When it’s hot outdoors and possibly even hotter indoors, no one feels like cooking. We write this because many people, even in these modern times, don’t have air conditioning and thus the ambient indoor temperatures can be hotter than the outdoor temperature (unless of course you’re out under the blazing sun). The very thought of turning on the stove is enough to make a person droop and wilt! Even thoughts of firing up the BBQ can have the same effect. That said, we’ve pulled together a few cool meal suggestions that’ll help you beat the heat.
Prepare Cooked Ingredients In The Cool Morning Hours
Experience suggests that if a recipe does call for some cooked ingredients, it’s best to get those items prepared early in the day while the temperature’s less hot. Things like grilling chicken breasts, hard boiling eggs, blanching green or wax beans or steaming corn on the cob, cooking pasta, rice, quinoa or other grains – all common ingredients in summer salads and cold dishes.
Once those food items are prepped it’s a cinch to create some fabulous hot weather meals with little or no sweat (excuse the pun).
It’s all the more easy to prepare these cold dishes because summer in Canada means an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables are available, adding variety and punch that winter veg and fruits just don’t offer in the same way! Be sure to include some form of protein, whether it’s meat or alternative, and you’ll be well on your way to virtually cook-free cold meals everyone will enjoy.
Here are a few favourite cold, hot weather meal ideas of ours you may want to try with links to their recipes.
Watermelon Poke Bowls
If you love the refreshing combination of juicy chilled watermelon paired with micro greens or sprouts, avocado, peanuts (or other nuts), crunchy cucumber, pickled ginger and sesame seeds all served with a tangy Asian-inspired dressing, this is the meal for you. A welcome respite from any cooking at all.
You can even add cold cooked short grain brown or white rice as a base. Steam the rice ahead of time (while you make your morning coffee) and refrigerate until ready to use.
Poke bowls are an extremely versatile option when it comes to serving cold meals. Try adding tuna or cold salmon, grilled shrimps or diced cooked chicken breast, hard boiled eggs and other proteins to the mix along with other favourite vegetables and greens. Top with pumpkin/sunflower seeds, nuts and a favourite dressing.
Grilled Peach, Prosciutto & Mozzarella Sandwich
Despite this recipe requiring a bit of stove-top action, it’s just too darn tasty not to include this sandwich in our selection of cold meals for hot summer days. You’ll need to use a skillet or frying pan but they don’t give off too much heat.
Everyone loves the simplicity of a good sandwich, from kids to grownups alike. And when you combine these three ingredients on a slice of pan-grilled crusty sourdough bread or French baguette, you‘ll have everyone singing your praises.
This open face sandwich combines those yummy salty sweet taste combinations which so many of us crave. Pairing salty prosciutto with fresh juicy peach slices, gooey mozzarella and a sprinkle of fresh chopped rosemary gives this sandwich an enticing taste of the Mediterranean or the south of Italy – it’s sheer genius!
Take A Dip In A Cold Soup
Sometimes the heat is so enervating that we just want something simple and light when it comes to mealtime. That’s usually when we opt for a cold soup for our meal. Adding a side of fresh bread or crispy biscuits and a selection of cheeses, or some vegetable crudités and a dip does the trick.
For a great selection of 40 cold soup recipes, you’ll want to check out this link (some involve a bit of cooking). Our personal favourite is the chilled cucumber soup, not only because it’s so refreshing, but also because it’s possibly the easiest soup I’ve ever made!
You can also explore a selection of 37 easy to prepare summer dip recipes here.
Super-Sized California Crab Roll
This last cool food option is a big crowd pleaser. It’s a recipe for making super-sized imitation crab California rolls that turns out to be a kind of gigantic burrito. We love to make these and serve them to our friends along with an icy cold pitcher of thirst quenching Margarita mocktails (or the real deal if no one is driving)!
My Stomach’s Growling
Now that I’ve made myself totally hungry, I’m going to head off to the kitchen and fix myself a cool, crunchy and crisp Greek salad with lovely, tasty vine-ripened tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, feta, red peppers, fresh herbs from the garden and an olive oil/lemon vinaigrette. I’ll add some toasted pita bread and hummus for protein.
Hmm, I may follow it up with a bowl of homemade strawberry ice cream, too. Yet again, it’s another super easy recipe that anyone can make and it’s even more delicious because it uses fresh local strawberries which are now in season. Enjoy!