Food For Thought XIII: Summer Eats

I don’t know about y’all, but the LAST thing I want to do in the summertime is come home after working and/or running and/or the gym and spend even a minute more than absolutely necessary in the kitchen.  Here are a few go-to quickies that I’ve found and am loving this summer!

Vegan Tempeh Salad (recipe in link) – It says the prep time for this is 45 minutes.  From start to finish, that’s probably accurate, but it’s not 45 ACTIVE minutes.  It’s more like “Put the tempeh on the steamer, go get int he shower.  Set aside to cool, go blow dry your hair.”  It really doesn’t seem like it takes that long.  And this stuff is so dang good.  It’s my new favorite way to use tempeh.

Tempeh Salad

Smoky Black Bean Wraps from the Happy Herbivore Cookbook (third party recipe in link) – I loooooove the smoky mayo in this.  I would totally use that on other stuff.

Smokey black bean wrap HHC

Tempeh Burger Pizza from The Friendly Fig (recipe in link) – Remember that time, like two minutes ago, when I said the tempeh salad was my favorite way to use tempeh?  Yeah, I had forgotten about this!  I may or may not have eaten the whole thing by myself in one sitting.  Spoiler:  I did.

Cheeseburger pizza Friendly Fig

Summer also brings with it a couple of fantastic BBQ holidays, and those are always a fun time to try out new things.  Between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, I made three new-to-me recipes.

Carrot Hot Dogs from Happy Herbivore Holidays & Gatherings (I don’t find her recipe online, so I’ve included a link to the book it’s in, but there are variations all over the interwebs–just google it!)  These are fantastic.  I have bought my last commercial vegan hot dog.  These are my new cookout staple.  And they’re SO EASY!  Without giving away too much, all you do is boil the carrots, then let them marinade for at least 24 hours, then toss them on the grill or in a skillet.  You just can’t beat ’em.

Carrot dogs HHHG

Cowboy Beans from Happy Herbivore Holidays & Gatherings (ditto above about not finding the recipe online) – I followed the recipe as it was published, but then (as with many of Ms. Nixon’s recipes) I found it … lacking.  But I was able to tailor it to my taste by using more of the seasonings in the recipe as well as tossing in a couple of my own.  By the time I got done with it, it was pretty good!  I’m still on the hunt for the perfect vegan baked beans recipe, so if you have a favorite, please share it in the comments!

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Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers from Happy Herbivore Holidays & Gatherings (recipe in link) – You know that smoky mayo up there that I said would be good with other stuff?  Well, here ya go.  I’ve made so many different bean burger recipes, using so many different kinds of beans, but this one was a first.  I’ve never used a white bean and certainly never sweet potatoes in a burger.  While these tasted great, they really didn’t turn out exactly right.  They took twice as long to cook as the recipe says and they still never got crisp, but I think adjusting the cook times and temps would make a big difference.

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What are some of your favorite summer eats these days?

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A Four-Day Weekend Recap: Fourth of July Edition

This sure isn’t the recap that I was hoping to be able to write.  I was hoping that this would be  “Fireworks!  YES!  Grilling!  YEAH!  Swimming!  WOOHOO!”  But Nope.

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But we made the most of it and the weekend didn’t totally suck.  Since the 4th fell on a Saturday this year, I got Friday off work for observance, and I took a vacation day on Thursday, giving me a four-day weekend.  I spent all day Thursday with my BFF who was in town for a short visit.

Even though most everything was closed Friday, my husband’s employees at the shop wanted to work, so he went in too, leaving me with the day allllllllll to myself.  It was pretty glorious actually.  haha  I ran four miles (my longest run post-injury!), walked the dogs two miles (during which we got rained on–again), and then I did something I NEVER do.  I did yoga.  On purpose.  Voluntarily.  I’ve tried two yoga classes before and I hated them both, but when I said I would do whatever it takes to stay on top of this hip shit and prevent recurrence, well I meant it.  I searched You Tube for hip opening videos and I found this one.

It felt sooooo gooood.  It was only 20 minutes and it kept you moving pretty frequently, so I didn’t have time to get bored with it like I have with my two previous yoga experiences.  And it’s pretty impossible to get bored with dogs *ahem* assisting.

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Thanks, Bella. Having the sweat licked off my legs is really helpful.

Oh and I checked in with a small group of friends that were doing an ab challenge.  My progress was thwarted by a strain early in the challenge, so I didn’t come out of it like I’d hoped, but they’re a work in progress.

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Even though I was off work, I did end up having to go in for a couple of hours that afternoon.  We were still open for business and the internet at one of the offices I manage went down.  That creates a major inconvenience because the day’s transactions have to be transmitted, so I had to take all the info from that office to my other office for transmission, but I just went in my shorts and flip-flops with a wet head and snuck in the back so I didn’t have to see or deal with anyone.  It kind of pissed me off that I had to go in, but I guess it’s just part of being in management.

The country club here in town has an annual event the Friday before the Fourth of July that we always go to.  Well, when I say we “go to” them, what I mean is we go and park in a field behind the country club and watch the fireworks for free.  haha!

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Saturday I got in a quick three-mile run wearing these babies.

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ordered from http://www.goneforarun.com

How freaking cool are they???  Actually they were anything BUT cool.  I thought I was gonna die.  83 degrees and 78% humidity?  Sure, tall socks sounds like a BRILLIANT plan.  But hey, the Fourth only comes around once a year.  Wear ’em while you can!

My parents came up Saturday afternoon.  The plan was to grill out, but with the jacked up forecast, we cooked…in.  We really didn’t do much else.  Just hung out.  Which is totally cool with me because we don’t get to do that much.  They’re not far away, really.  About an hour and a half.  Just far enough away to be inconvenient.  When they left, I was in my yoga pants and T-shirt by the time they were at the end of the driveway.

Sunday has been super low-key.  I slept in (8:30!!! minus one brief wakeup call/breakfast request from the cat a few minutes till 5) then spent the majority of the rest of the day on domestic duty–cleaning up the kitchen mess from Saturday night, cleaning house, doing laundry…all that wifely stuff.  I did get in a quick 30-minute spin and some strength training and took the dogs to the park for a walk .  Dang, it sure does feel good to be active and pain free again!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Fourth of July weekend and is coming away from it with all of their appendages still attached and intact!

I’m joining Tara at Running ‘n’ Reading for the Weekend Update link-up.  You should join too!