As a new transplant to Boston, I can complain about the heat and humidity. Silently. In my head. I don't dare say anything negative about this sunshine to the folks here who endured last winter's 110 inches of snow.
But it is hot and muggy and sticky right now and all I want to eat is cold beer.
Since that, for various reasons, is a bad idea, the next best option is to only serve my family foods that are either cold, crunchy or both. And walk around town with ice packs tucked into my bra. (Yes, I did.)
Here's some of what we had today.
Green smoothies are a morning staple in our home. Mine usually contain:
-kale or spinach
-fruit, such as a frozen banana, pineapple, an orange or berries. (Mango is delicious, but Magpie and J are allergic to it, so it's a sometimes treat.)
-parsley or cilantro
-a small chunk of ginger
-a squeeze of lime
-and then I sprinkle hemp seeds on top
For the girls, I usually stick with spinach/kale and two fruits.
Blend it up in the Vitamix (I will have to proselytize about that sweet machine in a future post) and drink up your morning salad. You will feel so good all morning long, you'll forget to put ice packs in your undies.
For dinner tonight we ate a what's-on-the-verge-of-going-bad salad. This is a terrible picture (holy bad lighting in our 1963 concrete box/apartment), but trust me it tasted delicious.
I hesitate to include a list of ingredients here because the point really is to just chop up whatever is in your fridge, but you can trust that this combination tasted great:
-Red leaf lettuce
-Avocado (sprinkled with sea salt, then scooped out in bite-size moons with a spoon)
-Roasted eggplant "chips"
To make the eggplant chips, I sliced a Japanese eggplant into 1/4-inch thick rounds, tossed them with olive oil and salt, and then roasted them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
My go-to salad dressing is always this:
-Pour into a jam jar 1 part balsamic vinegar and 2 parts olive oil.
-Add a squeeze of grainy mustard, a squeeze of honey, a pinch of salt and some finely chopped garlic.
-Shake-uh-shake-uh-shake-uh the jar (lid on, of course).
The girls will eat my honey-mustard-balsamic just fine, but they are 7 and 10 years old so they still prefer ranch dressing. I always follow this vegan ranch recipe when I feel like appeasing them.
Is dinner in your home this exciting?
Finally ... dessert.
One of my favorite things about our new life as 41-year-old college students is that we live in a giant building with hundreds of other middle-aged college students. Frequently, they must move away, and just as we desperately gave away items that didn't fit in our Uhaul when we left Washington a month ago, our neighbors often leave items in the lobby they no longer need.
As I was heading out for a run a few mornings ago, I spied a Cuisinart ice cream maker near the mailboxes. My sneakers turned me right around so I could bring that baby back upstairs to its new home.
We followed The Kitchn's recipe for vegan coconut ice cream tonight and it turned out great. We added pecans and chocolate chips to the base recipe. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of agave, which I think is way too much (evidence: Magpie just crawled out of bed with a tummy ache). With the chocolate chips in there, you probably could skip the sweetener altogether.
Of course, it was still delicious. And cold, which was the whole point anyway, right?
P.S. You might have noticed all the "vegan this" and "vegan that." I'd say we eat about 90 percent vegan these days. I made the switch last March after watching the documentary Vegucated, and I've been irritating friends and family about it ever since. I'll write more about that another time, so you can be irritated, too.