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Jul 2, 2014 07:35 PM

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

You know what? Nelly was right...

What do you make for dinner when its hot?? Do you eat later because it stays light out later? Does the heat suck out your cooking mojo?

Local corn and tomatoes should arrive soon on the east coast, whatcha making with what's ripe near you right now?

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  1. Dude.
    New york city sucks at 90 degrees with crazy high humidity. And it doesn't smell so nice either.

    I cannot eat enough cucumbers lately!! I just think they are soooo refreshing. Earlier today i made my favorite smoothie- which is a knockoff of one from Pure Food and Wine that i love.
    Blitz together: one peeled cucumber, 1/3 of ruby red grapefruit, frozen spinach, a tiny pinch of salt, about 1/4c pineapple chunks, and a handful of fresh cilantro. A little water to get it going, some ice if using fresh spinach and pineapple.
    Really hits the spot for me....

    Dinner tonight included more cucumbers!! I used my mandoline to make "noodles" after discarding (ahem, eating) the inside seedier part, along with a few carrots that became noodles. I tossed those together with hemp seeds and some tempeh crumblies, and then added a hefty dose of this dressing i love from the ppk- i tweak the recipe and use 1/4c nutritional yeast and 2TB tahini. And i always make a triple batch since its good for a few days.

    Grapes are in the freezer for late night snacking and i've got my cold brew coffee chilling for the morning.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ttrockwood

      I've never liked cucumbers, but I find the smell of them sooo refreshing. I have these makeup removing wipes that are cucumber scented and I will just plant my face in them and breathe in. Not sure what it is, but the actual taste of them seems non-foody to me, probably like how cilantro haters think cilantro tastes soapy. It was a huge PITA to my Greek mother, since I'd pick the cucumbers out of everything (including the tzatziki).

      I wish I loved them though. I'd be all over that smoothie, and your dinner!

    2. It's not miserably hot in Texas yet but I'm definitely feeling lazy when it comes to real cooking. I've been much more into "assembling" dinner over cooking dinner.

      Tonight was build your own salad/stuff you own pita night. I set out leftover falafel, bunches of herbs and greens from the garden, some (finally!) not half bad tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, red onion, peppers, olives, feta, plus hummus and a yogurt dill sauce. I also set out diced watermelon next to a small pitcher of balsamic syrup and let everyone make their own watermelon/feta/mint/basil/whatever salad on the side.

      Last night a friend came over with tomatoes and demanded bruschetta and bubbly. I happily obliged and we called it dinner.

      Right now peaches are in. I was delighted to find the Parker county peach flavor at my favorite custard stand, I've been waiting all year for it. I also picked up my own bag of local peaches. They're ripening on the counter...soooo close to perfection.

      3 Replies
      1. re: PinkLynx

        Bruschetta and bubbly sounds like a very legitimate summer meal to me.

        Excited for your peaches! I don't think there's any fruit that smells as intoxicating as a ripe peach.

        1. re: PinkLynx

          I would happily come by for either dinner. Sounds lovely. Hope you don't mind, but I'm copying the ideas for my files!

          1. re: PinkLynx

            Both meals sound great! I do a lot of assembly style meals in the summer... I can't wait to find my first ripe peach of the season!

          2. When it's hot, we eat 80% salads for dinner. It's a little distressing that corn season coincides with "too hot to eat corn on the cob" season. But I'd eat corn 3-4 days a week if the weather was cool. ;-)
            The closest we came to hot dinner this week was a barely-cooked fresh tomato sauce with basil on pasta. Yesterday was tomato/avocado/cucumber over cooked-and-chilled barley with leftover chimichurri dressing. This was really good. Another day was a composed salad plate of cold soy/sesame noodles, with corn cut off the cob, broccoli, and cucumber. Tonight is shredded cabbage and carrots with tofu bits and peanuts and a lime juice dressing.

            11 Replies
            1. re: patricium

              We like to cook corn in the microwave or on the grill when it is hot.

              1. re: patricium

                All sound great!
                Corn: I put it in my electric pressure cooker; no heating up the kitchen.
                Tomato sauce when it's too hot to cook but the available tomatoes aren't quite good enough for a raw sauce: okish tomatoes (fresh or canned) blended with sun dried.

                1. re: patricium

                  I just don't cook the corn! Its only during the summer that i could ever contemplate a raw vegan lifestyle....
                  I have to make chimmichuri again soon, that meal sounds like such a great combo!

                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                    I made curried/tofu tempeh salad, just nayonaisse, curry powder, scallions and celery + organic salt replacement. Delicious and dead easy, then a chickpea salad, and finally 1 cooked item: lentil walnut pate. It didn't bother me as the green lentils cooked themselves and so did the onions, then I whizzed it in the food processor. And I have it for the entire week.

                    1. re: Rory

                      That all sounds delicious! I need to add curry to more things....
                      Do you have a favorite recipe for the lentil walnut pate? That sounds delicious and i have OD'd on hummus lately....i'm thinking those precooked ones from trader joes could save me from having to actually turn on the stove...

                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                        glad to help! all 3 recipes came from Jo Stepaniak's "Vegan Vittles" This is similar only Vegan Vittles didn't have you toast the walnuts and had an optional TB of soy sauce (I added coconut aminos)

                        1. re: Rory

                          Oh that will be made soon! Love the simple ingredient list, and soy sounds good (or maybe even my bragg's....)

                    2. re: Ttrockwood

                      Corn theme continues this week, with corn, mango, and jicama salad, dressed with lime juice and aleppo pepper. I served this over some smoked basmati rice I found today at the market.

                      1. re: patricium

                        Wow, that sounds delicious. I skipped dinner tonight and went straight to dessert - cherry clafouti (cherries were on sale this week in my local supermarket)

                        1. re: MrsPatmore

                          The slightly smoky rice really worked out well with the mango fruitiness. And there are leftovers for lunch today, yay!
                          Local cherry season is just on the horizon here in western New York, and I'm so excited. Washington cherries are nice, but by the time they travel all the way across the country, they can be a little worse for wear. ;-)

                  2. Tis the season for pool parties...and for cycling fans Tour de France viewing.

                    It's in the balmy low 80s here (with low humidity) so I am doing some gardening and boiling potatoes for a potato salad.

                    I generally do a basic red-potato salad with plenty of cider vinegar and some Dijon mustard. I like celery for crunch and onion for bite. If any chowhounds have a (non-mayo) "must-try" recipe I am open to experimenting.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: pedalfaster

                        I make a huge main course potato salad for hot days. I boil an egg along with the potatoes for the first 10 minutes (then remove), and cook some peas along with the potatoes for the last few minutes. I grate the egg into the dressing that includes lots of celery, maybe minced pickle (sour), fresh dill and chives/scallions, mayo and a bit of coarse mustard. Serve with a big bowl of greens.

                      2. Sometimes omnis crack me up....
                        I went to a late afternoon bbq yesterday and didn't have time to do anything labor intensive so i just brought a few packages of tempeh that i cut in slabs and had marinating in that soy vay stuff i love. I also brought lambrusco since the hostess let me know there would be lots of veggies :)
                        We bbqd the tempeh and veggies first (before anything meaty- thank you thank you mr wonderful manning the bbq for thinking of this) and then as everyone filled their plates most tried some tempeh too and were surprised/mystified/ delighted since no one had it before. I gladly told them of my zero effort preparation and it sounds like several of them will be joining the tempeh fan club too :))

                        I got lucky and the hostess (my bff) sent me home with some leftover bbqd onions, corn, and bell peppers. Tonight i chopped those up, added to some massaged kale, cucumber, chickpeas, hemp seeds, and topped with a figgy basalmic vinegrette and lots of black pepper. Angry orchard hard cider a la carte.