Cooking Chronicles: Perfect for Summer

Meals that are easy to throw together are a welcome addition to our kitchen any time of year, but it seems especially valuable in the summer, when we’re trying to make the most of those warm weather nights. Here are two recipes we tried recently that helped us do that.

Mini Quinoa Cups

Thanks to Courtenay, I was exposed to the idea of incorporating quinoa into a basic frittata recipe popularized by Iowa Girl Eats. Though I’ve been making mini frittatas for quite some time (in fact, it was the first ever “Cooking Chronicle” I posted all those years ago), I never thought to punch up the protein factor by stirring in some cooked quinoa.

Mini Quinoa Cups

Mini quinoa cups

We used diced ham, Sundog Organic spinach, aged cheddar and chives from our balcony garden as fillings, but should have followed the recipe more closely when it came to using non-stick spray (I didn’t have any, and probably didn’t do as thorough of a job brushing the oil inside the individual baking cups). That said, other than some of the quinoa cups not detaching perfectly, the recipe itself worked out very well! Mack loved the crunch from the quinoa, and served over Sundog Organic greens, didn’t even complain that he was eating a salad!

Mini Quinoa Cups

Over salad

We had a few quinoa cups left over the next day, and found that they also made a quick, tasty breakfast, heated briefly in the microwave.

Lemon Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Tomato

Mack was in charge of dinner a few nights ago, and had selected a pasta recipe that made use of tender crisp asparagus from Edgar Farms and sweet cherry tomatoes from Gull Valley Greenhouses.

He substituted the stelline we had on hand for the orzo, added some Dreamin’ Green Farm chicken and balcony basil, and tossed it all together with garlic, lemon and olive oil from Evoolution.

Lemon Pasta Salad

Lemon pasta salad with asparagus and tomato

It’s probably the sort of thing many wouldn’t require a recipe for, but we appreciated the guidelines. It was a very light dish, with varied textures that really celebrated the fresh produce. Mack especially liked the prominent lemon flavour.

We’ll be on the lookout for even more such recipes this summer!