Summer Kitchen Short Cuts
Photo by Evan Wise (unsplash.com)
Even on long summer days when the temps are HIGH and motivation for cooking is LOW, we still have to figure out what’s for dinner! Try these hacks to help streamline summer meals:
Boil and peel enough eggs for the week to make summer favorites like deviled eggs and egg salad.OR…. grab a chilled egg and slice it onto a salad.
Fill up the grill!Instead of grilling for just one meal, try grilling for the whole week.Cooked meats may be stored in the refrigerator for three days.Freeze meats that will not be used by then.Having a stash of frozen cooked meats can be a real time saver!
Pick up a rotisserie chicken when grocery shopping.Immediately do the work of removing all of the meat. The easy part will be to turn this into chicken salad in the next day or so. Add LOTS of chopped celery and peppers, along with small chunks of apple or sliced grapes to extend the chicken….so there will be enough for more than one meal.
Enlist help from the whole family to wash and cut up raw veggies for the week.This makes it super easy to grab a handful of veggies to pair with ANY summer meal.
The crockpot perfectly cooks everything from chicken to fish to pulled pork and is NOT just for cold fall and winter months. Who needs an oven or hot stove when a crock pot will do?!!
Have a sandwich night.A simple sandwich CAN count as a decent meal!!Start with a high quality 100% whole grain or whole wheat bread.Toast it (or not).Select a protein or two and then pile it high with veggies.Pair it with a serving of summer fruit (watermelon, peaches, grapes, etc.) and call it a meal.
Try a cold stuffed summer tomato: Cut a large tomato into fourths (be careful NOT to go all the way through but stop within a half inch or so of the bottom, so that the tomato is still being held together).Then stuff it with tuna salad, chicken salad, cottage cheese or egg salad.
Consider a meal in a bowl.This is one of the ways ever to get a meal on the table FAST! Except for warming up the canned beans, there is NO cooking involved.
Cover bottom of individual bowls with canned (heated) beans of choice. Black beans and pinto beans are delicious to use in bowl meals.
Add toppings as you wish! Some ideas for toppings include:
Thinly sliced cabbage or lettuce or spinach
Snipped fresh cilantro
Chopped onion or green onion
Thinly sliced jalapeno peppers….if you like it hot and spicy!
Salsa of choice
Chunks of left over chicken, beef, pork or fish/ shrimp. This is a great way to use up any cooked meat or fish that you already have on hand.
Make water the summer beverage of choice in your family. Dress up a glass of ice water by adding a garnish of fresh mint leaves.