Cool Meals For Hot Summer Nights!

If you're anything like us, you hate slaving away in the kitchen when the temperatures start rising. Beat the heat with these delicious, low-maintenance recipes that are perfect for the dog days of summer. Best part? You won't even need to touch the stove! The recipes below each serve 4-6 people and only take about 30 minutes to prepare. Served all together, this a great menu for a light and healthy summer dinner. Buen Provecho!

TRADITIONAL GAZPACHO:

Ingredients

10 oz of bread (soaked)
21 oz. of chopped tomato
2 cloves of garlic
2 chopped onions
2 red and green peppers
7 tablespoons of oil
2 tablespoons of vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon of water
Cumin (optional)
1 cucumber (optional)

Preparation

In a big mortar mash the cumin, the garlic and the soaked bread. In a plastic bowl mix the chopped onion and tomato, the oil, the vinegar, the salt and the contents of the mortar. Blend it all together, adding very cold water to mix everything. Add salt to taste and strain the mixture. Chill in the fridge until it is ready to be served. Garnish with tomato, cucumber, and peppers and serve with toasted bread.

FISH CEVICHE

Ingredients

2 lbs tilapia fillets or other firm white fish fillets, cubed
8-10 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
8-12 limes, freshly squeezed and strained to remove pulp, enough to cover fish
1 red onion, thinly sliced and rinsed

Preparation

Combine all ingredients except red onion and mix well. Place red onion on top and let mixture marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours before serving. Before serving, mix well and serve with lettuce, corn, avocado or other cold salad vegetables on the side. Note: It is important to use a juicer that squeezes the juice out of the limes, not one that will tear the membrane of the lime sections since this will make the lime juice bitter.

BLACK BEAN & CORN SALAD

Ingredients

1 can, 14 ounces, black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, half a palm full
2 teaspoons hot sauce, just eyeball the amount
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand at least 15 minutes for corn to fully defrost and flavors to combine, then toss and serve. The frozen corn will help keep all the ingredients for this easy salad chilled as it defrosts so there's no need to refrigerate!

For more great summer recipes, click here!

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About this author

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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