Summer Fare and Food Rules

With a beautiful kitchen, spans of time, great recipes, bountiful veg, and zestful intention, I had a summer of food lovin'. I cooked up a storm. It helped that I had a hungry partner to help devour and give helpful, honest feedback. Special thanks to Ali at Gimme Some Oven. I kept going back to her recipes, such as the enchilada sauce and spinach artichoke dip (not pictured, eaten too quickly). But Ali, you'd be proud...instead of using the frozen spinach you called for, I added a whole bag of chopped fresh spinach. World of difference. That is one thing I learned, whenever possible, fresh tastes best. PERIOD. 

For several years now, I've also heeded the brilliant advice of author Michael Pollan. His updated book Food Rules with lovely illustrations by Maira Kalman is my go-to for practical, healthy, and realistic food advice. Here's a few to chew on:

Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored.
If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don't.
Do all your eating at a table.
Place a bouquet of flowers on the table and everything will taste twice as good.
No labels on the table.
Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does...
...and on and on.

Salsa with red onion, cilantro and a couple colors of peppers. Don't forget the lime!

Roasted veggies for the first time in my life. They are transformed in the oven. Great for pizza, pastas, soups, and...

Roasted veggie enchiladas! Ali's enchilada sauce recipe is easy and super yummy, only a few ingredients.

Learned how to make refrigerator pickles. Thanks, Sam! I love salt, but this is only garlic, dill,
and a dash of vinegar. The taste and crunch satisfy better than a bag of chips.

Danger, Will Robinson. Mac and Cheese with sharp cheddar, havarti, sliced smoked sausage, and hot sauce.
The shells are my favorite pasta for this dish. Green onions make a great, pretty addition.

I've been making my own pizza for a few years now, crust and all. But this pre-cheesed version took the cake for tastiness: red onion, mushroom, chopped chicken nuggets, bbq sauce and hot sauce. Seriously.

Found myself with a few huge zucchinis and tomatoes. Found several recipes to try at Health Magazine
This is a garden lasagna, fully veg, with a white sauce topped with basil.

Baked tomato and zucchini slices topped with sweet corn, bread crumbs, and parmesan.