Refreshing Dishes for a Hot Day

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Mediterranean Wraps

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Caprese Salad

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Chilled Tomato Soup

I came home on an exceedingly warm day for San Francisco.  Audrey’s class is on a camping trip, but she is at home because we have a wedding rehearsal to attend on Friday.  She made us a delicious vegetarian lunch, which was exactly what I needed after two weeks of potstickers, pork buns and crepes. 

Audrey is a true and natural cook who does everything by feel.  A dash of this and a dash of that; a handful of this and a handful of that.  I enjoyed watching her making the dishes as much as I did eating them.  She has great instinct and a keen sense of adventure when it comes to creating food.  The home cooked lunch was the best welcome home gift I could imagine, but I am now struggling to re-create the dishes in the blog and share her recipes.  It was a good thing that she kept things very simple and here are the recipes to the best of my recollection.

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Mediterranean Wraps

Ingredients:

8 oz. French green beans, trimmed (blanched or steamed until crisp tender)

1 tomato seeded and thinly sliced

3 oz. garlic-and-herb goat cheese

3 whole-grain tortillas

21 Pitted Kalamata olives

6 canned artichoke hearts, drained and sliced

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Preparation:

Spread a thin layer of goat cheese evenly on each tortilla and line 1/3 of the other ingredients in the center of each.  Roll tortilla tightly, folding in sides.

Chilled Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

4 cups diced ripe beefsteak, heirloom or cherry tomatoes, divided

1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 red jalapeno, seeded

1/4 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced, for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

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Preparation:

Blend 3 cups of tomatoes with oil, lime juice, honey paprika, seeded red jalapeño and salt with 1 cup of water until smooth.

Pour soup into four bowls.  Top with the 1 remaining cup of the tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of basil.

Serve at room temperature or chilled. 

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Caprese Salad

Ingredients:

Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Fresh Mozzarella balls, sliced in half

English cucumber

Basil leaves, sliced

Micro sprouts

Balsamic Glaze

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and pepper

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Preparation:

Toss everything in the salad bowl with vigor!

Quinoa Chickpea and Avocado Salad

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The weather has been so warm and sunny here in San Francisco lately that I could completely pretend it is summer.  So I decided to make this cheery, summery, delicious dish.  Try this salad!  It will transport you to June for a day.  

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Quinoa Chickpea and Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup quartered grape tomatoes

15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup cooked quinoa (You can cook it with chicken broth or vegetable broth to give it more flavor.)

2 tbsp red onion, minced

1 tbsp green onion, minced

1 1/2 limes, juice of

kosher salt and fresh pepper, to taste

1 cup diced cucumber

4 oz diced avocado (1 medium hass)

Preparation:

Combine all the ingredients except for avocado and cucumber, season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Just before serving, add cucumber and avocado.

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Recipe adapted from skinnytaste.com

Spicy Turkey Sausage Chili with Avocado

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Cleaning out the closet today, I debated the fate of an old sweater from the 1993 Telluride Film Festival.  I have pulled it out from the donation pile many times through out the years.  It’s more than 20 years old and quite tattered, but I just can’t part with it because there is quote on the sweater that I found beautiful.  It says, “Through out her youth, she was often disconcerted to discover her most secret, most formless sentiments and desires, given their own robust life every Saturday afternoon, at the picture show.”  This evocative image of an ordinary woman transfixed and transported in the cinema, is extraordinary to me.  I want to make films for her.

Some possessions I seem to discard without batting an eye lash, such as my old iPhones, but some others have a mysterious hold on me, such as this dear old sweater.  It goes without saying that it’s going back into the closet drawer.

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Spicy Turkey Sausage Chili with Avocado

Ingredients:

3 links lean turkey sausage, casings removed

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tomatoes, diced

2 tablespoon marinara sauce, or 1 tablespoon tomato sauce

3/4 chicken broth

1/2 tsp cumin, or to taste

1/2 can kidney bean, rinsed and drained

1/4 tsp paprika

1 bay leaf

fresh cilantro, for garnish

1 teaspoon lime juice for coating the avocado after it is cubed

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Preparation:

In a large skillet, brown turkey over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks into smaller pieces.

When meat is browned, add wine, onion and garlic; cook 4 minutes over medium heat. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, cumin, chili, paprika, and bay leaf, stir for about 2 minutes.

Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf, add avocado (coated with 1 teaspoon lime juice) and cilantro.  Serve immediately.

This recipe makes 4 servings, but Peter and I each had two large bowls of it.  I had to refrain from licking the bowl.  Yes, it’s that good!

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