August 16, 2015

Fast, Easy Dishes to Make When It’s too Hot to Cook. {Vegan, Gluten-Free}


I live in the South where 90% humidity and 90 degrees Fahrenheit are the norm during the summertime.

As much as I love to cook, there are just some days when it feels too damn hot to slave over a hot stove. Still, there is only so much salad I can eat before I want something else. Therefore, I have a few go-to recipes that I turn to time and again that require minimal cooking commitment but still leave me feeling satisfied.

The following are some of my favorite warm weather, quick cooking recipes—and the best part is that they taste great hot or cold.


Cauliflower “Fried Rice” 

This works well as a side dish, but more often than not, I make this as my main course. Feel free to swap the veggies as you wish.


What you’ll need:

1 small cauliflower

1/2 cup of any onion, finely chopped

1-2 cloves of minced garlic

1/4 cup of sliced mushroom

1/2 cup of baby corn sliced length wise

2 TBS of olive oil



1. Take a small cauliflower and break or cut in chunks until you have roughly  1 1/2 cups.

2. Place cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until it resembles rice grains.

3. Heat oil in a skillet until hot—but not smoking hot.

4. Add onions and garlic, sautéing these until brown.

5. Once brown, add the cauliflower and cook until tender but still slightly crisp.

6. Add mushrooms and baby corn. Cook for 1-2 minutes then cover the skillet with a lid. Allow it to sit for 2 minutes or so and then serve.


Marinated Kale 

This is another one that works as a side dish or as a main meal. If using it for a main course, then serve with stir-fried seitan chunks for a heartier meal. This tastes great hot, but is even better cold. It also is a great dish to take on a picnic.


What you’ll need:

2 cups of dinosaur kale-chopped with the stems removed

1 Tablespoon of sesame seeds

1 clove of minced garlic

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

1 Tablespoon or more of Bragg’s Amino Acids or gluten-free seasoning of choice



1. Heat oil in a skillet or wok.

2. Add sesame seeds and cook until lightly brown.

3. Add kale and stir fry until tender but still crunchy.

4. Add the Amino acids or other seasoning.

5. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.


Veggies with Simple Pesto Dip 


What You’ll Need:

1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves, packed

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves of peeled garlic

assortment of carrot sticks, cucumber slices, red pepper slices, etc.



1. Combine basil, olive oil and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Add more oil if a smoother consistency is desired.

2. Refrigerate for an hour or more or serve immediately.

For those who aren’t gluten-free, try this pesto on slices of French bread, too!


Relephand Read:

Salmon Recipes that will Definitely Tempt your Senses. 

Fresh Corn & Tomato Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing. {Vegan, Gluten Free}


Author: Kimberly Lo

Editor: Alli Sarazen

Photo: Liz West/Flicker

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