Simple Summer Dinners
I LOVE summer; but cooking this time of year is the worst! Not only is it hot out, there’s just too much going on. By the time I get home from the playground, the last thing I want to do is turn on a hot over or stand over the stove. Timothy and I have more playdates, I’m meeting friends for happy hours outside, and there’s super fun summer events to attend. For those of you with school age children, I’m sure you’re spending more time than you would during the school year entertaining your kids, and/or driving them around to various sporting events. When I’m not running around teaching, I’m spending most of my time outdoors with Timothy; and the last thing I want to do when I walk in the door is cook dinner. Luckily, I’ve come up with a few “go-to” simple dinner (or lunch) ideas that are great for summer! Here are some of my favorites:
Vietnamese Summer Rolls: This is my favorite recipe I’ve found for Summer rolls, from Steamy Kitchen. The best things about summer rolls, is they require very little cooking and you can really put in whatever veggies/filling you’d like. I’ll sometimes even roll some turkey and lettuce into a rice paper wrap for a quick meal. If you don’t have time to make the dipping sauce, you can always pick some up at the grocery store.
Cheesy Mexican Quinoa: This one you do need to use the oven, but I love it because it’s easy to make – you essentially throw a bunch of ingredients together and pop it in. You can make a lot and have leftovers for a few days. I even like it cold for lunch or over a bed of greens.
Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki: Perfect for summer grilling; and it can even be prepared on a George Forman for city dwellers who don’t have access to a grill:
Scrambled Eggs and a Salad: Eggs are tasty, delicious and super quick to make. I’ll pair them with a cold salad mixed with whatever vegetables I have left in the refrigerator, or that I can pick up from the corner store on my way home.
Peach Caprese Salad: I’m going to say this is my #1 favorite. It takes 10-15 minutes to make and look how beautiful, healthy and delicious it is!
Preheat a grill or grill pan. Whisk together 1 clove garlic (minced), ½ tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp. olive oil, and ½ tsp. fresh basil (finely chopped). Drizzle half the sauce over 1 Portobello mushroom cap. Grill the mushroom for 3 to 4 minutes per side, covered. Meanwhile, combine the remaining sauce with ½ tbsp. light mayo and spread on 1 whole-wheat bun (lightly toasted). Place the mushroom cap, 1 tomato slice, and 1 lettuce leaf on the bun.
What are some of your favorite summer recipes? Leave in the comments below, I’m always looking for new ideas!
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!