“I’m wilting,” said Vinny as he plopped down in a lounger under the Japanese lilac. “Ottawa broke a 123-year-old record today when we scored a temperature of 34C.”
Will flapped his shirt, trying in vain to make a breeze for himself. “Ya, I’m WILL-ting, too. It feels like a steam bath out here. Let’s cool off with the hose.”
“Except I’m hungry,” said Vinny. I’m going to whip up a warm salad first, with a little spice to heat it up even more.”
“That sounds crazy,” said Will. “Why would you want to make a warm salad when we’re boiling out here?”
“This sounds like a teachable moment,” said Vinny. “Warm food and spicy sauces bring our internal body temperature to the same temperature as our surroundings. Our blood starts circulating faster and makes us sweat. As the sweat evaporates, we cool down. See? Simple. Spicy food is a mainstay in all the hot countries of the world. Wanna help me cook?”
Will dragged himself off his chair and they headed into the kitchen.
Warm seafood salad
- 1-2 cups salad greens, washed, drained dry, and cut into mouth-sized chunks. I used kale, which requires an extra step.
- 1-2 green onions, washed and cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 3 mushrooms, washed dried, and sliced
- 5-8 raw shrimp, washed, cleaned and cut in half along the back vein
- 1/4 cup low-fat yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot chili sauce, like Sriracha
- 1/2 teaspoon stevia sugar
- paprika to garnish (optional)
- Arrange finely chopped kale in a salad bowl. Massage some olive oil into the leaves. Top with green onions.
- Mix the yogurt with the soy sauce, hot sauce and stevia.
- Heat oil in large nonstick fry pan on medium-high. Add mushrooms and fry until they start to brown.
- Add shrimp and stir-fry just until they turn pink.
- Add the yogurt mix and turn off the heat. Stir a few seconds until the sauce is hot. Pour over lettuce. Shake on some paprika (optional). Eat immediately!
This was actually a pretty easy salad to make. The kale was already washed and waiting for us in the fridge, wrapped in a cotton tea towel. The shrimps were shelled and cleaned in the package. All we had to do was take off the tails and slice them down the middle. Washing and slicing the mushrooms and onions only took a minute. The rest of the ingredients just needed to be measured out and mixed together. Make sure you add the yogurt sauce to the pan at the last minute. If it is heated too long, it curdles.
It tasted great! The kale was just barely wilted from the heat of the sauce. The sauce was spicy but didn’t burn. If you want more heat, crank up the hot chili sauce.
Protein for muscles and energy comes in the yogurt and the shrimps. The lettuce, onions and mushrooms provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, as well as some fiber. There’s no sugar, a few healthy fats, and a bit of added salt from the soy.
The only problem was: I could have eaten a lot more of it!