Planning for Heat: Stocking Up for Simple Eating

Some of the season's hottest weather tends to find us in August, so planning ahead so that the stove and oven need little to no involvement in making meals day after day makes sense. But if you are feeling like the only options are standard PBJs and delivery pizza, wander this way to get a little inspiration for those dog days of summer.

Start your journey with an honest question: how much time/effort/planning are you willing to invest in all of this? Don't tackle making ceviche or poke if you are more a tomato on toast type. Once you've figured out where your level is, take a stroll around the ideas below and pick and choose. Make a shopping list and, if you're really on top of things, a menu list too. Then when you're hungry, consult your fridge, pantry, and lists to get inspired. And remember that when the mercury is high, keeping well hydrated is also very important. Enjoy laid back beverages and fresh fruit and vegetables to keep from losing too much moisture and causing everything from headaches to sad fingers and toes and more.

Instead of giving you any kind of step by step here, I'm going to toss out a big pile of ideas with suggestions here and there to inspire further and let that be the start of a list-building opportunity for you. Pick and choose what appeals and will work for you.

  • Chickpeas: great as hummus, salads, raw or fried in wraps
  • Cured Meats: salami, proscuitto, ham, smoked meat/fish, etc.
  • Ceviche or Poke: try tuna, shrimp, scallops, salmon
  • Tuna, Chicken, and/or Egg Salad: tuck them into baked potatoes, hollowed tomatoes, or avocado halves - doesn't always have to be a sandwich
  • Toast or Bagels: top with tuna, peanut butter, fruit, avocado, cheese, tomatoes - or combinations of your favorites
  • Deviled Eggs: add bacon, pickled onions, hot peppers - try serving them on salads
  • Salads: think beyond greens - try using fresh herbs, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, cucumbers, stone fruit, roasted beets, nuts, etc.
  • Omelets: use herbs, chopped leftovers, cheese, etc.
  • Summer Rolls: put just about anything you'd put in a sandwich or salad in a rice wrapper
  • Make it Heartier: add beans, crumbled cheese, or serve your favorites on edible plates - salads, baked potatoes, fresh vegetables, pita, etc.
  • Rotisserie Chicken: this one's so vast, we're covering it in detail next time around!

Oh, and while we're talking about making eating easier this time around, make dessert divine and grab a carton of your favorite ice cream when you are putting together that simple eating grocery list. After all, summer is definitely for ice cream!

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