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Over the past year, I’ve slowly allowed processed foods to reenter my life. How did this happen? Well, the food bank has more packaged foods to offer than fresh produce, as you might imagine. The produce that is offered is usually quite unappealing, or it’s been diced and frozen. I am rather fortunate that I can work on a local farm during growing seasons in order to have fresh, local, organic produce in my kitchen. This helps me wean off of the processed food bank supplies, at least for now.

Most of the country has endured 100 degrees F and higher this summer. Seattle is only getting to 80 and 90 degrees, and that’s warm enough, thank you very much! While hiding out at the library this afternoon, I started fantasizing about buying ice cream and a Subway sandwich. These are not necessarily bad foods, but they are very much against my budget and health interests.

Thanks to my portable grill, I was able to cook up some of my farm vegetables without overheating myself or my home. This was a combination I had never tried before, so I am really happy about the results.

Marinated, fresh, diced veggies in olive oil and balsamic vinegar: yellow squash, cippolini onion (sweet tasting, looks like green onion with a purple bulb), fennel, potato. I added some frozen food bank tomatoes and hot green pepper for color and a smidge of flavor (fresh organics are generally flavorful enough by themselves, yet the bounty right now isn’t that colorful by itself):

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The steak was a frozen food bank item, simply marinated in olive oil and a smidge of sea salt while it thawed before being grilled. Not pictured here is the frozen yogurt smoothie I whipped up from a 6 oz cup of yogurt and fruit I had previously frozen, along with a little brown rice protein powder (you can make this at home!) and water. I needed to cool myself down a little while cooking, you see.

As a final treat to help wash down dinner, I served myself some strawberry wine from last year’s homemade batch into an old fruit jar (just like Elvis used to sing):

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Happy summer grilling, everyone! How are you keeping yourself within your budget, health, and temperature needs?

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