Cold Dishes for Those Hot Summer Days
Summer is my favorite season. You can find so many vegetables and fruits at the peak of freshness. Enjoy these light and refreshing recipes during those hot summer days!
Watermelon and Feta Salad with balsamic dressing
½ watermelon cubed
4 sprigs of mint leaves
¾ cup reduced fat feta cheese crumbles
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp of honey
1. In a large bowl combine the watermelon, feta and mint.
2. In a small saucepan add the balsamic vinegar and the honey. Warm on high while stirring until the mixture thickens. Take off the heat once thick and let cool.
3. Toss together the watermelon mix and the balsamic dressing to taste.
Jessica's Tips: Watermelon contains a compound called Lycopene which has been found to be helpful in reducing risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Lycopene can also be helpful in preventing macular diseases of the eye.
Tzatziki dip and veggies
2 cups Plain nonfat Greek Yogurt
4 sprigs of Fresh Dill
1 Tablespoon Finely chopped Garlic
Pinch of salt and pepper
crudités of your choice - carrots, broccoli, celery and cucumbers work well
1. Combine all ingredients and let sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours to develop flavor 2. Add salt and pepper to taste
3. Serve with a platter of veggies and enjoy!
Jessica's Tips: Greek nonfat yogurt is high in protein and very filling. It can keep you satisfied for many hours. In addition garlic has been found to help lower LDL (your bad cholesterol) and also can be helpful in relieving osteoarthritis symptoms.
Sunomono Salad (cucumber salad)
2 large Japanese cucumbers
1 cup shredded carrots
2/3 cup of rice vinegar
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp agave nectar
1. Using a mandolin, thinly slice cucumbers and place into a large bowl with the cup of shredded carrots
2. In a small bowl combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce and the agave nectar and mix well.
3. Mix the dressing with the cucumbers and carrots and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Mix the salad every hour to completely coat the veggies in the dressing.
Jessica's Tips: Cucumbers have a very high water content and are very hydrating on hot summer days. In addition they are high in vitamin C and antioxidants.
2 cups of fresh strawberries
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon of acai powder (optional)
2 cups of almond milk
1. Blend all ingredients together in the blender on high until smooth.
2. Pour into bowl and top with fresh berries
Jessica's tips: Blueberries and strawberries contain many antioxidants that help boost your immune system and may reduce the risk of cancer. Furthermore there is some evidence that berries can also improve cognition and reduce your risk of dementia.