Getting sick in the summer is an absolute nightmare – there you are, waving goodbye to tan lines and beach parties. If you’re city-bound and totally bedridden, it can be a hassle to try to feed yourself right.

Thankfully, this time I had bought a bunch of fruits, veggies, and other (bland) essentials before the week of horror. I opened the fridge and, as it gave me a desperate look, I decided it was time to defeat this illness with some impromptu nomnoms.

Note: huge thanks to my A/C for inspiring this article as well as my sickness. Thank you babe. I couldn’t have done this without you.

Cold Avocado & Cucumber Mousse

vegetable, avocado
Marky Pertsemlidi

Food waste is a sinful act; do the good deed and save even the ripest avocado. Naturally Ella comes to the rescue, with her Chilled Cucumber and California Avocado Soup (sorry, California avocados, this is Greek avocado time).

For a lighter twist, I omitted the garlic cloves. (Actually, that’s a lie. I just couldn’t find any.) Coriander was also out of sight, so I added a teaspoon of oregano instead for a more Mediterranean-inspired flavor.

I used only a bit of water to preserve the mousse-like texture, and topped with a mix of herbs + spices. Coupled with Cretan carob rusks, this dish is so refreshing that it is guaranteed to soothe a sore throat and help you survive the heatwave.

40% Soupe Au Pistou

soup, shrimp
Marky Pertsemlidi

40% because, frankly, I couldn’t find more than half of the ingredients – but a 100% success nonetheless. As a huge fan of French cuisine, I own both volumes of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking (highly recommended!), and searched for a warm, fulfilling meal in its pages.

The original soupe au pistou is a chicken-veg masterpiece. My creation looked depressing in comparison; I only used diced onions, white beans, chicken, and bread crumbs for the soup, and everything but basil for the pistou. I compensated for the loss by enhancing the dish with mixed ground spices.

#SpoonTip: Light soups are your BFFs when sick in the summer, and you have total freedom with them. There are infinite combinations to fit any personal taste, and it's easy to create a delicious mix just don't overdo it. Spices are your golden dust, and so are simple condiments (eg. oil/lemon-based).

Toast-less Egg & Avocado Toast

Marky Pertsemlidi

To up my energy levels (and abide by the rules of being basic), I made my version of a refueling egg-avo “toast” with my leftover mousse. I used rye rusks as a toast substitute, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, a couple of poached eggs, and pomegranate juice.

There are a million different ways to poach eggs, so if you’re one of [all of us] who are terrified of even attempting the dish, I assure you I’ve been following the non-fancy method since day 1 and it works every time.

Need some proof in the form of a GIF? It's fine, it was a rhetorical question:

Marky Pertsemlidi

Mediterranean Grilled Octopus

crab, lobster, seafood, fish, shellfish
Marky Pertsemlidi

I guess I wouldn’t really be Greek if I couldn’t casually find a wild-caught octopus in my freezer (bless you, Father and your weekly fishing adventures). Octopi are packed with healthy nutrients, many of which boost our immune system.

The only daunting aspect of cooking a fresh octopus is preparation (removal of skin, sack, etc.), which is already done for store-bought mollusks. I simply grilled it with olive oil, lemon, and spices, and served with a traditional Greek salad.

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Granola


A lover of all things chocolate such as myself simply cannot fully recover without a cocoa treat somewhere in the regimen. Tasting Autumn Brianne’s Sweet & Salty Chocolate Granola is like munching on crispy dreams. I only substituted maple syrup with honey in this one.

Autumn describes it perfectly: “This granola recipe is only one thing: GOOD. It has carbs, it has gluten, it has fat, it has sugar, it has oil, and it even has salt. And it is damn good.” Seriously, who wouldn't recover after that?

Note: If you are struggling (or have in the past) with EDs or a related mindset, check out Autumn Brianne’s blog and read her incredible inspirational story.

This article does not assume that you have the exact ingredients in your fridge, nor that your A/C is as aggressive as mine (I really hope not). It is, however, meant to convince you that being sick in the summer can be fun! (Yup, I'm also cringing at my statements here. BTW, did I say being sick in the summer is lit?)

In reality, my aim is to inspire freedom and risk-taking when it comes to cooking. La Tarte Tatin was a culinary accident. Heck – even chocolate chip cookies were invented because the chef ran out of baking chocolate.

Sometimes, a slip of the hand leads to perfection. I always love quoting Remy from Ratatouille and his strawberry-cheese explosion: “...but, combine one flavor with another, and something new [is] created.

Do not be afraid to improvise with what you’ve got. You never know when you might end up tasting fireworks.