Wait what??? Halloween really? I walked through the store and any signs of summer that remains is piled on a few shelves in the clearance section with a sign in big bold letters 40% off hidden on the back of the store. A few things laying around, one remaining pool toy in a half opened package, a bathing suit top hanging off the hanger with no matching bottom, some oversized flip flops in bright orange that only Godzilla would wear, and a few scattered plastic outdoor cookout plates, cups and bowls along with some other summer time things that once looked vibrant and happy at the front of the store now lay sadly like forgotten about misfits in the corner where crickets can be heard. Everything has little red clearance tags marked down from original price.
Now taking over are isles and isles of school supplies, note book, markets, pens and back packets, right next to that is all the Halloween stuff that took over. Scary masks, fake nails, blood and wigs, bags and bags and bags of sugary candy and chocolates, plastic pumpkins and all the fall colors of oranges, brown, yellows and deep reds decorate shelves. As I walk around in my short, tank top and sandals I stopped and thought to myself, wait a minute Halloween stuff really? We are still in August, it is 85 degrees out, I still have my air conditioner on, I am still wearing sun block when out running, and pools are still open. Summer can’t be over not yet, who decided summer was over, I want to protest, where is the manager!
As I walked past the Halloween display decorated with trick or treat glow sticks and candy gathering bags while my flip flops are flopping and made a low grunt sound and at the Frankenstein stuffed animals as if it is his fault and proceeded to get in line to check out. I composed myself leaving the air-conditioned store as I headed back to my car in the summer heat. I started my car, roll down my windows and think ok, Fall does not officially start until September 22nd, no need to panic just yet. Even though the signs are creeping up, shorter days and acorns falling on the ground, there are plenty of warm days left to do summer things. The bike paths are still crowded with people, festivals are still going on and there are still lots of fresh fruits and veggies in gardens and on farms. The green leaves and luscious grass has not shriveled up and died just yet!
Thinking to myself on the way home, I still have plenty of zucchinis, cucumbers, tomatoes, and squashes from all my friends’ gardens that they have showered me with. The local farmers markets are still thriving with fresh produce, green beans, kale, peppers, herbs, and even some blueberries. In an effort to keep summer alive for a least a few more weeks, I decided to make a cool summer dish, a Fresh vibrant pesto that is bursting with tons of flavor. Simple, quick and a great way to use those last remaining summer veggies. A pesto made up using fresh basil, green beans, chopped spinach, lemon, garlic, hemp seeds, and seasoning. This is delicious over some spaghetti zucchini with sautéed tofu, cherry tomatoes and a few Kalamata olives. I made some toasted wrap chips to go on the side using rice wraps (they toast the best) cut them in quarters and pop them in the toaster oven for a few. Nope, I won’t let those big box department stores burst my summer bubble - not yet!
Summer Veggie Pesto
Yields: about 2 cups
Time: 10 minutes
2 cups fresh green beans
1 cups packed fresh basil
1 cup frozen chopped spinach thawed
Lemon juice from 2 lemon
3-4 cloves of garlic (depending how much garlic you like)
2 tbsp. hulled hemp seeds
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. Trader Joes 21 seasoning (any mixed seasoning will work such as Mrs. Dash)
On spiral zucchini – this is how I had it.
Great over regular pasta
crostini’s with vegan cheese and tomatoes for an appetizer
Pesto avocado tomato and cheese sandwiches
pesto with grilled potatoes sprinkled with some vegan parmesan cheese
Drizzled over some grilled tofu with a side salad
Pesto risotto with capers, tomato and Kalamata olives
If you have any other great pesto Ideas, I would love to see your comments!