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To Cook or Not to Cook

That’s the question this summer

School may be starting back, but the dog days are still here, and cooking in the midst of this stifling heat can be hard on you and on your energy costs. Those delicious heavier meals that are so desirable during winter are not as popular during summer when kitchens can become terribly hot and heavier foods make you sick. The good news, however, is that you do not have to give up cooking. Here are some helpful hints for summertime meals.

Fresh vegetables

Fresh vegetables can be found at any supermarket or farmer’s market and make the perfect summertime meals. Vegetables provide lighter meals and many times do not even require cooking. For example, raw vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower are most healthy eaten raw; no cooking is required, and they make a delicious, light snack. Tomatoes can be sliced and made into a sandwich, which is not only delicious but is also quick and easy to make and requires no cooking.

You don’t have to turn on your oven to get a good taste for hot food, either. Steaming vegetables like squash or cabbage in the microwave makes a delicious addition to your meal and does not generate heat as greatly as the use of a stove or oven. It’s also a healthy alternative and is lighter than casseroles or other recipes.

Grilling

Nothing is better than a thick juicy steak or barbecued ribs on the Fourth of July, but grilling these tasty choice meats should not be limited to the Fourth. Grilling is a great solution to a tasty summertime meal all summer long! This keeps the heat outdoors and provides a mouth-watering meal of meats and vegetables both. Add some potato salad and some baked beans, and you have the perfect summertime meal!

Indoor kitchen grills and small electric appliances are great for reducing the amount of heat inside your house, and they make cooking easier and quicker, too.

Sandwiches

If you do not feel like cooking, then try making a sandwich. Mix together some cold chicken salad, using grapes, nuts, and chopped celery. Go to a local bakery or grocery store for some freshly baked breads or rolls. Just using fresh breads and ingredients makes an ordinary sandwich extraordinary and a delicious treat for the entire family. Sandwiches are quick and easy to make, perfect for summer picnics, and they save you on time and money.

Salads

In the peak of vegetable season, fresh garden salads make the perfect summertime meal. Salads are light but filling and can be made with practically any ingredient. Crisp, fresh greens, tossed together with your favorite vegetables, nuts, meats, or fruits, can be served with lightly buttered toast or crackers to make a healthy, enjoyable summertime meal.

A fruity dessert

Fresh fruits make the best snacks, and they are healthy and light, which keeps you from overeating…a dreadful summertime misery. Eating light snacks like fruits, yogurt, or raw vegetables between mealtimes keeps you from overeating and gives you a healthy boost of energy during the raging summertime heat.

Finish off your meals with a light, fruity dessert. Fruit salads are sweet treats that are quick and easy to make; just combine fruits like tangerines, strawberries, bananas, oranges, etc. If you are looking for something a bit colder, try a fruit smoothie or an icebox pie. Make the most of the hot summer and end your dog days with something cool and tasty!



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