Summer is my very favorite season for many reasons. I am a sun-lover, a beach fanatic, and an outdoor runner. I love the heat and hate the snow. I live for wearing tank tops and jean shorts. Summer just makes me so happy.
Summer also brings the best produce. To celebrate the season, I participate in a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) farm share. For 20 weeks, I receive locally grown fruits and vegetables. I never know what I am going to get, so it’s exciting and challenging (in a good way) to incorporate them into my cooking.
This past weekend, I spent a few days at my parents’ house in Maine. I’m not on a round of Whole30 now but my Food Freedom means I eat mostly Whole30 — with the additional of occasional foods that feel “worth it” to me.
Here are some of the delicious summer eats I enjoyed over the weekend. I hope these inspire your summer menus!
Love Caprese Salad but staying away from cheese? I made a Whole30 version and it did not
disappoint. I layered tomato with basil and drizzled a compliant Fig Balsamic Vinegar on the plate. It was savory and sweet – and tasted like summer on a plate.
I thought about having a glass of white wine on the 4th but decided I didn’t really need it/didn’t want to deal with any consequences the next morning. So, I made my own mocktail with Polar Seltzer and Vita Coco pressed coconut water. (This kind is not compliant as it has a tiny bit of sugar listed in the ingredients but Vita Coco does make other varieties of coconut water that are.) It was SO good. This is a great mocktail idea for a refreshing compliant special occasion drink, or when you really need to cool off/re-hydrate.
My dad fired up the grill to make burgers and compliant Applegate hotdogs and along with the meat, we grilled packets of vegetables, some from my CSA. We did potatoes, beets, garlic scapes and my mom roasted up some butternut squash and cauliflower. I ate these veggies the second night with some swordfish my mom grilled with EVOO, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Veggie packets on the grill make food prep super easy and mess-free!
I try to use EVERYTHING in my farm share so I made some homemade pesto starring beet greens from the CSA and basil my mom had at the house. I added salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and walnuts. It came out awesome. I forgot to add the farm share garlic I brought and it was still so tasty. No measurements here to share – just mix everything in a food processor to taste. Pesto is such a versatile added fat – you can use it on everything from eggs to veggies to meat.
I got my hands on some of the new Trader Joe’s No-Sugar Dry Rubbed Uncured Bacon and
brought it to Maine to make this weekend. It was $4.99 (I think?) – which is less than I pay for compliant bacon at Whole Foods. My daughter and I loved it! I have heard some mixed reviews but I thought it was delicious. (P.S. I bake my bacon on a cookie sheet in the oven at 400 for about 15-20 minutes.)
I have been trying to up my consumption of greens so a basic summer tip I love to share is to build your plates with a bed of greens. I used mixed greens and kale from my CSA as the first layer of pretty much every meal I ate this weekend. No extra prep + lots of extra nutrients = a win in my book.
So, there you have it – Some eats in my summer food freedom. There was no crazy meal prep involved and I enjoyed delicious seasonal produce with every meal.
Looking for some more summer meal inspiration? Check out these posts from our blog: