Saturday, June 25, 2011

Beat the Heat: Beyond the Barbecue Grill

It's hard to believe that last Monday, it was so cold and rainy I wore my winter coat. Today, it's 96 degrees outside, and 79 degrees in my house. There's no central central air conditioning to crank up, just a very slow-growing shade tree on the west side of the house, a medium sized catalpa tree on the south, and three ceiling fans.

Need I say I don't want light the oven?

If you want to avoid heating up your home in the summer, low-carb is great: there's no pasta to boil, no potatoes to roast, and not much bread, cookies, cake or other baked goods to bake. So what's for dinner? Deli meats, kippers, salad, olives, tomatoes, liverwurst on celery, cheese, dip (just add Mrs. Dash to sour cream) and some tasty parmesan chips I just discovered at Whole Foods.

Some of these are prepared foods that are pricey. If you want to save by cooking your own meat, cut it into small pieces or make a thin patty if it's ground so that it cooks faster. Consider using a pressure cooker for roasts, chicken or bigger pieces of meat--a pot doesn't throw off nearly as much heat as an oven, and it cooks meat in one-half to one-third the time. Vegetables can be steamed in the microwave. Don't forget the butter or olive oil; remember, high fat is part of the low-carb lifestyle.

Even though most low-carbers don't care for snacking between meals, I find I tolerate the heat much better if I eat a little something.

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