When God hands you Holy Hotness, how close can you get to ice cold lemonade?
So, it’s hot. Hotter than we’ve seen it in June since 1910. So what to eat when the oven, stove, and — let’s face it — movement of any kind is unthinkable?
First stop – Hydration Station
Yes, yes, we know mom, it’s hot, so we’ve got to drink lots o’ water. But your food hydrates you too. Vegetables, in particular, have a lot of water content. Snap peas pack a powerful punch — which are coming into season like gangbusters! Zucchini and radishes, too. Each is made up of about 95% water. Cabbage and spinach are 92% water, so pretty great as well. Carrots are also about an 89%. All are candidates for your CSA this week.
Slawed, sandwiched, & refrigerator pickled
The PEAS Farm had a farm camp this week, and they made refrigerator kohlrabi pickles. I know — I’m obsessed. But great for a cool snack! And so pretty on the shelf.
A few farms have napa cabbage. Here’s a secret of the napa: ah-mazing as a bread wrap substitute. Juicy, crisp, mild. Great for hot weather — who needs sticky, thick bread when the temp is over 100?
Slaw is cool and great for the 4th! Here’s a great recipe roundup (yes, The Kitchn does it again!) that steps out of the box of thickly dressed in mayonnaise.
What to fix? Keep it cool. . .
Serving a mix of your veggies on cold noodles is a great hot day. The Kitchn has a great recipe roundup for cold noodles. Just bite the bullet and make a few sets of noodles one day, add some mild oil or butter while they are hot, toss, and put each in the fridge for later in the week.
You could try any of the cold noodle recipes with zucchini noodles, too.
Speaking of zucchini (and summer squash, generally), it’s about to be zucchini season, my dear friends. It can be a trying time — people bringing countless zucchini dishes to potlucks, slipping zucchini in cupcakes, breakfast, and just plain slathered all over the internet. It’s a time when I recommend to my husband that we keep our car doors locked — finding whole zucchinis lying in the passenger seat of your unlocked car (damn it!) isn’t a rare occurrence.
Well folks, that season is well-nigh. You might even find a bit of zucchini or summer squash in your share this week.
Last year, a friend bought me this spiralizer. Bless her. It changed the way I look at zucchini. Last year, I actually planted more zucchini than what I got in my CSA because I needed MORE! Not all foods do great with the spiralizer, but zucchini is made for it. The noodles store well in the freezer if you blanch them or saute them a bit first. And they hold sauce like nobody’s business. I love this triple meat bolognese sauce by Diane Sanfilippo (yep, one of the meats is bacon) over the top of these noodles. Another great way to add nutrients (zucchinis are full of hydration and nutrition), reduce the evil carbs in your life, and keep up with your CSA.
And speaking of Paleo cooking — you may not give a rat’s rump about Paleo, but use the word in an internet search, and it is a key to finding recipes that are filled with vegetables and offer creative ideas for substitutes — it’s how I found zoodles. So when you are feeling overwhelmed, its a tool that you can put in your toolbox. After all, Paleo is really about removing refined foods from our diet and adding in as many nutrient-dense, whole foods as possible.
A few more cold soup ideas:
Chilled Lettuce Soup from the New York Times
Borscht - can be served hot or cold
Chilled zucchini soup (this has 4 cold soups, zucchini is in there)
Cooling Carrot and Kale Soup — serve this hot or cold
How are you fairing in the heat? Let us know what steps you take with your veggies. . . And otherwise! See you next week.