Quick Meals for a Relaxed Summer
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.
Buy fish on sale this month…try these easy, healthy recipes!
Grocery stores recognize Lent by putting various kinds of fish on sale. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times a week. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Save money and don’t heat up your kitchen–cook on the grill!
We have lots of rain and heat in Iowa this summer (it seems like a sauna). And, since I try to use the air conditioner as little as possible, the thought of adding to the heat by starting the oven doesn’t appeal. Grilling is my answer. It keeps the house cooler, I have fewer dishes to wash, and food from the grill tastes good.
Grilling Made Easy and Safe
According to a recent poll most of us think that cooking outdoors is easy, costs less, is more economical than dining out and encourages time outdoors.
GRILL, PORTION, FREEZE, ENJOY
I have been enjoying grilled chicken, sirloin steak and fish for lunch the past couple of weeks even though I haven’t taken the cover off the grill. How do I do it? I grill extra when I have the marinade prepared and the grill heated. When everything is cooked I make 2 ounce portions, just enough to top my salad. Then, before work, I prepare my lunch by putting greens and whatever raw vegetables I have in the vegetable drawer – carrots, broccoli, onion, mushrooms, or cucumbers – in a plastic container, add one of my meat/fish packets and a piece of fruit to my lunch bag and I am good to go. When lunch time comes, I finish defrosting my meat/fish packet, slice it up and top my salad. Yum.
CHOOSING THE PERFECT CUT
Ok, I admit it. Most of the time when planning a meal I start with the protein food. I think this is a carryover from growing up on a farm and having a freezer full of homegrown beef, pork and chicken to choose from. The type of meat and how it will be prepared (grilled, broiled, oven roasted, pot roasted, stewed, etc.) effects the rest of the meal. My mom taught us the importance of matching the cooking method to the cut of meat. I didn’t make the mistake of turning a great rump roast into a pot roast more than a couple times.
Grilled Peaches…Yum Yum
Our SpendSmart.EatSmart poll the past month asked how many of you have cooked fruits or vegetables on the grill? 73% of you said you have grilled fruits and vegetables which is great! Grilling brings out great flavors without a lot of added fat or sugar. You do have to be careful that your food does not char on the outside before it heats all the way through.
Tips for Low Stress, Low Cost Entertaining
This weekend is Memorial Day. Are you entertaining friends or family? If so, a little advance planning will save dollars and make your weekend less stressful.
Summer Grilling on a Budget
Our weather in Iowa has really warmed up lately and I’ve been firing up the grill a couple of times each week. The outdoor grill is a great tool for eating healthy and if you plan well, you can also save time and money. Here are a couple of tips for using your grill the Spend Smart. Eat Smart. way!
Spice up Your Protein!
During the summer months the grill on our deck gets a lot of use. My family spends a lot of time outside in the afternoons and evenings. Using the grill gives us the chance to enjoy playing outside without having to do a lot of actual cooking. With the days getting significantly warmer, I jump at any recipe that doesn’t require me to preheat my oven!