It's hot out there - really, really hot, which negatively impacts my overall appetite causing me to skip full meals in favor of seemingly bottomless bowls of ice cream. But tempting as it may be, man cannot live on ice cream alone. So what do you eat when you don't feel like eating? Here are a few ideas to help you stay cool and nourished when it's just too hot to eat.
Chilled Soups - Corn chowder is one of my favorites and is equally delicious warm or cold! Gazpacho is always an excellent choice on a steamy day. I like to add shrimp or lump crab for protein to traditional tomato gazpacho. Try other variations such as cucumber lime or peach gazpacho when stone fruits are in season.
Tapas - Instead of eating a big meal enjoy a few simple small plates such as marinated olives, cheese, shrimp with garlic, olive oil and crushed red pepper, grilled asparagus with aioli, chorizo, grilled baguette with tomato jam, and a nice glass of rose. Choose a few (e.g. 1 protein, 1 veggie, 1 carb) or have a couple of bites of each. Set out a spread or enjoy each item slowly, coursing it out over time in traditional tapas-style. It's a great way to unwind.
Grain Bowl - I make these at home with any combination of leftover cooked grains, rice, lentils, beans, veggies (raw or cooked) and lean proteins that I have on hand. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette. Top with whatever floats your boat - nuts, cucumber, avocado, sprouts, micro greens. Some of my favorites: Asian: steak, wild rice, veggies, sprouts, scallions, micro mizuna, chopped peanuts and Asian vinaigrette. Nicoise: poached salmon, quinoa, olives, hard boiled eggs, green beans, grape tomatoes, micro watercress and Dijon vinaigrette. Mediterranean: chicken, roasted peppers, spinach, artichoke, onions and white beans, tossed with red wine vinaigrette. Use your imagination!
Protein Plate - This is a great option for anytime of day. Create a plate or a board with hard boiled egg, grapes, cheese, nuts. For breakfast I may add a mini croissant or muffin and for lunch or dinner a lean protein like tuna or mackerel packed with extra virgin olive oil and something fun like a piece of dark chocolate. ;)