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Cool food for warm weather

Try nutritious dishes that deliver nutrients, without raising your body temperature.

By Anna Chua-Norbert
Recipes by Chef Cyrille Soenen and Chef Anna Chua-Norbert

APRIL 2012

Gerard E. Mullin, the director of gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, says “anything ingested that is lower than actual body temperature will initially produce a cooling effect systemically.” Eating cold foods during summer is not only healthy, but good common sense!

Cold food is much easier to prepare, compared to dishes that require hours of boiling or minutes of steaming. A fresh salad only needs 10 minutes: wash and chop the veggies, put them in a bowl, add garnish and dressing—and in a few moments you’ll be eating a filling and nutritious meal without having slaved away in front of a hot stove.

Another benefit of cold food is that you can take it with you in a chiller, and it’s ready to eat when you feel like it. Give these easy recipes a try: You can prepare them ahead of time, and reap the benefits of eating a good meal.

watermelon salad

Watermelon Salad

Cool and refreshing, fresh mint combined with crumbled feta cheese in a simple balsamic vinaigrette is a perfect first course for a light, summer dinner.


½ medium-sized watermelon
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
1 handful baby greens or sprouts
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar


1. Slice the watermelon and remove the rind, trimming away the pale flesh adjacent to the rind to leave only the sweet, bright red flesh. Largely dice the watermelon into approximately ¾-inch cubes.

2. Arrange the watermelon cubes on chilled plates. Sprinkle with crumbled feta, baby greens and mint leaves.

3. In a glass bowl, combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and whisk until combined. Drizzle the salad with the vinaigrette and serve right away.

Makes 6 servings, 170 calories per serving

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