In our household summer is a time of grand ambition and limitless opportunity. Or so it seems, at the outset, with weeks of unbridled possibility ahead. Notes to self have accumulated steadily since last summer; we’ve got a long list of projects on our hands. THE LIST. In January we’re confident that summer’s long, warm days devoid of school (if not jobs) will be the magic elixir to rejuvenate our procrastination-prone existence with newfound motivation. The story we spin to ourselves goes something like this, “once summer hits we’ll clean out the closets and garage, get into shape, thoroughly weed the garden and repair the drip system. Then begin the bathroom remodel in earnest while working through the family budget. Fix the leaky kitchen faucet and degunk the shower drain. And grow some really fabulous tomatoes, too.” No problem, there’s still plenty of time.
This easy stir-fry works with any sort of cabbage. Bok choy, brussel sprouts or broccoli would be perfect alternatives. If you like, make an extra batch of sauce as a marinade for firm tofu cubes. Marinate the tofu for 15 minutes or so, then stir-fry the cubes (discarding the marinade) in hot oil before you cook the vegetables—until they turn golden-brown and slightly crunchy on the outside. Set the tofu aside while you cook the veggies, then add it back in with the nuts and peas. Serve over rice or cooked spaghetti noodles or by itself as a side dish.
During tomato season substitute a chopped medium tomato and small onion for the salsa in the beans—although the quick trick in a bottle is a welcome friend on a busy weeknight, any time of year. These tacos are loosely inspired by the crunchy cabbage slaw I love on baja fish tacos, and would serve nicely in that way, too. Or by itself with another entrée. The beans are great tucked into a cheese quesadilla, if you have any leftovers.
This salad offers healthy crunch with a sweet kick of ginger. You could substitute pear for the apple or toss in a handful of chopped arugula or fresh herbs. Vary the nuts or seeds if you like: try chopped walnuts, pistachios or pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds). Continue reading
This versatile salad features winter broccoli and oranges. The rest is up to you. Add in tender or crunchy lettuces or other leaves like spinach, peppery arugula or vibrant red cabbage (pictured above). Roughly chopped herbs are wonderful in this mix — mint, cilantro, dill, parsley. Try some feathery fennel fronds (or shaved bulb). If you can get your hands on a few edible flowers like calendula or broccoli add them at the very last minute before serving. This salad is crunchy, bold and slightly sweet — a colorful mound of pleasure for the eyes as well as the palate.