My ideal summer meal looks like the Whole Foods salad bar.
I love easy, healthy, and unusual side dishes for summer dinners, and this one fits the bill quite nicely. There is something so lovely about making meals out of the best that summer has to offer. The vegetables, the crusty bread, the wine flowing, the rooftop grills.
And ice cream dates. Those are important too.
To be completely honest, this might just be a byproduct of growing up in the "Garden State." New Jersey, particularly southern New Jersey, prides itself on many things. #1 is the hoagies, but a close second is the variety and quality of delicious and CHEAP produce you can get during the growing season. I have spoken time and again how OBSESSED I am with my family's garden and the abundance of produce that comes out of it. This year, my dad grew poblano peppers and tomatoes from seeds my grandpa cultivated himself.
You might say, for my family, growing tomatoes has been an art.
I’m also fully aware that finding a scrap of motivation to make something other than a leafy salad, cheese and crackers, sliced fruit, a glass of water with a slice of lemon even etc. is kind of a miracle nowadays for a lot of us. Now that I have a real life adult job, I am noticing more and more how difficult it is to actually cook and work and have a social life. I can see how easy it is to warm up some frozen food or to order out all the time. Even as a food blogger, I have to say that it is really difficult to balance all three. Pro-tip: meal prep, dear followers, is your FRIEND til the end. I cannot tell you how many times that has saved me during the week. I usually do some sort of bean, some sort of grain, and some sort of roasted veg. How much or how little you do is REALLY all up to you, which is what I fin so empowering about meal prep.
So let's talk about our super veggie based dinner. You know the kind of dinner where the wine makes the meal. We've got carrots, which we threw on the GRILL. I know I know, crazy right?? But hear me out: they get charred and delicious on the grill. And it probably takes the same amount of time to cook them on the grill than to cook them in the oven. And isn't it always a winner when you DON'T have to turn on the oven. Wait it gets better: the carrots are then served with this crazy deliciousness that is tahini yogurt. You can use fat free yogurt, if you want, but I personally love the creaminess that comes with a full fat yogurt dressing. It's amazing, incredible, and you will become so addicted to it, it's scary. Plus, with all of those studies that say full fat is healthier, why on EARTH would you go back.
If you want to make the meal more substantial, add some lentils (or hell, add some quinoa) and serve alongside some crusty bread. Your body, you mouth, and your soul will thank you.
Honey Grilled Carrots with Tahini Yogurt
serves 4 as a side, 2 as a dinner (with some bread of course)
In a small bowl, stir all of the yogurt sauce ingredients together until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the honey, cumin, coriander, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat grill to low. Coat the carrots in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill carrots, covered, turning as needed to prevent burning, until nicely charred and fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Once grilled, toss in honey sauce until coated.
Transfer carrots to serving platter or individual plates. Top with lentils, if using, red onion, almonds, and cilantro. Serve with yogurt sauce. EAT.
23. Recent Grad. Human Vegetable Disposal. Putting the Chic in Chickpea.