Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cool Summer Meals

This is a side dish that I make that is particularly suited for these hot summer months. I don't actually have a recipe for it but I will do the best I can! Start with whatever fresh vegetables and fruit that you have in the house. Today I used celery, cucumber, carrot, red onion and Mango. I really love the mango and bought it specifically for this dish. Many times I will also add radish, red peppers and tomato but I did not have them on hand today and did not feel like going to the store!

Wash, peel and otherwise prepare your vegetables. Then, finely dice all of them. I used the entire cucumber, seeded, half of the onion, three stalks of celery, about 1/3 bag of baby carrots and the entire mango.
Add your seasonings to this. I usually use balsamic vinegar but was out. So, today I added Tarragon Vinegar, a little olive oil, salt, black pepper, a little minced garlic, a little sugar and some ginger. Mix this in and make sure that all of the vegetables and fruits are well coated and mixed together. You want to get a bite of all of the different things at once.
Put this in the refrigerator and let it sit. The longer it sits, the more natural juices will mix with the seasoning and really wow your mouth. I usually give it at least an hour. Remix before serving. Here is tonight's dinner! Steak and grilled potatoes along with the veggie salsa.
I consider this a fairly frugal meal. The salsa will last us two meals for two adults and one child (one of the kids won't eat it and the other is in Florida!). The potatoes... I actually only grilled two medium potatoes, sliced thickly and seasoned with salt, pepper, oil, garlic powder and thyme. It is enough for one meal. The steak was on sale as buy one get one free. So, while steak is not too cheap.... this was not too bad as a special treat! Also, the steak will serve me twice. I will eat leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

So, there you go. I love to serve this salsa with grilled chicken as well. Very yummy. Adding a little lime juice is nice as well. What I really like about it is it is very flexible and very cool.

What are some cool meals that you serve in the hot summer months?

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