In the midst of the summer heat, it could seem strange to cook up spicy recipes for your Meatless Monday table. But take a page out of the cookbooks of some of the world's hottest countries: India, Mexico, Thailand... you'll soon see that hot weather and hot pepper go hand in hand.
Spicy foods have a variety of effects, including making you sweat. Sweat is one of the body's only natural ways to ward off overheating, thus its popularity in hot-weather countries. Take some of our favorite spicy recipes for a spin to ward off the heat of summer... and give your taste buds a run for their money as well!
Korean cuisine is particularly adept at creating hot-weather spicy dishes. Cold spicy buckwheat noodles are made with a bright red sauce tinged with Korean chili and kimchi. Boiled eggs add protein to the dish, while toppings like nori or cucumber add a touch of cool freshness to the cold dish. Choose gluten-free chewy buckwheat noodles to ensure that this dish is safe to serve to your friends avoiding gluten.
Image: Breville USA
You may be familiar with jerk chicken, but what about vegetarian jerk plantains? The savory, starchy banana lookalike makes the perfect base for the spices of the jerk rub, complete with the heat of a habanero pepper. Serve with a yogurt or sour cream-based dipping sauce to help calm the heat of these tasty bites.
From the Organic Authority Files
These Ethiopian lentils are more spiced than spicy, with a blend of berber spices. Just a touch of cayenne pepper gives this stew its heat, but you're more than welcome to up the dose as you see fit! Along with hot pepper, cinnamon, allspice, clove and fenugreek find their way into this entirely vegan stew. Serve it with classic injera for a traditional Ethiopian treat.
Even dessert can handle a hint of spice with these sangria popsicles. A combination of cocktail and refreshing end to the meal, the popsicles include wine, fruit, cinnamon and a touch of cayenne pepper. The combination is sweet and fruity with just the right kick at the back of the palate... and its frozen form will keep you cool for sure!
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Top image: Charles Haynes