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In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been quite some time since my last post. Sorry about that. You see, August is always a busy month for us. We have 2 family birthdays (both milestones this year) and then there’s the back-to-school rush. This year was even busier with my youngest going to college.

With everything that’s going on I haven’t really had the time (or energy) to develop my own recipes. That doesn’t mean we’re living on bread and water, though. I’ve still been cooking, but using other people’s recipes (or at least using them as a jumping off point and doing my own thing).

Another thing that’s been a diversion is that my college-bound daughter decided to become a vegan. You know that eye-roll you just did? Yea, I did that too. Until I really thought about it and realized that a lot of what we were already eating could easily be adapted to be vegan. So really, it wasn’t that big of an adjustment. That being said, as soon as she left for college we had hamburgers.

The first recipe up in the round-up is Tunisian Spinach Rice. This is the dish that I had already planned to make the evening my daughter announced her veganism. Which worked out well considering it’s vegan, but still delicious. I made a few changes to the original recipe. I left out the potatoes (potatoes and rice together weirds me out), chickpeas and caraway. I also thought that I was out of turmeric (I wasn’t) so I used hot curry powder instead. The cooking method in the recipe is to steam the rice and vegetables together and that the liquid in the veggies is enough to cook the rice. I wasn’t so sure about that and I don’t have a steamer that large. So I added about a cup of water (you could also use stock if you don’t care if it’s vegan) and cooked it over a low heat for 35-45 minutes until the rice was done. It was really good.

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Photo Credit: Aube Giroux

Next up in the round-up is Trout Meuniére. This recipe uses sole, but you could substitute trout or whatever kind of fish you like. I like the sauce recipe for this one, but it doesn’t include the best part, the toasted almonds. I like the instructions for frying the fish in this recipe and the sauce is good too. Use whichever recipe you like. Ours was a mixture of the two and dinner was delicious! I also served these gougéres with dinner. Both are great with a French Chablis!

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How about a little dessert? We made the BEST vegan chocolate chip cookies. No really, that’s what they’re called. And the name holds true. They might have even been better than a real chocolate chip cookie. The texture is slightly different when raw and they don’t have a lot of spread, but they’re still really good. REALLY GOOD!

Another of my summer obsessions has been the grilled salad. I cannot get enough. The grilled summer salad that has stolen my heart is a mash up of this recipe for Peruvian Crunchy Chickpea salad and this Grilled Caesar (the recipe for the Peruvian salad isn’t on the blog anymore because it’s now in her book. Click here to get Slow Eats, Fast – The Dinner Edition for only $0.99. It’s the best dollar you’ll spend!) I used the jalapeño cumin dressing from the Peruvian salad over my grilled romaine and radicchio and added some charred corn on the cob and aged feta. The cold dressing and feta combined with the hot lettuce and corn are magical. That’s not an exaggeration. Really.

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What do you do when you’re up to your eyeballs in blueberries? Make muffins, of course. I already have a regular blueberry muffin on the blog. So what’s different about this new recipe? You guessed it! It’s vegan! You’ll never miss the dairy in these lemony blueberry breakfast treats. I have to say that I think some of the baking vegan recipes rival their non-vegan counterparts in taste. Give them a try and see if anyone notices. My guess is that they won’t.

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I know summer is almost over and most of us have seen a bumper crop of cucumbers come and go, but if they’re still popping up where you live, these are the best homemade refrigerator pickles I’ve ever made. Of course, I did happen to make a few changes. I didn’t use the fresh dill that she recommends. I used the signature pickling spice from Red Stick Spice. I love the spiciness from the crushed red pepper flakes and the Balinese long pepper. My husband thought they were too sour so I added a little water to them after a few days and they were just right for everyone.  We ate them on lots of things, including these mesquite pulled chicken sandwiches with Alabama sauce. So delicious!

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Well, that’s what we’ve been eating over the past month. What about you? Have any great recipes you’ve been making again and again this summer? Share them with me! I love a new recipe!

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