I just find that the idea of lunch in summer to be unappetizing! And there’s a good reason why not just me, but many don’t feel up to eating Roti, sabzi and dal kind of food in the summer.
The first I figured is that we are receiving a lot of more of direct sun energy in the summer. Sun energy being the most primary and original energy source satiates us without us even realizing.
I first noticed this on a trip to the Himalayas, while staying with a group of organic farmers. These farmers would leave their home early in the morning to work in the field, do manual labour for hours before they got home and put even a morsel of food in their mouths. They would not even feel hungry. Where were they getting so much energy from? It had got to be energy from the summer sun that they were soaking in through their skin.
Of course summer is also a time when our bodies are willing to work out the most. In prehistoric times, people were busy gathering food for the lean periods in summer. They would also indulge in as much of the fresh available food (fruits, vegetables, sprouts, green leafies), which would give them the ready energy to gather more. Scientists believe that though times have changed, our bodies have not. Though we have all varieties of foods available to us year round, and we definitely have no need to gather, we still crave and relish light fresh food in the summer. This is what gave me the idea to come up with meal ideas that I could enjoy for summer lunches. I ended up creating Meal Replacer Salads, full of fresh goodness. Below are just some of the elements to go if you would like to create your own salads meal that will be renergising, flavorful, balanced and filling 🙂
Base – pick your leafy greens, lots of them. Good to rotate them on a weekly basis, and have a variety to get an entire gamut of nutrients. Micro greens (if available)are a super idea too!
High water content vegetables – cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers are a must in a summer salad. They are full of live enzymes and keep you hydrated as well as make you full.
Sprouts in the summer are a great addition. They are again full of live enzymes and simple amino acids, super satiating and energizing. Lentils, grains, seeds, nuts, can all be sprouted.
Do you think fats make you fat ? Not the healthy variety like raw nuts and seeds, just a handful. They can be thrown in, sprinkled on top or soaked and ground to make lovely dressings. Also they can be activated by soaking overnight and then using. In coastal areas, coconut is amazing to add too.
The filler – these we cannot do without, as they are what will give our tummy the filling feeling and keep us going for more than just an hour. The fillers can be starchy vegetables like potato and sweet potato, carrots, avacado or some whole millets like foxtail or quinoa.
And finally, whats a salad without a good flavor ? I am a big fan of natural flavour enhancers like lemon, herbs like parsley and celery, ginger, tamarind, as opposed to preserved bottled dressings. Look around your kitchen and you’ll find a world out there.
The last secret ingredient ? A sweet enhancer like fruit/ dry fruit pieces or jaggery can take your salad to another level.