I’m going to complain about the weather for a micro-second. I’m sorry. But it’s just been sooooo hot and humid here lately. I can’t stand it anymore. I’m tired of feeling like a sweaty mess.
My friend and I went to an outdoor party at Smuttynose Brewing Company on Sunday and I kept asking her the whole time “do I look sweaty”. She assured me that I appeared as cool as a cucumber. But I have my doubts.
Please note, in January you totally have my permission to throw this little whiney conversation back in my face. Seriously. I know I deserve it.
So needless to say, I’ve used my oven a total of negative one hundred times during the past couple of weeks. Grilling, stovetop meals and cold salads are where it’s at.
These stuffed Avocados with Bacon, Corn and Blueberry Salsa are totally oven free, which basically makes them the only thing that I want to eat right now. I start by cooking the bacon in a skillet on the stovetop and then – and this is totally the best part – I quickly sauté the corn in the rendered bacon fat until it’s just starting to brown in a few places. Because you know that we can’t waste bacon fat. I think that’s actually illegal in twenty-three states.
And blueberries. My mom and I went berry picking the other day (also a very hot and sweaty experience), and now I’m up to my ear-balls in blueberries. So I tossed a few of those in with the corn and bacon for an easy savory-sweet salsa, which I then stuffed into some perfectly ripe avocados. It’s hard to make avocados even better then they already are, but this salsa does a pretty good job.
These work great as a party appetizer or side dish. But for me, they are also perfectly acceptable for dinner. With a side of ice cream, that is.
Disclosure: This “Flavor Your Adventure” post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. For more snack ideas to “Flavor Your Adventure” this summer, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
I’ve been fairly determined the past couple of weekends to squeeze in as much summer-awesomeness as possible. I’m already noticing back to school advertisements and even Holiday decorations (yes, really) in the stores, which is making me anxious that summer is on its way out the door. And I don’t even want to think about that right now. It gives me the stresses.
Luckily for me, living on an island means there is always an outdoor summer adventure to be had. Kayaking, biking, swimming and fishing opportunities are all within easy reach. There are plenty of ways to “cease the day” and soak up what remains of these long, hot summer days.
But all this activity requires food. Both for energy and for my overall mental stability. Because I really don’t like to be hungry. I turn into the Hulk when I’m hungry. And it’s not pretty.
So to keep myself in check, I always carry around something to eat. Blue Diamond Almonds are one of my favorite grab-and-go snacks for short jaunts. Their containers are the perfect size for stashing in your bag (not too bulky!) and they have a tight fitting lid to avoid spillage. And not to mention they have a ton of amazing flavors to choose from. But for longer adventures, I like to go the extra mile and bring something along with me that’s a bit more substantial. Like these Wheat Berry and Blistered Tomato Mason Jar Salads with Basil-Almond Pesto.
To make a good Mason jar salad, there are just a few little tricks to remember. Like always put your dressing and sturdier ingredients (grains and beans) at the bottom. Keep lighter, more fragile items (salad greens) near the top. And try to avoid ingredients that will spoil quickly. Also, don’t over pack the jars, because a little wiggle room is necessary to help distribute the ingredients once you’re ready to eat.
I chose wheat berries as my base for this salad, because they have a great chewy texture that I find super satisfying when I’m absolutely starving. But you could certainly use farro or quinoa, if you prefer. I topped the wheat berries with some summertime favorites: cherry tomatoes, eggplant and arugula. And I made up a dairy free basil pesto with Lightly Salted Blue Diamond Almonds. Big flavor, small container. That’s how you get things done when you’re on the go!
While I certainly recommend storing all perishable food items at the proper temperature, I did enjoy my salad after it had been kicking around in my backpack for about 3 to 4 hours. And I lived to tell about it. Just putting that out there.