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Summer Food


Once the warm weather hits, if you're like me, you don't like to cook. The stove heats up my whole house, and since I don't have air conditioning, this is a major problem!

There are some dishes however, that I love to prepare and enjoy in the summer time.

Here are my top ten summer dishes!

1) Gazpacho

This soup is so refreshing, and very healthy too! We prepared this soup for our Vegetarian Cooking class at Thyme to Cook, http://www.thymetocook.ca make it as spicy as your like! My favorite gazpacho recipe is posted on the Recipe page.

2) Pasta Salad

Another summer classic! You can make it with just about anything you have on hand. I like to make mine with cheese ravioli, broccoli, peppers, sunflower seeds and a vinaigrette. I find that using a ravioli makes the dish a lot more hearty. This is best prepared the night before, so the flavour becomes more intense. You can use the stove right before bedtime so the increase of temperature doesn't bother you as much.

3) Broccoli salad

This is an old favorite. A roommate of mine had me convinced that this was his original recipe. Well, he turned out to be the worst roommate ever, and the recipe turned out to be a classic that I could easily find on the internet. I wish I had known that earlier, I might have kicked him out sooner ;) You can find a good recipe here.

4) Veggie Dogs

Since I am a vegetarian, I prefer the meat free version of hot dogs. They are tasty grilled and served on a toasted bun with lots of garlic mustard, and maybe some cheese. Easy, fast and makes me feel like I'm 7 again.

5)Tomato, mozzarella and basil with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

A classic Italian appetizer, easy to prepare and delicious. Use all fresh ingredients from an Italian grocery store for the best results.

6) Alfalfa sprout, tomato and mayo sandwich

My favorite sandwich from the time I was about 8. Toasted multi grain bread, with summer fresh tomatoes, lots of alfalfa sprouts and a bit of mayo!

7) Corn on the Cob

Here in Guelph we have Strom's corn, which I believe has the best corn I have ever tasted! There are many different varieties, ready to be cooked in whichever way you choose.

8) Summer Rolls

You can find rice wrappers at any oriental grocery store. Here in Guelph, I prefer to go to Tan Dai. There are a wide range of rice wrappers, from plain to sesame seed and much more.

You can cater your ingredients to taste. I usually make them with: Smoked Tofu, rice noodles, mint, carrots, and lettuce (a dark green lettuce). You could also use shrimp, peppers, udon noodles, cilantro.... the list is endless. Have all of your ingredients chopped into thin strips and ready, I find little glass prep bowls make this much easier, and they look so cute too! Have a shallow dish of water to dip the rice paper into.

To assemble:

Dip the rice paper in water. Place thin strips of ingredients down center of wrapper. Fold like you would a tortilla, or in any style you choose. Here is a page with some ideas. Place seam down on a serving dish. Continue to make as many as you need. These can be prepared the same morning as you need them, but they will dry out if you make them too far in advance.

Thyme to Cook offers a few wonderful dipping sauces (Thai dipping sauce, peanut sauce) that would compliment this dish perfectly! http://www.thymetocook.ca

9) Portobello mushroom burgers:

Before this year, I was a mushroom hater. The first barbque i went to this year, I was served Grilled portobello mushrooms with Brie cheese. Now, I'm willing to admit that I am a converted mushroom lover.

For best results, marinate the burgers for a few hours before serving. Place on a hot grill, and cook about 5 minutes per side. In the final minute, add cheese if you are serving. I find that Brie makes the best addition, but you could also use provolone, mozzarella or goats cheese. Serve either on a bun or alone!

10) Grilled Fish

fish is light, easy to digest and cooks quickly! There is a wonderful teriyaki recipe at Thyme to Cook. Use your favorite fish, and experiment with the best way to grill it! You can find lots of ideas here.

If you're looking for a new bar b que, Aqua Mar pools offers some really great ones, along with their top notch pool service. Check out their website, or go to the store on Victoria Road if you have any questions!

You can still eat well when it's too hot to cook outside! There are lots of ways to grill your favorite foods, or else you can eat your food raw!

Next entry I am going to cover Raw Food and some recipes anyone can try!

Submitted by:

Christie Gray

Christie Gray is the assistant manager at Thyme to Cook, a kitchen store in Guelph Ontario that offers just about everything for your kitchen.

http://www.thymetocook.ca





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