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Seriously, it is too hot. Yet, I know I have no right to complain, because here in the Willamette Valley we have little to no humidity and most of our summer days are in the 80s with a nice cool down at night. But we’ve had more than our share of 90s this summer — today being one — and tomorrow promises triple digits. By Wednesday, we’ll be back to the 80s, still, the heat even for a couple of days just zaps me.

And, so, you would think I would thus “…get out of the kitchen.” But no. I did however give up the notion I had this morning of making blueberry scones with some of the fresh, frozen blueberries that came from a local farmers market. Maybe Wednesday.

But, trying to eat low sodium — not to mention just healthy — means more cooking rather than grab and go or eating out. So, after grocery shopping this morning, into the kitchen I went. I had decided to make myself a black-eyed pea salad that I saw on Pinterest. Of course, canned black-eyed peas are full of sodium, so I bought dried and did a quick soak (rinse the beans, throw into a saucepot, cover with water, bring to a boil and then turn off heat and let them sit for at least an hour), while we ran some errands and went to lunch. T had looked at my Pinterest page for recipes I’ve found for things he might eat and he decided he wanted a “stuffed green pepper soup,” http://diethood.com/stuffed-pepper-soup-kitchenaid-stand-mixer-giveaway/ and some bean and cheese burritos http://newleafwellness.biz/2013/10/07/freezer-friendly-bean-cheese-burritos/. I had also found a recipe for making one’s own “refried” beans, so I put pinto beans into the crockpot (I only made half the recipe and it still made a lot….I added a few red pepper flakes to give it a little more zing). http://penniesandpancakes.blogspot.com/2012/09/crockpot-refried-beans-019-per-cup.html#.U-gj2ihvDzI.

And then we went out.

By the time we got home, the heat was on and my little square kitchen doesn’t really breathe all that much. Still, I put on the fan and went to chopping and cooking. Midway through my sister called from their trip to California for my nephew’s wedding yesterday and then texted me a couple of photos….so as I chopped and stirred, we talked and she shared a few humorous anecdotes from the affair.

Stuffed pepper soupThe soup turned out good and T already had a bowl and gave it a thumbs up.

I didn’t take a picture of the burritos, well, because the refried beans, while they taste good, aren’t exactly the prettiest picture. I didn’t put any onions in the burritos because there were onions in the beans I made. Once the beans were done, I just mushed them up with my hand blender. Super easy. Emma helped with the grating of the Tillamook extra sharp cheddar. And by help, I mean she took the “down” position at my feet and waited for a few shreds to drop
her way.

The black-eyed pea salad turned out well too. I look forward to having it for lunch at work tomorrow. Here is the photo and recipe:


Black-Eyed Pea Salad

2 cans black-eyed peas (I cooked up a one pound bag of dried beans), 1 diced tomato (I used some grape tomatoes I needed to use up and cut them into smaller pieces), 1/2 diced red onion, 1 small or 1/2 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper (I used a whole red pepper), 1 jalapeno (I used three thai chilies…you could use serrano too, or if you don’t want the heat, leave them out), 4 green onions, 1/3 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (unseasoned), 2 Tbsp. canola oil (I used olive oil), 1/2 tsp. organic cane sugar (I used splenda/sugar blend), salt (I barely used but a pinch) and freshly ground black pepper.