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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Column: What to eat when it hits 100 degrees

A focus on fresh, quick and heatless recipe ideas 

By NADIA ANEES — nsanees@ucdavis.edu 

Maybe it is just me, but when the weather outside hits triple digits I’m hit with a lack of appetite — eating anything that requires heat to make sounds unappealing as anything. Here’s what to make when the temperature gets to 100 degrees, for college students or those with little time and minimal ingredients. 

Unfortunately my brain doesn’t start functioning until I’ve had my coffee, and yes, I still have a hot coffee — even in the summer. This will be my one and only exception for heat in food preparation for this piece.

For breakfast I’m focusing on what feels refreshing and easy: a yogurt parfait made with nonfat Greek yogurt, diced strawberries, my favorite gluten-free granola, Bob’s Red Mill’s maple and sea salt with a drizzle of nut butter. This keeps me full, takes a second to make and avoids the heat. Meal one is done! 

After class it’s a bit past noon, I’ve been walking around campus a bit, and I’m starting to feel the beginning of a need for more fuel. I need something to satisfy me without turning on my stove. A cooling greek chicken salad bowl is my go-to. Prepped baked chicken, feta crumbles, Trader Joe’s Tzatziki, cucumbers, grape tomatoes and a base of greens. To add a little extra satisfaction and fulfillment, I’ll add avocado for some delicious, healthy fats. 

For afternoon snacks, I’ll grab pretzel thins and spicy hummus, sliced fuji apples dipped in Greek yogurt mixed with peanut butter or a watermelon, mint and feta salad.

For dinner, I’m going with my nostalgic favorite: pasta salad. What’s better than tri-color pasta cooked perfectly al dente with a tangy dressing and fresh crunchy vegetables? My favorite kind is made creamy by a dressing composed of olive oil, salt, pepper, a dash of apple cider vinegar and a generous addition of the two condiments almost everyone has: (vegan) mayonnaise and mustard — yes, the classic yellow kind. Not dijon or honey or spicy — just classic yellow hot dog mustard. 

I don’t hold back on the sliced black olives, tomatoes, diced bell peppers, red onions and thinly-sliced carrots. If pasta salad isn’t your thing, try making your own Vietnamese spring rolls dipped in a homemade peanut sauce that can likely be made with pantry staples you already have. Biting into these fresh and crunchy spring rolls in the summer is a true treat. 

For dessert, have ice cream. Take care of yourselves, eat well and stay cool, friends. 

Written by: Nadia Anees — nsanees@ucdavis.edu

Disclaimer: (The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.)


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