Summer is in full-swing and the weather is definitely hot. When the sun is out and temperatures rise, chances are you aren’t going to feel like cooking on the stove or in the oven and heating up the house even more. But fear not hungry friends, as there are plenty of other options to satisfy and feed your family and friends.
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Dust off your grill. Whether your grill is charcoal, gas, or electric, the summer months are all about grilling the foods you love. Perhaps you’ve tried a little grilling in the past, but haven’t been too adventurous. The truth of the matter is that pretty much anything can be grilled. Add a rub or marinade to whatever meat (or tofu, for you vegetarians/vegans out there) strikes your fancy. Chop some vegetables and fruits like artichokes, zucchini, tomatoes, watermelon, and/or peaches and throw them on the grill for a delicious and healthy meal.
Fact: Everything tastes better on a stick. Use your favorite meats, veggies, and fruits to create kabobs that can be easily thrown onto the barbeque or wrapped in foil and thrown into an evening campfire. Simply chop your ingredients into uniform pieces and stick onto skewers in whatever order makes the most sense to you. Serve with or without an added side dish; the choice is yours. Or for a simple and delicious dessert, alternate strawberries and pieces of angel food cake and serve with whipped cream.
Salad doesn’t have to imitate rabbit food. Salads are generally a summer go-to food, but they don’t have to be so boring and tasteless. Try a new kind of greens other than iceberg or romaine lettuce. Spinach, arugula, and butter lettuce provide tasty ways to shake up your traditional salad recipe. Replace tomatoes with chunks of watermelon and add other fruits like blueberries and strawberries. Top things off with some fresh herbs like mint or basil, and you will have little need for added dressing without compromising flavor.
Sandwiches and wraps aren’t just meant for a picnic lunch. Try using different kinds of bread than what you generally turn to, like whole wheat bagels or rye bread. Add some fresh or grilled veggies along with your meat and cheese of choice. Try new combinations like salmon and cucumber or broccoli slaw and grilled chicken wrapped in a spinach tortilla. Skip the mayonnaise and opt for a smashed avocado for added moisture. You can even throw your sandwich on the grill to make a toasted and tasty Panini.
While the fall/winter months may be synonymous with soups, chilled soups can provide a refreshing change to your summer menu. Perhaps the most well-known cold soup is gazpacho, a chilled soup of Spanish origins. Most cold soups require nothing more than your chosen ingredients, a refrigerator, and a blender. They can be served as a starter or alongside some bread for a light and refreshing meal. Tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beans, peppers, and beets are ingredients commonly found within chilled summer soups. Some are cream-based, while others are low in calories and made from vegetables alone. The possibilities are practically endless.
Sometimes, all we lack is a little inspiration. Share your favorite simple summer recipe in the comments below.