I hope all of you have been surviving the heat. With the temperature being so high, it is hard to think about heating up the kitchen.
Today, I am going to give you some recipes which are “cool” to make and “cool” to eat.
Remember that a meal does not have to be “hot” or heavy to be nutritious; well-balanced is the key. Fresh fruits, vegetables and a touch of protein, usually found in the form of meat, is all you need.
Of course for me, a dessert is also essential to feed my sweet tooth.
Another thing to consider is planning your main entree the night before or prepare as much as possible in the morning when it is cooler. Use your microwave, if needed, to heat up your earlier prepared dish.
Cool salads are very good for this time of year. Try combining your meat with your salad. Buy a rotisserie chicken from the deli and use it to create a terrific main course.
De-bone the chicken and use the meat to create a quick stir fry or casserole. Since it is precooked it can be added to quick cooking vegetables which will require very little cooking time.
Another idea is to chill the chicken and slice it and put it on top of a fresh green salad (see recipe below). Better yet, pull the meat and cut it into cubes and make your own chicken salad.
A rotisserie chicken costs under $5 at most delis. Just pick one up, refrigerate it for use today or tomorrow. Not only is it inexpensive but is a major time saver.
For another quick idea, stop at your favorite chicken restaurant and pick up some “chicken tenders” and cut them up and add to lettuce along with hard-boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, onions and green pepper. Top with your favorite dressing and shredded cheese. Serve with fresh French bread (another bakery or deli item) and a light dessert and you have a complete well balance dinner which is quick and filling.
Another great time saving idea is to make French Dip sandwiches.
Visit your deli case and purchase precooked roast beef, thinly sliced. Use this meat and prepare these delicious French dip sandwiches which are always a favorite served with coleslaw, chips and fresh fruit.
FRENCH DIP SANDWICHES
This recipe is enough for 2 people. It’s easy to prepare more by increasing the ingredients to fit the amount of guests.
2 French bread rolls
8-12 oz. thinly sliced deli roast beef (use rare when available as meat will cook longer when it is added to the juice mix)
1 pkg. Au Jus Mix*
Water per Au Jus mix
4 slices provolone cheese (optional)
* Found in powdered mix aisle
In a large sauce pan, combine Au Jus mix with water. Whisk to mix. Cook on medium as per recipe on back of package. Add sliced roast beef and let meat heat through. Remove meat from liquid and pile on sliced French roll. Top with cheese. Pour the Au Jus mixture in small serving bowls for dipping. Serve hot!
CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
This flavorful salad is a complete meal and one your family will love.
1 Pkg. ranchsalad dressing (dry mixture)
6 cup cooked macaroni
1 whole dill pickle
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, cleaned and chopped
1/2 rotisserie chicken
Mix ranch dressing as per instructions on package, place in refrigerator and let chill until cold. (Best if made ahead). Cook macaroni until al dente, drain and cool. Chop and add pickle, eggs, onion, celery, carrots and chicken to the macaroni. Stir in enough of the Ranch dressing to cover the pasta and rest of ingredients. (Remember the pasta will absorb the salad dressing so salad should be slightly runny.) Place in refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour. Serve with your favorite bread. Serves 6-8
APPLE PIE PIZZA
(A great quick summer dessert!)
1 Pillsbury Pizza Crust (refrigerator section)
1 can apple pie filling
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup quick oatmeal
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 stick butter (cold and cut into small chunks)
Combine brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon and butter until mixture is crumbly. Prepare pizza crust and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and spread with apple pie filling. Sprinkle crumb topping over apples and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until pizza is lightly brown and apples are bubbly. Drizzle with icing and serve warm.
Icing: Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and enough milk to form a thin icing. Drizzle from end of spoon evenly over pizza.
I hope these quick and delicious recipes will give you some ideas for this week’s meals. See you next week…Sheryl
Sheryl Sollars, a Clinton County native, is an accomplished cook and homemaker. She contributes her column “Welcome to My Kitchen” out of her love of homemaking and of sharing her thoughts with her readers. If you have cooking questions or a recipe you want to share, please contact Sheryl at email@example.com.