It is that time of the year here in the U.S. that folks just hate heating up the kitchen cooking meals.
I don't worry about it so much, as our kitchen is off from the rest of the house (a separate room), and it doesn't seem to warm things up much. I think those with a more open concept might worry more about it.
Here are a few ideas for lovely meals - and a cool kitchen!
When it's too hot to cook inside - use the grill.
The following meals are what we have always called HOBO dinners. You use lengths of heavy duty foil and separate meat and other ingredients into them. Wrap and grill.
Meat is usually 1 - 2 lbs. (depending on number you are feeding).
Veggies - 1 1/2 - 2 cups
Starch - 1 1/2 - 2 cups
Sauce - to taste
Add-ins to taste
Ground beef patties + tomatoes sliced + potatoes sliced + BBQ sauce + French Fried onions = BBQ burger packet
Smoked sausage + green beans + potatoes sliced + beef broth + spicy mustard = German-fest packet
Boneless pork chops + corn on cob (halved) + sweet potatoes sliced + butter & minced garlic + chives (chopped) = Down home pork chop packet
Boneless, skinless chicken breast + bell peppers/onion, sliced + soft tortillas (for AFTER grilling) + salsa + shredded cheese/sour cream = Grilled chicken fajita packets
Large shrimp and/or cod fillets + zucchini or yellow squash, sliced + cooked rice (serve with after grilling) + butter, dill, lemon juice + paprika = Dilled shrimp & squash packet
****Arrange veggies and meat topped with seasoning on foil. Fold foil tightly in packet form. Place on a heated grill for a good 25 - 30 minutes (meat) or 20 minutes (seafood). Top with your add-ins after done.
Super easy, yummy, keeps house cool and NO clean-up!
There is no limit to the variety you can make. I did meatballs, potatoes, carrots & onions with a little butter and seasoning the other night - oh so yummy!!!
Slow cookers are another way to not heat the kitchen and you can make dinner while at work or play!
Again - meat is 1 - 2 lbs.
Veggies - 1 1/2 - 2 cups
Starch - 2 cups
Sauce - 2 cans or 2 cups
Add-ins - one or more to taste
Boneless skinless chicken breast (tear apart after done cooking) + salsa or tomatoes and green chiles diced + instant rice (stir in 20 minutes before end of cooking) + either tomato or cream of chicken soup + shredded cheese (stir in after done) = Chicken enchilada stew
Beef chuck, cut into strips +mushrooms sliced + cooked egg noodles (after meat is finished cooking) + cream of mushroom soup + sour cream (stir in when done) = Beef stroganoff
Boneless pork ribs (serving size pieces) + onions sliced + navy or baked beans + BBQ sauce + tomatoes diced = BBQ pork and beans
(You could use cut pork roast or chops as well)
Smoke sausage + sauerkraut + frozen shredded hash browns + French onion soup + 1 packet onion soup mix (add with soup) = Sausage, kraut dinner
Beef chuck roast + carrots and onions quartered + potatoes quartered + golden mushroom soup + Worcestershire sauce = Beef stew
****Arrange veggies on the bottom of slow cooker, arrange meat on top. Top with soup or sauces and sprinkle with add-ins. Cook on low for 8 -10 hours or high for 4 -5 hours.
Easy - peasy dinners - for summer or winter dining! YUMMY beyond yum and super easy clean-up.
I bet they will come back for seconds!!!
During the hot, hot days of summer - we eat a lot of salads and sandwiches. Fresh veggies are always on the menu. The season for home grown fresh goodies is so short, that we take advantage.
Hopefully this helps make life a little easier for you. Get creative and make up your own recipes. All recipes were started by someone thinking "this might be good together"!!
Use what you have - improvise on meats or veggies - depending on what is in the freezer or garden. There are no hard and steadfast rules!
HAPPY DINING - STAY COOL!