The absurd heat we have been experiencing lately is a heat we have never experienced before. Heat waves have been a part of north American and European summers.
I remember late 70s while holidaying in Europe with my family there was a heat wave of almost 100F in the shade, at that time in my life the intense heat did not bother me.
But, for this type of heat to reach us here in the Caribbean seems a bit daunting, and to this we must begin to realise climate change is real.
How do we eat to cool our bodies? The main objective is to stay hydrated, remember water hydrates but also remember fruits and vegetables contain a large amount of water as well, why do you think watermelon is so refreshing? Cucumbers, salads, tomatoes, eggplant, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower are just some of the veggies that contain a fair amount of water. All fruits contain a fair amount of water as well.
If you have children at school, send them with a lighter lunch and some cucumber salad and of course some fruit, you may have to invest in a lunch kit that offers the "keep cold" option, or use a wide-mouthed flask for fruit salad or veggie salads.
Try pasta salad for lunch, avoid meats and processed foods, and mayonnaise-based products that may spoil in the intense heat. It is normal to have less of an appetite in hot weather, so eat smaller amounts more frequently.
Happy Republic Day tomorrow! If you are heading to the beach to cool down, please take care and stay cool!
Chickpea and Tomato Salad
2 14-oz tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 salad tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, chives chadon beni, basil, mint
For the dressing
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
4 tbs red wine vinegar
4 tbs lime juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 rounded tsp ground roasted geera or cumin
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the first three ingredients in a bowl.
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and process until well blended.
Add to chickpea toss to coat.
Serves 6 to 8
Grilled Shrimp, Corn and Black Bean Salad
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 cup olive oil
4 tbs chopped fresh cilantro or chadon beni
1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs ground geera or cumin
1 tsp good quality chile powder
3 cups chopped, seeded tomatoes
2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup chopped chives
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or chadon beni
3/4 cup chopped red onion or 1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup corn niblets
6 cups torn lettuce or watercress
11/2 lb fresh shrimp cleaned and deveined
Make the dressing by combining lime juice with olive oil, pepper, garlic, geera, chili powder and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Marinate shrimp in 1/4-cup dressing.
In a large salad bowl combine lettuce, black beans, corn, chives, onion, tomatoes, and cilantro.
Preheat grill or barbecue and grill shrimp for about 3 to 5 minutes until opaque and pink.
Toss salad with just enough dressing to coat adding more if desired,
On a large platter arrange lettuce mixture, place grilled shrimp on top.
1 lb penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup broccoli florets, lightly steamed
1 can corn niblets, rinsed and drained
1 bunch chives, thinly sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Dijon mustard, optional
1 tsp paprika
2 tbs red wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
Combine the penne with the vegetables. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the pasta. Toss adjust to suit and serve.