Quick Cooking Tips to Get You Out of the Kitchen
6 strategies to help you beat the heat and join the summer fun.
By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen! That's what I say when it's summer, and the very thought of turning on the stove or oven inspires beads of sweat to form on your brow.
But how do you "stay out of the kitchen" and still fix dinner for yourself and your busy brood?
Eating out or ordering takeout gets expensive and tiresome. But cooking dinner in the summer can be a challenge. Not only do we want to avoid the kitchen as much as possible, we need something we can prepare with a moment's notice, since school-free family members may be coming and going all evening long.
Never fear. I've got some ideas on how you can minimize your kitchen time and this summer.
1. Get 2 Grilled Entrees for the Price of 1
While the barbeque is all fired up on the weekend, go ahead and throw tomorrow's dinner on, too. Roasted veggies or kabobs, chicken, lean steak, pork tenderloin or prawns are all great choices.
2. Blend up a Summer Soup
Cold summer soups can be savory or sweet. The sweet types feature ripe summer fruits like berries or melon; the savory ones are usually based on a vegetable like cucumber, zucchini or carrot, or a veggie wanna-be like tomato or avocado.
Two big summer favorites are gazpacho, the Spanish tomato-based soup with bell peppers, onion, garlic and cucumbers; and vichyssoise, which features pureed potatoes, leeks, and a swirl of cream.
3. Summer Salads + Protein = Dinner
Salads are a refreshing change from hot dinner entrees. But how does a salad become a meal with a minimum of fuss? In a word, you need protein! From plant, fish or fowl, the choice is yours.
Here are some quick picks for salad add-ons:
Here's how much some common ingredients can pump up the protein of your salad:
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