It's August already! HOW?! I don't believe it. This summer has flown by soquickly; I've only been to the beach twice, haven't gone camping, and hardly have a tan. Granted, I've been spending lots of time in the garden, went to New York, and been have spent lots of time walking around the lakes of Minneapolis, but still! Where did summer go?
Despite my urge to just throw care to the wind, drop out of society, and go live in a beach hut or in the woods or on a farm for the rest of the warmer months, I am sucked into the crazy spin of living a busy urban life. Between work, blogging, weddings, travel, health stuff, and all my personal projects, I have hardly had a moment to breath! Yes, this summer has been crazy for both Ricki from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs(my SOS Kitchen Challenge co-host) and me. We've both been running around this summer like chickens with our heads cut off, it seems. So, we took the month of July off, and are now back from our SOS holiday and ready and rarin' to go. Not that August is any less busy - I have friends' weddings galore, and Ricki is busy marking papers. But we've decided to kick off another challenge anyway.
We are both very excited for our fourth challenge. In April, you showed us what you can do with beets. In May, you amazed us with spinach. In June, you celebrated summer with rhubarb. And now for the sweltering month of August, Ricki and I are encouraging you to cool down one of our favorite herbs.
Your challenge is to create either sweet or savory dishes (or both, if you're really adventurous--though of course, that's not required) to submit to the event using mint in any way, shape, or form. Full rules are posted here. And please note a few changes to the event's structure, also mentioned below.
Of course, mint is great for those times when you need a respite from the crazy-making work, boss, kids, traffic, neighbors, dogs, baby, etc. And aside from its incredible health-promoting qualities (it's a great tonic for indigestion, nausea, headache or even congestion; it has antioxidant and antimicrobial qualities; and it's actually an excellent source of vitamins A and C), mint just plain tastes great. And, as Ricki and I have both discovered, it's an almost indestructible perennial plant - both our gardens are both blessed/cursed with it!
Mint originated in Europe and the Mediterranean, and is now cultivated around the world. With over thirty varieties of mint (mostly peppermint and spearmint), each with its own distinct properties and heady aroma courtesy of the menthol they contain, mint is a useful and versatile herb.
Mint is appropriate in both sweet or savory dishes, from classics like peppermint candies or chocolates to mint chutneys and curries. It makes a soothing, cooling beverage as well, as we witnessed when Daisy, Gatsby et al sipped on their refreshing mint juleps.
If you'd like to participate in the challenge, all you need to do is create a new recipe and submit it through a link form at the bottom of this page (no more e-mailing, for all you past participants). Please enter the recipe description, your name, and your blog's name in the description, and upload a photo, following the Linky prompts. By entering through the submission form below, it will automatically display a photo and will have a link that will direct readers to your blog. The images will display on both Ricki's and my blog, doubling your exposure! We'll leave the form open until the end of the month, just in time for the next SOS Challenge! Please be sure to link up to this page, lin and mention the SOS Challenge in your blog post.
Please remember to follow the rules - vegan, no refined sugars, and natural, whole foods ingredients only - or at the very least, make sure you offer reliable substitutions for those things in your recipe if you use something else. Recipes that do not comply will be removed from the Linky list.
We look forward to sharing our minty recipes with you and seeing what you create! Check back often to see all the great submissions to this month's SOS challenge!
August SOS Kitchen Challenge: MINT
1. Grain-Free Tabouli Salad by Kim at Affairs of Living (GF, ACD, vegan, grain-free)
2. Ricki: Mint Chip Ice Cream
3. Maca-mint blondies
4. Mint-infused cream tarts
5. Turkish Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad @ The Taste Space
6. Maple-Chili Grilled Tofu with Blueberry-Peach Salsa @ The Taste Space
7. Baba Ganouj Quinoa Patties with Mint Tahini Sauce
8. Indian Dahl with Mint Cilantro Chutney
9. Frozen Mint Mojito Avocado Truffles
10. Turkish Barley and Sour Cashew Creme Soup
11. Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Salad/Dip
12. Chickpea, lemon and mint soup - green gourmet giraffe
13. Spanish Chickpea Salad with Capers and Roasted Red Peppers @ The Taste Space
14. Cold Thai Rice Paper Rolls with Cilantro, Mint & Basil (Ricki)
15. Not-So-Faux After Eights
16. Pomegranate Tabbouleh Salad
17. Roasted Eggplant, Red Pepper and Green Bean Pomegranate Salad @ The Taste Space
18. Steamed Potatoes with Mint-Parsley Dressing
19. Coconut Milk Mint Chip Ice Cream
20. Another Minty Tabouleh and Figs for Dessert
This linky list is now closed.