This month, I sort of went with a summer solstice theme. Here's what I served:
Course 1: Watermelon Three Ways
Center: Salad of baby arugula with caramelized watermelon, warm almond-crusted goat cheese medallions, and orange-infused balsamic reduction.
Left: Spicy watermelon salsa with thinly sliced summer squash. The salsa contains watermelon, jicama, tomato, avocado, red onion, jalapeno, basil, and a little salt, vinegar, sucralose, and red pepper flake.
Course 2: Biscuits & Jelly
Clockwise from the top: (1) Jalapeno-cheddar Carbquik biscuit; (2) Tomato gazpacho aspic with cucumbers, bell peppers, and red onion; (3) "Candied" turkey bacon (made using Nature Sweet brown); and (4) Hard-boiled egg. This was sort of a deconstructed thing. It's designed that you take a little of each thing and eat it together. Both my plating and photography were particularly bad - sorry!
Course 3: Poached Halibut with Summer Bounty in Lemon-Chamomile Broth
"Summer Bounty" is just another word for summer vegetables, and this version contained asparagus tips, golden beets, kohlrabi, and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms. The halibut is sprinkled with a few crushed pink peppercorns. Unfortunately, with all the craziness going on, I think my halibut was slightly overcooked. That was a practically criminal mistake considering how expensive it was!
Either way, I loved this dish. It really tasted like summer with the floral aroma of the chamomile, the brightness of the lemon, and the light feel of the entire dish.
Kohlrabi is a particularly welcome new discovery. Steamed simply with salt until fork tender, it tasted like potatoes - but check out these fabulous stats. This summer veggie could open up a whole new world of culinary possibilities.
Course 4: Red Velvet Pancakes and Reese's Cup Protein Pie
Bottom: Red velvet protein pancakes with (sugar-free, fat-free) cream cheese sauce and toasted chopped pecans. This was so, so, so, so good. Mom gobbled it right up. The cream cheese sauce made all the difference.
I followed the basic protein pancake recipe from Maria Health blog, but used chocolate protein and cocoa instead of vanilla, tripled the amount of baking powder, and of course, added red food coloring.
I had fun. It sent me on a bit of an eating spree, but it is always fun to brainstorm and prepare these meals.