Several cool dishes for incredibly HOT weather. I heard a statistic last week, that on Monday, I think it was, Duluth's temperature exceeded the temperature in Bangkok Thailand. Our temps combined with the humidity exceeded that of a rain forest!
Yeah. It was a little warm for us Northerner's. And I still refuse to put in an airconditioning unit for weather that is only going to last a week or two at the most. As long I can sleep at night with a fan, I'm dandy.
In the meantime, dishes that don't heat up the kitchen are a must:
Orecchiette with Peas, Shrimp, and Buttermilk-Herb Dressing (Ckng Lght, June 2011)
This is a minimal fuss, minimal dishes type of pasta salad. Toss the pasta in the water, cook. Make dressing, slice radishes. Toss in peas and shrimp near end of pasta cooking time. Drain, rinse, cool. Add to dressing. That's it. Seriously. This could easily be made ahead of time if for a function, but don't expect the flavors to develop much. I found this on the slightly bland side and I'm not quite sure what should be added to perk it up for my tastebuds. It made 6 lunches for us.
This herb-y pasta salad is perfect for a picnic or potluck gathering; double the recipe to serve a crowd. Medium shell-shaped pasta will also work in place of orecchiette.
8 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta
1 cup shelled green peas (about 1 pound unshelled green peas) or frozen green peas
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add peas and shrimp during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.
2. Combine pasta mixture and radishes in a large bowl. Combine mayonnaise and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Pour over pasta mixture, tossing to coat. Cover and let stand 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature, or cover and chill until ready to serve.
Ivy Manning, Cooking Light
Black Bean-Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette (Ckng Lght, July 2000)
When I did a search on the Ckng Lght bulletin board for some salad ideas, this one popped up. I didn't realize till I went to make it that I had already done so. It was pre-blog world so I decided it was easy enough to post. I grilled two chicken breasts rather than buy a rotisserie chicken and I think that was about my only modification. The dressing is a tich on the spicy side, so if you prefer less zing reduce or omit the chili powder. Or, substitute ancho or chipolte powder instead. Oh, and I subbed spinach for the lettuce.
With chicken, cheddar cheese, and black beans, this Southwestern-influenced salad needs nothing on the side except some iced tea. Fresh lime gives it a citrusy counterpunch.
1/4 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled
8 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
1 1/2 cups chopped ready-to-eat roasted skinned, boned chicken breast (about 2 breasts)
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups fat-free baked tortilla chips (about 4 ounces)
1. To prepare vinaigrette, combine first 11 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.
2. To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients except chips in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette; toss well to coat. Serve with chips.
Yield: 4 servings
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