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!