As much as the heat can tire me, I love sum­mer. The sun­shine, birds hop­ping about, squir­rels laz­ing on the top of our fence with their lit­tle, furry thighs slung over the wood as they snooze sprawled out in the mid­day heat. What’s not to love? Sure you sweat, but that’s healthy and good to help detox your body.

While the squir­rels lounge around on the fence, I like to lounge around too, but human-style.

summer days

Pop­corn sprin­kled with Parma and some added sea salt, enjoyed with a Zevia ste­via root beer and my sum­mer pas­sion, Harry Pot­ter. Yes, I have some­how man­aged to live for over a decade with­out read­ing these books and have been pour­ing through them as my sum­mer read­ing. I’m a bit embar­rassed to admit how much I’ve been enjoy­ing them… but I’m cer­tainly not the only grown-up to pep­per their con­ver­sa­tions with what Jim is call­ing “Potter-speak”.

I have been cook­ing! Real food! I know the sad­ness that will come as sum­mer begins to wane and fall and win­ter pro­duce appears. Not that I don’t like fall or win­ter, don’t get me wrong, but the col­ors and fla­vors of sum­mer are fleet­ing, so I’m try­ing to indulge as much as pos­si­ble while it’s here.


Gar­lic sauteed can­nellini beans with two kinds of kale (pur­ple and dinosaur) and some chopped kala­mata olives, topped with mar­i­nated and grilled por­to­bella mush­rooms. Oh boy, this was a heck of a meal. It was kind of thrown together with the “we need to use this stuff up” mind­set and came together in some sort of foodie fan­tasy. Then again, I’m always a pushover because kale + gar­lic + mush­rooms + kala­mata = love.


I recently joined the rest of veg world and tried Sun­shine Burg­ers for the first time. Have I been a fool for hold­ing out this long! They are truly deli­cious and the most whole­some veg­gie burger that I have seen. There are some great veg­gie burg­ers out there and this isn’t about to fool any omnis, like Morningstar’s Vegan Grillers may, but every ingre­di­ent is some­thing you could find at the gro­cery store. No mys­tery iso­late pro­tein whichama­dos and defat­ted soy things­ma­jigs. The lovely burger itself is pic­tured above in a sum­mery romaine let­tuce leaf bun rather than bread, with Veg­e­naise, mus­tard, pickle, sauteed mush­rooms and sauteed Walla Walla onions. Some gar­lic roasted brus­sel sprouts, a pickle and blue­ber­ries accom­pa­nied the meal, with a cool cup of Del’s lemon­ade (cour­tesy of a friend’s recent trip to Rhode Island) which we whipped up in the Vita-Mix.

I love how peo­ple like to com­plain that mak­ing whole food or food from scratch takes too long as their way of jus­ti­fy­ing con­ve­nience junk food. The above meal took me under 30 min­utes to make. I pre­heated the oven while chop­ping the brus­sels and toss­ing them in olive oil and gar­lic. Tossed them in the oven and in one skil­let sauteed onions while I sauteed mush­rooms in another. You could sautee them together, but I think the juices from the mush­rooms do some­thing weird to the onions. Just my per­sonal thing. Once the mush­rooms were done, I set them aside and used the same pan to lightly fry the defrosted pat­ties until warm and a lit­tle browned. Assem­bled, served and on the couch watch­ing Sein­feld on DVD not 30 min­utes later. Beat that Pizza Hut!

Of course, the warm weather invites Edgar, the Vita-Mix, out to play quite often.


Other than our first smoothie the night Edgar joined the fam­ily, this was the first non-green smoothie we’ve had. Just some reg­u­lar old fruit and almond milk. I was expect­ing a big dif­fer­ence, but it was pleas­antly sur­pris­ing to see that we aren’t miss­ing much sweet­ness by adding the greens. Sure, the col­ors aren’t always the best (army green glop, any­one?) but they taste good. This one con­tained some banana, bing cher­ries, mar­i­on­ber­ries, rasp­ber­ries and almond milk. Now that’s what I call dessert!


0 Responses to summer lovin’

  1. Andrea says:

    The can­nelini bean saute is some­thing I could eat every night. It looks fan­tas­tic. (Hmmm. Maybe I DO eat it every night…) I’ve never had a sun­shine burger! My hus­band does the shop­ping but he never looks for new stuff, and I never eat the burg­ers he buys. This one sounds good, and I’m going to put it on the shop­ping list.

    I wish Edger lived at my house.

  2. rachael says:

    dels is the best part of going home to visit RI. (well, and cof­fee milk). We always keep some on hand for the sum­mer months.

  3. a-k says:

    Sun­shine Burg­ers are yummy! I haven’t made a non-green smoothie in awhile, yours looks like such a pretty color 😉

  4. Courtney says:

    Hahaha–I resisted Harry Pot­ter for­ever too! It was my MOM who finally got me hooked :-) The books are so good–great sum­mer reading!


  5. Kiersten says:

    Your cannelini-kale dish looks tasty. I throw meals together like that too when I have things in the fridge that need to be used up. Some­times those are the best meals!

    I’m glad you finally gave in to the Harry Pot­ter craze. I LOVE those books.

  6. Jojo says:

    That bean and mush­room salad looks deli­cious, I’m going to have some­thing very sim­i­lar for lunch today but with spinach instead of kale.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Wow these are really nice pic­tures. The food looks good too. mmm. I just started a food blog and linked you. I really enjoy your blog. :)

  8. Aww, don’t even be embar­rassed of lov­ing Harry Pot­ter! What’s not to love?! Book and movie #6 are my faves. :)
    And often, my meals don’t feel com­plete with­out kale. That por­to­bello meal does look like my foodie fan­tasy — it has been far too long since I have had mar­i­nated mush­roomies! It has also been far too long since I have had a Sun­shine Burger. They are hands-down my favorite burger, ever.

  9. Oh your food is just gorgeous!!

    Sum­mer is a bit­ter­sweet time for me, too :)

  10. Josiane says:

    It all looks so deli­cious! I sin­cerely admire peo­ple who can throw together such fab­u­lous meals in less than 30 min­utes. What can I say, I’m a slow cook! :)
    Your smoothie cer­tainly qual­i­fies as dessert! Yum!

  11. zupansmarkets says:

    We just can’t say enough pos­i­tive things when we see such amaz­ing meals pre­pared from qual­ity ingre­di­ents in “real time.” It proves we don’t have to sac­ri­fice qual­ity for con­ve­nience. We really appre­ci­ate you shar­ing this with the world and your recipes with us. Our tum­mies are grum­bling for your ele­gantly sautéed brus­sel sprouts and parme­san popcorn!