Cooking When It’s Hot

When it's hot who feels like cooking a heavy meal? Not me. Why heat up the kitchen. It is time to make lighter meals for you and the kids because the heat reduces the appetitive anyway.

In the summer I just go for the fresh fruits and vegetables. You can make all kinds of different simple and delicious dishes with them. Most need very little preparation to make them absolutely delicious.

You can also use spices to add some pep to a meal that might seem too plain (as is often the case with dishes that consist of just cut up vegetables.) Use spices to add pep to a meal instead of drowning everything in a heavy sauce. There is also no need to cook anything. I like grating vegetables in the summer to make them more palatable.

You can also experiment with lettuces. They can be used as a base for a dish as in making a bed of lettuce or as part of the salad. You should also not use too much dressing as it can be really fattening for both you and the kids. I like to make my own oil and vinegar dressings for a salad. These dressings give a light taste that adds a spicy taste to the dressing for different flavors.

Lettuce of all kinds is a good platform to start building a meal on. You can add potatoes, macaroni, chicken, shrimp, turkey and other things to lettuce. I sometimes just pour hamburger made with taco mix and grated cheese over a bed of lettuce. You can make a complete meal like this in a matter of minutes and you won't bore your kids taste buds (or your own!). Also these types of meals can be very nutritious as well.

To save time I sometimes buy precooked meat or that chicken that is part soy in the store and just dump it in the salad.

One of the most nutritious meals you can make is a macaroni salad. My kids love it with peas, cheese and tuna. They love this mix of foods whether they are cold or hot. Sometimes I add chopped up boiled eggs or a few chopped up raw tomatoes to this mix as well.

Another macaroni recipe I like is eggs, onions, tuna, relish, mayonnaise and cup of mustard. This makes a cool spicy macaroni salad dish. Of course you could add a little yellow or red curry powder to this to spice it up.

Of course if it is really hot I make sure there is a lots of cool fruit on hand for dessert. My kids love frozen fruit chunks, especially grapes. Frozen bananas with chocolate drizzled all over them are also a nice idea.

Don't bother slaving over the oven in the summer. Instead save energy, air conditioning bills and keep your kitchen cool.