SUMMER COOKING: Cool Foods When It’s Hot Outside

Crisp salads, creamy ice cream, cold soup, and garden sweet tomatoes. We’ve got some recipes that will help cool you off! Ice cream for dinner is perfectly acceptable, right?

Mexican Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Lime Dressing


Juice of 2 limes (around 1⁄3 cup), plus the finely grated zest of one of them
2 tsp. kosher salt, divided use
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
1⁄4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. sugar
1 head of iceberg or romaine lettuce, chopped
1 can corn, drained (or use fresh corn from 3 cobs)
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 avocado, sliced
12 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1⁄2 a bag of tortilla chips, crushed

Chicken Marinade: whisk together the lime juice and zest, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the garlic, and the cilantro. Pour half of this lime mixture into a dish large enough to hold the chicken, then whisk in the olive oil and the other teaspoon of salt. Add the chicken; turn to coat it with the marinade, cover it, and refrigerate it for up to 4 hours and for as little as 20 minutes.

Dressing: Now, take the remaining half of the lime mixture and whisk in the mayo, buttermilk, and sugar. Taste it–add salt, sugar, or lime as needed–then cover and refrigerate. If you want a smoother texture, you can blend it.

Cook the chicken: either grill or sauté until done. Cool and slice.

Assemble salad (use a large mixing bowl): add lettuce, corn, beans, red bell pepper, tomatoes, chicken, tortilla chips, and dressing. Toss to coat, add sliced avocadoes on top.

You can also add more lime juice and cilantro if desired.

Caprese Salad

(Pronounced kuh.pray.zay)


16 oz. fresh mozzarella,
cut into 1⁄3-inch slices
5 medium tomatoes, cut
into 1⁄3-inch slices
3⁄4 cup fresh basil
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Balsamic Reduction Glaze
1⁄2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey

The balsamic reduction glaze doesn’t follow the traditional Italian recipe, but it adds a wonderful bit of tangy sweetness. To make it, get a small saucepan and add the balsamic vinegar and the honey. Bring it to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer for 10-13 minutes. It should reduce to about 1⁄8 cup or 3 Tbsp. Keep in mind, it will continue to thicken after you remove it from the heat. Layer the tomatoes and cheese on a rimmed dish. Pick and wash about 1⁄4 cup of basil leaves and disperse across the top. Drizzle the olive oil and then the balsamic reduction glaze over the dish. Serve immediately!

Strawberry & Banana Ice Cream


4 large bananas, frozen
3 cups strawberries, frozen
1⁄2 cup milk (if your blender has a hard time mixing the frozen bananas and strawberries, add milk slowly so the blades can work properly)
2 Tbsp honey (optional, if strawberries are not very sweet)

Looking for a healthy frozen treat to eat? Mix frozen bananas, strawberries, and honey in a blender until the consistency is smooth and enjoy!

Cold Cucumber Soup


2 large European cucumbers (2 1⁄4 pounds), halved and seeded — 1⁄2 cup finely diced, the rest coarsely chopped
1 1⁄2 cups plain Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 small shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove
1⁄3 cup loosely packed dill
1⁄4 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 Tbsp. loosely packed tarragon leaves
1⁄4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
fresh ground white pepper
1⁄2 red onion, finely chopped

In a blender, combine the chopped cucumber with the yogurt, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, dill, parsley, tarragon, and the 1⁄4 cup of olive oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper, cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Season the soup again just before serving. Pour the soup into bowls. Garnish with the finely diced cucumber and red onion. Add a drizzle of olive oil and serve.

PAIR THIS with avocado toast or a grilled cheese sandwich for a perfect summer lunch or dinner.


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