We are just in the beginning of May and the heat is on full blast. I try to decide what I want to eat. In spite of having a well-stocked kitchen and an elaborate menu, the heat is getting to me and all I what is something which is chilled. Something that makes me feel light but well satisfied at least for a few hours. It is time for some fun in the kitchen to whip up some good liquid concoctions.
I start playing with basic, modest ingredients that you find at home in your pantry but it's definitely worth going out for some grocery shopping. Nothing too expensive that will blow your budget. Have you ever tried a salad smoothie? If not, please do if you are tired of munching on a salad. Just get your salad ingredients together, add a few cubes of ice, may be a cup of coconut water and blend it together. Lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, olives, watermelon, pumpkin seeds, lemon juice, olive oil - blend! So who says you can't drink your salad? Get as creative as you like and try different vegetable combinations. Check out what I have created for you to combat the summer.
Here is Project Chillax:
Ginger Lemonade with Chia seeds
3.5 cups of water – chilled or at room temperature
2 tsp minced ginger
2 medium sized lemons
½ tbsp of sabja or basil seeds soaked in ¾ cup water.
organic sugar or powdered jaggery as required
¼ or ½ tsp of rock salt or black salt
¼ tsp black pepper powder (optional)
½ tsp roasted cumin powder
½ or 1 tsp chaat masala powder
few mint leaves for garnishing
few ice cubes (optional)
Soak the sabja/basil seeds in ¾ cup of water for half an hour. In a glass jar or a bowl add 3 and a half cups water. Halve the lemons and squeeze the lemon juice into the water. Add the salt, black pepper, cumin and chaat masala powder. Add sugar or jaggery as required. Stir well. Drain the soaked sabja seeds. Add sabja seeds as required. The leftover soaked basil seeds can be kept in the fridge and used for another drink. Add few ice cubes, if you want. Serve nimbu pani in tall glasses garnished with mint leaves. Sprinkle with extra chaat masala if desired.
Chilled watermelon and beet soup
2 cups watermelon chunks
1 cup cooked beets, peeled n diced
1 cup orange juice
1 tsp minced ginger
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Blend all the ingredients together and enjoy.
Greek Salad Smoothie
1 cup Romaine lettuce
½ each cucumber, unpeeled, unseeded
1 cup red, yellow, green bell peppers
1/3 rd onion
1 medium ripe, red tomato
1/ tsp oregano
½ tsp cumin
½ cup parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice/ red wine vinegar
5 to 6 ice cubes
1 cup tomato juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash and pat dry all the vegetables. Put them all in a blender and blitz till not completely smooth.Serve chilled in a soup plate or a big coffee mug.