Summer Meals

Mark Bittman, in his new cookbook, “VB6: Eat Vegan Before Six to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health,” writes about his successful weight loss – achieved by eating vegan on a part-time basis. Bittman increased his eating of fruits and vegetables and eliminated processed and animal foods during the day, but could be indulgent and eat whatever he wanted after 6 p.m.

The recipes in the book are mainly vegan, and his ratatouille has become my go-to dish for this time of year. The CSA and farmers’ markets provide green goodness by the armful, and this recipe wants to include all that zucchini and broccoli, all those green beans.

Summer cooking should be easy, and this good dish has such easy prep! At Downtown Abbey we made a version of the ratatouille by roasting the vegetables first – delicious! But at home I cooked the vegetables on the top of the stove – a little quicker this way:

Combine onions and one or more of the green vegetables above (what you have on hand) with a goodly amount of olive oil, also peppers or eggplant if you want. Cook gently for a while. Add a can of drained and rinsed garbanzo beans and canned tomatoes (I used two cans of diced tomatoes, but fresh would be great). Bittman suggests including thyme or marjoram for herbs. Rice is nice along side.

Another summer meal comes from the wordsmith, and I’m going to share her email, because this dish sounds so unusual, so easy and delicious (and a good way to use the broccoli bounty!):

“Yesterday I made a chilled broccoli soup with the CSA produce. Chopped up the broccoli and braised it (without stirring) for 5 minutes in olive oil. Removed it from the pot and then sautéed an onion. Put the broccoli back in the pot with the onion and added 2 cups of water, simmered for half an hour until the broccoli was fork-tender, then used an immersion blender to moosh it all. Added 1/4 cup of fresh, chopped dill and the juice of a lemon, some sea salt. Put it in the fridge till it was cold. No dairy, no stock. Wow was it ever good, and so filling!”

Thanks wordsmith – I’m trying this!

green beans

2 thoughts on “Summer Meals

  1. Both recipes sound worth a try. I make a chilled curried cream of broccoli soup — it used to be the only way my boys would consume broccoli with any enthusiasm. And ratatouille used to be a summer standard — thanks for the reminder!

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