Too Hot to Cook? Easy Summer Dinner Ideas

There’s nothing worse than sweltering in the heat all day and the realizing…gasp…you have to make dinner. If the thought of a hot stove is unappealing, here are some ideas that might make dinner preparation a whole lot easier.

A Couple Starter Tips:

Keep Vegetables on Hand* Do as much dinner preparation as possible in the morning when it’s much cooler.
* Keep plenty of fruits and vegetables around for fresh and cool meals.

Hot Day Dinner Ideas:

* Hearty Green Salad: Mix up your usual green salad with all your favorite vegetables, berries, nuts or other additions. Add leftover meats like chicken or thinly cut steak or you can even add sandwich meats. For a fun meal, pre-chop all the ingredients and allow family members to assemble their own salads.

* Sandwiches: A good old standard that doesn’t just have to be for lunch. You can easily make sandwiches ahead of time and just serve them when ready.

* Crockpot Meals: A great way to serve up a warm meal without all the sweating is to fire up your crockpot in the morning and let it do the cooking for you. Then come dinner time, everything is ready to go.

Rotini Salad with Ham* Pasta Salad: If you’re not in mood for warm pasta, make a cold pasta meal instead. Try macaroni, rotini and even a more hearty tortellini as your salad base. Add your favorite vegetables, meat and dressing.

* Lettuce Wraps: There’s something so refreshing about a cold egg or chicken salad wrapped in lettuce and it’s a nice change from a regular old salad. You can use whatever type of lettuce you’d like, but iceberg provides a good cool crunch.

Meat and Cheese* Meat and Cheese Plate: Another great, make ahead dinner item. Add your favorite meats, cheeses and perhaps some chopped raw vegetables. Serve with crackers or buns and build your own sandwiches if you’d like.

* Cold Proteins: Nobody said things like chicken, salmon or shrimp needed to be served hot. Cook them ahead of time and serve them cold.

* BBQ Grill: If you don’t mind a little heat from the grill, fresh-air cooking on the grill rarely disappoints. Marinate your meats and chop up your vegetables in the morning. Then when it’s time to grill, fire up your barbecue and you’re ready to go.

There’s no need to heat up your house with an oven…it’s probably already hot enough. Pick from some of these great meal ideas to keep things delicious and simple this summer.

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