I’m a subscriber of The Produce Box which is a delivery program consisting of items from local farms that are in season and as fresh as possible. It’s always a nice suprise when I get my box and see all the goodies inside. What’s the most fun is figuring out what to do with the produce and creating delicious recipes. Today’s recipe will use my summer squash assortment and one of my favorite pastas: ORZO.

Summer Squash Orzo

2lbs. of squash diced
1 sweet onion diced
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1lb. orzo
32oz. Vegetable broth
Fresh basil
1Tbs. Coconut oil

Cook orzo in broth according to package directions. Sautee the onion and garlic in the coconut oil and “sweat” until transluscent (about 7 minutes). Add the diced squash and cook until still crisp (about 5-6 minutes). When the orzo is finished toss with the veggies. Julienne or tear basil and add some olive oil to finish dish. Serve immediately.

Wild Arugula Salad
I love this lunch. It fills me up and I do not feel tired after I eat it which makes all the difference in getting me through the work day. I enjoy this green and it’s peppery taste. If it’s too strong for you I recommend “wilting” it or heating it just until wilted and slightly warm. DELISH!

2c wild arugula
1 vine-ripened tomato diced
1/2 cucumber sliced thin
1 ripe avocado diced
1/2c baby carrots chopped
Pinch of minced red onion
2Tbs. olive oil
Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
Pinch of chia seeds
Optional: marinated tofu cubes or mozzerella cheese cubes

Add everything into a bowl and some! Toss or shake ingredients together. The avocado will emulsify with the olive oil and create it’s own dressing. The chia seeds not only puts hair on a Scooby-doo planter it is full of fiber and omega-3s and also gives a nice crunch to the salad. You may however, need a toothpick after eating. Serve immediately.

Vegan Bechamel

3-4 cloves of garlic minced
1/2c of vegan butter (Smart Balance)
2c of raw cashews soaked over night and rinsed
1/2c of cornstarch

Blend the soaked cashews with enough fresh, cold water to cover the cashews by an inch in a Vitamix or other blender until smooth and creamy. Melt butter in saucepan and add minced garlic. After simmering the garlic for 3-4 minutes add cornstarch and stir until a thick ball of golden goodness exists. Slowly start to add the cashew cream and whisk until the desired consistency is achieved. Add salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg for desired taste. Serve over your favorite pasta and veggies.

Tofu Stir-fry

Today’s lesson is all about how to properly prepare tofu. When we first purchase this block of mushy, white mush, it comes in a sealed package filled with water to help keep it moist. The key to properly preparing tofu is to first freeze in the package for 24 hours then let it defrost in the fridge for 48 hours. This will help give the tofu a more chewy, meaty texture and frankly it’s the best way to eat the stuff. After it has been thawed, drain the liquid by pressing using both of your hands or one of those fancy tofu presses (that idea was actually stolen from me years ago but that’s beside the point… ;)) You want as much of the water out of the tofu as possible. Cut the block in half lengthwise and then cube it up into as many pieces as possible.
Prepare the marinade by adding soy sauce, worchestershire (vegan if you like), dash of OJ, onion powder, garlic powder, and white pepper. Toss tofu cubes and make sure each is completely covered in marinade. Set aside in fridge for 30 minutes. Sautee cubes in 1 Tbs. of canola oil or other high-temp. enduring oil until brown and crisp. Serve over brown rice and sauteed veggies such as baby bok choy, carrots, onions, and sugar snap peas.

Green Smoothie

Getting my kids to eat their veggies is as simple as saying “fruit smoothie”. To this easy and sweet smoothie I add green leafies. Usually it’s spinach but romanine, kale, chard can work just as well. The key is to make it sweet using fresh or frozen fruits such as banannas, strawberries, blueberries, or peaches. Whatever you have around will work.

1c of ice
2c of non-dairy mylk such as soy, almond, or coconut
2 heaping handfulls of greens
1 handfull of berries
Squeeze of agave nectar, honey, or brown rice syrup
1Tbs. gogi powder
1Tbs. Chia seeds
Blend in your Vitamix or other blender. Enjoy!

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