It is too hot to do a lot of cooking in many parts of the US these days. Salads are a good alternative. However, if you get tired of just salads, here are two easy vegan dishes to enjoy that require little cooking time. If you are not vegan or vegetarian, you can add some cubed meat as you are sautéing the veggies.
Quick and Healthy Vegetarian Dinner
This evening I needed to make something quick, easy and healthy with ingredients I had in the house. I covered the bottom of a skillet with olive oil, added some chopped onions and sweet potato. When they were tender, I added chopped red bell peppers, poblano peppers, and arugula. When the arugula was wilted, I added walnuts and great northern beans and basil essential oil. I served this over farro.
I never cook farro like the directions on the package. I find the result boring. Here is my method. Cover the bottom of a saucepan with avocado oil. Saute one cup of farro in the oil for a couple of minutes at high heat. Add three cups of water and some roasted garlic bouillon. Turn down to a lower heat so that it is boiling slowly. Cook for about 1/2 hour. Add more water if needed. I always cook it down so I do not have to pour off any of the broth.
Pasta with Sardines, Walnuts, and Figs
pasta of your choice–I use conchiglie
5 dried mission figs, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup broken walnuts–I used black walnuts tonight
1 can sardines in olive oil
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
Saute garlic and walnuts in just enough olive oil to cover bottom of pan until garlic is lightly browned. Add figs and sardines. Do not drain olive oil from the sardines. Add balsamic vinegar. Stir and heat through. Add to drained pasta. Stir to combine. Serve with grated pecorino cheese and a simple salad. This recipe serves 2-3.
Note: Why sardines? There are good reasons to add sardines to your food choices. First, they are near the bottom of the food chain and have little to no chemical residue as a consequence, e.g. no mercury. Second, small amounts have lots of protein and omega oils. One little can has 22 grams of protein. 1/2 cup walnuts has 12 grams of protein. I use pasta from an ancient Italian monastery.