Holy cannoli, it is H.O.T. outside. If you’re looking for ways to beat the heat and still plate up some yummy dishes, you’ve come to the right place. No burners will be lit and no ovens turned on to prepare the following suggestions. And, no, I’m not just surviving on salads alone.
Holy cannoli, it is H.O.T. outside. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do on a hot day is slave away in the kitchen, with my oven up to 400 and water boiling on the stove.
Don’t get me wrong, I still want to cook, and we’ve got to still eat well, but even my appetite seems to be affected by the hot temperatures. Am I alone here?
The only way I can think to describe it is that I am craving “cooler” foods. So, my cooking changes when it’s this hot outside. For example, I use recipes that involve a lot less prep. Even if my oven isn’t turned on, I still don’t want to be working too hard at making meals.
Also, my cravings aren’t for chicken-n-dumplins, y’all. I’m looking for things to satisfy my hot weather cravings: salads, fruits, smoothies, and the like do it for me.
If you’re looking for ways to beat the heat, and still plate up some yummy dishes, you’ve come to the right place. No burners will be lit and no ovens turned on to prepare the following suggestions. And, no, I’m not just surviving on salads alone.
I love good chips and salsa, and making fresh salsa is so simple and much more satisfying than popping a jar open. This past week, I hit up the farmers’ market for all of my ingredients, ensuring the freshest salsa to be had. My aunt Ellen gave me this recipe and I love to prepare it for friends with a nice cold beer or margarita to go with it.
If you’re from Richmond, you may have heard my next recipe referred to as “Pate of the South.” That’s Pimento Cheese, and if you’ve never made it yourself, you’re missing out on a real treat. Whip up some pimento cheese, serve it on sandwiches, or with crackers and grapes as an appetizer. Delicious, simple, and impressive!
Since I’ve brought up the idea of a sandwich, who doesn’t love a good turkey sandwich? I’ve got a recipe to share that you’ll love – It’s Not Your Everyday Turkey Sandwich. This one is substantial enough that it would even be enough for dinner.
A good salad can be enough for a meal on a hot summer night. I love making salads that are seasonal and paired with fresh fruits. Try this Spinach and Nectarine Salad sometime soon. You can add some rotisserie chicken on top if you’d like some protein. With a fresh baguette, you’ve got dinner!
Craving another protein-rich salad option? Check out my recipe for Three Bean Tuna Salad. You’ll only need a can-opener for this meal.
Now, I love soup in the winter, but I’ve recently been turned on to cold soups. A chilled soup is a great appetizer or lunch. Grab a cantaloupe the next time you’re at the market and try this soup.
Do you ever just want to veg on popsicles and ice cream due to the heat? Try a good, healthy smoothie to quench your thirst for the cold and sweet. For the health conscious, or perhaps a breakfast-to-go, you’ve gotta try this Berry Smoothie. So easy, and so healthy, it will even leave you full till your next meal!
If you’d like some major unwinding to accompany your smoothie treat, there are even some nice spiked options. Yes, you can be Healthy and Hammered, all thanks to a smoothie!
This heat calls for foods like these. So, turn down the heat, and turn up the flavor!
Aunt Ellen’s Salsa
- 1 large clove garlic, boiled
- 2-6 jalapenos, seeds removed
- 4 small tomatillos, (about 1/2 cup)
- 6 plum tomatoes, diced (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 medium red onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 green pepper, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 T chopped fresh parsley
- 2 T (or more) chopped fresh cilantro
- Juice of one lime
- 1/2 tsp. salt
In a food processor, combine garlic and jalapenos. Add tomatillos and chop again. Remove the mixture and combine it with the rest of the ingredients. The salsa can be served immediately but the flavors bend nicely if chilled. Feel free to adjust the quantities to suit your taste. (NOTE: wear gloves when handling the jalapenos!)
Pate of the South
- 1 lb. white sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 (7oz) can diced pimentos, drained
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 c. mayonnaise
- 3 oz cream cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Grate cheese. Bring grated cheese and cream cheese to room temperature. Place cream cheese and mayo in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Add cayenne, salt and pepper, and stir to blend. Add grated cheese, stir to blend. Gently fold in pimentos. Refrigerate to blend flavors.
Not Your Everyday Turkey Sandwich
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs tarragon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 (4-pound) turkey breast
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 slices good bread
- 1/2 pound fontina cheese, sliced thinly
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 slices bacon (try the already cooked kind!)
- Pepper lettuce (watercress)
To assemble the sandwich, spread a thin layer of the butter on 1 piece of the bread. Place 1 slice of the cheese and several slices of the turkey breast on unbuttered side of the bread. Peel and slice the avocado, toss with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add avocado slices, crispy bacon slices, lettuce and another slice of fontina cheese, and sprigs of herbs to the top of that. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Slather the remaining piece of bread with the butter and place on unbuttered side out, on top of the bacon. If desired, toast or heat the sandwich. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.
Spinach and Nectarine Salad
- 2 T orange marmalade
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 T white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 c slivered almonds
- 1 pkg (7 oz) baby spinach
- 2 ripe nectarines, pitted and cut into wedges
In a microwave-safe small bowl, combine marmalade and shallot. Cover with vented plastic wrap and cook in microwave on high, one minute. Stir in vinegar, oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. To serve, toss spinach, almonds, nectarines, and marmalade mixture until combined. Serves two.
Three Bean Tuna Salad
- 1 lemon
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 cans (15 to 19 oz. each) assorted beans, such as white kidney beans (cannelline), garbanzo beans, and pink beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cans (6 oz each) chunk white tuna in water, drained and coarsely flaked
- 4 large Boston lettuce leaves
From lemon, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice. In large bowl, stir together lemon peel and juice, oil, celery, green onions, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper. Stir in beans until coated, then gently stir in tuna. Serve bean mixture in lettuce cups.
- 1 large, or 2 small, cantaloupe (to yield 3 tightly-packed cups sliced cantaloupe)
- 3 lemons, juiced
- 1 cup sparkling cider (nonalcoholic)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons granulated sugar (optional)
- 1/4 cup cold water (optional)
- 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Place the cantaloupes on a flat surface and split them in half. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh in small increments. The goal is to tightly pack 3 cups of cantaloupe flesh.
Place the cantaloupe in the blender and add the lemon juice and cider. Puree until smooth and taste for seasoning. Add the sugar, if needed. Use the water if more liquid is needed. Pour the soup into a medium bowl. Make an ice bath to chill the soup by combining some ice cubes and cold water in the bottom of a larger bowl. Put the soup in the ice bath and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Season the cucumber lightly with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, pour the soup into the chilled bowls and add some of the cucumber to each.
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 1.5 cups orange juice
- 1.5 cup skim milk
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 cup frozen peaches
Put all ingredients in to blender, and puree’ until smooth.
Healthy and Hammered
- 1 banana
- 8 strawberries
- 2 kiwi fruit
- 1 handful blueberries
- Vodka (as much as you like, just use good quality vodka)
- 400ml Orange juice
- 6-8 ice cubes
Peel and prepare all the fruit, cut into small pieces so that they blend easily. Add the orange juice and banana to start, blend for about 10 seconds. keep adding more fruit in handfuls blending for about 10 seconds then repeating. Finally add the ice and blend for another 30 seconds. Serve straight away.
Kelly Blanchard loves thinking about, preparing, consuming, and serving good food. Believing that life is to short to eat the same stuff over and over, she loves to test new eats on her friends and family. Kelly loves her coffee-addicted hubbie, her two little blonde-haired babes, all things sweet, black tshirts, and the color pink.