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An invigorating start to July

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July is the month where you truly believe it is summertime, isn’t it? An abundance of fruit and vegetables screaming to be harvested! It’s as if the stores, the farmer markets and gardeners can’t give away enough of their produce fast enough. Fine by me!

But it can become boring, eating the same thing over and over, doesn’t it?  What if you decided to stir things up, and see how else you can consume it? That’s what I did with portabella mushrooms. I love it grilled, roasted, cut up, mixed into pasta, and side dishes. The other night, I was in the mood for pasta, but not for red sauce or white. What’s left? Olive oil and fresh herbs? Been there, done that. I also spied a beautiful portabella cap sitting in the fridge, waiting to be used. Then it hit me: if I could make a sauce with cashews, why not mushrooms? It turned out to be a delightful surprise, that had my Mom raving!

The best part? I used what I already had lying around the kitchen. Now I realize, the ingredients I used probably aren’t what you can find in every kitchen. I just love using what I already have, instead of letting it go to waste.

Portabella Mushroom Sauce with Thyme

Portabella Mushroom Sauce with fresh thyme

1 portabella, chopped

3 shallots,  chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

olive oil

1/2 cup golden sherry

1 1/2 cup vegetable broth, separated

1/8 cup quinoa flour

5-10 sprigs of fresh thyme

salt and pepper to taste

1.) Sautee onion and garlic in a saucepan with olive oil. When golden, add mushrooms until cooked. Approximately 5 minutes.

2.) Put the mushroom mixture in a blender, add sherry and 1 cup of broth. Puree. After you’re done, return to the pan.

3.) In a separate bowl, mix flour into 1/2 cup of the remaining broth.

4.) Add the creamy broth to the saucepan, and blend. Cook until it’s about to boil. Add fresh thyme (the leaves only). Season to taste.

5.) Serve over pasta, or anything you would normally eat mushrooms with: rice, meat, or even vegetables. Maybe even replace the ketchup in your hamburger?

Want a twist? Dice up another mushroom, and cook it as well, add it to the sauce after it’s been made. Chunks are preferred by some!

Quinoa Salad

Cucumber and fresh dill salad

Fresh strawberries, kiwi, honeydew and blueberries

In the last few days, I was fortunate enough to have access to the internet and it’s chock full of recipes to try! Quinoa salad with roasted root vegetables, cucumber and dill salad, and even lemon basil sorbet! The latter blew my mind away.

Let the summer inspire you with its’ surplus!