Drink Your Dinner Tonight
Ah, the weather. The way it shapes our lives, changes our mood, affects the way we think, sleep and eat.
This week in weatherland has been a real hootenanny, hasn't it? Even in the short time I've been back on DC soil, the uber-meltdown has a heat-lover like myself running for shade.
Under such extreme conditions, what does one eat? Do you cook? Do you even want to eat? Consider uncooked items for the dinner table -- no, that's doesn't mean a bowl of cereal.
Consider another kind of bowl -- gazpacho. The Andalusian cold soup is like having a whirl of air conditioning down the hatch. There's something so lovely and cooling about a cold tomato puree. Let it linger in the throat and feel the internal temperature come down a few degrees.
In addition to its cooling factors, gazpacho offers wiggle room in the recipe department. You'll need those newly arrived tomatoes, a cuke, a sweet or mild onion, some garlic (a summer produce dream!).
The rest is up to you. I like mine loaded with herbs -- parsley and basil (After all, it's one of the few things in the garden loving the heat) -- and a spritz of lemon and/or sherry vinegar, which lifts the flavors a bit. I usually throw in half a jalapeno for some heat and if I've got a little bit of crusty bread laying around, I might toss that in. But that's the beauty of this baby - it can be your very own improv meal.
Best well chilled, gazpacho keeps in a covered container for up to five days. Keep a bunch throughout the week for workday lunches or a midday quencher.
Gazpacho gets high marks in the nutrient department too. Loaded with anti-oxidant lyocopene in those tomatoes, gazpacho also boasts Vitamin C, fiber, antivirals from the onion and garlic, and best of all, it's low-cal and cholesterol free.
That grill is sounding a bit toasty now, isn't it? Share your favorite ways to cool off in heat-lacious weather -- in comments area below!
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