Ben Vaughn: Food to beat the heat of summer month in Las Vegas

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Veggie salad.

Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015|6:02 p.m.

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Veggie salad.

Ben Vaughn Goes Eco-friendly
A garden.Introduce slideshow “

Food Network Star Ben Vaughn
Food Network star chef and restaurateur Ben Vaughn.Introduce slideshow “

Let’s face truths: Investing summer season in the desert is a grind. We’ve all discovered our little survival mechanisms to get through the heat. We tactically identify our walking patterns based upon the method shadows drop against structures onto the sidewalk.

We self-negotiate whether it deserves heading out versus staying inside. We make our weekend plans based upon whether the event is inside or outside, or if there’s a pool. A rock garden is a thing. And I don’t know who Santa Ana is, but her wind is hot and dry.

Summer season is a grind.

If you’re like me, you’ve got an entire area of your closet that imitates a museum during summer month. You can look, however don’t even consider touching these clothing. They’re not developed for summertime wear. And I’m not even talking about a great wool sweatshirt or a winter season parka.

I’m talking about the T-shirt with the heavy transfer on the chest that sticks to your chest with sweat, or the pair of pants with the well-intentioned lining that I’m positive was added by somebody who has actually never felt a heat like Las Vegas.

We grind it out day after day. I have a friend who marks the days off a calendar like a countdown, waiting for his self-defined break in September when he swears life becomes more workable. Sure, it’s a grind, but we cope and make it work for us.

For me, everything comes cycle to food. Managing your everyday diet plan in the summertime becomes like a big jigsaw puzzle. We do not wish to let the heat specify us, but “heavier” foods can be debilitating. I enjoy cheeses however aim to limit my dairy intake during summertime.

Along the method, I’ve developed pointers for food that are great to beat the heat throughout the summertime grind.

Chilled fruits and vegetables

Initially, we’ll start simple and obvious. Vegetables and fruits are typically high in water material. So, right from the box, they’re going to assist keep you hydrated. I like to do a little pre-chopping on grocery day. Then I blend fruits and vegetables into individually covered bags that I either freeze (fruits are excellent frozen) or refrigerate (most veggies) and have as healthy snacks that are ready to go.

Much like how you can freeze Snickers, and it tastes terrific, however without the sense of guilt or life-altering luggage that comes from consuming sweet bars all day. Eventually, good food choices boil down to effort and ease of access.

If you take a little time on the front end to pre-prepare these snacks, then you’re less likely to just get a quart of ice cream to cool you down.

Jalapenos and hot food

This is an interesting one that might run a little counterintuitive to exactly what you may be thinking, but right here’s how it works. Jalapenos and other peppers make us sweat, and sweating is nature’s internal a/c.

Just like how an a/c unit produces cool wetness that is then circulated throughout a room by a fan or moving air, our bodies produce wetness that assists attempt to reduce our body temperature level. This is why it’s so important to remain hydrated when we sweat. Our bodies just have a lot water to give.

Spicy foods heat us up in our mouths, however our bodies react, which helps cool us down. So spice it up a bit, and, while your mouth might be stating “no mas,” the rest of you will certainly be, “Oooh, yea.”

Radishes

Radishes are cooling foods and extremely underrated. Radishes can be found in their natural surroundings, aka the last men basing on a crudite platter. However I’m here to advocate for our little red, rooty-looking good friends.

Radishes are high in water and also include vitamin C. Everybody loves vitamin C, right? Radishes are used in Eastern medicine to treat burns and other heat-related injuries. And while I’ve never ever aimed to cure a stovetop burn with a radish, the basic idea makes sense to me.

The issue that some have with radishes is that they have a strong taste. I prefer to make a little dip utilizing yogurt (another cooling food!), parsley, dill and onion, then dip my crunchy radishes in it. Super delicious, definitely a cool and light snack for summer.

Fruit and veggie water

A couple of months ago, I made an easy purchase that has been a pillar in my refrigerator since. It’s a basic “fruit infusion” pitcher. Generally, it’s a standard gallon pitcher that has a column that screws into the top.

Inside the column, you can stack any number of fruits or veggies to have flavored water, however it conveniently separates the components, which sink to the bottom if left to their own gadgets.

You’re going to consume water. You’re going to do your best to hydrate. However instead of a high-sugar, high-salt sports beverage, or a chemical-laden flavor pack, why not simply fix up some excellent old-fashioned WATER? Cucumber or lemon water are obvious examples.

Don’t hesitate to get innovative. Mix it up. Attempt various tastes and see how you like it. The pitchers are cheap (about $20) and certainly worth it.

Finally, here’s a tasty little recipe I put together to help you beat the summer month heat. Enjoy!

Las Vegas grilled summer month salad

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for the grill

1 large yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and quartered

1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and quartered

1 red onion, cut into thick rings

2 zucchini, medium, sliced up lengthwise

2 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise

4 cloves garlic, sliced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon sliced mint

1 tablespoon sliced basil

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 ounce collapsed Cojita cheese

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Uniformly oil grill grates and preheat to medium-high heat 350 degrees. Work in little batches, grill peppers, onions, zucchini and squash, turning when for even cooking, 5 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to large platter, and reserve for assembly. Set aside to let cool prior to cutting into uniform bite-size pieces. In huge bowl, combine grilled veggies, garlic, vinegar, oil, cilantro, mint, basil, chickpeas, salt and pepper. Garnish with Cojita cheese and lime juice and serve immediately.

Ben Vaughn is a chef, author and TV character best referred to as a host for the Food Network. Ben’s most current book, “Southern Routes,” chronicles his trip to discover the best-kept food secrets in the South from the Carolinas to Texas. “Southern Routes” is released by HarperCollins.

Ben presently lives in Tennessee and functions as CEO and culinary director for his restaurant group Fork Knife Spoon. Ben’s brand-new brand of Southern Kitchen area food trucks hit the streets in Las Vegas. Follow all the action from the mobile kitchen @SoKitchenLV. @BenVaughn also is the host of “The Breakfast Program,” a TELEVISION series that premieres in the fall.

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & & Famous” fame has been a reporter for more than 50 years and has invested the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum play area.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/ Robin_Leach.

Follow Las Vegas Sun Home entertainment + Luxury Elder Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/ VDLXEditorDon.

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