The thought of turning on the oven in the summer time sends the sweat glands into overdrive. Keeping the house cool and making things simple is the goal of this sun dominating season. The only problem is that your family does need to eat. Many of us struggle with finding great options that are healthy, fulfilling and tasty during the months you only want to lay at the beach and cool yourself off with chilly drinks and frozen treats.
The barbecue grill is the favorite tool for most families. There are the options of coal grills, electric grills and combinations of the two. There are endless books and blogs dedicated to recipes that take advantage of the wonders of the grill.
The crockpot is another cooking tool that can keep the high temperatures at bay while tackling those hunger pangs. Crockpots often find their way to the back of the pantry until winter for soups and stews but they are valuable for so much more. The heat from using the crockpot stays confined to the pot so no need to adjust the AC.
The outdoor cooking option is wonderful for taste, entertaining and keeping the heat of preparing a meal away from the kitchen. For those of us who still want to use our kitchens for more than a walk through to get a bottle of water, here are a couple of wonderful warm weather menu options that put in double duty.
Who Doesn’t Like a Fiesta?
When you think about a Fiesta you have to think fun, filling and flavor filled food. The crockpot is the center stage for this menu option that offers the family an easy hand held delicious meal of tacos. The main ingredient can be beef, pork or chicken that is served with a veggie blend of onions and peppers, cool refreshing toppings of tomatoes and sour cream concluded with a garnish of creamy cheese choices. Add chips, salsa or guacamole and you have a meal that everyone will enjoy.
With a few pieces of paper towel, flour tortillas and a microwave you are ready to offer your family a summer approved menu.
(Recipes via allrecipes.com)
Chicken Option: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/221256/chicken-taco-filling/
"Meat" me at the Deli Counter
Variety makes this menu choice a home run. Selecting different types of breads, rolls or buns will add panache to the reality that a sandwich is the main course for dinner. Visit the deli counter and grab lunch meats like ham, turkey, salami etc that your family enjoys along with cheeses such as Swiss, Pepperjack, Cheddar or Provolone. The pantry aisle of the market is the next stop to grab complimenting condiments including fun flavors like Olive Oil Mayo, Honey Mustard and Chipotle Dressing.
To make our sandwich a meal try including some cold salad options as side dishes. A fruit salad like watermelon mint, a veggie filled option like a side salad, potato or pasta salads will have the meal complete with breaking only one rule…possibly boiling a pot of water (although most of these salads are available in some form at the deli counter itself).
Watermelon Mint Salad: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/06/watermelon-feta-mintsalad-recipe.html
Betty Crocker Simply Pasta Salad: https://www.bettycrocker.com/products/suddenly-salad
Fun, Simple and Enjoyable are the requirements to make your summer menu reflect the wonder of the season.