5 Easy Summer Dinners
Summer is here! It’s time to slow things down and enjoy time with family. Who wants to stress out about dinner? Summer meals should be easy, healthy and, ideally, made outside. Here are a few ideas for getting dinner on the table without breaking a sweat.
1. Homemade Pizza
Making a healthy, homemade pizza from scratch is simple and fun to do with the kids. Always keep some pizza dough on hand in the freezer, and pull it out the night before you're going to use it. Load up your pizza with fresh ingredients like basil, zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers from a farmers’ market or local farm stand. Add some slices of fresh mozzarella and you have a gourmet pizza in minutes.
2. Marinated Meat
Too tired to think about dinner during the week? After getting home from the market, place steak or seafood in a freezer bag with a quick marinade (like the one below) and pop the bag in the freezer. When you need a quick meal, thaw it in the ‘frig, grill it, add a simple side like salad, couscous, or baked potatoes, and you’re set!
3. Taco Salad
Brown some ground beef with a packet of taco seasoning and mix in black beans. Add the mixture to shredded romaine lettuce and top with grated cheddar cheese, sliced mangoes and avocados.
4. Pasta with Creamy Pesto Sauce
To create a simple pasta dinner, add heavy cream or half and half, fresh pesto sauce, diced tomatoes and grated Parmesan cheese to cooked pasta and stir. What a great way to take advantage of the fresh produce in your garden!
5. Cheese Plate
Too hot to turn on the stove? Hot summer nights are perfect for a simple cheese plate. Visit your local gourmet market and select a few different kinds to try. Choose one soft cheese (like brie), one hard cheese (like Parmesan), and one stinky cheese (like Stilton). Add some grapes and strawberries, a wonderful French baguette, summer chutney, local honey and some nuts. Of course, don’t forget the bottle of wine!
½ cup Tequila
½ cup lime juice (about 8 limes)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup honey
3 cloves of minced garlic
½ tsp salt
¼ ground pepper
Add all marinade ingredients to a plastic storage bag and mix together. Place chicken, shrimp, flank steak or portabella mushrooms inside the plastic bag and store marinade in the refrigerator overnight or place in the freezer for a quick dinner any night of the week.