Friday, June 10, 2016

what to eat when it's too hot to cook ~ three healthy recipes

 It's not officially summer yet, but the temperature is saying otherwise: in the 90's and humid today and tomorrow. I don't know about you, but when the weather is this hot, I certainly don't feel like eating hot, heavy food. Light and healthy is the way to go. 

A smoothie always hits the spot for breakfast or a snack. One thing I love about smoothies is that they're so versatile. You don't have spinach; use kale. Out of strawberries; use raspberries or blueberries. Need some protein in your smoothie? Add a tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter. Here's my basic recipe.

In a blender, add the following in this order:

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1-1/2 cups cold water
1 cup organic frozen fruit (I used a triple berry mix)
1/2 - 1 banana (depending on how thick you like your smoothie)
1 handful organic baby spinach (or kale)
1/2 tablespoon each flaxmeal and hemp seed (you can also add chia seeds)
1 tablespoon organic unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Give it a whirl...

Stick a straw in your drink, sit outside in the shade, and enjoy.

Rice bowls are popular these days and I can see why. They're adaptable, easy to make, healthy, and visually appealing. I made this taco bowl the other night and hubby went back for thirds. ;-) OK, maybe I should call this a taco plate because I didn't have a big enough bowl! Starting from the left: romaine, radishes, black olives, scallions, fresh cilantro, halved cherry tomatoes, cooked organic, grass-fed beef with taco seasoning, cooked brown rice. The "sauce" you see on top of the romaine is guacamole (make your own or buy prepared) mixed with a little plain Greek yogurt. So, how do you eat this? Anyway you want! You can be messy and mix it all together, or you can dip your fork into the creamy sauce, then into the veggies and beef and work your way around the plate in random order. There's no correct way to eat a rice bowl! This is a great way to get a lot of veggies into your diet, too. Meat should be the accompaniment, with the veggies being the star of the show. For a vegetarian option - or a no-cook option - substitute black beans for the ground beef.

I'm not a dessert eater and I also don't eat processed sugar anymore, but sometimes in the hot weather I crave ice cream. So, I make my own "nice cream" in the blender! This chocolate recipe definitely hits the spot.

One avocado
A few chunks frozen banana (slice ahead of time and keep in freezer)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (according to your taste)
Enough unsweetened almond milk to blend smooth (according to your blender)

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Eat as is, or top with fresh berries or chopped nuts. A friend of mine asked the other day if this tastes like avocado and I told her no - you would never even know this has avocado in it. All the avocado does is make the mixture smooth and creamy.

Here's to your health ~ enjoy the weekend!

Sharing with Art and Sand: Share Your Cup #201 and Rattlebridge Farm: Foodie Friday.


  1. I would love a sip of that smoothie. I am loving rice bowls right now, just throw some leftovers on top of rice add some diced tomatoes and guacamole and your are all set.

  2. So pretty, and healthy too! No wonder you have the energy to do all you do. The taco bowl makes me hungry!

  3. These are all great ideas. The Rice Bowl is such a pretty and colorful choice. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Everything looks wonderful Mel! I'm in the process of looking up some low carb smoothies. My son Kevin has lost 37 pounds in the past 4 months on a low carb regimen. He's inspired me and I'm always looking for ways to help him, too. He was never really overweight-just 'stocky' so he's down to a healthy 185.

    The 'bowls' were very prevalent in Vancouver and inspired me to make some of the recipes I've shared since. Just a few nice handfuls of ingredients that compliment each other separately or mixed together. I really love that when Alan and I eat them we can cut way back or eliminate the meat's all good.

    Enjoy our great temps this weekend (Ha!).


  5. What great ideas! I love summer season cooking and we are fans of big salads, especially chopped salads. I usually roast chicken to go in them but do it early in the day before the kitchen gets too warm.

  6. That taco bowl looks like something we would love. Another great idea for all those good summer veggies.

  7. Right now we would love for it to be too hot to cook!

  8. These are all great recipes, Melanie. Thank you for sharing. We try to eat cool in the summer too, it's always in my mind when I'm shopping and meal-planning in the hot weather. I will definitely keep these recipes in mind.

  9. We are eating a lot of salad right now, it is my go to too hot to cook meal!

  10. Summertime is definitely the season to eat lightly. Your recipes and dishes always look so yummy and appetizing, Melanie.
    Mary Alice

  11. Well, I know one thing, it is most certainly too hot to cook here! This is how it always is, we go from Spring to firecracker hot in a breath of a second and it is painful!
    I like all of the recipes that you have shared today and this salad looks awesome!
    Thanks for sharing some of your recipes, Melanie!

  12. Your salad looks so yummy . . . I need a trick to make my husband enjoy salads more. He's a meat and potato man and with his diabetics potatoes are a no, no. It's a battle.

  13. I don't like eating heavy when it's hot outside either. Lots of salads and bbq's for me in the summer. Smoothies certainly hit the spot as well! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  14. It has been ungodly hot! I hate hot weather and haven't been able to get all my flowers planted. the next three days cool off and I'll be hard at work in the garden. I love rice bowls and make mine like chipotle style. I think I'll make it for dinner tonight...stay cool!


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