Welcome to the dog days of summer and simple eating. Unlike winter, when those crock pot soups and stews hit the spot, we are now in the season of light…
…Light from more hours of sunshine; light in the weight of our clothing; light in which to sit and be still; light eating to nourish and not overburden.
Here a few ideas to help you enjoy meals that get you out of the kitchen fast AND keep you feeling your best!
- Hard boil a carton of eggs to keep on hand. These are great as a grab-&-go breakfast or snack, egg salad, or added to greens. Here are the tricks: buy your eggs and keep in the fridge at least a week beforehand. Fresh eggs don’t peel as easily. To cook, put them in your pan and cover with cold water, about an inch above the eggs. Bring to a rapid boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit about 15 minutes then cover them with lots of ice and water. This is the other critical part that helps them peel easily, so keep them iced for about 45 minutes. Peel all of the eggs immediately and refrigerate in an airtight container.
- When you grill, make extra. Leftover steak is wonderful sliced thin and gently reheated to make fajitas, tacos or added to greens. Same goes for chicken. This is a great idea for any picnic leftovers as well, as long as they weren’t out in the heat.
- Sauté instead of roast so you don’t heat up the kitchen. This method of cooking is also much faster. Green beans, peppers, summer squash, broccoli, asparagus, etc. sautéed in extra virgin olive oil (lower heat) or avocado oil if you like to crank up the temperature.
- Any type of “burger” is fast, easy and tastes great with those veggies: ground beef, chicken, turkey or pork. Season with your favorites–Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, onion and garlic powder work for me. The Beyond Meat plant-based burger is another tasty and quick alternative. (I’m practicing the art of consuming less animal protein on some days.)
- Cold salads: mix canned tuna packed in olive oil with a bit of chopped celery, salt, pepper and lemon juice over avocado and greens; pasta (or quinoa) of your choosing tossed with chopped sweet peppers and raw broccoli or even (ick) cauliflower, any of those leftover meats you grilled, and toss with olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings of your choosing. These can be made ahead in the morning, chilled, and no dinnertime cooking is necessary.
Now is the time to find fresh anything at the local farmer’s market and make up a concoction with what you have on hand. Keep in mind that if you don’t know what to do with some food, serve it on a bed of fresh greens, splash with some olive oil and lemon juice, and you’ll probably be just fine.
Relax, enjoy and remember to drink your water.
“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”—Charles Bowden