School is out and we are officially in summer. Actually it’s been out for a couple of weeks already, but it’s only just now sunk into my mind. This is the time of year to shed the extra pounds that were put on over winter. There’s no need to diet, really. By eating more fresh vegetable salads, fresh fruit and less bread, and getting out to walk, bike, or swim more often, the extra pounds fall off. The summer heat helps, too, because the body enjoys fresh foods and drinks even more.
Today in Tempe, Arizona, it’s 109°, about 48° C. Living in the desert I’ve learned to plan the day. Wake up early, ideally about 6:30 – 7:30, but in practice more like 7-8, and take a walk early because later on it will be far too hot. I also do my shopping early in the morning, or late evening around 8:00 p.m.—after the sun has gone down and it’s cooler outside.
Living in a hell hole desert you appreciate light cold soups like tomato gazpacho, vichyssoise, and avocado gazpacho; and salads with a mix of veggies and protein, like: Lipsmacking Orange Salad, Arugula, Shrimp and Watermelon, and Roasted Bell Pepper with Tuna and Orzo. Who in their right mind would want to turn on the oven? It’s time to enjoy fresh cold foods straight out of the fridge.
Andalucia, an area in southern Spain, is a region of the country where the weather can be similar to Arizona. The Andalucians have been fighting the heat for centuries and they serve up a number of cold dishes, like: salmorejo (like gazpacho but thicker), ajo blanco (garlic almond soup), ensaladilla rusa (Russian Salad), tortilla de patata (potato omelet), and boquerones en escabeche (brined anchovies).
Is it hot where you live? Maybe you should link to one of the refreshing foods above, or try my rainbow chopped salad below. It’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and delicious!
- 4 cups lettuce, washed and shredded
- 1-1/2 cups black beans, drained
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1-1/2 cups corn
- 1-1/2 cups tomato, chopped
- 2 avocados, peeled seeded and chopped
- 1-1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion, sliced
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/3 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon siracha
- Place the lettuce on a large serving platter.
- Put the chopped salad vegetables on top of the bed of salad in vertical lines.
- Top with the sliced red onions.
- Pour the salad dressing over the entire area of the salad.
Weight Watcher Points Plus: 5 points per serving