Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Summer meals (and a giveaway!)

As part of my ongoing effort to stay organized, I don't buy unnecessary spices. You know, the ones required for one recipe and three years later you find them, expired, in the back of the cabinet? But there are a few spices I use again and again, especially during summer months.

As meal planning takes a backseat to pool days and camps, our dinner menu is simplified. Meal prep might be a couple pounds of chicken into the Instant Pot and shredded. Or a pan of sweet potatoes roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spices go a long way to making the same ole' thing different.

Pizza and sandwiches become summer staples. And I can't do it without Penzey's sandwich sprinkle and pizza seasoning. Spice blends aren't the most obvious pantry choices, but I find these two to be so versatile.

Sandwich sprinkle is great on mixed greens with a little shredded chicken, sweet potatoes, and a drizzle of olive oil. Also, sprinkled over day old bread and tossed with olive oil, it makes delicious croutons (homemade croutons are my favorite part of any salad). This seasoning is even better when used with a half pound of shredded chicken mixed with a mashed avocado and some diced apple or grapes, served with crackers and bread.

The pizza seasoning is equally delicious, and makes for the best summer pizza on a cauliflower crust or naan bread (for individual pizzas). I have a friend who puts a jar of tomatoes, a can of white beans, and a handful of kale into a blender with a generous amount of pizza seasoning to make a healthier pizza sauce. Our favorite pizza variations include:

Barbeque sauce + corn cut fresh from the cob + a handful of shredded chicken + mozzerella (or roasted cauliflower if dairy-free) + diced green onion or cilantro + pizza seasoning

Pesto or tomato sauce + any summer vegetables (think diced asparasgus, zucchini, corn, summer squash, spinach) + mozzerella or goat cheese + pizza seasoning

I'm excited to gift a sandwich sprinkle and pizza seasoning to one lucky reader! Just comment below or on social media with your favorite, easy summer meal and I'll pop them in the mail to a winner chosen at random on Thursday.

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