Friday, July 19, 2013

Minimal-to-no-cook Summer Meals

Hoo boy, has it been HOT.  And in this non-air conditioned house, that means meal planning has been super simple. Breakfast is cereal or smoothies, lunch is sandwiches or cheese and crackers and fruit, and dinner - well, dinner is a bit more difficult. Turning on the oven is pretty much against the law, but when it's this hot, any heat-producing appliance is basically a no go.  So I've come up with some simple dinners that require minimal or no cooking. I've pinned a few more, but these are my favorites.

1. Rotisserie Chicken. The $5 rotisserie chickens from BJ's are my friend when it's too hot to cook. You can have chicken with veggies on the side, or cut up some chicken for one of my most frequent summer meals, Big Salad. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, thawed frozen corn, maybe some avocado, hard boiled egg, peas and chicken. Top with ranch for a cold yet satisfying dinner.

You can also use leftover chicken to make chicken salad sandwiches. Cut up chicken, a little mayo, some sliced grapes, celery if you want it to be gross, and slap it on a sandwich.

2. These Smoked Turkey Cobb Wraps from Mel's Kitchen CafĂ© were quite tasty. Obviously, you have to cook the bacon and eggs, but you can do that in advance, and if you really don't want to cook, you could buy them premade. Cooking bacon in the microwave is a good alternative too. Serve with my favorite summertime side dish:  carrot, cucumber and pepper sticks.

3. Nachos. Heat up a can of refried beans in the microwave, or pulled some leftover Spicy Pintos from the freezer and mash them up. Then I like to layer beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and tomatoes in individual bowls and use tortilla chips to scoop away.

What do you do when it's too hot to cook?  I thought I had a few more things to share, but the heat is dragging me into a nap, so I guess that's all for now....