Summertime means loads of delicious, fresh fruits and veggies. I love these fruits and veggies so much, that I freeze some every year. Typically, come May and June, I’m trying to clear out the rest of last year’s “stash” to make room for the new stuff. But at the same time, I’m wanting to eat the deliciously fresh fruit and vegetables that are available. The solution? Make dishes that use up the cache in my freezer and incorporate the fresh stuff.
The dessert in the top picture is another delicious soft serve sundae (basically the same as the one found here). Frozen stuff: strawberries (I’m almost done the last bag from last year), mango and banana (I don’t count those last 2 as stuff to “use up,” since neither one is every “locally available”). Fresh stuff: stewed rhubarb, sliced strawberries…and topped with cacao nibs of course.
Next up: dinner (sorry for the bad photo – the pasta was steaming hot and I was in a rush). Fresh stuff: basil from my garden, garlic scapes, asparagus, portabella mushroom, Vidalia onion and bell pepper. Frozen stuff: spicy tomato sauce that I made last year (I would post the recipe but I got it off a friend’s facebook and I don’t think I printed it out). Also topped with grilled feta/spinach chicken and turkey sausage from Costco.
So you can see in the photos: frozen tomato sauce + fresh basil = one delicious pasta meal. All I did was saute the veggies in olive oil, add the sauce (partially thawed) and simmer for a bit, add the chopped fresh basil right at the end, a bit of the starchy cooking water from the pasta, and then the pasta right at the end. I did the sausage on the BBQ, and sliced it over the pasta and voila – ready to serve!
The last fresh and frozen combo involved chocolate for breakfast – does life get any better than that? I made my usual smoothie in a bowl by combining 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries with 1 cup almond milk and some Splenda, but I added in a splash of vanilla and a heaping spoonful of cocoa powder. I topped it off with blobs of fat-free Greek yogurt and 1 and 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (that’s right, my breakfast on Monday involved 3 cups of strawberries)! Mmm…this one was a winner! Imagine eating a big, cold, chocolate-covered strawberry…at breakfast time!!! How can you go wrong? The cocoa powder gave it a nice, deep, rich (but not-too-sweet) punch of chocolate flavour.
And speaking of frozen….there’s one more frozen thing I enjoyed last night (no fresh fruit though )…the perfect way to kick off summer….ice cream at the Marble Slab! Last night, I was in Stratford to see a concert with my mom and some friends, and we went for ice cream after (the concert went later than expected, but thankfully the Slabs are open until 11 year-round). The ice cream was certainly an 80/20 splurge, but I ate healthfully all day, ordered the smallest size and enjoyed every bite! What was my indulgence of choice? A mix of peanut butter and praline ice creams with peanut butter brownie and Skor bits for my mixins….YUM!!!!!!! Nothing says summer quite like ice cream!
Happy summer to all my teaching friends (I’m done a little earlier since no one gets a supply teacher on the last day of school)…and to everyone else, I don’t mean to brag, and I’ll try not to rub it in too much! What food screams summer to you?