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Quick cold-dish ideas

Barbour and Arend help you chill out
 
Spiralize a zucchini or carrot to serve with pesto or coconut peanut sauce (both raw sauces). Serve with other sliced vegetables, bean sprouts or shaved cabbage. Mix up the dish with rice noodles instead of vegetable noodles.
Drain the oil from a can of Italian tuna (less fishy than other tuna varieties), mix it with a can of white beans, add parsley and serve on a bed of baby arugula.
Shred the meat from a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken to make a soft taco station with fresh vegetables, avocado and salsas.
Roll vegetables, shaved cabbage, raw or pre-cooked seafood or shaved turkey or roast beef in rice paper. Serve with a dipping sauce.
Slice thin zucchini ribbons, drain the extra water and toss them with olive oil, mint and lemon for a zucchini salad.




Cold courses
Beat the summer heat by making cold meals

07/16/15
By Allie Ginwala aginwala@hippopress.com



Instead of sweating it out in the kitchen, you could be preparing balanced and satisfying meals that require minimal or even no heat to make. 

“When it’s really hot out, people get tired, and they’re not inclined to go and stand in front of a hot stove,” Caroline Arend, chef and owner of Caroline’s Full Service Catering, said in a phone interview. 
Learning how to make a variety of cold dishes can solve that problem.
“A lot of people hesitate [thinking], ‘Oh, I’m not a good cook.’ Here is the great thing — you don’t have to cook,” Liz Barbour, chef and owner of The Creative Feast, said in a phone interview. “That takes a huge chunk of anxiety out of the picture.”
 
A different mindset
When it comes to making cold or chilled dishes, you can’t approach them in the same way you would a hot meal.
“I think it’s all about thinking outside of the box,” Barbour said.
Find new ways to use the common ingredients found around the house, making dishes like what Barbour calls entree salads, which combines leftover meats in the fridge with salad greens and produce. Make an easy protein-filled salad with leftover chicken, deli roast beef, canned tuna or smoked salmon. 
“If you’re just exploring this idea of raw dishes, keep it simple,” Barbour said. “Extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper is all you need, but why not have more fun with it?”
Getting started
Breakfast and lunch tend to be easier to think about in terms of cold dishes (a bowl of cereal or yogurt and fruit for breakfast, a wrap for lunch), while dinner may present a tougher challenge.
“You can start turning things on their side [thinking], ‘Well, dinner does not have to be a cooked meal,’” Barbour said. “You have to think of what is in the meal.”
First you want to make sure you cover the bases of a balanced dish. Vegetables and fruits are some of the simplest because they’re easy to prepare raw. 
“Raw vegetables are really healthy for you because you’re not cooking off the nutrients,” Barbour said.
For a starch, try soaking rice noodles in water, then dress them with sesame oil. 
“You can make tabouli, which is a grain you soak in hot water, hot out of your tap. The longer you soak the softer it gets,” she said.
For dinner protein, most people jump to a chicken or fish dish, but you could start with meats that are already cold. Sliced turkey or Canadian bacon can both be added to a salad or served with a starch and vegetable.
“And it’s nice because it frees you up,” Barbour said. “Things can be much more last-minute, quick preparation.”
If you still want to stay cool without totally eliminating heat from your meals, rely more on outdoor grilling.
“I think using the grill is your best bet. It’s very easy and quick and [makes] a lot of volume,” Arend said. 
Try making food in larger quantities to store and eat cold later. 
“If you’re grilling salmon, grill extra salmon and make it into a salmon salad the next day. Or you can even eat it cold grilled with an aioli,” she said. “I think the key is to be able to think ahead.”
 
Non-cooking tips
Barbour said having a solid grip on your knife skills will definitely come in handy. 
“You’ve got your regular chef knife, you have a mandoline, [with] which you can get things super thin and shave things … the spiralizer, that is a wonderful tool to have this time of year,” Barbour said.
Presentation of cold dishes can be important, since you won’t necessarily be eating raw vegetables the way you eat cooked vegetables or deli meat the same way you would baked meat. Knowing how to cut in different styles can help improve the fun and flavor of the dish — instead of serving slices of turkey, cut it into thin sticks or shave broccoli instead of serving it in chunks. 
“You have to focus differently because when you cook food, moisture comes out of it. They create their own sauce, “ Barbour said. “That’s why I like really having the dressings or the sauces [that] I’m going to drizzle on the raw thing I’m serving.” 
 
As seen in the July 16, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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