To Cook is To Love: A Foodie’s Journal; Beat the Heat with Delicious Cool Food Choices

John VerlindenJohn Verlinden
Photo: Rachel Power
John Verlinden

John Verlinden
Photo: Rachel Power

By: John Verlinden*/TRT Columnist—

Boy, it’s hot out there!  I try never to complain about the heat in New England. After our long, cold and snowy winter, I was really looking forward to a little natural heat. However, when the thermometer reaches 90 degrees or higher, I start looking for ways to cool down. One of the best ways is a cold summer meal. Here are a couple of my favorites.

For breakfast or for a snack after working outside, try a tropical fruit smoothie.

Tropical Fruit Smoothie


  • 1 fresh mango (peeled and pitted)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen berries


Directions: 1. Combine the fruit and juice in blender pitcher. 2. Fill pitcher with ice. 3. Blend on high speed until smooth, and serve in a tall glass garnished with fresh fruit. 4. Enjoy, but drink slowly to avoid a brain freeze.

For lunch or dinner, I recommend a bowl of delicious Avocado and Cucumber Soup.  Just add a salad and a cold cut sandwich for a complete meal without having to turn on the stove.

Avocado and Cucumber Soup


  • 2 small avocados (cut in chunks)
  • 1 large cucumber (peeled, seeded and cut in chunks)
  • 3 cups plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves (finely chopped)
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 small tomato (finely diced)
  • Fresh herbs (finely chopped) for garnish


1. In a food processor bowl fitted with a steel blade, puree the avocado chunks. 2. Add the remaining ingredients, except the tomato and herbs, and process until smooth. 3. Refrigerate for at least two hours. 4. Serve in chilled bowls topped with a dollop of garnish. For the garnish, toss the diced tomato with finely chopped fresh herbs.

To share one of your family’s hot weather favorites, ask a question or suggest a topic for the future article, contact me at or visit and join our Latin food forum.

Until next time – ¡Mucho Gusto!, ¡Muchas Gracias! y ¡Buen Provecho!

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