Who wants to heat up the kitchen during these hot summer days? But what can you fix for a hungry family without using the oven? Here are some suggestions to get you started with some ideas.
Certain pieces of equipment lends itself very easy to cool cooking. It is easily used instead of your oven. Rice and pasta can be cooked in the microwave instead of on the top of the stove in a large pan of hot boiling water. Besides the microwave, cooks can use a slow cooker, outdoor BBQ grill, toaster oven, waffle iron, electric fry pan or a clam shell indoor grill.
Ingredients can also make a big difference in keeping the kitchen cool. Fruits and vegetable can be served raw or with little cooking. They are both refreshing and nutritious. Canned meats such as chicken, tuna, etc. require no heating. Canned beans can be rinsed and drained and then added to a pasta salad. Eggs can be cooked in the microwave or an egg cooker or even on top of the stove. If you are adding them to a salad, it doesn’t matter that they were cooked in the microwave. Cottage cheese and yogurt pair well with fruits and vegetables to make a quick meal. Add whole grain bread and crackers and you have a great light meal.
Another idea to use is cooking once and serving twice. For instance cook extra chicken on the grill. Use for fajitas the first night and use the leftovers for chicken salad the next night.
Source: Food For Fitness, July issue, Iowa State University Extension