Tips For Summer Cooking

Summer time means hot weather for many parts of the country. Here in Oklahoma we are going on over three weeks of triple digit temperatures.

I don’t know about you, but I do not like to do a lot of baking, or turning on the oven, during the summer. We do not need anything extra heating up the house.

And not only does summer mean hot weather, it usually means very busy schedules.

So, how do you cook your family healthy meals without spending a lot of time in the kitchen?

Use your crockpot

It is easy to start something in your crockpot first thing in the morning. Crockpots do put off a little heat, so if you are worried about that set your crockpot on your back porch or in your garage. I learned this tip actually from a friend when I was pregnant and I could not stand the smell of food cooking, but it works the same for hot weather. (Just be careful that you do not attract the neighborhood dogs. :) )

Use Your Grill

I know some of you do not own grills, but for those of you that do, put it to work. I use my grill several times a week. We use it for everything from meats and vegetables to pizza. Grilling keeps the heat outside and keeps the mess in my kitchen to a minimal.

Make Salads

I love salads and could eat them almost every day. My husband on the other hand thinks of salad as a side dish not a main dish. However, I can easily incorporate salads into our menu plan by making the hearty salads.

We love steak salad and chicken salad. I also often make pasta salad, fajita salad, and taco salad.

Keep It Simple

Summertime is the perfect time to keep your meals simple.

It is so easy to make Mexican Rice and quesadillas. Fried rice is also simple and easy to make.

We love making homemade burrito bowls with cilantro rice and seasoned black beans during the hot weather. Tacos and fajitas are also quick and easy meals to make.

Make Breakfast For Dinner

Breakfast for dinner is often popular because it is an inexpensive meal, but it is also quick and easy to prepare without using the oven.

It is easy to make pancakes, waffles, or eggs and toast. Breakfast bowls are also easy to make and make ahead.

What tips do you have for keeping mealtime simple during the summer?

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Comments

  1. In your quesadilla and Mexican rice picture what is the third item on the plate? It looks like maybe a refried black bean or something? I recently made a modified version of this black bean taco filling-
    http://www.simplebites.net/5-tips-to-create-vegetarian-friendly-meals-black-bean-burritos/
    only I used pintos instead. Everyone liked it and it was rather simple. I will have to try the burrito bowl idea, I recently bought myself a GF frozen burrito bowl by a co. called EVOL. It was so good it had me wanting to make my own (I know its easy enough). The rice recipe you have should help me out a lot on that end!
    I am going to have to make fried rice again soon. Thanks for the ideas!

  2. Summer Cooking is like a giant crossword puzzle, fitting in the horizontal and vertical matches! I’m a firm believer in converging and diverging leftovers…aka batch cooking. A ham can be revisited as ham beans, scalloped potatoes, or sandwiches. The ham beans can be used as a main dish with cornbread, as side dish, in cowboy beans, then show up again as cornbread salad. A triple batch of rice can show up as chicken & rice casserole, stir fry, Spanish rice, or rice and beans. Don’t even get me started on the possibilities of poultry and pasta! Sometimes I’ll freeze some of the extra batches so we don’t get tired of any single component. My goal is the NEVER cook the entire meal on any given day.

    I try to move as many of my small appliances out to my covered patio as I can. A hot day may find me and the crockpot(s), breadmachine, electric skillet, griddle, hotplate etc. cooking away out of doors. (I’ve been asking my kids to build me a sun oven so I can experiment with baking outside, but I may end up building that one myself.) I’ve found that outdoor cooking is great any time of year if I don’t want the house to smell like what we are having for dinner…fish, kraut, greens….

    • @Susie E, I agree with you on the batch cooking:) I keep my freezer stocked with several pre-cooked things that I can easily pull out and have dinner ready in no time. We also grill and use the crock pot alot. We have a large charcoal grill, so I try to plan ahead and grill several things @ once. This not only saves time it keeps from wasting charcoal. I have a pretty good size toaster oven and so that helps, too. It doesn’t have to be on as long as the regular oven and doesn’t put off as much heat.

  3. I love the crock-pot tip. I do that a lot and people look at me weird like its suppose to be a winter thing….wonderful tips, gonna use a few =P

    I have a “Flash-Back-Friday” linky going on right now, Its so fun looks at old posts–would love for you to link up one! =)
    Cookin’ for my Captain’s FBF #9

  4. We enjoy sandwiches on really hot days, but they don’t have to be plain or blah. My current obsession (actually, it’s an ongoing obsession!) is with caprese salads or sandwiches. I could eat them every day and have tried in the past! :)

  5. I do most of my indoor cooking on Sunday evenings; everything is chopped and assembled then and sometimes cooked too.

    Tonight, for example, I will prep vegetables and chicken to be used in fahitas and a stir-fry, cook a double batch of rice (cilantro-lime rice with the fahitas and for fried rice with the stir-fry) and cook a crock pot full of beans overnight. Everything else we eat will be grilled.

    If I stay with my plan this week the only things cooked inside will be the rice and beans tonight.

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