Welcome, Summer! For many who have spent the majority of the year thawing out of the throws of a brutal winter, this moment has been long awaited. Summer makes me look forward to late evening sunsets, warm desert breezes, summer running, a vibrant garden, travel, and lots and lots and lots of soulfully nutritious sunshine. Senses are amplified, as everything seems to look brighter, taste smoother, sound better, smell sweeter and overall, feel more comfortable. The summer also directs me to the farmers market, where a cornucopia of summer produce awaits.
Watermelon, sweet corn, stone fruits, summer squash, cucumber, tomatoes and bell peppers delight the senses and provide endless inspiration for the summer menu. This season tends to naturally inspire me to take myself outside more often, clean up the kitchen with fresh fare and thus, enjoy an easier, breezier self. Not to mention, the freezer gets quite the workout as well, as I will freeze pretty much everything into a delicious, low-guilt treat:
Fresh, cold-pressed juices are simply outstanding in frozen pop molds or paired with sparkling water, herbs and shaved into an elegant summer granita. Take it a step further and fill ice cube trays to augment your favorite summer beverage. And, you know I'll be bombarding this site with my favorite "nice creams", banana and coconut milk based ice creams, as the season progresses. Stay tuned.
Without question, one of my favorite go-to's for the summer is a savory watermelon salad. I seriously long for this dish in the winter months. Not only is watermelon a natural hydrator, but it opens up your blood vessels and takes tremendous care of your heart, which makes it a great companion to my training schedule. Here, I've added tofu for interest and texture, but I often make this salad without.
I'll make this grapefruit salad in a number of different ways. Sometimes, I'll top these ingredients over a bed of fresh romaine or, believe it or not, juiced (see, The Mood Lifter). Sometimes, just a simple shift of presentation makes all the difference to brighten up a well-loved and often used recipe. Here, I've taken inspiration from magnificently creative sushi chefs and deconstructed this salad into a sashimi presentation:
While these take a bit of trickery to perfect, summer rolls always seem to be so incredibly satiating! There's something about eating pretty much anything like a burrito that appeases all of the senses. Plus, the possibilities are endless as to crafting its contents. Creativity reigns supreme here.
I could devote this entire season to food posts (and I just might!). There is just so much goodness to look forward to. It comes as no surprise that summer tends to be the front runner of seasons. From frozen treats to grilled delights to even summer soups (oh, yes I do), this season brings forth what memories are made of. Get outside, practice active happiness, engage in some well-deserved self care, nourish yourself, BREATHE, and soak in the healing rays of summer.