Its summer. Its hot. You don't have air conditioning. You don't really feel like eating. You definitely don't feel like cooking. And even the thought of your house being even one degree warmer than it already is makes you sweat.
Does this sound like you? It is me 100%! I like summer.... but I strongly dislike the heat unless I am sitting on a beach. So I do everything in my power to keep my house cool. This involves finding creative ways to cook without turning on the stove or oven. Because I know how important it is to fuel our bodies even when it is hot and we don't feel like eating, the BBQ and cold meals are my summer besties!
Mainly the Summer Salad! I don't mean a plate of lettuce sprinkled with a few cherry tomatoes. I mean, make the salad the meal! Here is my process to creating a delicious and nutritious summer meal salad.
The key players:
Fresh Veggies and Fruit
First decide on the base. I personally like a mixture of baby spinach and leaf lettuce. But anything leafy and green will do. Try arugula, kale, romaine, beet greens, etc.
Mix up a simple vinaigrette, honestly so easy! Start with olive
oil, this is a good source of healthy fat! Mix it with a vinegar (like balsamic, or Apple Cider), something sweet, and spices. Or if you must use a store bought olive oil vinaigrette, and toss the greens in it.
Next pile on the fresh veggies. This is where all of those important vitamins and minerals are! Peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, radishes, cabbage, snap peas, grated carrot, celery, cauliflower, broccoli.... or roasted beets if you are really going for flavor!
Now for the fruit. The natural sugar is just what you need to keep you going when it is so hot out. Some people say that fruit does not belong on salad. But I truly believe that if you are going for a refreshing summer salad fruit is a MUST! It gives so much flavor! My favorites are blueberries, peaches, and strawberries.
Protein comes next, it has important nutrients for muscle growth and repair. You need this to function properly! Grilled protein is best in the heat! Balsamic chicken and steak never disappoint!
Top it off with something tasty! Do not skip this step! It is what makes the salad satisfying! Feta cheese, pecans, almonds, sesame seeds, or anything with lots of crunch or flavor.
Now its time to grab a cold drink, find some shade, and sit down to enjoy this delicious and nutritious meal!