Beat the heat and save hundreds of calories with these easy and satisfying chilled dishes
It’s hot out there, and when the temperature is rising the last thing you want to do is dig into a hot meal. But traditional cold summertime dishes can pack a lot of extra calories. A restaurant turkey club with no sides can clock in at over 900 calories and a chicken cobb salad can pack over 700 calories.
To keep your cool, and your figure, here’s a day’s worth of simple chilled meals that are substantial enough to leave you feeling energized but light enough to keep you looking lean:
Breakfast: Strawberry ginger muselix
Fold half a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger into six ounces of plain nonfat organic Greek yogurt or a dairy free yogurt alternative. Mix in a quarter cup of rolled oats, a cup of sliced strawberries, and two tablespoons of sliced almonds. Chill the mixture in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or, even better, overnight. The latter will help infuse the flavors and soften the oats.
Lunch: Chickpea and red quinoa lettuce wraps
Toss half a cup cooked chilled red quinoa with half a cup of chickpeas, one diced medium vine-ripened tomato, one tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice, and half a teaspoon of minced garlic. Once the mixture has chilled, spoon it into five outer Romaine leaves before serving. This is one of my favorite cold recipes from my newest book S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim. Check out a photo of the finished dish here.
Snack: Peach pecan smoothie
Peaches are plentiful right now, so slice one up, peel off the skin, and toss it in the blender, along with one cup of organic skim milk or a dairy free alternative, two tablespoons of pecan butter, a quarter cup of rolled barley, a dash of cinnamon, and a handful of ice. It’s like an ice cold liquid version of peach cobbler!
Dinner: Fiesta salad
Combine half a cup of quartered grape tomatoes with a quarter cup of minced yellow bell pepper, a quarter cup of minced white onion, one tablespoon of fresh minced cilantro, one teaspoon fresh minced jalapeno, and juice from half of a fresh lime. Chill. Once cold, toss the pico de gallo mixture you just made with one cup of torn baby Romaine leaves, then top with half a cup of thawed frozen organic sweet yellow corn and a lean protein of your choice, either half a cup of cooked chilled black beans or three ounces of cold chicken breast, shrimp, or salmon.
Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she's a SHAPE contributing editor and nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches.