Friday, December 21, 2007

Food for hot weather

It has been hot in Townsville lately. Most days get up to 34 degrees, or 92 fahrenheit. And, the thing about summer in Townsville is that it doesn't cool off much at night. And the breeze is hot too. So you turn on fans and leave the windows open to no avail. Despite most people around thinking we are crazy, Andy and I have avoided turning on the air conditioners. In fact, we haven't turned them on since we moved in to our place in July. They might not even work, for all I know.

When it's hot like this, dinners tend to be light. Like this seitan burger, topped with sauteed mushrooms, onions, and red capsicum. Lots of salad underneath keeps it cool and crisp.
Veggie sausages feel like summer food. We scored when we went to Cole's earlier this week and found all kinds of veggie snags marked down from $4.95 to $1 a package. We got 6 packs, and I wish our freezer was bigger so we could have cleaned them out. The sausages were topped with a mix of sauteed onions, mushrooms, and tomato, and served alongside a zucchini/carrot/capsicum mix. And we also had some baked mushrooms, since the oven was on earlier in the day (keep reading...). The mushrooms were marinated in a mix of soy sauce, garlic, and orange juice. Yum.
Two ways with Mexican salad. A big bed of lettuce keeps the dinner lights. Top with a mix of veggies and refried beans. Add some tomato and fresh corn salsa, and finish with a dollop of guacamole.
Or, change up the veggies, and top with mango salsa instead. I preferred the mango, Andy preferred the tomato/corn/avocado version.
What not to do when it's hot as hell? Bake. But, with Christmas coming up, and with Andy and me not visiting his family this year, I wanted to send some cookies down. So, on went the oven, despite the heat. I made three recipes from VwaV. Sparkled ginger cookies, which stayed quite soft and spicily delicious. Crunchy peanut butter oatmeal cookies, which I made small to fit in tupperwares.
And Buttery lemon cut-out cookies. But, I swapped the lemon for orange, and topped the cookies with some melted Maya Gold chocolate (dark choc with orange and spices). Andy did the drizzling. What is a poor kitty to do when her stupid humans turn on the oven on a hot day?

Happy culturally appropriate December holiday, everyone! Whether you're in oppressive heat, or frigid cold, or somewhere in the middle, enjoy yourselves!


Vegetation said...

Ugh, it was nice here yesterday but today we've hit 27C and it's only 11am!! I have holiday baking to do too but I'm putting it off :P

I'm obviously not as environmentally friendly as you. After living through 40C summers without air con for the last 10 years I'm enjoying popping mine on when it gets disgustingly sweltery (yes, I just made that up).

The food all looks fabulous though! Yum, I love Nacho anything (the cat and the food!)

Speaking of Nacho the kitty, I'm with her, give me a big bucket of cold water over a hot steamy stove any day :P

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

both versions of the Mexican salads look pretty dang awesome. i would like mine with everything please!

Anonymous said...

here we are in the 90 too, so i try to use the oven very early in the morning that is more fresh here or late at night.
the food looks very good.

cute Nacho!!

VeggieGirl said...

oh my goodness it's 34°C there?? haha, well it's 34°F here!! translation = frigid!! but it looks like you're keeping cool with all those delicious meals; and even the baked goods!! yum!!

aww, Nacho just keeps getting cuter and sweeter!! :0D

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Theresa, your food always looks so good! Wow, and I thught it was warm HERE (in the 60s Farenheight or about 16 Celcius).

urban vegan said...

I am jealous reading about your summer in our winter, especially since I hate winter...great looking chow.

Happy holidays, Theresa!

Ashasarala said...

Wow... I wish I lived in climates like that. I'm not an AC person, either. I hate the way it makes me feel, not to mention the havoc it wreaks on the environment.

But the salad and burger dishes sound perfect for such weather. And I'm the same way- I'll bake in a heat wave any day.