Raw, easy, ready in 5 minutes and beyond luscious, fresh berry sauce is a late spring and summer delight that can dress up all sorts of desserts: sorbet, pudding, ice-cream, cake, fresh or poached fruits are all enhanced by a draping of ruby red bliss. Add a mint leaf for garnish and your dessert course is suddenly glamorous, and no one will care that it took moments to make.
Cooking in the summer is always a little tricky unless you live way up north or have central air conditioning. Most of us adapt our cooking to lighter, faster, easier recipes. A few favorites in our house include dishes like Broiled Fish with Soy-Ginger Marinade, Baked Fish with Cilantro Pesto, Ginger Miso Glazed Salmon, or a quick dish like Ginger Sautéed Shrimp. Vegan dishes include Udon and Vegetable Salad, delicious and fast Seared Tofu with Pea Shoots and Ginger, or super easy Sesame Crusted Tofu. The only time consuming part of working with tofu is pressing it to make sure any excess water is removed.
We also tend to keep salads in the fridge for the taking, and a family favorite is Vegan Coleslaw, a lime and cilantro scented, refreshing salad that keeps well. Green Slaw, or light and crunchy Asian Cabbage Salad are two lively alternatives to traditional coleslaw and both keep well.
Summertime at our house means laid-back entertaining, easy meals, and cooling sweet treats. Fruit is the central ingredient for most desserts, with sorbets, sauces, or whips on the side to dress them up for special occasions. Favorite Warm Weather Desserts is a list of 17 easy, stress-free recipes for family and entertaining. I have served most of these dishes at dinner parties with great success, so don't be fooled by their simplicity; some of the best things in life are uncomplicated!
This recipe for Chickpeas with Garlic and Greens stems from my mom's Italian heritage. Like many of the best Italian dishes, this is extremely simple and relies on high quality ingredients to make a statement: good olive oil, fresh garlic, and farm fresh greens make this simple "peasant" dish a star. If you can't eat spicy food, eliminate the peperoncino, and feel free to substitute white beans for the chickpeas.
It looks like it will be an exceptional year for stone fruits. I tasted my first peaches and nectarines of the season this week, and they were flawless; a perfect balance of sweet and tart, with deep, fruity notes, perfect texture and lots of juice.
Peach or Nectarine Kanten with Ginger is a light, pudding that may have you rethinking your relationship with vegan desserts if you are not a fan of them. Kanten can be eaten as is, or dressed up with Vanilla Tofu Whip or Walnut Cream. However you serve it, you are in for a treat.
Photo by Jen Hoy
I love grain salads in the summer, and the variations for making them are truly endless. They are a wonderful way to use leftover cooked rice, and are generally quite easy. Some suggestions are Mediterranean Brown Rice Salad with Nuts, Olives and Ricotta Salata; light and crunchy Japanese Style Brown Rice Salad; slightly sweet Wild Rice Salad with Nuts and Dried Apricots; or Brown Rice Salad with Vegetables and Miso Dressing. These are all fairly easy, make-ahead recipes that are great for warm weather meals.
Coconut is not traditionally used in a strict macrobiotic diet, but is widely used in whole foods cooking and raw diets. I think it's a wonderful food.
Part of the controversy surrounding coconut is that it's high in saturated fat. What needs to be pointed out is that not all saturated fat is harmful. Coconut contains medium chain triglycerides (fatty acids), which actually help boost metabolism, and consequently aid weight loss. Most of the negative studies on coconut were done on hydrogenated oil.
Coconut milk is purportedly rich in powerful antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. The coconut has been used as a broad-spectrum medicinal food around the world, so chances are there is some basis to this claim.Crazy For Coconut is a list of recipes ranging from beverages to smoothies, soups to sides, entrees to desserts and yummy snacks. All of them contain some or all parts of the coconut: meat, water, milk, flour and manna all make their appearance here.
Creamy polenta is one of life's great pleasures as far as I'm concerned. It is delicious with grilled foods, eggs and stews. Polenta can be layered into "torta", a wonderful and colorful terrine of yellow corn and any of a number of fillings.
One drawback to making polenta has been the time-consuming nature of the project. Traditional recipes require 45 minutes of cooking and stirring, but with the advent of corn grits and quick polenta, preparation time has been knocked down to under 10 minutes. Quick Creamy Polenta with Corn is a simple a delicious side dish studded with fresh corn kernels; if you like a little heat, add some poblano peppers for another layer of flavor.
Not that you have to be a flirt to enjoy a crispy croquette!
Croquettes elevate "veggie burgers" to another level. The simple addition of a crisp outer coating that encircles a steaming, soft center brings a new sensory experience to our humble and much-appreciated patties. Millet and Vegetable Croquettes with Herb Pesto are worth the time it takes to make them. feel free to add in leftover rice as well; this just enriches the flavor and texture.
What mom doesn't love being taken care of? Our mothers give their bodies to bring us into life, and in most cases the giving never stops. They care for us, protect and nurture us, feed and love us; their job is 24/7 every day of the year. Remembering to turn some of that love and care back towards mom is a tender and memorable gift. Mother's Day Brunch Menus and Recipes The Whole Foods Way is full of ideas for both novice and accomplished cooks (kids included) to make this Mother's Day one to remember.