Edwards-Haines: Dressed up salad is the ideal hot summer meal

Forget those basic rabbit food salads and make yours with gusto.

  • Aug. 7, 2014 6:00 a.m.

It’s summertime, and the living is easy.

Well, actually the living has been kind of hot, hot, hot here in Kelowna the past little while, but that’s another reason to try and keep things as easy as possible.

One place we don’t need more heat is in the kitchen.

If you’re like me, a steamy stove is the last appliance you want to operate in hot weather.

So, over-heated reader, step away from the stove and let me share a few ideas for easy summer eating.

First, salad is your friend. In fact, it’s your best friend in the summer.

But forget those basic rabbit food salads and make yours with gusto.

Make it robust. Make it a meal unto itself.

Start by chopping a package of herbed extra-firm tofu into small cubes, then marinate them in a little bit of your favourite salad dressing.

Add a variety of lettuces, like the ubiquitous iceberg lettuce for a little crunch, dark leafy romaine for a nice dollop of antioxidants, and add a few leaves of arugula for its slightly peppery taste.

Next, feel free to go wild with cherry tomatoes, diced cucumbers, vibrantly coloured bell peppers, slivered red cabbage, and sliced red onions.

To make this a substantial meal, add a can of any beans you like (chick peas or kidney beans are always great choices) and an ear of fresh, raw corn niblets. That’s right, I said raw corn.

If you haven’t tried raw corn niblets freshly shaved off the cob, promise me you’ll do so at your earliest opportunity.  They’re delicious.

Lastly, flavour your gorgeous salad lightly with your favourite dressing. Oh, and don’t forget to add some good, crusty, whole-grain bread.

Mash an avocado and spread it lavishly on the bread.

This meal is totally yum, not to mention outrageously good for you.

I’m talking fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and other big health words.

And as a bonus there is no working over a hot, steamy stove.

Need a nice, tall, cold one? Try not to make it alcoholic. Rather, what your body craves in heated weather is pure water.

In our current super-heated Okanagan weather, your body needs even more water than usual.

Aim to drink enough pure water (not juice, not soft drinks, not milk) to keep your urine pale.

That’s likely going to mean around six to 10 cups of water, depending on your weight, height, and activity level.

Yum up your water by adding chunks of refreshing lemon, lime, orange, fresh ginger, and fragrant fresh mint.

Summer is also the perfect time to up your intake of all kinds of succulent, juice-running-down-your-face fruits.

And, what better place than the Okanagan to hand-pick your own fruit at the numerous orchards that dot the Kelowna landscape?

Now, that’s good summer fun.

Eating light makes summer living nice and easy.  And, it will keep you nice and light, too, weight-wise.

Cheers to a great summer and your continued good health.

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