It's hot here. Summer has officially arrived. Today I think it was somewhere around 30 degrees Celsius (but it probably felt hotter with the humidity), and the forecast is for similar temperatures all week long. When it's hot like this, my motivation to cook supper goes right down the drain (forgive the bad kitchen pun). I have no desire to stand over a hot stove, or to turn on the oven and heat up the house. Besides - who wants to be inside making supper when you could be playing outside (or sitting inside and enjoying the A/C??). Plus, when it gets really hot, I find that my appetite changes and I don't really want to eat a big, hot, heavy supper. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels like this - who else is with me here?
So I'm in search of light, easy, (kid-friendly) meal ideas that don't require a lot of cooking or prep time. No problem, right? :P I've decided that I'm going to try to do a weekly blog post with an easy summer meal idea or recipe, and I invite you to "play along" each week. I'm going to try to have the post up on Wednesday mornings, but I'm sure you'll forgive me if I'm a bit late sometimes (after all, it is summer). You can either share a recipe that you enjoy in the comment section of my post, or if you have your own blog you can do a post with your recipe/meal idea and leave the link to it in the comments. That way we can inspire/help each other out, and spend less time sweating in the kitchen!
Here's my first meal idea (and what we had for supper today) - chicken caesar salad, with cheesy bread sticks (yes, I put them on the table in the bag, *gasp*!!) and raw veggies.
I cooked the chicken in my little George Foreman grill (a wedding present that has been quite under-used until now), and it worked really well. It took just over 10 minutes to cook 2 chicken breasts and it didn't heat up the rest of the house. You could also BBQ the chicken (one of my goals for this summer is to learn to BBQ) or cook it earlier in the day, when it's not quite so hot. I kept the chicken out of the salad because I had a sneaking suspicion that Annika would want it "on the side" (and she did). Also, there was some chicken left over, and now I can use it to make chicken quesadillas one day this week (a good tip for summer cooking - make "planned leftovers" so you don't have to cook as often!). I took the easy road for the breadsticks (store-bought) and the salad (a pre-bagged mix) and the veggies (the carrots and peas were packaged, but I did peel and slice the cucumber myself!).
It doesn't look like much, but it really hit the spot. As for being kid-friendly, Annika ate a whole breadstick, a bunch of veggies and about half the salad and chicken that I had put on her plate (she doesn't mind eating salad, but it's not a huge fav). Emmett ate a bit of breadstick, a bunch of veggies and maybe one little bite of chicken. I'm pretty sure he didn't eat any of the salad. However, this is pretty normal for Emmett - he's very picky and usually doesn't eat much for supper (but he always drinks all his milk - no worries about dehydration there). Overall I think this is a good summer meal, and I'll likely make it again.
Tune in next week for my next meal idea, and I'd love to see what's cooking (or rather, NOT cooking!) at your place!