by Jolene Lamb, coordinator, Culinary Institute, Lincoln Land Community College
Hot, humid summer weather makes me less hungry. I crave light snacks of chilled fruits and veggies. I have no desire to eat large, hot and hearty meals, so I often turn to cold sandwiches and salads for dinner. Yes, a cold sandwich for dinner. Why not?
The sandwich options are endless and often the same flavors you find in a salad can be transformed into a sandwich. Another benefit of eating a sandwich and/or salad for dinner: not using the oven so in turn not generating any heat in the kitchen.
Wait, if I eat sandwiches and salads for dinner, then what will I do for lunch?! Easy! I opt for a smoothie and some cheese and crackers or other light snack like hummus and veggie chips. Either way, for lunch or dinner, here are a few of my go-to sandwiches and salads for hot weather meals. Bonus: fresh produce is readily available at your local farmers market, and fresh fruits and veggies pack the most flavor!
Sesame Tomato and Cucumber Salad
- 1 pound tomatoes, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced English cucumber
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 medium scallions, dark green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 medium serrano or jalapeno chile, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Arrange tomato and cucumber slices on a platter.
Whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, olive oil and sugar in a small bowl until sugar dissolves.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of dressing over tomatoes and cucumbers, and top with scallions, chile and sesame seeds.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately with remaining dressing.
Want to make it into a sandwich?
Mix dressing and marinate cucumbers, chile and tomatoes for up to 24 hours. Drain well and serve on choice of bread with fried bacon. A twist on a BLT of course.
Bombay Carrot Slaw with Cashews and Raisins
- 10–12 ounces carrots, grated
- 1 tablespoon lime or orange zest (or some of both)
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
- ⅓ cup raisins (golden or regular)
- ½ cup toasted cashews
- 3 scallions
- ½ cup cilantro or Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss well. Taste. Adjust salt, acid and sweetness to taste.
This will keep up to 4 days in the fridge.
Want to make it into a sandwich?
Mix in shredded cooked chicken and serve on a hearty bread. A twist on a chicken salad sandwich. Or serve slaw on top of deli sliced turkey in a sandwich wrap.
Cheddar, Cucumber and Marmalade Sandwiches
Adapted from The New York Times
Yield 4 sandwiches
According to the Times, Melissa Clark came up with this recipe in 2011, a sandwich for her daughter, against the one she made for herself with Branston pickle in place of the marmalade. (Branston pickle is a British pickled chutney, made with vegetables, that dates back to the early 20th century.) But this sweet, salty, cool variety is close to perfect for lunch or a light dinner.
- 8 slices pumpernickel bread
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 6 ounces thinly sliced Cheddar or Gruyère or Swiss cheese
- 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
Spread the bread slices with butter and then a very thin layer of marmalade. Top 4 slices with cheese and cucumber and then with the remaining bread.
Want to go bold?
Try fig jam and a bit of spicy mustard with a sharp cheddar on crusty bread.
Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Baking/Pastry, and Value Added Local Food, and non-credit cooking and food classes through our Community Learning Culinary Institute. For more information, visit our website at www.llcc.edu.
Cooking or food questions?