Don’t Heat It Up.

Anybody else getting a little warm this summer? If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, chances are that it’s getting pretty hot. Many people have central air and are able to stay cool in the house. Many, like me, do not. Cooking and preparing food kinda takes a backseat when you are melting into a sweating puddle. The mere idea of turning on the stove requires a retreat to the concrete basement floor. Even if you are lucky enough to have air conditioning, you probably aren’t that keen on firing up the oven causing you to crank the AC even more.

What is a healthy eater to do?

We can’t eat out all summer. Well, we can but would need a bank loan and a new wardrobe come fall.

And while appetites decrease in warm weather, we still need energy to sweat and keep us cool. As much food energy is needed to keep cool in the summer as is needed in to keep warm in cold weather. Obviously stew isn’t something your body is craving in the sweating hot. But we still need to eat up.

I have a few ideas to share on keeping cool and staying on the healthy eating track. Hoping you folks will share your ideas too. (* items have recipes below)

I find it really helpful to have a prepared salad for lunch or a quick dinner. Favorites are quinoa salad*, pasta salad*, broccoli salad, coleslaw, tabouleh.

Pre-cooked shrimp is a great protein addition to any meal.

Canned tuna or salmon can be added to a green salad and voila! dinner.

Instead of steaming veggies serve them raw with a homemade herb and yoghurt dip*. Or cook them on the BBQ.

If you are barbecuing cook extra meat and have leftovers for your lunch or dinner later in the week. A BBQed chicken sandwich is a great dinner.

Gazpacho*

BBQ, BBQ, BBQ! Cooking outside is the best way to avoid heating up the house. And yourself.

Bruschetta



For snacks

-Melon. Have it cut up and ready to shovel in when you are hot and hungry.
-Invest in a popsicle maker and some fruit juice and make your own popsicles.
-Smoothies.
-Fruit. Summer fruit is full of water, exactly what we need in the warm weather.


Other tips

Do whatever cooking or baking you need to early in the day. If you are planning a pasta salad for dinner, cook the pasta in the morning, toss with some olive oil and refrigerate.
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As always- be prepared. Have a meal plan, have some survival meals in the pantry. Even some meals ready in the freezer.

There will be days that are too hot to even contemplate meal preparation. Order a pizza while to wallow in the pool and don’t feel bad about it. And invite me!



Gazpacho
28 oz can tomato juice. Be sure you get just juice, not V8.
1/4 tsp tobasco (optional)
1/2 tsp worchestire sauce
2-3 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
Combine all above in a bowl.

Chop finely, in a processor if you have one.
1 green pepper
2 stalks of celery
1 small cucumber
1/2 small onion
2 tomatoes

Add to tomato juice mixture.
Add some fresh basil. Also tasty with mint and grated fresh ginger.
Chill and enjoy!


Quinoa Salad
adapted from the good food book for families by Brenda Bradshaw and Cheryl Mutch
Quinoa must be rinsed before being cooked. It needs to be cooked 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of quinoa. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

1 cup of quinoa, cooked
Any combination of chopped veggies. Green onions, peppers, cucumber, grated carrot, celery, snap peas. Whatever you’ve got throw it in. Add some fresh herbs too if you have them.

Dressing:
juice of 1 lime
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp sesame oil, if you don’t have sesame, use olive oil or whatever you have
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp honey
salt and pepper

Whisk dressing together. Toss over quinoa and veggies.


Pasta Salad
This recipe came about because I miss read a recipe. I do that a lot. It’s from Anne Linsday’s Light Kitchen. I combined recipes on two pages. It worked out well and I make it this way all the time now.

1/2 lb pasta, best choices are penne, fusilli, scoobi-do. Cooked and drained. Rinse in cold water.
1/4 lb ham cubed
green onions, chopped
handful of pitted black olives
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
Any veggies or fresh herbs you are inspired to throw in

Dressing
1/4 cup balsamic or cider vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

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Comments

  1. Miranda says:

    We do as much grilling as possible during the summer. Corn, squash, zucchini, chicken, roasted potatoes, brownies! You name it, we grill it! It definitely helps to keep our gallery style (smallish) kitchen cooler!

  2. This looks yummy, I may try it out on Canada Day. We usually use the BBQ during the summer and we grill EVERYTHING :) Great post.

  3. I've only recently heard of Quinoa, and have no idea about it's taste, texture, etc.

  4. Funky Mama Bird says:

    I love quinoa. I'll have to try that!

  5. Yeah, I'm with Liz…what does it taste like? Texture?

    I am baking chicken right now for dinner later today…I love your tip about doing it in the morning while it's still cool :)

  6. Oh, yoghurt dip! Fantastic idea.

    And you know my husband would totally get V-8 for the gazpacho, don't you?

  7. Lindsay says:

    I had melon and something er other gazpacho the other day. It was yummy.

  8. Angela @ Nine More Months says:

    I love the dip about pre-cooking in the morning. I never thought of that. We do BBQ a lot, and sometimes I'll use the toaster oven instead of the big oven. It definitely makes a difference.

  9. Angela @ Nine More Months says:

    I meant, tip, not dip. But I love the tip about dip too! :)

  10. Betsy @ Zen Mama says:

    Just what I needed for a party on Wed. I'll make one today!

  11. Frozen grapes!! Best hot weather snack EVER.

    Yummy looking recipes. Definitely bookmarking this post!

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