Monday, July 30, 2012

Hot Summer Suppers

It's hot (no kidding, right?).  That means there's no way I'm running the oven.  I also only want to cook on the stove-top when it's absolutely necessary.

I keep looking for crock-pot recipes that are more summer appropriate.  Most summer recipes start with a big cut of meat and put it on sandwiches or something like that.  That's OK sometimes, but I like more one-dish meals and if I don't have that big cut of meat in my freezer it doesn't help me much.

This is what I came up with for this week.  How about you?  Please comment, as I can always use more suggestions. 

Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Buffalo Chicken= boneless skinless chicken breasts+ some of Buffalo sauce that's been hanging around the fridge for a while+ 3 or so hours on high in the crock-pot = very happy husband
- Romaine, tomatoes, red onion, carrots, red pepper, avocado (or whatever else is on hand)
- More Buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing
(I even forgot the shredded cheddar cheese and it was delicious!)

Hot dogs with sauerkraut, veggies on the side

Bean burritos
- Canned refried beans (nonfat)
- Tortillas
- Shredded cheddar 
- Toppings: Salsa, tomatoes, avocado, onion, etc. 
Put desired amount of beans on tortilla and sprinkle with cheese.  Fold together.  Cook on low to medium in a non-stick skillet until beans are hot, cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly browned.  This just takes a couple minutes.  This feels like cheating, but it's so good and so fast (faster than spaghetti).  It only uses one skillet.  This is something we made as kids, and it was even the requested meal at a couple of birthday parties that I can remember.  It's fairly healthy (yes, I know there's sodium in the beans...homemade refried beans are on my to-do list... maybe once I get some more freezer space) and it tastes good.  You're only leaning over the stove for a few minutes too!

Greek salad
- Romaine, tomatoes, carrots, red onion, red pepper, kalamata olives, feta cheese
- homemade Greek dressing: the recipe from the cookbook is about 1/4 red wine vinegar or lemon juice to 3/4 olive oil (I think next time I'll reduce the olive oil for a little more acidity), dried oregano and minced garlic

I don't think I'm making one this week, but another favorite cold meal is Pasta Salad:
- Cooked pasta (rotini, tri-colored, whatever is in the pantry)
- Mini or chopped pepperoni
- Diced and shredded vegetables: green/red peppers, shredded carrots, finely diced (or dried) onion, green olives, grape tomatoes (halved?), and whatever else sounds good
- Shredded cheese
- Oil and (red wine) vinegar dressing with Italian seasoning, pepper, salt, garlic powder
Let it sit in the fridge for at least a few hours to let the flavors meld, then eat for lunches and dinners.

The above, plus the leftover Buffalo chicken and beans for a couple lunches and maybe another meal, should about do the trick for the week.   

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