Summer is in full swing! Between work, vacation, bringing your kids everywhere, and the heat, the last thing you want to be doing is slaving away in the kitchen to prepare tonight’s dinner. Cooking dinner in the summer shouldn’t have to be difficult, it just takes a little planning and some easy recipes!
Do you have a grill? If yes, grilling can be a quick and easy option for dinner a couple nights a week. Utilize fresh veggies, they are in season! Use skewers and load them with your favorite cut up veggies and a couple pieces of meat, chicken or shrimp.
Make a summer salad: No cooking involved here! Mix together your favorite greens and raw veggies. Use beans, egg, or grilled chicken from the night before as your protein source. Make a large bowl at once to save on time. Keep leftovers in the fridge and enjoy!
Try a homemade pizza. You can either buy the dough or pre-cooked pizza crust from your grocery store. Whatever works best for you. Add your favorite toppings, bake and viola. Also, try pizza on the grill for a nice crisp crust.
Crockpot: Not many people think to use their slow cooker during the summer months. However, this can be a great tool to use during busy summer nights. Try a pulled chicken or pork recipe, stuffed peppers or a jambalaya recipe. It will save you time and you won’t be cooking over a hot stove!
Try one of my favorite salad recipes:
Chicken and Strawberry Summer Salad
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 4 cups arugula or spring mix
- 2 cups quartered strawberries
- 1/3 cup sliced red onion
- 12 ounces skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken breast, sliced
- 4 Tablespoons sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese or feta cheese
To prepare salad, combine the first five ingredients (through chicken) in a bowl; toss gently. Place about 2 cups chicken mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon of sliced almonds and 2 tablespoons cheese. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of your favorite dressing over each serving and enjoy!
If you would like to schedule a counseling session with a registered dietitian at Noble Hospital, please call 413-568-2811 ex: 5671 for more information.
Allison Walker RD,LDN, is the Clinical Nutrition Manager at Noble Hospital