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Cool Down and Take it Easy

Just when you thought autumn was coming, summer wants to remind you that they are here until the 22nd! With temps soaring well into the 90's in september, kids starting school, quarter-end rushes at the office, you name it, we all have a lot going on. Who wants to put that oven on when your AC is getting a hard workout? And why not enjoy a little fresh air while cooking up some deliciousness?

Today's blog is all about simple, less fuss approaches to eating happy and healthy organic veggies from the CSA.

Just eat it You know, we don't have to be Martha Stewart everyday of the week and turn every apple into pies and turnovers, or every pear into a tart or a special salsa for company.

You could actually just take a bite and enjoy. Eat that celery stick when you're noshing. Eat 2 nectarines when you skipped lunch and you're starving and are waiting for dinner. Bring those apples to the park or beach and crunch away. Pack those carrot sticks for lunch for you at work, or the kids' school lunches. A little dip or dressing like Hummus, Ranch, Peanut butter, whatever you like, adds even more fun eating the rainbow.

best way to cut Peaches?

Salad: any way you want it, that's the way you eat it!

And those peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, zuchinni, radishes, onions and all that good stuff? You don't have to make a ratatouille every week - just chop it up and toss in a salad. Don't have lettuce? You don't have to have lettuce in your salad. This may sound obvious, but you have permission to play! Eat what you like in your salad, eat what you have, and don't worry if it looks like a restaurant plate.

Easy peezy, top it with a can of beans, or olives, or cheese, or grilled chicken or pre-baked tofu from the store! Make some simple salad dressing of your choice, and chow down!

Got an apple or peach or pear hanging around? Throw it in!

There are no rules! Keep it simple and tasty!

If you have a surplus of carrots, try this delightful and delish carrot ginger dressing!

Cold Cookin'

Is that cabbage from the last CSA pick up staring at you? You can toss into that salad from above! yummm!

But why not try your hand at making your own Sauerkraut?

It's EASY, so healthy, and if you make it now, it will be ready for your Oktoberfest party to serve with peirogies, hot dogs, and beer.

And you can brag about making it yourself while enjoying that hard cider ;).

All it takes is Cabbage, salt, and time. Plus you get to smash down the salted cabbage and make pretend it's that snob at the starbucks who always manages to get in line right before you and has a very specific coffee order while you're trying to get to work. Hey, get a bunch of cabbages and some buddies and make a whole bunch of sauerkraut smashin' together at my newly-invented themed sauerkraut party (self-explanatory)!!!

Check it out!

Flash Fry

It barely even counts for having to cook! For a quick appetizer or side, toss those CSA shisito peppers in a little bitty bit of avocado oil in a hot skillet. over medium high heat, just ;et those suckers blister and toss around for a minute or three.

Put them on a plate, toss some salt, and squeeze fresh lemon on top. You will look like a culinary genius without breaking a summer sweat.

Just Grill It!

Don't turn on that oven to roast those tomatoes, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, etc.

The grill is your friend.

Of course you can cut of zuchinni and eggplant and grill those yummy strips and get the char lines. We love that!

Throw that corn on the cob on the grill on medium high heat for 2 min on each side, about 6-8 minutes, for the best grilled corn! Some people leave the husk on, but i love getting some crispy blackened kernels on the cob!

Potatoes on the grill can be roasted in no time! little potatoes can be done in 10 minutes, and larger ones in 20. Cut them in half if you want to cut the cooking time! The charred skin imparts a smokiness that will make you the hero.

That Bok Choy you've been avoid is amazing grilled. Give it a shot. You're gonna love it.

A little trick I discovered this summer: treat your grill like the oven.

Those veggies we roast in the oven can be done on the grill without sweating in our kitchens.

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus - it can all be roasted in a jiffy on the grill!

Here are a few of my lazy grilled veggie faves that I make all year long.

Colleen's Crispy Grilled Lemon Asparagus

Preheat your grill to medium: 450 degrees is good - anywhere around there. Don't worry if its a little over or under.

Cut the woody bottoms off your asparagus and wash the spears off.

Lay the asparagus spears on a parchment lined baking sheet

Drizzle the spears with a little avocado oil (like 1/2 tsp or so really is fine)

Sprinkle with salt, and finally grate some lemon zest over it!

Put on the grill, close the lid and let cook for about 10 minutes.

Go flip them over with some tongs - they should be nicely charred and crispy.

If you want them to be done now, you can take them.

Or you can cook them another 5 min or so now that you've flipped them so they get a little softer inside, and even more crispy since you've flipped it.

Colleen's Grilled Charred Brussels Sprouts

Preheat your grill to medium: 400 is good - anywhere around there.

Don't worry if its a little over or under.

Clean and cut your Brussels Sprouts in half, quartered if they are super big.

Toss in a little avocado oil (or oil of your choice), salt, pepper, and some garlic powder, and any other spices you might like! Lay cut-side down on parchment lined baking sheet.

Place on grill and close the lid

Cook for about 10 minutes, then go check on them.

When you can stab through with a knife and it's super easy to do, it's done!

We want them getting a little charred and blackened on the cut side, but the rest soft and green. I find it will take another 5 or 10 minutes.

You can toss them to prevent them from burning too much on one side.

If you let it go for 10 more minutes to get softer, toss and turn the heat down a bit more.

Serve and watch all the smiles and hear all the yummy noises!



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