Sometime during all that packing and moving and getting new jobs, summer began. Not that I haven't noticed. In perfect Chicago form, June was filled with 90-plus-degree days that leave the grass yellow and parched (I have a lawn now and take note of these kinds of things) and the windows shut and people scrambling for shade wherever they can find it. On Sunday morning, I spent five minutes in the backyard trying to untangle the hose, only to return to the house with my freshly-showered face dripping in sweat. I constantly crave popscicles. A few hours of running errands in the heat leave me exhausted, my body aching for hydration, telling myself that people shouldn't be allowed out of doors in this weather without a bottle of water (or three!).
Guys, it's hot out.
So when we moved into the new house and I learned that the stove didn't work, I didn't really mind. After all, with all the work that was to be done, there wasn't much time for cooking, and who wants to turn on the stove in this heat, anyway? Even after the new stove was installed, the first recipe I followed in my new kitchen required minimal cooking.
It still felt nice, though. Being in my kitchen, alone, the last of the evening light slowly fading away. We had just had both families over for a cookout, and the kitchen was finally empty, the dishes and serving platters cleaned and stowed away, the fridge filled with leftovers. I had been preparing food all day, and it was now Sunday evening, and I wanted to get back into my routine of preparing my lunch for the week. So I set out the ingredients and took my time, and ended up with a bowl full of summer.
Summer Veggie Rice Bowl (from Cooking Light)
- 1 1/3 cups cooked brown rice, cooled to room temperature
- 1 cup shelled edamame (I got the ready-to-eat kind at Trader Joe's and now want to add them to everything.)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup torn fresh basil
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups chopped zucchini
- salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese (grated, shredded or shaved)
- Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, and toss until well blended. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add zucchini and remaining 2 tablespoons oil to rice mixture and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with Parmesan cheese.
Makes 4 servings.