple to make and helps inspire meals.  Add it to sandwiches, grain salads, dips for vegetables.  Eat your garden produce (or someone’s) in every bite!

2 cups of herbs of you choice (or greens of your choice..I used the swiss chard that’s already ready)
1 cup of olive oil
1.5 teaspoons of ground nuts (pine nuts are standard but I use whatever nuts I have handy)
1 tablespoon of garlic (or more if you like it extra garlicky!)
dash of salt and pepper

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until you get a texture you like.  The quantities of the ingredients are flexible.  The less oil, the more paste like consistency you’ll get, great for spreads.  The more oil, makes more a dressing or a marinade.

Raw Coconut Truffles

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of ground cashew (or hazelnut is good too)
1.5 tablespoon of unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons of oat flour
1.5 tablespoon coconut butter

Mix all ingredients together. With your hands or a spoon, create little balls about the size of a truffle.  Put in fridge for an hour to harden.  Store in fridge.  Can sit out for a while if you’re sharing with guests.