It's been a pretty nice summer here...cool and pleasant, if a little rainy. But we're about to get socked with a couple days in the 90s, and my friends across the country have been dealing with a pretty epic heat wave.
In that kind of weather, you just want to lie around in air conditioning and not even think about food. But you do need to eat something eventually, and you'll feel better if it's good for you.
I love chilled salads at this time of year, and the beauty part is they can be prepped without heating up the kitchen. Try quinoa with grilled vegetables, corn, and black beans with a dressing of lime juice, cilantro and some cumin or chili powder, or farro with cherries, peaches and blueberries mixed with orange juice and topped with a little Greek yogurt. Beans make a delicious protein-packed meal; try white beans with chopped fresh rosemary, assorted vegetables and white wine vinegar, or lentils with carrot, curry and lemon.
Another favorite yummy dinner is insalata caprese: basil leaves, fresh mozzarella, and tomatoes drizzled with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Or you can marinate little cilegene mozzarella balls with grape tomatoes, garlic, and red wine vinegar along with any other herbs and spices you like; this is also good with feta.
Fruit is also a lifesaver at this time of year. I would pretty much eat watermelon exclusively some days. It's good not only because it tastes delicious, is high in lycopene and low in calories, but because it's full of water so it helps you stay hydrated. Just about any fruits and vegetables will do the same, but the more watery (cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.) the better.
The most important caution is to keep it light; burgers and cheese and other heavy, fatty things will not sit well as you go about your activities in the heat. Think fresh, zippy, and cold!
In a pinch, you can find chilled salads and marinated vegetables at a good salad bar or deli counter, but I would encourage you to make your own. It's a ton cheaper; even the most delicious salad doesn't taste as good when you know you paid five times what ingredients would have cost. It's also healthier because you can control the amount of oil, boost the veggie content, or use home-cooked beans to lower the sodium. And of course, you can tailor things to your exact taste!
What do you eat during a heat wave?
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