Cold Dishes for Hot Days

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Allison CollinsIt has been HOT in LA this last week.  Now I know that I shouldn’t be complaining because it is definitely hotter in El Centro, but, for LA standards it has been very hot. 

A lot of the apartment buildings on the Westside do not have air conditioners and we are used to the ‘hot day’ highs reaching only 80-85.  This past week though, the temp was reaching upwards of 95 near the coast and triple digits inland.

The combination of the hot temperatures and lack of air conditioning led to very minimal effort in doing anything in the apartment.  Pretty much I came home after work each night, and just tried to sit in front of a fan with a cold drink.  Making dinner became a bit more creative as I didn’t want to turn on the oven and heat the place up.

I wanted protein without having to cook it each night, without getting bored from eating the same thing for a few days.

I decided to go with a Chicken Orzo Pasta Salad.  I originally found this recipe online, http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-orzo-salad-with-goat-cheese-10000001723375/

It is one of my go to recipes when needing to make something in the summer that is filling, tasty, won’t heat up my house, and a crowd pleaser.

I like this recipe for many reasons but mainly because of the quantity it makes, its difficulty level, and its versatility.

1). You are making pasta; a lot will go a long way. You only need to eat a little. Then save the rest for another meal during the week.chicken orzo pasta

2). This recipe is super easy to make, especially if you start with a rotisserie chicken.  The only heat is boiling water for the pasta.  Everything else you just chop, throw in a bowl, and toss.

3). This recipe is versatile.  Keep the chicken and orzo the same and then substitute ingredients to change the dish up.  If I am going Mediterranean, I mix red wine vinegar dressing with either goat or feta cheese, but when I like a citrus flavor, I dress it with summer vegetables, lemon juice, and a dash of pepper.

So as you continue to survive the heat down in the valley try making this recipe.  Guaranteed to keep you and your house cooler.

 

Bon Appetit!