Category Archives: prepared foods

Hot summertime eats that will keep you cool

Montreal is sweltering, and the idea of turning on the stove makes me break out in a cold sweat. Actually, it’s only cold sweat because I’m standing in my bedroom in front of the air-conditioner. Otherwise, it’d just be your garden variety of hot sweat. Yuck.

In any event, cooking in the summertime is a challenge, not only because it heats up the house, but also because sometimes you don’t even want to think about food, much less prepare it. It’s just too damn hot.

Therefore, I have compiled a list of my top 5 Hot Summertime Eats That Will Keep You Cool. Check it before you wreck it!

  1. Chicken Caesar Salad – A favourite at my place all year ’round, but it’s during the oppressive summer months when this simple salad really shines. Grab yourself a rotisserie chicken from your neaby grocery store, a jar of Renée’s Mighty Caesar dressing (for the extra garlic punch!), a head of Romaine lettuce and some Parmesan cheese and you’re almost done. Wash that lettuce good ‘n’ proper, spin it a couple of times through the ol’ spinner de salade, rip it up into bite-sized hunks, schmear it with dressing, toss and place it on some nice plates. Rip up your rotisserie chicken with your hands, place the pieces on top of your lettuce, then grab some Parmesan and/or Cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top of the whole thing. Dinner is served!
  2. Sushi – It’s carbolicious, but it’s also served cold. Therefore, sushi is my summertime treat of choice. Save the saké for the winter months and drink a nice, cold glass of white wine with your choice of sushi. Yum! (Yes, this is a lazy woman’s choice, as you will invariably have to order out. Unless you know how to roll your own, which I have done before, but would not recommend as it is rather labour intensive for slug-like summer days.)
  3. moishescoleslawColeslaw – Okay, maybe this is a crazy item to have on this list, but coleslaw has become an obsession with me in recent months. In Quebec, most of the coleslaw is served in a weird vinegary oil. This is not the coleslaw I’m talking about. You want CREAMY coleslaw, something like what Moishe’s makes. Alternately, if you’re not into coleslaw, you can also try their deliciously garlicky potato salad with roasted garlic. Cold salads are your friend. (Except for those weird bean salads, bleh.)
  4. Cottage Cheese/Yogurt – A friend of mine remarked that although his family always had cottage cheese in the fridge when he was growing up, he couldn’t recall ever having seen anybody actually eating it. At my house, cottage cheese is a must-have staple. High in protein, low in carbs, and a great addition to your dairy intake, this could be the perfect food. Don’t stick it in a canteloupe the way those weird Californians in movies do; just eat it straight from the tub. Cold, delicious curds. Great when you don’t feel like cooking. Don’t like cottage cheese? Weirdo. No, but seriously: get yourself some yogurt. I’m a huge fan of the Source “dessert” lemon one by Yoplait, as well as the cherry version. Yum.
  5. Baby Carrots – Feel free to substitute any fresh veggies you happen to like, but I’m a big fan of the baby carrot. Or the “carotte genre miniature” as they are apparently called en français. (What a mouthful.) Cool, clean tasting with a satisfying crunch, with or without dips or dressings, the baby carrot is simply delightful on a hot summer day.

Honourable Mention – Deli Meats

Salami doesn’t seem to be much in demand in this province, which is all the better for me, as I love it. But really, any cold deli meats will do on a particularly humid, disgusting day. Peel off a few pieces, eat ’em alone, or wrap ’em up in a mini tortilla with some cheese. God bless deli meats. It’s the one thing I really miss about New York. Montreal doesn’t know shit about delis, and if they’ve got some of those amazing mozzarella knots hiding around here somewhere, like the kind you can see over at the Brooklyn Pork Store, I’d like to know about it. Those things are delicious. Deli style, jugga-jigga-wugga!

So, what are your favourite summer foods?

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President’s Choice tuna gets fancy

coconuttunaWhile I’m not normally very picky about brands, I’m starting to develop a real loyalty to the President’s Choice line of products. I recently tried some of their new tuna flavours, which incorporate sauces like Curry Coconut Cream Sauce and Sweet and Sour Sauce into your fish-eating experience, and they were really tasty.

They were also really cheap, which I love as a proponent of the Shoestring Lifestyle. Each can cost only $1.99, and if you eat it over rice, you’ve got yourself a full meal right there. (Yes, I know, I am breaking my previously stated “Rice is the devil” rule. It’s still the devil, but sometimes you’ve just got to eat what feels right.)

The Curry Coconut Cream Sauce tuna is a great Thai-inspired dish, and contains chunks of pineapple and red pepper, in addition to the chunky light tuna. I’m currently eating a bowl of it with some basmati rice, and it’s really delicious. Yesterday I tried the Sweet and Sour version (also over basmati rice), which was a nice deviation from sweet and sour chicken and also contained bits of pineapple.

I would definitely recommend these to anybody who loves tuna or is looking for a way to spice up the old tuna and mayo standard sandwich. These aren’t spreadable, as they contain a lot of sauce, so they’re better for eating at home than at work (unless you come to work with a container of pre-made rice or noodles and just heat it all up, come lunchtime). The nutritional info shows that this is a low-carb snack (though adding rice or noodles would definitely bump it up), and the sodium levels are decent as well. You’ll get 250 calories from the Curry Coconut, but only 170 from the Sweet and Sour version (though the sodium levels are higher on that one).

For those who aren’t convinced by the pan-Asian styles of those two options, there are also the Flaked Light Tuna in Black Pepper Sauce and the Flaked Light Tuna with Beans and Corn varieties. My husband tried the black pepper sauce version and said he liked it, though we are both avoiding the beans and corn combo. Yuck!

If you’re looking to buy some of these new additions to the PC line, they’re available at any Provigo or Loblaws throughout Quebec. Bon appétit!