Am I the only one that is feeling hot and bothered lately? It is a zillion degrees outside, our wedding is now less than two months away, and life just feels like its zooming along at breakneck speed.
I’ve found some nice ways to cool my everloving jets, though. Like taking a shower or bath. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is or what else is going on – it is like a reset button. If you really only have thirty seconds, a quick face-washing works well too.
Or clearing clutter. I’m not talking about a massive gutting of every drawer, I’m talking a quick ten-minute sweep to get things looking orderly. I’ve found that when I’m not looking at a hot mess, it miraculously makes my brain feel like less of a hot mess.
Also, making a list! For me, writing it all down always takes an amorphous blob of overwhelm and turns it into a realistic assessment of what needs doing.
My absolute favorite way to chill the fuck out, though, is to eat today’s Watermelon, Cucumber, and Basil salad. Here’s the thing – watermelon and cucumber are natural coolants. The Slurpees of Mother Nature, if you will. They’re so full of water that they hydrate the body beautifully.
In terms of flavors, they are meant to be BFFs – cucumber backs up watermelon with its crunch, watermelon returns the favor with its sweetness. The balsamic vinegar, basil, feta, and cashews complement everything perfectly; but then again, don’t they always?
It is way more filling than you’d ever expect. We ate this for dinner last week and I had visions of digging into other leftovers after I was done, but it’s a complete, refreshing meal that involves zero oven use. The amounts can absolutely be adjusted to taste; I don’t want to tell you how to live your life.
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Basil Salad
3-4 cups of watermelon, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
2-3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into whatever size chunks you’d like
2-3 oz. crumbled goat or sheep’s milk feta
2 generous handfuls of basil, chopped
2 tbsp. raw cashews, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Yield: 2 hearty servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
- To prepare dressing, begin by vigorously whisking the balsamic vinegar and slowly drizzling in olive oil.
- Watermelon is pretty delicate, so rather than an aggressive toss of the salad (har har), lay out the watermelon and cucumber on a large plate and sprinkle with the basil.
- Save the nuts, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste for immediately before serving – the nuts and cheese so they retain their texture, and the seasoning because it will make the veggies release their water.
- Once you’ve served the salad onto individual plates, drizzle with dressing and add extra basil and salt and pepper to taste.