We like to grill and eat simply during the summer. Here are a few ideas and links to recipes that we’ve been enjoying this summer.
Chicken: I’ve been keeping cooked chicken on hand to add to salads or to serve as a main dish with many vegetables and fruits. When the meat is already cooked, dinner prep takes only a few minutes! I’ve been using chicken breasts and using THIS method to bake them in the oven. You can use whatever seasonings you like best.
Salads and Fresh Veggies: Mixed greens and spinach are my favorite to keep on hand for quick and tasty salads. I love to add slices of purple/red onion, cucumber, and toasted croutons, which I buy in bulk at Winco. My favorite cucumbers are the tiny salad ones. I also keep a variety of dressings (or ingredients to make my own, such as vinegar, poppy seeds, olive oil) to change up the flavor. Here are a few of our favorite salad recipes (my sisters have posted even more salads on our family recipe blog, which is where each below comes from; feel free to look through the other salad recipes by clicking on the SALAD tag):
- Nuts About Berries Salad
- Sticky Finger Salad
- California Pasta Salad
- Chicken Pasta Fruit Salad
- Spinach Strawberry Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
- Caesar Chicken Pasta Salad
- Fruit & Yogurt Salad
- Chinese Chicken Salad
Dairy: Unsweetened almond milk has become a favorite low-calorie option to make smoothies with frozen fruit. My favorite cottage cheese is Dairy Gold 2%. We also keep mozzarella cheese on hand (our son loves to make pizza) and cheddar cheese for sandwiches or to add to cheesy casseroles.
Eggs: Every week I hard-boil a dozen or so eggs, peel them, and keep them refrigerated. If I need a healthy snack before mealtime, I grab an egg. I love added hard-boiled eggs to salads, too. Breakfast is also super easy with the eggs already prepared. . . just add a slice of toast and some fruit! THIS is the method I’ve been using for easy-peel hard-boiled eggs.
Fresh Fruit: I love buying in-season fruit, and summer and into fall is a plentiful time for a variety of different fruits. If we can’t eat it all fresh before it goes bad, then we freeze it on a cookie sheet. Once it’s frozen individually, it can be stored in a ziploc freezer bag. We then use the frozen fruit for delicious smoothies. My favorites this time of year are melons and berries.
Refreshing Beverages: You can make smoothies or slushies if you keep frozen fruit on hand. Here are some of our favorite combinations:
- Creamy Peach Smoothie
- Virgin Watermelon Margaritas
- Fresh Strawberry Lemonade
- Rise ‘N Raspberry Smoothie
Sheet Pan Dinners: Another favorite tip is to prepare meals on one pan/baking sheet so clean up is easy. It’s even easier if you use foil or parchment paper to line the pan. HERE are some great ideas for quick, healthy, and easy sheet pan dinners.
Portable Meals: The most important part of summer is enjoying time with family and friends, hopefully without technology to interrupt us. Getting outside – to the backyard, the park, the neighbor’s backyard, or the mountains – helps us enjoy our time together. One of my favorite things about getting together with friends and family is the variety of potluck dishes I get to try. This month we’ve been to several backyard BBQ parties. I tried a quinoa salad for the first time (loved it!). We enjoyed corn on the cob, baby-back ribs, smoked pork loin steamed in apple juice, tender BBQ chicken drumsticks, a variety of green salads, pasta salads, and fruit salads, and I variety of fun desserts. If you’ve been invited to a potluck party, bring your favorite tried-and-true dish! I love to bring a dish I know others will love, but I also love to try new recipes. Take a look at all THESE fun recipes to try!