It’s Getting Hotter + Blueberry Almond Salad

It is getting so hot in Southern California. When I moved out here 3 ½ years ago, I wasn’t ready to not have central A/C in my home, but not a lot of homes or apartments in Southern California actually have central A/C. This makes for a very frustrating and irritable cook! When I cook in the kitchen during the summer time, I have to think about what I can make that won’t turn my house into an oven. This is very hard to do. Also, the warmer it gets outside, the less energy I have. For instance, I’ll buy some wonderful pieces of fresh fruit and put it away in the fridge, but then I won’t eat it because it’s hard to muster the energy to do food prep when you are hot.

However, I’ve noticed that I am more willing to eat something that is already cut up, so now I try to do the prep as I am putting the fruit away at the very beginning, while I already have momentum from having been out shopping.. Things like watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, and other berries and melons are great fruits that store well when they are washed and cut up prior to eating.

Sometimes, the summer can be so hard on us because of the heat in combination with lack of energy. Make sure that your nutrition isn’t slacking just because it is hot. Find foods that are still nutritious and will keep you cool, like salads, fish, raw vegetables, and fruit. A great salad that I like is:

Blueberry and Almond Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce (washed)
  • 1 yellow onion (sliced thinly)
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 container blueberries (a small container will do; make sure they are washed)
  • ½ C. slivered raw almonds
  • 1 C. Water
  • Dressing
  • ¼ C. balsamic vinegar (use your favorite kind…I have a raspberry-infused balsamic that I like to use)
  • ¾ C. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ coarse ground pepper
  1. Heat a non-stick frying pan on the stove. Add 1 Tbs. oil to the pan. Add the sliced onions, sugar and ½ of the water to the pan. Cook through until translucent.
  2. In another non-stick, pan roast the almonds until they are golden brown.
  3. While things are cooking, cut the lettuce into shreds and add the blueberries. When done cooking, add the roasted almonds and onions on top. Put the dressing on the side and add as desired.


Stay cool and enjoy!

About the Author:

At Mary Lee Kitchen, we believe that what we eat matters. Each of us has the right to know what is in our food. Over the years the food industry has negatively impacted our health and well being. This has caused the rise of food allergies, food sensitivities, rise in child obesity- which are just a few of the harmful side effects of the food manufactures created. It is time for us to implement change. I am a food artisan that creates allergy free products that are made in a sustainable way. Through my own experience with rare food allergies, I have learned how to cook in a way that is inclusive for all diets. Through food education, recipes, and products I support the gathering of all people around the kitchen table.

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