Easy meals and snacks for the summer heat

Too hot to eat? Consider making these easy meals!

If you are wanting out of the kitchen this summer, but still want to provide your family and yourself with nutritious meals and snacks, read on to beat the summer heat!

  1. Try to prepare anything that needs to be cooked, like pasta or rice, in the morning before it gets hot, or after the sun goes down. Chill it immediately and keep it refrigerated until needed. I sometimes hold my pasta in water and then drain before adding to a salad. Just make sure it is cold, covered, and stays cold for no more than a couple days.
  2. When shopping, look for fresh fruits and vegetables in season[A1] . When you get home, instead of putting the produce right into the refrigerator, wash and put into a bowl on the counter so it will be available when the urge to eat hits. Wash and cut celery, carrots, radishes and any other vegetable in season and place in the refrigerator. They will be handy for snacks or cooking and you will avoid the preparation time later.
  3. Try a stir fry. Take some cut up vegetables, chicken or other meat (leftovers are good for this), and fry up in a little hot oil. You can use the rice that was already cooked to have a very light, quick meal.
  4. Salads can make a good meal. If you don’t like a mayonnaise pasta salad, add lots of raw vegetables and mix with a vinegarette dressing. Don’t forget protein – add garbanzo or other beans, cheese or even leftover cubed meat from last night’s meal. Experiment and you could find out you’ve made an award-winning meal in the blink of an eye!
  5. Sandwiches can be very healthy if made on healthy bread. Start with a whole grain bread, bun or wrap. Use your already washed and cut vegetables, cheese and meat if you desire. Load it up and use your condiments sparingly. The taste and crunch of the veggies can be very desirable.

Times of excessive heat means most people don’t want to eat much. Appetites go down. It’s a great time to avoid the fatty foods of snacks and fast food, and create some fresh and appealing light meals at home. It doesn’t have to be made on a grill every day! We can get what we need – lightly.

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