Dinner to Beat the Heat

This right here is where I tell the local heat wave to take a long walk off a short cliff. I know it’s not nearly as hot here as it as it is in the Western US right now (my heart goes out to you guys), but I refuse to cook this week. Well, the lentils will go in the crock pot, and I might boil a small pot of eggs, but that’s it.

One week I complain about the rain, the next I complain about the sun. It never ends. I’m a weather wimp. In my defense though we did break a humidex record yesterday.

The upside of not keeping snack food in the house is that by refusing to cook I’m almost guaranteed to be eating healthier. More produce, less bacon. Not that I ever want to end my relationship with bacon, it’s just that we make better acquaintances than close friends. Now bring on the raw greens!

I’m actually quite looking forward to not cooking this week. Not that I don’t enjoy it (I really do), but because I’ve seen in the past what the benefits of eating this way are. My skin generally does a 180 on me, clears right up, and gets all glowy in a way that no store bought illuminator could ever do for me. I’ve always eaten my veggies, but I never realized how much they affected me until I did Carla’s produce challenge a couple years ago. Even my dermatologist commented how good my skin looked, and wanted to know what I was doing. Fingers crossed it will come with an energy boost this time as well.

Since I had to pick up groceries yesterday anyway, I figured I’d batch cook a bunch of stuff for the week so I could just grab it and go. Not only do I not want to cook, I want to be lazy about it too. This may be counter-productive to the whole increasing energy side of things, but I figure it will just give me more time to work on other projects. *shrug*

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So let’s see what’s on the menu shall we?

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

I seem to have gotten into the habit of buying these from Tim Hortons occasionally when I grab coffee in the morning. They’re not prohibitively expensive, but I have noticed that they’re considerably sweeter than they would be if I made them at home.

I don’t have a picture for this one, or a recipe for that matter. I figure you all can picture what it looks like when plain yogurt is layered with berries in a cup. I have strawberries and blueberries in the fridge, and mixed fruit (blackberry/blueberry/strawberry/raspberry and peach/blueberry/strawberry) in the freezer.

Peach and Cucumber Salad – Recipe from Poor Girl Eats Well

I’ve been wanting to make this since I saw it go up on Poor Girl Eats Well on Monday! Peaches, cucumber, basil, mint… what more could you want for hot weather? I picture this going really well with BBQ chicken :D It seems like a salad that would get better over time, but then again I didn’t really let it sit for the suggested 20 minutes before digging in. I’d maybe consider muddling the basil and mint in the dressing to get a stronger flavor next time. Also, be careful with the pepper. It’s easy to overdo it on this recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 medium cucumbers – mine were too big
  • 2 medium peaches – mine were too small
  • ½ small red onion – I used ¼ of a large one.
  • 2 T olive oil
  • ¼ c white vinegar
  • 1 T water
  • 2 t sugar
  • 1 T finely chopped sweet basil
  • 1 T finely chopped fresh mint
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper (for garnish)

Instructions:

  • Chop the peaches and cucumbers into bite sized chunks. Slice the onion, then combine with the cucumbers & peaches in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, water and sugar. Add the chopped basil and mint and mix well. Add a small pinch of salt if desired.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to mix well. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper.

Kale Salad with Goat Cheese and Tahini Dressing – Recipe from What Jew Wanna Eat?

I don’t know why, but I have a hankering for kale right now. Maybe I just have a hankering for kale benefits. Heads up, you need a BIG bowl for this one. Putting the recipe together I was a little concerned it was going to be oily and that the onion would be over powering, but it was actually the acidity that stood up and smacked me in the face on this recipe. I did use a rather large lemon, so next time I’ll buy a smaller one for this. Or maybe I’ll just spill more of the juice on myself next time, seeing as I wore a fair bit of the juice trying to ream it out this go around. The onion came across as sweet, so I was pleasantly surprised by that. I really like this salad, and I think it’s going to come into rotation a little more frequently. I’m thinking next time I’ll add some grated carrot to it as well.

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*Recipe removed by request – Link to recipe still above*

Summer Salad with Lentils, Blueberries, Strawberries and Feta – Recipe from Twin Food

I knew I’d probably be running pretty low in the protein department if I only ate green salads and a little bit of yogurt, so I figured I’d throw some lentils into the mix. You’re probably going to need a translator for the recipes on this website (unless you read Danish, in which case we should talk), but this one is really quite straight forward, so there is nothing to get hung up on in translation. It’s basically the ingredients listed above with parsley and balsamic dressing. I did manage to muck it up the first read over personally, because I forgot to pick up parsley for it. Instead I topped it with sunflower seeds and sliced basil. I never would have thought to put these ingredients together personally, but I’m liking the combo of lentil, feta, strawberry and balsamic. Personally I think it could have done without the blueberries, but I’m not a huge blueberry person to begin with. I’ll probably play around with this one a little bit to find a combination that’s a little more me.

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Ingredients

  • 3-4 dl green lentils (little over 1 to 1.5 cups)
  • 100g feta cheese
  • 150g blueberries
  • 200g strawberries
  • Parsley to garnish
  • Balsamic dressing

Instructions

  • Cook lentils and let cool
  • Cut feta and strawberries into small pieces
  • Mix the cooled lentils, feta, strawberries and blueberries. Sprinkle parsley on top
  • Dress with balsamic dressing

 What are your favourite recipes to make when it’s too hot out to cook?

Recommended Reading: Could I live on food stamps?

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15 thoughts on “Dinner to Beat the Heat

  1. Oh all those salads look super yummy! Will have to try some. I also try to avoid using the oven in the summer but T is all about the meat so we use the crockpot and broilers more often. We made some pulled pork on Monday and its probably going to last us most of the week :)

  2. These all look so good. I’m totally going to try that Peach and Cucumber Salad. I’m all about fresh fruit and veggies all summer long. Carrots and hummus = amazing!

  3. This the type of week my wife would love. Mostly quick and easy meals and very light. They all look great but not sure how the boys would be with no meat they are like lions at the table. My question is for the salad with Kale will it last in the frig after its made? If so how long would I have before I have to eat it?

    • It would be really easy to throw some grilled chicken or steak into the salads for the boys :) Since the kale is massaged with lemon juice it will break down faster than it would otherwise, but I really didn’t find it to be an issue. I left the dressing on the side (you have to rewhisk it with a fork each time you use it), prepped the salad tuesday night, and the kale was still crunchy when I finished up the last of it on Friday. You could tell it was breaking down somewhat by the way the leaves were starting to go translucent, but I honestly didn’t notice a difference in texture. So, it will easily keep for a couple days in the fridge.

  4. I have been cooking a ton of fish and making salads during teh heat. I dont’ feel like heavy food and pan frying isn’t too bad for heating up the house.

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