Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Summer Food Tips - Just keep it cool!

It's hot..... an understatement? Hardly! They are saying (you can Google it online) that July 2016 was the World's hottest July on record.

But what are you gonna do? You have to eat. Eating usually requires meat, veggies, fruits, grains and many of these require cooking. Cooking gets hot.

So again, what are you gonna do????

We lived many years without air conditioning in the South - in North Carolina. And in North Carolina the summers get pretty hot and that heat takes the form of high temperatures and high humidity levels. If you've never lived where the humidity is high, you don't have a clue what I'm speaking about. But if you have! Well. 'nough said! It literally drains the life out of you. No you don't get used to it, either. But you do find ways to endure or cope.

The clue is produce as much food using as little heat inside the house as possible.

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So long cooking soups are usually a no-no. I do like to make chicken salad because you can boil a chicken for awhile, cool it, debone and use. Out of one chicken you get lots of chicken salad that goes a long way. Serve this up with vegetable salads (cold, of course). Or you can purchase one of those lovely rotisserie chickens from the grocery store, slice it for dinner, then pick the bones and make a chicken salad for the next meal - cold.

But think ahead when you do actually cook up something in the kitchen. During the summer, cook large batches that need long cooking.This way you are cooking ahead. Rewarm quickly in microwave. The pre-cooked meals are convenient and one-cooking time uses the heat for several meals. During hot weather, the one-cooking time method heats up your kitchen only once saving on your AC and also saving on the fuel to cook. Microwaves are great for no-heat cooking.

Image borrowed from
Got lots of summer tomatoes, make a cold tomato salad. Finely chop (not mince) tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion. You can add corn, or perhaps your favorite canned (rinsed & drained) beans. Mix. You can make your own dressing or marinade according to your own preference. You can add herbs according to your likes. Make a fairly good size dish because this keeps several days in the 'fridge. It is great cold.

Of course, grilling out-of-doors is always a great way to get those meats cooked. While you're at it, cook extra that you can serve another day as a cold-cut. Or you can slice the chilled meat into a tossed salad. Another winner!

Sandwiches are super good in hot weather. Be inspired. Don't just serve ham and cheese. Try to be innovative. And make the sandwiches ahead and wrap them in plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerate. Eating a thoroughly chilled sandwich with a vegetable salad is good at lunch or dinner.

Save the hot roast beef and heavy veggies for winter. You'll need the extra heat, fat, and carbs to maintain body heat during the cold months. But during the summer? Well, keep it cool!

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