Don't bother cooking in the summer! Turn to one of these fresh salad recipes instead.
On a hot summer day, preparing a nutritious and tasty meal without heating up the kitchen—and sometimes the whole house—can be a challenge. When the temperature outside spikes, our bodies can actually get hotter depending on the food we eat, so incorporating cooling foods can help our metabolism and our digestion.
The solution is to create a salad. It must contain some protein to be filling and provide energy to take you to the next meal. But not all proteins are created equal. Meat, for example, requires more energy to digest than legumes or other protein, so summer is an ideal time to turn to alternate sources, either familiar or new:
- legumes—beans, chickpeas, and edamame
- dairy products—yogurt and cheeses
- seeds—chia, hemp, sesame, sunflower, and poppy
- nuts—walnuts, pecans, cashews, and pistachios
- leafy greens
Use recipes as a guideline and vary them according to your own preferences; to what is available in your refrigerator, pantry, and at the market; and finally, to the food that makes you happy!
And, since we eat with our eyes first, it is important for a salad to be nice to look at—with a variety of shapes, textures, and colours. For a different presentation, use a glass bowl, such as those used to serve trifle, and layer all ingredients, serving the dressing on the side.
- Mock “Spaghetti” Salad
- Cucumber and Watermelon Salad with Feta Cheese
- The “Relatives” Salad
- Green Lentil Salad
- Cool Rice and Beans Salad
- Quinoa Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing
Salad to go!
Carrying your salad is as easy as finding a glass jar, such as Mason jars used for preserving, and filling it with your creation.
- First pour in the dressing.
- Add ingredients, starting with the heaviest and finishing with the lightest.
- Take another jar, fill it three-quarters full with water, and freeze. Pack with your salad to keep it fresh; you’ll have cold water to drink with your salad.
- When ready to eat, pour the salad out of the jar onto a plate or bowl, stir to combine all ingredients, and enjoy!
What are cooling foods?
Cooling foods earn their distinction because of the way they make us feel, not the way they are prepared. According to traditional Chinese medicine, some foods are considered cooling because they balance the heat in our bodies. Foods with a high water content, such as cucumbers and melons, are good examples of cooling foods.