Creamy tomato soup
There’s nothing better to do with a surplus of homegrown tomatoes than make tomato soup. I can only eat so many of them fresh. This year we have a super abundance of tomatoes. We harvested 25 pounds just in the last week! I will be making this soup a lot this summer. So much so that I decided to buy a food mill to make the straining step easier.
Creamy herb dressing
Creamy herb dressing is a staple in our house. I started out making it as a classic ranch with fresh dill and parsley, but over time have made many variations with different herbs from my garden. My favorite way to eat it is as a dip for fresh celery. Celery has such a fantastic texture and flavor that combines perfectly with this dressing. I love how when I crunch down on the celery the cells burst open and release their watery juices. It reminds me of the way it feels to jump into a pool on a hot summer day. The dressing is also delicious on a salad or heaped onto a fish fillet or chicken thigh and baked.
Peach vanilla jam
Texas Hill Country peach season is here! I got giddy with excitement at my first stop at my trusted peach guy’s roadside stand, and ended up with about 60 peaches. I just can’t resist peak season local fruit. I thought it would be a challenge to use them all, but it wasn’t. I used them all and I’m ready for more. Many of them went towards this peach vanilla jam. It is incredibly flavorful and not too sweet, so you really taste the peaches. It’s easy to make too.
I have a major sweet tooth. Going sugar free is a real challenge for me. This tasty banana “ice cream” hits the spot. It has only three ingredients and is super simple to make. Really you just need frozen banana. I added peanut butter for flavor, which might be my favorite add-in for banana ice cream. Cocoa powder and almond butter are great too. I added coconut milk to make it easier to blend in my not-so-powerful mini food processor. If you have a powerful blender, you probably won’t even need the milk. This couldn’t be any easier or healthier given how indulgent it tastes.
Fennel and orange salad
This is hands down the best fennel dish I’ve made. The salad is bright, crunchy, and sweet. The fennel adds just enough licorice flavor without being overpowering. I started with a recipe from my favorite cooking blog, Smitten Kitchen, and substituted a few ingredients. I’ve posted a few recipes from Smitten Kitchen before: Garlic & Butter Roasted Mushrooms, Deb’s Decadent Hot Chocolate Mix, and Strawberry Summer Cake. I can always trust Deb for a fantastic recipe. I think we are foodie kindred spirits. I served the salad with cod roasted in lots of lemon juice. It was a light, refreshing, and fulfilling meal.
Easy seeded vinaigrette
Salad dressing is so easy to make, I stopped buying it at the store long ago. This recipe is one of my favorites. It is tangy, bright, and has a nice crunch from the poppy and sesame seeds. I adore the delicate flavor, texture, and appearance of poppy seeds. The dressing is good on any salad and can also be used as a marinade. This week, I served it on a salad of strawberries, cucumber, red onion, and mint.
Kick up your salad a notch
Growing up, my parents served a garden salad with every dinner. It usually had lettuce, carrots, and miscellaneous other veggies. It was fine. Even good. But I got bored. I rebelled against the salad for many years after leaving home, focusing on other types of vegetable preparations. Recently, I’ve fallen in love with salad all over again. It started with a beautiful head of green leaf lettuce I bought at my local farm club. It tasted so fresh, crispy, and bright. Combined with fermented carrots and my homemade mix-and-match dressing, it was truly delicious. We planted a lot of greens in our garden this year, as well as in the Aerogarden. Now we have enough to harvest fresh garden salads a few times a week.
I came up with a list of ideas for making a scrumptious salad on the fly. Start with a head of fresh lettuce, spinach, or one of those super convenient salad mix bags. Then add in one or more from the list, and walla! Better than most salads you get in a restaurant.
Did you know that if you mix chia seeds with liquid they will gel and turn into a pudding-like substance? I capitalized on this to make a tasty, hearty breakfast pudding that fits within the Whole 30 diet. It can be made with any kind of fruit added. Bananas are my favorite so far, with blueberries a close second. The texture of banana works well with the texture of the pudding. This pudding is enjoyable to eat with its funny consistency and it fills me up for a long time.
This orange and avocado salad is fantastic. The flavors combine in a special way. The bite of the jalapeño and shallot bounces perfectly off the sweetness of the orange and richness of the avocado. I need more of this in my life. I already have plans to buy the ingredients so I can make it again, very soon. This recipe is Whole 30, paleo, and low carb friendly. But you don’t have to be on a diet to appreciate it. It’s super yummy.
I love the earthy umami flavor of mushrooms. This recipe really highlights it by roasting the shrooms in butter and adding complementary salty and tart flavors to help the earthiness shine. A delicious sauce forms as the mushrooms roast, which can be soaked up with bread or potatoes. We had a low carb dinner of roasted shrooms and egg salad, so I ended up drinking the sauce since I didn’t have anything to soak it up. It was scrumptious!
My name is Hillary. This blog is about the everyday food I prepare in my kitchen, with tips and recipes for easy, wholesome, and diet friendly meals. I have been chanting "cheese please!" since I was a toddler, although lately I've cut back on dairy.