Temperatures are on the rise, the air is thick with humidity, and the heat index is soaring. It’s summertime in Alabama, and we’re all seeking ways to stay cool. Besides staying inside our air-conditioned homes, sitting under ceiling fans, and sipping on cold beverages, what can we do to stay cool? Try the recipes below that promise to help you chill.
Avocado and Lump Crab Salad (above) calls for fresh avocados that are plentiful this time of year. For a light but satisfying meal, try this light but filling salad. Lime juice, cilantro, and tomato add freshness to this easy-to-prepare dish.
Rainbow Chicken Salad with Almond Honey Mustard Dressing (below) is a colorful–as its name implies–and delightful meal. Filled with fresh red grapes, juicy blueberries, and bite-sized pieces of golden brown chicken, this salad offers a cool alternative to a hot dinner. The honey mustard dressing features just a bit of almond butter that adds a creamy texture.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating at Birmingham’s Hot and Hot Fish Club, you’ve probably eaten their famous Stacked Tomato Salad (above). Using thickly sliced tomatoes in various colors, this stacked salad from Chef Chris Hastings can truly be the star of the table. Add fresh corn kernels, strips of crispy bacon, cooked field peas, crispy fried okra, and a fresh chive dressing. Of course, you can customize the recipe to suit your taste.
Nothing says summer more than a cool refreshing glass of lemonade. Notch it up a bit by serving Homemade Cloudy Lemon and Limeade (below). Using the zest and the juice from six lemons and two limes, this homemade concoction is sure to please both adults and kids.
For a fast, flavorful, and fresh meal on a hot summer evening, try these Chicken Lettuce Wraps (above). With ground chicken (or turkey or pork), minced mushrooms, water chestnuts, soy sauce and spices, this recipe makes a tasty dish similar to the chicken wraps at PF Changs.The chicken mixture can be served on butter lettuce, romaine, or iceberg, and it can be served with a tangy dipping sauce to complete the meal.
On nights when it’s too hot to cook, try making Vegan Black Bean Tostadas with Mango Salsa (below). Refried black beans, crispy tostada shells and a lime-cilantro slaw combine with the mango salsa to create a tasty spin on taco night. You can use store-bought mango salsa (or substitute another salsa to suit your taste) and you can pile on additional items like guacamole and cotija cheese.
Make kids of all ages happy with three-ingredient Peanut Butter and Banana Popsicles (above). These delicious treats feature frozen bananas, peanut butter, and dark chocolate chips. You will need a popsicle mold, a food processor, and you’ll need to plan ahead since the bananas need to stay in the freezer for at least two hours. But the end result, adorned with colorful sprinkles, is sure to please the whole family.
The summer heat is here to stay, and we hope that you will try some of these recipes to make your summer easier and cooler.
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