Quick Meals for a Relaxed Summer

June 12, 2023 | Christine Hradek

grilling meat

This week we are kicking off a new series all about our go-to meals for summer. In the summer I like to have more time outside looking after my plants and flowers and I tend to travel more often as well. I’ve shared before that cooking is something I really enjoy, but I also like to have quick meals that do not require much cooking so that I have time to relax and enjoy a slower pace.

I tend to grill outside a lot in the summer and when I do, I make a lot so that I have leftovers. Here are some go-to recipes that I can pull out that work well with leftover grilled meat or veggies.

  • Quick Pad Thai uses frozen vegetables and comes together in the time it takes to boil some noodles. I can use any leftover protein I have on hand. This makes good use of leftover chicken or beef and best of all, it makes six servings, so I have leftovers!
  • Chicken Fajitas come together in a snap when I have leftover cooked chicken. Sometimes I even have leftover grilled peppers and onions making this a no-cook meal. I enjoy the filling in tortillas, quesadillas or even on lettuce for a taco salad.
  • Cranberry Almond Wrap calls for cooked chicken and grilled chicken works great in this recipe. You can mix up the add-ins to suit your tastes. You can even swap the mayonnaise for salad dressing, if you like.

In addition to these types of recipes, I also put grilled chicken, beef and veggies in my freezer throughout the summer. That way once grilling season is done, I still have the convenience of ready-to-go cooked foods. Next week Katy will share her go-to summer meals. Let us know what recipes you make again and again in the summer on our social media!

Christine Hradek

Christine Hradek is a State Nutrition Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She coordinates ISU’s programs which help families with low income make healthy choices with limited food budgets. Christine loves helping families learn to prepare healthy foods, have fun in the kitchen and save money. In her spare time, Christine enjoys cooking, entertaining and cheering on her favorite college football teams with her family and friends.

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