Who wants to spend hours in the kitchen all summer? I don’t. I’d rather be outside enjoying the sunset or taking a walk. Instead of sweating it out over a stove every night of the week, take an hour or two over the weekend and prep a few make-ahead meals or get some help from the grocery store and whip up a healthy dinner without even doing so much as pre-heating the oven.
Check out these ideas for quick and healthy dinners:
- Pick up a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, bagged salad greens, and a loaf of rustic bread from the bakery. Serve up a 3-4 ounce piece of chicken, 2 cups of greens, and a chunk of bread. Dinner is done!
- Go cold. Why not serve up a little buffet of cold, tasty delights? How about jumbo shrimp cocktail with a cold pasta salad dressed lightly with lemon zest and olive oil? Then top it off with some cold, juicy watermelon? While it’s true the only thing these foods have in common is their temperature, you’ll appreciate it on a hot summer night.
- Prep a couple make-ahead meals over the weekend. Think about a summer soup like this Peter’s Grill Vegetable Soup stocked full of fresh vegetables and dried herbs. Or try this vegetarian Sloppy Joe recipe below. Both of these make-ahead meals allow you to “heat and eat” for dinner in 15 minutes or less.
Vegetarian Sloppy Joes (serves 10)
2-1/2 cups beef flavored TVP crumbles (frozen)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2-1/2 cup ketchup
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
5 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
5 tsp. mustard
1-1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1-1/4 tsp. onion powder
10 hamburger buns
Recipe Credit: Christine Watson, RD, LDN
July 17th, 2009