Indian Summer hot days and quickly cooling evenings, plentiful summer squash and ripe figs were my inspiration for this turn of season main dish salad. Bright yellow and deep green, the sweet figs and tart lime, the crunch of the seeds– yum! This is a full and satisfying healthy meal, with good protein from the tempeh and pumpkin seeds, lots of vitamin C, A, and K from the yellow peppers and kale, minerals potassium and calcium from the figs, magnesium and zinc from the seeds.
12 oz tempeh, cubed
1-2 medium yellow crooked neck squash, coarsely chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 bunch kale
1 small red onion, chopped
about 6 black mission figs, thinly sliced and halved
1/2 cup raw or dry roasted pumpkin seeds
1 t black mustard seeds
1/4 inch fresh ginger root, minced
1 lime, juice and pulp
black pepper to taste
Pour 2 T olive oil into skillet and heat over medium flame. Stir black mustard seeds until they begin to pop, then add cubed tempeh and saute until lightly browned. Set the tempeh aside in a casserole dish with lid. Add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet and saute the coarsely chopped yellow squash and minced ginger root for 3 minutes or so, then add the chopped yellow pepper, a splash of white wine or water, reduce the heat and simmer covered for 2 minutes until squash and yellow peppers are bright and softened, but not mushy. Add this to the tempeh.
Cut the thick stems from the kale, then cut the leaves lengthwise in half, roll and slice into thin ribbons. Place kale in large bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a scant 1/8 t salt, then massage the kale with your hands for about 3 minutes to soften it.
Mix the tempeh with squash and yellow peppers into the softened kale, adding in your chopped red onion and pumpkin seeds. Lastly gently add the sliced figs. Dress with juice and pulp of lime. Refrigerate in covered casserole dish. Serve chilled or warmed.
Hot and Hotter: our ten day forecast shows high’s in the 90’s or 100’s, two of those days expected to be record breaking at 107F. That’s too hot for me! With an overnight low of 70F, the house and I don’t have a chance to cool off much. Early morning is clearly the time for me to get my food prep done, also walk my dogs, and water the garden.
Early yesterday morning I harvested from the garden too, before the excessive heat took its toll: lettuce and broccoli, yellow crooked neck squash, snap peas, basil and mint. One blessing of the heat is that my tomatoes and hot peppers will ripen so I can start to enjoy those too! For today and tomorrow, I’ll make some light cool and cooling meals from the garden– complemented with cooling hot peppers, mint and lemon. Ahhh…
1/2 cup quinoa
1-2 medium yellow crooked neck squash, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1-2 cups sugar snap peas
1-2 stalks celery, chopped thinly
2-3 shallots, diced
1/2 medium Serrano pepper, diced
1 t fresh ginger root, diced
4-6 medium mint fresh leaves, diced
walnuts or feta cheese
Rinse quinoa well, cover with a generous cup of fresh water and dash of salt, bring to boil then simmer covered over low heat about 18 minutes, until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with fork. Saute chopped shallots in 1-2 T butter or olive oil for 2-3 minutes until just starts to lightly brown, then transfer to casserole dish with airtight lid. Using same pan, saute chopped yellow squash for 3-4 minutes, then add the diced ginger root and Serrano pepper with a couple tablespoons white wine (I used an open bottle of Pinot Grigio), cover and simmer until the squash softens a bit, but is not mushy, about 2 minutes. Remove squash to casserole dish. Turn the heat up a little and saute the chopped yellow pepper for about 2 minutes, just until it brightens. Add to casserole dish, mix all together well, and dress with juice and pulp of lemon. Refrigerate. I served this chilled over a bed of lettuce, topped with walnuts and sheep feta, with a cool glass of Pinot Grigio for dinner, then with fresh mint infused water for lunch the next day.
Potlucks with BBQ and great local brews are a summer tradition… What to bring that would be simple to make, light fare for the hot weather but also substantial protein for vegetarians passing on the meats on the grill? Here’s what I brought on the 4th, and it disappeared fast!
summer potluck salad
1 pkg tempeh
1 can garbanzo beans, well rinsed
3/4 cup bulgur (or quinoa to serve gluten free folks too)
2-3 yellow medium-small summer squash (pattypan or crookneck), chopped
1 bunch lacinato kale, chopped into ribbons
3-4 medium shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
fresh lemon thyme, a few sprigs
lemon pepper to taste
Place bulgur in a large serving bowl with lid. Bring just a little more than 1 3/4 cup fresh water to a boil, pour over bulgur and stir well, then cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Drain off any residual water. Chop tempeh, then saute in large frying pan in 2T olive oil over medium heat stirring well for 2-3 minutes; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook til lightly browned- stirring frequently to prevent burning- about 5 more minutes. Rinse garbanzo beans well. After bulgur and tempeh have each been cooked, stir these three ingredients together in serving bowl.
Using same frying pan, add 2T olive oil and saute shallots for 2 min. Then add minced garlic, fresh lemon thyme and summer squash, stir well and saute for 2 min over medium heat, then add 2T water, reduce heat and cover to simmer for about 2-3 minutes, until squash is bright in color and soft but not mushy. Add this to serving dish. Reusing same frying pan, saute chopped kale for 2 min, add 1-2T water, and cover to simmer for about 3 min, until kale is bright in color and wilted but not mushy. Add this to serving dish. Season with 1/4t salt and lemon pepper to taste. Stir all together well, cover and refrigerate– keeps well for 3-4 days. It is great served warm, room temp, or cold.
1 pkg tempeh
1 large yellow squash, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 orange pepper chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
dry roasted sunflower seeds
salt and lemon pepper to taste
Saute chopped tempeh until browned, adding garlic so it can be sauted a little too. While tempeh is browning, place 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter into blender, add scant 1/2 cup water, then blend thoroughly to make a thick milk. When tempeh is done, remove to serving bowl, then put chopped squash and peppers into the pan with 1/3 of the sunflower seed milk, cover and steam for 3-4 minutes. Don’t overcook, veggies should be bright and still have some texture. Add back tempeh and remainder of sunflower seed milk, stir well to mix all. Remove from heat. Serve topped with roasted sunflower seeds.