Cooling Plant-Based Meals to Help You Beat the Heat 

Cooling Plant-Based Meals to Help You Beat the Heat 

Aug, 13, 2023

Cooling Plant-Based Meals to Help You Beat the Heat 

Last year while I stood in a scorching hot kitchen, cooking dinner and almost passing out, I told my husband I firmly believe only insane people cook meals at the stove during a heat wave. This year, I’m trying to save my sanity and focus on cooling meals that require minimal stove time. 

Here are my favorite plant-based, family-friendly, cooling meals:  

Antipasto salad—I know salads are well-known cooling foods, but I’d be remiss to leave them out. I love fun, hearty salads, and Italian food and antipasto plates are right up my alley. Here’s a festive play on antipasto as a salad!

Cooling Plant-Based Meals to Help You Beat the Heat 

 Antipasto Salad

·       4 oz cooked or canned white beans

·       14 oz can artichoke hearts in water, rinsed and drained

·       6 ounces black olive

·       1 cup celery, chopped

·       ½ cup canned rinsed roasted peppers

·       1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

·       1 red bell pepper, diced

·       1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced

2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

·       2 tablespoon capers

·       ½ cup  parsley, minced

·       ¼ – ½ cup basil, minced

·       1 cup Extra firm tofu, diced

Italian Dressing:

·       ⅓ cup olive oil

·       2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

·       1 tbsp lemon juice

·       1 minced garlic clove

·       1 tbsp shallot,  minced

·       ½ tbsp maple syrup

·       1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

·       ¼ tsp salt, more to taste

·       ½ tsp pepper

·       pinch chili flakes

Add the beans, tofu, artichoke hearts, olives, lettuce, celery, peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onions, capers, and fresh herbs in a large bowl. 

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Gently fold the dressing into the salad until combined. Add more salt or vinegar to taste.

Chill until serving time.

Gazpacho—On our first trip overseas to meet my family, James and I traveled for nine weeks through Europe. In Seville, Spain, we ate Gazpacho pretty much every night. It was a delicious, cooling treat after long, warm days of walking and sightseeing.

  • 4 lbs tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 cups water
  • Dash of black peppers
  • ½ tbsp sugar
  • Fresh parsley, minced

Blend and serve with sourdough bread or a baguette. 

I’m not a raw food person, but I love to eat lots of raw food when it makes sense. Raw food retains its enzymes due to not being heated above 105° F, and it’s perfect on a hot day. I love eating these zoodles with creamy avocado dressing in the middle of the summer. 

Raw Zoodles with Avocado Pesto Sauce

  • 1-2 zucchini, spiralized
  • ½ of a large, firm avocado
  • garlic clove
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste
  • fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves

Place everything in a food processor, and blend until creamy and combined. Scrape down the sides a couple of times. Toss with zoodles, sprinkle some toasted sunflower seeds and sprouts over for extra crunch, and enjoy with fresh tomatoes.

For yummy, no-bake summer treat check out my recipes here and my easy homemade popsicles here

Fredrika Syren

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