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Summer Foods That Help You Beat the Heat

Posted Jul 02 2012 5:15am

I don’t know how things are at your house right now, but around here, it is hot, hot, hot. Saturday’s high temperature was about 104 and Sunday’s high was 102. Definitely summer.

Even though 4th of July is right around the corner, the heat makes me less inclined to spend a lot of time sweltering over a hot stove. I thought you might like some of my favorite recipes that serve double duty this time of year.

They require little cooking, are super healthy, and family favorites. I’ve taken these to picnics, used them when company is coming over, or just made them for our family.

This recipe is super easy. While I soak and cook my own beans, you can use canned low-sodium beans. Rinse the beans thoroughly. When selecting your corn, choose canned corn with no sodium added.

 I serve this over lettuce for the family, but when I take it somewhere people usually dip chips in it! I like it just by itself.



  • 1/4 pound dried pinto beans, cooked or 1 15-ounce can pinto beans
  • 1/4 pound dried kidney beans, cooked or 1 15-ounce can kidney beans
  • 1/4 pound dried black beans, cooked or 1 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn (low or no salt)
  • 1 recipe taco seasoning mix (recipe directly below)

Taco Seasoning Mix

Just mix the spices and herbs together. This recipe makes the equivalent of one package of taco seasoning mix.

  •  1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Oregano

Directions for the bean and corn salad: (these are really hard.)

  1. Dump it all together.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Eat!

The second recipe is for a fun “salad.” Kids love this one.



  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Broccoli florets (raw)
  • Cucumbers cut into chunks
  • Cauliflower florets (raw)
  • Red pepper chunks


Thread cleaned raw vegetables on a bamboo skewer. Enjoy!

The third recipe is a low-fat potato salad. A friend gave me this one.



  • 2 pounds  red potatoes, cubed
  • water
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt (optional)


  1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook the potatoes and garlic for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool 30 minutes.
  2. Whisk together yogurt and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl until combined.
  3. Gently fold potatoes into yogurt mixture. Cover and chill 1 to 12 hours. Garnish, if desired with fresh dill.

Does the heat make you not want to cook? What’s your healthy picnic dish? Diane

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