It’s been hot and I’ve been sick (with heat exhaustion, the wimpiest kind of sickness ever). Having no energy, I still wanted to make dinner for myself and [redacted]. So I warned that everything would be cold, because I wasn’t turning on the oven or stove. Everything I made went down so well that I thought I’d share the list.
Gazpacho: Blend 28 ounces of peeled tomatoes (seeds and juice included) with two cloves of garlic, two teaspoons olive oil, two teaspoons of red wine vinegar, and two tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice. Thin with water if necessary. Top with half an onion, half of a de-seeded red pepper, and a peeled, de-seeded cucumber – all finely chopped. Make at least three hours in advance, chilling in the fridge.
Watermelon and feta salad: Cut half a red onion into very thin half moon slices. Steep in the juice of three or four limes (or about four tablespoons of juice – limes vary wildly and maddeningly in juiciness). Cut a whole, small watermelon – or half of a large one – into medium-sized chunks. Combine onions, juice and melon with two tablespoons olive oil, then fold in a cup of pitted black olives and a quarter pound or so of feta, cubed, and a large bunch of fresh mint leaves, torn. Grind over black pepper to taste.
Cranberry coleslaw: Whisk half a cup of light canola mayonnaise with the juice of one lemon, two teaspoons sugar (I use Splenda), and one tablespoon water. Combine with a package of store bought coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrot). Fold in a handful of dried cranberries. Make at least a few hours in advance.
Chicken and mango salad: Mix one whole roasted chicken (I cheated and bought a rotisserie chicken), shredded, with one cubed mango, two tablespoons groundnut oil, one teaspoon toasted sesame oil, one finely chopped red chilli pepper, a large bunch of fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped, and salt. Toss with mixed greens or lettuce of your choice.
Salmon salad: Mix one large can of wild caught salmon (drained) with three tablespoons light canola mayonnaise, finely chopped onion, finely chopped red pepper, and a handful of capers (drained).
Berry meringue mash-up: Crumble baked meringues into a wide, deep bowl. Fold in freshly whipped cream, then washed, cold blueberries. That’s it.
It took me two hours to make all of these, so none on its own is very time-consuming. All are very easy and require no special skills. Laziness is not a problem here. I think we’ll be eating these a lot over the summer.