Are you someone who dreads adding any heat to your home just to get supper on the table? No need to slave over the hot stove or warm up your oven. Here are a few ideas to keep it cool during the summer months:
- Use your electric pressure cooker. Anything from a roast, hard-boiled eggs, or Vegetable Soup can be made in your favorite electric pressure cooker. The heat stays concentrated inside the pressure cooker. The released steam will be very hot, but the heat dissipates quickly. My favorite pressure cooker is from Pampered Chef.
- Use your slow cooker. Keep the lid on and you’ll get the food done faster and with less heat entering your kitchen. No peeking! I love to make roasts and whole chickens in my slow cooker. The meat can then be used in a variety of ways like BBQ beef or roast beef sandwiches. Use leftover chicken in wraps or salads. Don’t forget to make chicken broth with the leftover bones in the slow cooker! Several of my soup mixes are also great in the slow cooker including Enchilada, Sweet Potato & Black Bean, and Country 6 Bean.
- Enjoy a refreshing main-dish salad. Take advantage of the leafy greens available from your local farmers’ market or maybe even grown in your own garden. Add in some protein from hard-boiled eggs (see idea #1), leftover roast chicken (see idea #2), or even some cold deli meat. Chop fresh veggies like carrots, celery, and cucumbers and add to your bowl. Drizzle with a quick homemade dressing – my favorite is a simple Dilly Dressing.
- Grill. Make your entire meal on the grill or Blackstone Griddle. Chicken breasts, potato wedges and some stalks of asparagus can all be grilled for an easy weeknight dinner. Make it even easier with a steak or Sweet Potato & Black Bean burgers served with a cool salad and iced tea.
- Smoothies. They aren’t just for breakfast! If you end up hot and sweaty from working outdoors during the day, there’s no reason not to enjoy a refreshing smoothie made from fresh fruit, nut butters, oatmeal, spinach, Greek yogurt, or any other items you wish to add!
- Microwave. Lean on your microwave with burritos you threw in the freezer made with leftover Southwestern Rice & Bean Soup. Our family also enjoys egg sandwiches from eggs we scramble in a bowl and pop in the microwave for about a minute and a half (I like to add about a tablespoon of salsa to mine before microwaving.)
- Keep “no cook” items on hand. Sometimes busy summer evenings filled with baseball, swimming and gardening call for easy on-the-go suppers. Think crackers with meat and cheese, veggies with dip or hummus, and a crunchy apple. Or maybe you’d rather have a flour tortilla filled with tuna/chicken/egg salad or deli meat and cheese. Parfaits with plain yogurt sweetened with local honey, fresh fruit, and granola are a tasty option for breakfast or a light lunch. And don’t forget the simplest of all – good ‘ol PB&J!
What is your favorite way to keep the heat out of the kitchen during the summer?