Summer is here, and I am stumped over what to fix that is quick, wholesomely delicious, and requires little effort. Eating fresh whole foods requires a lot of forethought when it comes to quick accessible meals for the family. It is hot, and who wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I tend to crave a lot of cold dishes, salads, grilled foods during the summer months, so I make full use of my weekends either hitting up the farmer’s market or grilling up some yummy foods. Today, I would like to share a few quick summer recipes and shortcuts to keep your fridge stocked with wonderful meals that you can build on through the week.
1. Grilled chicken breasts. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and load the grill up. I cook just until nice and juicy, let rest, and then I leave some pieces whole, dice some up to use later in week for cobb salads, and slice some in strips for a quick fajita style burrito.
2. Mini sweet peppers. I love taking mini sweet peppers, deseeding them, and grilling them up on a fajita pan on the grill. I then can use these for my chicken fajitas, put in a wonderful breakfast frittata, or puree and add to some chicken stock for a quick pepper soup.
3. Corn on the cob. The time and price is right for corn on the cob, and I adore grilled corn, or fresh corn salad. Unshell the ears of corn, rub mayonnaise, and grated parmesan cheese on the ears, sprinkle with paprika and a little salt, wrap in foil, and grill. When they are a little charred, you will have the most delectable piece of corn you have ever tasted. And don’t forget fried corn! Cut corn off the cobb, scraping off the cobb for juices, add flour or cornstarch dissolved in water, butter, salt and pepper, and cook down in a pan with extra butter, stirring occasionally. Pair this with some turnip greens, fried okra and green tomatoes, and some fresh tomatoes wih vidalia onions, and you are eating like a country king!
4. Salads. I like to buy romaine hearts, cut up in salad shreds, add sliced cucumber, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, and croutons. I make a huge bowl of salad, and then for the next couple of days build off it by adding grilled chicken, dried cherries, coconut, pineapples, grilled steak, whatever I am in the mood for. The neat thing is one salad can turn into a multitude of meals just by dressing it different each meal or complementing it with a main dish, like spaghetti or lasagna.
5. Fruits. Keep a nice fruit salad on hand. Cut up fresh cantaloupe, kiwi, and strawberries, add honey, lime juice, lime zest, and mint leaves, and you have an outstanding fruit salad. Keep in air tight cups in the fridge and the more it marinates, the better it gets!
6. Quiche. Who does not like a wonderful egg quiche? Paula Deen has a recipe for spinach bacon quiche that is smack dab good! Bake a couple, and you have a satisfying breakfast along with fruit salad, or a light summer lunch served with a salad. And please don’t forget to keep a nice brewed pitcher of iced tea on hand. Nothing says summer like sitting under a shade tree drinking tea 🙂
Have fun whipping up some great summer delights, that are light and healthy. Cook ahead, so you can enjoy some time outdoors. Take full advantage of summer’s bounty. I think I hear a lemon meringue pie calling me 😉