The Main Menu: Time to celebrate with these summer recipes

Summer berries, such as strawberries, make for a great breakfast in a bowl.

By JAN MAIN

It’s summer and the living is easy!

No fuss with just picked fruits and vegetables. They can be quickly transformed into a complete meal-in-a- bowl for breakfast, a bowl for lunch, or a bowl for dinner.

Simple and delicious! They are best enjoyed with the summer sunshine out- of-doors.

Breakfast in a Bowl

Breakfast in a bowl is the best on those perfect blue- sky mornings with the sun is just coming up.

Slip on sandals and pick up a bowl filled with just picked berries, (strawberries may still be available with the every-bearing variety.) However, there are raspberries, blueberries and blackberries to follow.  Don’t forget the tender fruit later in the season: plums, nectarines and peaches – yum!

Top with a dollop of the best natural yogurt and this maple syrup kissed granola.

I don’t know what is better, the morning or the breakfast?

Oh, don’t forget a mug of just brewed drip coffee. Now that’s perfection!

Head off to meander through your garden or simply sit and enjoy the rising sun.

Fruit: ½ cup (125 mL) each, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Vary this with the best of the season: sliced plums, nectarines and or peaches, then apples and pears.
Top wih ½ cup (125 mL) favourite yogurt, plain or vanilla and ½ cup (125 ml)of Maple granola (recipe below).

Maple granola

3 cups (750 mL) rolled oats or old- fashioned oats
1 cup (250 mL) natural almonds or pecans or walnuts or mixture
1/3 cup (75 mL) pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125mL) brown sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) maple syrup or liquid honey
1/4 cup (50 mL) each, vegetable oil and water
1 cup (250 mL) mixture of dried fruit: sour cherries, apricots, raisins

Pre-heat oven to 300 F (160). Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In large bowl, stir together oats, nuts, seeds and salt.

In saucepan over medium heat, stir together sugar, syrup, oil and water; cook stirring until sugar dissolves.

Pour liquid over dry ingredients. Toss to coat dry ingredients.

Spread mixture evenly on baking sheet.

Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Stir in dried fruit.

Store in covered container. Makes about 6 cups (1.5 L).

Potato salad

Potato salad is a tasty companion to barbecues, picnics or a simple lunch.

However, this marinated version has the added advantage being safe to tote to summer destinations on hot days. This salad is particularly delicious made with the small, new potatoes.

The vinaigrette is equally good as a dressing for salads or marinating fish or chicken.

If tarragon is unavailable, use fresh dill as a tasty substitute.

2 lb (1 Kg) about 6 cups new potatoes, scrubbed with skin on. Halved if small or cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm chunks)

Tarragon Vinaigrette

1/2 cup (125 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (50 mL) white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh tarragon, finely chopped if available OR 1 tsp (5 mL) dried tarragon OR fresh dill
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ( 2mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper

Steam potatoes: Arrange potatoes evenly in vegetable steamer and steam over boiling water 10 -15 minutes or just until tender.

Tip into serving bowl and drizzle with vinaigrette below while still hot, gently tossing with a spatula. Cover and cool.

May be served slightly warm or cold from the refrigerator. Makes 6 cups (1 ½ L) 4-6 servings.

Tarragon Vinaigrette: In a food processor, combine oil, wine vinegar, garlic, tarragon, mustard, sugar, salt and black pepper.
Puree until smooth and well combined. Makes ¾ cup (175 mL). Keeps well for 2 days if covered and refrigerated.

Main Course Salad

You can use this as a basis for a good green salad; feel free to vary ingredients with the best of the season and what you have on hand.

You may choose to serve it as a green salad or as a main course with the addition of eggs and / or salmon or chicken.

6 – 8 cups (1.5-2 L)mixed fresh greens
1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced cucumber
1/2cup (125 mL) each, thinly sliced fennel or diced celery, sliced fresh strawberries or blueberries, sliced fresh red, yellow or orange peppers
1/2 cup (125 mL) toasted natural almonds or pecans
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas, drained and well rinsed

Main Course Options: 4-6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and halved. Barbecued or baked salmon or chicken.
Vinaigrette: Makes 2 cups (500 mL) enough for several salads.

1 1/2cups (375 mL) vegetable oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) cider vinegar
2 tbsp (25 mL) liquid honey
1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
1 clove, crushed garlic
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1mL) fresh black pepper

Vinaigrette: In a food processor combine oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper until smooth. Pour into jar and refrigerate.

Keeps well for 2 weeks refrigerated.

Salad: In large bowl, combine salad greens, cucumber, fennel, berries, peppers, almonds and chick peas.

Toss with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat leaves and ingredients are well blended.  Garnish with hard cooked eggs, salmon or chicken if using.

Serves 4 people as a main course.


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