I love summertime because the farmers market is packed full of fruits and vegetables; it is so easy to eat fresh, healthy meals. But after a while, it can start to feel like you’re making the same meals over and over again. I am pleasantly surprised to find that our squash and cucumber plants are thriving in the summer heat, but I’m also getting a little tired of eating squash and cucumbers all the time.
And if I think I’ve got it bad, it’s even worse for my friends who have CSA shares. I would love to go and pick up a basket of fresh produce each week, but I can imagine how difficult it must be to find new and creative ways to eat kale all month long. If you’re looking for new ways to spice up the same old produce, this is the post for you! Below, I’ve compiled a bunch of recipes that Dan and I have made over the years and have come to love. I’ve tried to link to the original recipe whenever possible, but some of these I printed out a long time ago and have long since lost the source. Enjoy, and if you have any great summer fruit or veggie recipes to pass along, leave them in the comments; I’d love to check them out!
Let’s start with kale, because it’s one of those things you get a lot of during the summer and it can be very hard to know what to do with it.
- I’ve posted about this amazing Cauliflower and Kale Salad before. If you only try out one of the recipes in this post, make it this one. I’ve yet to meet someone who tried this dish and didn’t absolutely love it.
- Sweet Pepper Pasta Toss with Kale
1 package of pasta (I recommend farfalle, but penne or any short pasta work)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper chopped
1 cup roughly chopped kale
4 cloves garlic, chopped
pinch of basil
pinch of ground cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled feta cheese
Cook pasta until al dente and drain. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Stir in red and yellow peppers, kale and garlic. Season with basil, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook vegetables until tender. Toss vegetables and pasta in a large bowl and sprinkle with feta cheese to serve.
- Kale and Chickpeas Bean Salad
Wash and tear kale, enough for a salad. Add one can of drained chickpeas and one or two chopped sweet bell peppers. Add 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic. Coat the salad with olive oil and sea salt to taste, and mix well.
Moving beyond kale:
- Cucumber salad: slice cucumbers thin, toss with red onions and salt and let sit for 20 to 60 minutes. Rinse, dry, dress with cider vinegar mixed with Dijon mustard. So good!
- Mix wedges of tomatoes and peaches, add slivers of red onion, a few red-pepper flakes and cilantro. Dress with olive oil and lemon or lime juice.
- Cut cherry or grape tomatoes in half; toss with soy sauce, a bit of dark sesame oil and basil.
- Combine cooked or canned black beans with shredded cabbage, and a vinaigrette of olive oil, fresh orange juice, a bit of sherry vinegar and ground cumin.