This was the temperature in my air conditionless living room this week, which meant there was no way the oven was going on.
Well, let’s be honest.
The oven doesn’t go on the often anyway. If something requires more than five ingredients, I’ll usually pass and default to my usual rotation of several different plant-based meals and snacks.
My criteria? It has to be easy and healthy(ish.)
Fittingly, the Studio 30 Plus prompt this week was “A Taste of Summer,” so even though I can’t take good pictures, I figured I would share a few of the things I whip up when it’s warm—and even when it’s not.*
When it’s too hot for a warm bowl of oatmeal, take it to the fridge/freezer and your problem is solved. This also makes an easy take-along breakfast for those of us who eat at work.
Simply use the same ratio of oats and liquid (water, milk, Vodka—I won’t judge) that you would use for stovetops oats and combine them in a container. Stick it in the fridge for a couple hours or the freezer for 10 minutes. When you’re ready to eat them, add in your fat (tahini, nut butters, etc.) and whatever else you prefer—fruit, spices, etc. and you’re good to go.
I did not post a picture of these because a) you know what a bowl of oatmeal looks like and b) mine are never pretty.
If you’ve read this blog for more than a week or skimmed over my “About” page, you know that a majority of my favorite foods are green. This quick lunch combines a couple of them and requires only two or three ingredients as a base, but feel free to improvise and pile on the goodies.
All I do is take a whole avocado and smash it up, toast two pieces of bread, add the avocado and some spinach to the bread and put it all together. Because of the magnitude of this sandwich, I usually cut it in half and then eat it open-faced with a fork and knife (because I’m fancy.)
Great additions include a mild cheese, hummus and various spices.
Rice is a staple for me and I always have a batch in my fridge to use throughout the week.
This little number comes together by sautéing vegetables in a pan until softened, adding chickpeas until slightly toasted and then adding in the rice and spices. Once it all comes together, I dump it in a bowl, add in butter and proceed to inhale it with digestive delight.
I put this under “dinner,” but I take variations of this one to work for my lunch just about every day. You could sub in tofu or meat for the chickpeas, swap the rice for pasta or even throw it all into a big salad.
Unlike my culinary creativity and preferences, the possibilities are endless.
Banana Soft Serve
This isn’t ice cream, but it is a healthy frozen treat that can hit the spot when you’re too lazy or cheap to actually go to Dairy Queen.
Take 2-3 frozen bananas and toss them into a food processor. Let it process for about five minutes, stopping every so often to scrape down the sides. As each minute passes, the bananas will get light, fluffy and take on a creamy texture–sort of like soft serve ice cream.
I pimp it out with Sunbutter or a few Newman’s Own Oreo-like cookies, but you can throw anything into the mix. After all, it’s bananas—healthy fruit!—so that completely negates any candy you might add.
If anyone questions this logic, that just means more for you.
*This list is not conclusive by any stretch of the imagination—even mine. While the items below are nothing new or revolutionary and can be found anywhere on the Interwebs—or in your pantry/fridge—they are easy and healthy and make me happy.
What are your favorite easy tastes of summer?