Meal Planning and Cooking When It’s Hot Outside

I don’t know about you, but we’ve been experiencing hotter than normal summer temperatures lately!  Hot weather takes the wind out of my sail in the cooking department. 

We’ve been eating lots of sandwiches and sliced cucumbers and apples for lunch lately!  I hate to turn on the oven or stove when it is so hot outside!  Last week, I took the opportunity to used the grill one evening and grilling some wonderful  T-Bone steaks and grilled veggies. 

Here are some other lunch ideas and lunch additions to cool you off when it’s hot outside:

  • Sandwiches are simple, easy and quick to make.  If you can pair sliced apple, cut up watermelon or cantaloupe, sliced cucumbers, grapes or other fruit with it, it makes a nice, quick meal without heating up the kitchen. 
  • Make fruit salad!  Easy and quick solution without heating up the oven or stove. 
  • Create a salad!  Get creative with your salads.  Use avocado, black beans, chopped onion, sour cream and salsa to make a Mexican salad.  You can also use fruit like sliced apple, pineapple chunks and and sliced strawberries for adding to different salads.  Pine nuts, walnuts or sliced almonds also make nice salad additions. 
  • Create a salad and then wrap it!  We love to make sandwich wraps too out of tortillas and pita type flat breads. 
  • Grill up additional chicken or steak the night before for supper and use it the next day in your salad wraps. 
  • Keep a batch of egg salad, tuna salad or chicken salad on hand in the refrigerator for making quick sandwiches. 
  • Make homemade popsicles with real fruit juice. 
  • Chop up ice in the blender and add to your favorite drink. 
  • Create Smoothie drinks with real fruit and ice
  • My kids love freezing their juice or water bottles.  When freezing water bottles or juice bottles, I always leave a little room at the top for the ice to expand. 
  • There is always Sonic Happy Hour from 2 to 4 pm everyday for cheap cold drinks and slushies 😉  (not that it is by any means a healthier alternative..haha!)

Tips for keeping the house cool on hot summer days: 

  • Keep the house cooler during the day by not turning on the oven or crock-pots during hot summer days.  Do your oven baking and cooking during the evening hours.  Look for summer recipes you can create! 
  • Keep the house cooler by double cooking in the evening so you can have leftovers in the hot daytime hours.  You don’t even have to heat up the grilled chicken for your grilled chicken salad at lunch the next day. 
  • Save your soup, chili and all-day cooking roasts for a cooler day! 
  • Keep the house cooler by not running your dryer on very hot days.  Try hanging out your clothes.  Use the dryer at night time. 
  • Keep your window shades and curtains shut during the hottest part of the day or at least on the hot side of the house. 
  • Don’t turn on all the lights in the house. 
  • Keep your air conditioner running energy efficient by making sure you are changing your air filters regularly. 
  • Don’t let your kids go in and out of the house a zillion times.  Keep the bought air in!

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