Veggin’ out

In the swing of summer, a lot of tasty fruits and vegetables are coming into season, with many others on their way into the fall. Two of the main fruits and vegetables for the month of July are watermelon and sweet corn.

Growing up, often times instead of serving sweets for dessert, my mom would serve fruit. In the summer, melons always were dessert options. Not being a fan of cantaloupe or honeydew, watermelon was the melon of choice for me.

Watermelon always tastes so good on a really hot day. It also is a great source of vitamins A, C and B6, is low-fat and helps to hydrate you.

Watermelon sorbet is a great dessert for summer picnics, cookouts or anytime. It’s cool and refreshing and doesn’t leave you feeling heavy and full, like many cakes, cookies and pastries do.

Watermelon sorbet

3cups water

1 cup sugar

4 cups seeded watermelon, chopped

1/4 cup lime or lemon juice

Bring 3 cups water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool. It will be come a syrup.

Put sugar syrup and watermelon in a blender and process until smooth. Stir in lime juice. Cover and chill for about two hours.

Pour the cooled mixture into the freezer container of a 1-gallon ice-cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, pour the mixture into a shallow metal pan and freeze until ice crystals form around the edges, about 30 minutes. Stir the ice crystals into the center of the pan and return to the freezer. Repeat this step every 20 minutes until all the liquid is frozen.

Serve immediately or transfer to a container and freeze for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Mixture can be frozen in an airtight container for up to two days.

As I’ve mentioned in a few of my previous columns, growing up, my dad always had a large garden on the lot next to our house, where it still is today. Among the many different types of vegetables he has grown over the years, sweet corn always was a major crop on his little farm.

We would have corn on the cob – boiled, grilled, even in the microwave if we didn’t feel like waiting long. My parents also would cut the corn off of the cob and freeze it in bags to enjoy all year long. It’s great plain or with a little bit of salt and butter (or non-dairy butter).

There are so many different things you can do with corn – corn fritters, creamed, salsa – you name it. Here’s a nice new twist on corn for you to try.

Rice and corn cakes

1 cup instant brown rice

6 scallions, trimmed and sliced

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme,

or 1/2 teaspoon dried

thyme leaves, crushed

1 cup corn

1 cup breadcrumbs

1/2teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 large eggs or (2 flax eggs for veg


For flax egg

If you are using flax eggs, make them first. Take whole flax seeds and grind them in a coffee grinder until made into a powder. You can use ground flax seeds, but it goes bad quickly, so whole seeds are the way to go. Take 2 tablespoons of flax meal and combine it with six tablespoons of water. Add flax meal followed by water, stirring as you go. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 15 minutes to an hour to allow your eggs to “set.” (1 tablespoon flax meal plus 3 tablespoons water = 1 flax egg).

Cook rice according to package directions. Add scallions, garlic and thyme to the water. Remove from heat and stir in corn, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Let the mixture stand for about 5 minutes to slightly cool.

Whisk eggs in a bowl or if using flax eggs, combine them with the rice mixture and mash with a potato masher or fork until the mixture holds together, about one minute. Shape the mixture into eight patties.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and place the patties into the pan with and cook until brown and crispy, about three minutes per side. Use a spatula to transfer the patties so they don’t fall apart.

Place patties on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Serve on burger buns, on top of beans and salsa or with any condiment you choose.

Look up new recipes online and try out something new. Experiment with new foods and flavor combinations and enjoy your summer!