Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Too hot to function

British Summer Time is here--that means blistering hot and humid days without any air conditioning. It is not terribly fun and makes me want to be like that rhino in that Rudyard Kipling story who could take off his skin and go swimming (but not the bit where the Parsee Man put the cake crumbs in his discarded skin to make him itch as revenge for stealing his cake.) As it says in the story:

Them that takes cakes

Which the Parsee man bakes

Makes dreadful mistakes.

Anyway, what was I saying? The heat plays tricks on my mind and keeps getting me off topic. Oh yes. Dinner. One that doesn’t use the oven or need much stove top time. That’s what we’re about these days. Last night we ate Southern Pasta Salad.   I meant to take a photo of this last night, but it slipped my mind. After being in the kitchen I was an exhausted puddle. Blame it on the heat. It is a good excuse this time of year.

Southern Pasta Salad

1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes (not the oil packed kind)

1 ½ cups dry pasta of your choice (we like wholegrain spelt penne)

2 cups black eyed peas

1 cup finely diced smoked tofu (the original recipe called for smoked turkey)

½ cup frozen peas

1 white onion, thinly sliced into rings

1 red pepper, cut into strips


¼ cup tomato soaking water

1 TB tamari or soy sauce

2 TB apple cider vinegar

juice of one lime

1 tsp molasses (we prefer blackstrap as it is higher in iron)

½ tsp marmite (if you can get it--it just adds a savoury beefy quality)

½ tsp ground cumin

1 ½ tsp chilli powder

Pinch hot chilli flakes

1 tsp sriracha (or hot sauce of choice)

Agave or maple syrup to taste (I just squirt and taste until the balance of sweet and spicy and tangy is spot on)

What to do:

1.Rehydrate the sun dried tomatoes in hot water-saving the soaking water for the sauce.

2. Start boiling water for pasta while you cook the onion and pepper in a little oil in another, larger pan.

3. Add pasta to boiling water. Add squeezed out sun dried tomatoes, smoked tofu and black eyed peas to onion and pepper mixture.

4. When the pasta is nearly finished, add the frozen peas to the boiling water for the last few minutes.

5. Drain the pasta/peas and add to the black eyed pea mixture.

6. Pour over dressing.

This is delicious hot but equally good cold on scorching days like today. It makes quite a bit so plan for cool leftovers the next day.

It also helps to beat the heat if you follow it up with some cold pudding. This week we’ve had strawberry lime sorbet, mocha frappuccinos and peach and banana ice cream (made by whizzing frozen peaches and frozen bananas with a bit of oat milk and vanilla in the blender)

Stay cool, dude.

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