(This piece was meant for the Food Goddess blog but I ended up publishing at the Temple of Doom. I claim heatwave insanity!)
We’ve had two heatwaves already and, technically, summer just started last night! Without entering the whole global warming debate, if your kitchen reaches three-digit temperatures, you may not be in the mood to cook.
You still have to eat! You can't just sit facing a fan drinking a beer.
Our little George Foreman grill gets a lot of work in the summer because most meals can be done in less than 10 minutes. But some nights even that is too much. In a heatwave, you'll not want to be near hot appliances or food. But again, you have to eat!
To survive the heat, the perfect solution is to find ways to prepare food without cooking and, for this the avocado is perfect. One of the most delicious solutions is to buy a variety of avocados and get them at different levels of ripeness (you can put them in the fridge to slow down ripening). I’ve kept avocados in the fridge for about a week.
The next time you have a heatwave barreling towards you, buy a few avocados and keep one or more of these recipes in your repertoire to beat the heat. Make sure you purchase staples for several cold dinner ideas that will keep you refreshed and satisfied. Of course, shop for produce that can last you for a few days to survive your incursion into hellish dimensions. Most veggies keep well in the fridge.
Trendy tapa aside, this is beyond hipster bar appetizer. The bread and avocado will fill you up and there is no need to be boring about toppings. A cold beer, or a sparkling wine will round it up, and easily forget the misery of living through another heatwave.
Tuna salad tastes amazing stuffed in an avocado half (it honestly does!). Ceviche is perfect. If the idea of letting fish cook in ceviche makes you nervous, keep frozen cooked shrimp which you can thaw in the fridge (I marinade them as they tend to be pretty bland). Black beans and garbanzos lend themselves to this dish as well.
Avocado Cold Soup
Chilled soups are a great way to cool off and generally can be made ahead, requiring little to no cooking. Much like gazpacho, you can keep toppings to augment the dish (tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, grated carrots).
Zoodles with Avocado Pesto
Everything's better in pesto and avocado pesto is creamy and just dreamy--smooth and velvety. Spiralized veggies means that cooking can be done in a matter of minutes (or even by microwave and in seconds). Spiralizing veggies is a great way to rethink recipes, you need not limit yourself to zucchini.
Breakfast for Dinner?
I don't know that a smoothie is all you'll need to keep you satisfied, but if you are not in the mood to eat, this is a good way to fill up. You can add spinach for added nutrients and a greener smoothie.
Summer salads are great on their own, as a side to rotisserie chicken, or even inside pita pockets.
Some days you just don't even want dinner and an extra scoop of ice cream is all you want. I don't recommend you do this often, but you're an adult. If you want ice cream for dinner, then have ice cream for dinner. If the weather outside is 122-degrees Fahrenheit, you should be able to have whatever the hell you want because this most be the end times!
Of course, you cannot live on avocado alone, but having a few recipes in your repertoire -- especially no-cook ideas for days too hot too cook -- can be live savers.