When family and friends from out of state visit, their first question usually is, “[Insert expletive of choice], is it this hot all summer?”
The answer is a resounding and emphatic YES. And generally, not only is it “this hot” all summer, but also late spring and early fall as well. Most days, the idea of stepping outside into the inferno makes me want to stay inside all day to watch the Casey Anthony trial… but since I try to maintain some semblance of a social life, I have to venture outdoors every now and then. As a native Austinite, I know a thing or two about surviving the stifling Texas heat (with a broken car AC for the past two years, no less). Here are some of my tips for making it through the summer without melting:
-Visit Sno-Beach. After several years of youth soccer, I began to loathe sno-cones with chunky ice and cloying red syrup. Sno-beach is different. The ice is like snow, covered with fruity syrups and even cream or ice cream. I like to stick to basics though: cherry-pomegranate or pink grapefruit. They’re best after a long day at…
–Barton Springs. It’s a spring-fed pool that’s perfect for laying out, reading a book, and pushing people into cold water. If you’re a cheap-o like me, hang out at the spillway for free.
-Eat food. Especially food that doesn’t make you turn on the oven. Especially this:
Cilantro-Lime Chickpea Salad (Serves 2-3)
1 15-oz. can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), or 2 cups
2 c. spinach or other salad greens
1/2 sweet onion, chopped (or less, depending on your taste)
Juice from 2 limes
3/4 c. cilantro, packed
2 tsp. dijon mustard
sprinkle of sugar or stevia
1-2 garlic cloves
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 jalapeno (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Add the spinach or salad greens to a food processor (or blender, if you don’t have one) and pulse until the leaves are very small. Stir the spinach into a bowl with the chickpeas and onion. Then use the food processor to make the dressing: add the lime juice, cilantro, mustard, garlic, jalapeno, and cumin to the bowl and pulse until smooth. Then, pour the dressing over the spinach and chickpeas and toss. Season to taste.
Serving suggestions: on top of brown rice, wheatberries, quinoa, or salad.