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After a decidedly stressful and busy summer of crazy house hunting & buying, moving, unpacking, and a conference visit to ATL for me last week, I came back to Charlotte on Saturday craving vegetables and all things not battered and fried or alcoholic. You know, that healthy stuff.

So we hit up the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market and came back with loads of produce -- cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes. A bonus cameo in the photo below: our friends J&B brought over two jalapenos they grew in their garden. (I need to remember my rubber gloves when handling those! Once bitten, twice shy.)

So with a ton of fresh food to work with, I took to my cookbooks and my special recipe/projects binder (I need to blog about that! I'm kind of in love with it, as it's basically a low-tech pre-Pinterest Trapper Keeper of food. Amazing!)

Dinner tonight: Eggplant Banh-Mi from the June '13 edition of Cooking Light, with a side salad of Cabbage & Lime with Roasted Peanuts from The Lee Bros.' Simple Fresh Southern. Perfect dishes for getting my vegetable fix - eggplant, cucumber, carrots, cabbage, spinach and tons of herbs.

An aside: The Lee Bros. are just awesome! Matt & Ted recently put out a new cookbook, The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen, and I visited them at Park Road Books when they were on their tour in May. If I was still on Pinterest, I'd pin the brothers' "I Brake For Boiled Peanuts" shirt. Last night I made their Green Goddess Potato Salad, which is phenomenal with lots of herbs and a mayo/sour cream dressing and a little anchovy paste. On my to-do list: their Henry's Cheese Spread and Pickled Shrimp -- sounds like it's time for a good ol' fashioned southern potluck or cocktail party. Who wants to bring the gin & tonics or mint juleps?

Tonight's meal involved a LOT of chopping, julianne-ing, shredding, marinating and cutting, as displayed below, but it was worth it. I also incorporated several handfuls of herbs from our trusty mint plant and the new huge Thai basil plant we bought at the market. The peanut butter/ginger/lime sauce on the sandwich was so good, I wanted to take a swim in it.

Once assembled, the sandwich just needed a dash of chopped cilantro and Thai basil:

It's so nice to be back, planning meals, making lists, buying good food, and making tasty dishes. And a return to the blog to share it all!

Off to chop a few fresh Abbott Farms South Carolina peaches for a vanilla ice cream dessert for Scott, who's working in the yard right now and could surely use a cold treat.

What summer veggies are you enjoying now?


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