A few (like 10) years ago, my friend Tony and I “summered” in Chicago. We spent the month of July in a sublet that had a box fan (that we purchased) and no air conditioning. Coming from Vegas, we had no idea that such places even existed. The thought of cooking or even eating hot food seemed too much to deal with, so we devised a meal planning strategy. Our idea, you see, was to make cold salads (pasta, macaroni, green… but mostly pasta), and serve those as our side dishes along with a main dish which we cooked in a Crock Pot. I wasn’t vegan at the time, and I did consume more mayonnaise that summer than anyone has the right to, but the point is that we survived a hot summer strategically planning our meals around cold salads.

So, as I was planning this week’s recipe video, I thought about that summer in Chicago. And I thought about how great it was to just have cold dishes in the fridge that could be made in advance, and eaten at any time, without having to heat up the house. I also thought about how much I missed green bean casserole… Inspired by that summer, and my favorite comfort food hot dishes, I came up this recipe.

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