Late Summer Seasonal Recipes

>> Thursday, August 13, 2009

Time for some more seasonal recipes to help you eat locally and live frugally!

What's in season in August/September?

To find out what's in season in your area, you can google "produce availability" and the name of your state, or choose your state on The latter has to be the worst designed and yet most valuable website I've seen. Anything you want to know about pick-your-own farms and preserving foods can be found there.

If you live in North Carolina, you will likely see the following fruits and vegetables at the farmer's market this month: apples, butter beans, cabbage, cantaloupe, field peas, grapes, green beans, leafy greens, okra, peaches, peanuts, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, watermelon, zucchini.

Seasonal Recipes for Late Summer

Another stir fry to start off with. I like stir fries because you can generally swap out the vegetables for whatever's in season, despite what the recipe calls for. Stir fries are also great for summer because they are quick and easy and don't involve the oven.

Peanut Noodles
(from The Cook's Encyclopedia of Vegetarian Cooking)

COST: $2 per serving*

7 ounces medium Chinese egg noodles
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
12 ounces zucchini, roughly chopped
generous 3/4 c. roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the dressing:
1/4 c. olive oil
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 fresh red chile, seeded and finely chopped
3 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives
1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
snipped fresh chives, to garnish
  • Cook the noodles according to the package instructions and drain well.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a very large frying pan or wok and cook the garlic and onion for 3 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add the peppers and zucchini and cook for another 15 minutes over medium heat, until beginning to soften and brown. Add the peanuts and cook for 1 minute more.
  • Whisk together the olive oil, grated lemon zest and 3 Tbsp. of the lemon juice, the chile, chives, and balsamic vinegar to taste. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Toss the noodles into the vegetables and stir-fry to heat through. Add the dressing, stir to coat and serve immediately, garnished with fresh chives.

This week, I attempted to use fresh butter beans since I can get them locally from the farmer's market and can't find an organic version in a can. But the butter beans from the farmer's market look and taste more to me like a lima bean than the butter beans I'm used to, so I'm not sure about them yet. Either way, they tasted great in this recipe, which is one of my favorites.

(For another great butter bean recipe, check out the Butter Bean Burgers.)

Garlic Herb Pasta

COST:$ 1.50 per serving*

1/3 c. softened butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
mushrooms, sliced
2 cups cooked butter beans
1/2 box rotini
1 Tbsp. fresh chives
  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Just before draining, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside.
  • Saute mushrooms in a little bit of oil until tender.
  • Stir together butter, garlic, thyme, lemon juice, and pepper until smooth.
  • Add mushrooms, garlic butter, butter beans, and parmesan cheese to pasta.
  • Gradually add the reserved cooking liquid, tossing constantly over low heat as the butter and cheese melt to form a sauce.
  • Add chives and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This is a new recipe that we just tried tonight. My husband and I both enjoyed it, but the kids wouldn't touch it (even though I got whimsical and called them "zucchini boats"). I think it was too spicy for them. If I make it again, I'll substitute tomatoes for the chiles and use fresh red pepper instead of the pimientos. Also, I used the recipe for stuffing mix from the More with Less cookbook.

Stuffed Zucchini

COST: $1.40 per serving*

4 medium zucchini
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c. butter
1 (4 oz.) can green chiles, drained
1 jar (2 oz.) diced pimientos, drained
1 1/2 c. herb-seasoned stuffing mix (dry)
3/4 c. mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Heat 2 inches water to boiling. Add zucchini. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain. Cool slightly.
  • Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Spoon out pulp. Chop pulp coarsely.
  • Place zucchini cut side up in ungreased baking dish.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook and stir onion in butter in a frying pan until the onion is tender. Stir in the chopped pulp, chiles, pimiento, and stuffing mix.
  • Divide stuffing mixture among zucchini halves. Sprinkle each with about 1 Tbsp. of cheese.
  • Bake uncovered until hot, about 30 minutes.

The following recipe was submitted by my friend Maren. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds super delicious!


Finely dice any of the following. We like to experiment, the basics being the same (tomatoes, peppers, etc):

Tomatoes (I choose low-acid because I have reflux, but grape tomatoes, beefsteak, any of those work)
Bell peppers (yellow, red, green, purple for color)
Sweet onion (vidalia or a different kind)
Green onion
Garlic, very finely minced
Beans (we like black, pinto, or great northern)
Avocado (decreases the life of the salsa, so only add to what you will eat within 6 days or so)
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Some kind of hot peppers (our faves include habaneros, jalapenos, cayenne, Hungarian wax, etc)
*don't forget the gloves when dealing w/hot peppers unless you want burning hands for a couple days*
Secret ingredients: half a bottle of Italian dressing & a half cup of sugar per large mixing bowl of salsa
  • Mix everything together and then let it "age" in the fridge. This step is essential so the flavors can leech out and combine.
  • Reminder again: wear gloves when handling hot peppers or your hands and everything your hands touched (eyes, cheeks, mouth, etc) will burn for a couple of days. To decrease the heat of a pepper, leave out the seeds and white ribs of the pepper.
  • Sometimes we'll mix a batch up and then decide it needs something else. We'll add it and let it sit a day more if necessary.
  • For extra fun, add an acidic fruit such as pineapple, mango, or peaches.

Other great recipes for late summer:

Green Bean directed me to this recipe for All Day Apple Butter at

Prudent and Practical has a recipe for homemade applesauce.

Going Green Mama
has been on a cooking roll with her grandmother's recipes. It all looks delicious.

Green for Nothing provides several seasonal recipes ranging from the grill to the pasta bowl.

This will be an ongoing series of posts throughout the year. If you would like to participate, you can:
  1. Post a recipe on your personal blog, and add the link to the comments of this post.
  2. Email your recipe to consciousshopperblog [at] gmail [dot] com, and I will include it in the next post.
  3. Post a recipe on your personal blog, email the link to consciousshopperblog [at] gmail [dot] com, and I will include it in the next post.
*Note that all costs are estimates based on prices in my area. Your costs may vary.

Related Posts:


Green Bean August 14, 2009 at 1:21 AM  

Great links and recipes. The butter bean pasta looks fantastic. We have locally grown cranberry beans and some other big white bean here that I'll have to try it with.

Also, loved Going Green Mama's recipes. Thanks for that link.

And finally, you'd be proud of me! I made a cauliflower yellow pepper soup the other day that cost us only $3 to serve a family of four and have leftovers for several other meals. Was also delicious.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper August 15, 2009 at 10:29 AM  

@Green Bean - As a fellow vegetarian, you might enjoy knowing that the original recipe for the garlic herb pasta had ham instead of butter beans. I've been making it for years with butter beans. :) Awesome job with the soup!

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