July is here and it’s now officially summer to me because the CA State Fair starts soon and I turn a year older this month. Hmm, I still need to figure out what my birthday gift to myself will be. One thing I am lacking this summer is vacation time thanks to furlough days and holiday traveling this past year. Hopefully I can take a week off in August, but we’ll see. Anyway, there was a cute story in our paper this week about a 95-year-old man finally retiring from his post office job and has never taken a sick day – wow! One of his secrets was eating lots of onion/mayo sandwiches and watermelon. Think I’ll skip the sandwich part, but definitely have the watermelon part down! I could eat more than one a week easily and nothing is more refreshing and hydrating to me than snacking on fresh, chilled watermelon chunks after coming in from the heat. Some geeky facts on it:
- Watermelon is 8% protein
- It’s a great source for vitamin C
- It packs Lycopene which possibly plays a heavy cancer prevention role
- The seeds are a good protein and essential fat source
My favorite variety are the seeded monsters even though dealing with the seeds can be a pain, they have more flavor to me than the the seedless varieties that most stores only carry. Luckily these monsters can be found at produce stands and farmer’s markets here and hopefully my garden soon.
Lunch was another unique salad mess using leftovers and steamed yellow squash.
Last night’s spicy salad leftovers tossed with mixed greens, avocado, cabbage and topped with sunflower seeds. The steamed squash on the side made a comforting treat after another stressful morning at work.
I do a lot of grocery shopping on Amazon because I can get a lot of raw and vegan ingredients considerably cheaper than Whole Foods and loads of points on our prime account. I do have the items shipped to my job because we have a huge shipping center getting loads of deliveries daily and I can leave the packing to be recycled and re-used, no need for a UPS truck to make a delivery to our house – another one of my anal ways to be more environmentally friendly. :-) Anyway, I got a huge shipment of beans this week.
6 bags of chickpeas and 4 bags of red lentils – that should keep me stocked for awhile. :-P I had this creative plan to make an orange flavored lentil skillet dish for dinner, but changed my mind after a nauseatingly crazy day and opted to use another Whole Foods splurge for tonight’s dish.
I plucked basil, yellow squash and more broccoli from our garden and created a veggie loaded marinara sauce by tossing chopped yellow squash, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, basil and oregano into the Vita-Mix. I sauteed 1 cup of soaked red lentils and a little olive oil in a skillet, added broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and zucchini ribbons. Then poured the sauce on top, simmered for about 10 minutes. I topped the finished result with the Daiya Mozzarella shreds and yum!
It turns out yellow squash makes a great sauce thickener in the Vita-Mix too, it hardly altered the marinara flavor and color and blended beautifully with the lentils. Because I soaked the lentils overnight in the fridge, they took no time to cook and the veggies stayed pretty crunchy and fresh tasting.