Summertime Eats

Seasonal eating. A popular phrase these days. So how are the foods you eat different in the summer than the winter? For me, I know that I will choose fruit that we don't get in the winter: berries, peaches, nectarines, and cherries. I'll go for lots of fresh light greens, like spinach, rocket (arugula), and leafy HERBS... parsley, mint, coriander, chives. And here in England, summer peas, the kind you pop out of a pod yourself... it doesn't get much better than that.

Warm weather means cold food for most people. What better time to try out some new salad recipes or try your hand at a raw creation? We had some friends over for dinner last weekend and made them a meal which was great for summer. It featured a herby spelt salad, monkfish and red mullet kebabs, and for dessert, raw chocolate cookie dough bites (dreamed up by Phil).

It's June. The food needs to be light instead of heavy, nourishing in a fresh and pleasant way, rather than warming and comforting. Yet you still want to feel as though you've eaten a meal. That's the beauty of a grain salad. It satisfies without weighing you down. The grain we used here is spelt, but you could always substitute quinoa, couscous, brown rice, millet, or any other grain you prefer.

Herby Spelt Salad

serves 4

The particulars:

  • 1 cup spelt/farro or other grain, cooked according to packet instructions
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chili, finely chopped
  • 1 cup garden peas, from the pod
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh coriander/cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves, stalks removed
  1. Set the cooked grains aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad ingredients.
  2. In a medium pan, heat the coconut oil and add the onion, stir fry until slightly softened, then add the garlic and chili and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the grains. Stir to combine.
  3. Once fully cooled, toss with the rest of the ingredients and keep cool in the fridge or serve right away!

And for dessert, this new creation:

Raw chocolate cookie dough! Little nuggets of joy coated in coconut. They take about 5 minutes to make, so if you're craving something sweet and you have the right stuff in the house, these are perfect.

Raw Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites

makes about 8-10 bites, depending on the size

The particulars:

  • 8 pitted dates, soaked for an hour if dry
  • 8 walnuts, soaked for at least 30 mins
  • 5 tbsp oats (or oat groats)
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp raw almond butter
  • 1 tsp raw honey or coconut nectar
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  1. Combine all ingredients (except the coconut) in a food processor and blend until sticky and the consistency of cookie dough.
  2. Spread the shredded coconut onto a clean flat surface.
  3. Remove spoonfuls of the 'dough' and roll in the coconut with the palm of your hand (it gets messy).
  4. Eat immediately or refrigerate :)

Hope you enjoy the recipes and a whole summer's worth of good eating!

Phil and I are off on an adventure next week - we are going to the States for a whole month, starting on the east coast (Rhode Island) and driving across to the west coast (San Diego). We're staying with some awesome people along the way and I've done lots of research on shops & restaurants with particular-friendly food. It should be an amazing trip.

While i'm gone, I will have very limited access to the internet (as you can probably imagine). I won't be bringing my laptop with me. Life is for experiencing, after all. So I've enlisted the help of some blog friends here in the UK to fill in for me while I'm away. I hope you'll enjoy the guest posts I have lined up! They are some of my favorite bloggers and I'm delighted to call them friends now too :)