Temperatures are skyrocketing in NYC this week, and while I’ve got you covered on my easiest at-home ice cream:

http://danchurchill.wpengine.com/vegan-coconut-ice-cream/

Sometimes you’re in the mood to not have to cook a lot (or turn on an oven…) but still want something refreshing and colorful.

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Try these four: we’ve got 3 savory and 1 sweet, all cooling snacks to keep your summer eats game going strong.

#1. Watermelon Slush: if you think this is too simple, stay with me! We’re working with the queen of hydrating summer fruits. And you can enjoy it in so many different ways. But this is quite possibly the best of them all:

Cut up a small watermelon into cubes. One of the whole baby watermelons is best for this. If you have access to yellow watermelon, that works great too! Pop the cubes into the freezer for a few hours to chill. Once they’re almost frozen solid, blend them in a high-powered blender or food processor. Combine 2 cups of watermelon cubes with a handful of ice, the juice of a lime and a small pinch of sea salt (this will draw out that sweet watermelon goodness). Serve on ice, garnished with a watermelon slice and fresh mint.

#2. Summertime guacamole:

The perfect appetizer, and an absolute party staple. What you’ll need for this super simple recipe:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped or diced fresh tomatoes
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2-3 Tb chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½-1 whole chopped jalapeno, seeds removed (optional)

To make it, simply mash the avocados in a bowl to your desired level. Keep some chunks or make the entire thing totally smooth. It’s up to you friends. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix gently to combine. Voila! Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or on toast.

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#3. Chilled corn salad:

This works well as a side to the main meal, or even a snack! It requires only a tiny bit of time at the stove, and serves two. But double it or even triple if you’re serving a crowd! Works great as a potluck dish as well.

  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels, chopped off the cobs
  • 2 Tb olive or avocado oil, divided
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 Tb cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped, seeds removed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a skillet to medium, and pour in 1 Tb olive or avocado oil. Once warmed, add the corn, and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until corn is lightly browned. Turn off and let come to room temperature. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix, and chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve!

#4. Cucumber, feta, and tomato salad:

This wickedly simple salad comes together with just a few ingredients and a couple minutes of chopping. The key is to get all of the ingredients chopped to about the same size. Then you get a variety of textures but a perfect bite every time. It’s a sweet recipe to make in the summer when tomatoes are at peak ripeness. You’ll need:

  • One large or two small cucumbers, peeled (if you like) and cubed
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1 Tb balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tb fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

This is the simplest recipe of them all. Once all your ingredients are chopped, mix everything together in a bowl, and serve!

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