Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Favorite hot-weather, low-cooking meals?

We have no air conditioning in our house, and we also have a very old propane stove/oven that can really heat up the kitchen.  I try hard to limit its use in summer, especially the oven.

But sometimes I don't get something started in the crock pot early enough, and I have to come up with a meal that either cooks quickly, microwaves, or doesn't cook at all.  The barbecue grill would be ideal, except ours isn't working properly at the moment.

I want to be better prepared this year with ingredients for those last minute hot-weather meals.  But I need more ideas.  What are your favorite meals for hot summer days?

I'm looking forward to hearing from others, with some new ideas.

April E.


  1. Fruit Salad

    Cold chicken strips (once a week cook a lot of chicken breast, cut it, use warm that day, then cold over salad, or microwaved warm on pasta, cold or microwaved in tacos with lettuce, cheese, salsa, etc.)

    Taco Frito :
    Brown ground beef. Add taco seasoning and tomato sauce.
    Layer meat mix over crushed frito chips, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa.

    * If you brown up 20 lbs or more of ground beef once a month you can put it into smaller freezer bags and then half the cooking is done for you, just thaw and simmer or microwave with the taco seasoning and tomato sauce. Or do it all on browning day so you freeze taco meat already made and thaw/microwave it on the day you want to eat.

  2. Great idea to cook meat and use it over time! I'd forgotten about doing that. Thanks, Tristan!

  3. We like to use our electric skillet and make one-dish dinners with it. You can find whole cookbooks on one skillet dinners and with the electric skillet you go easy on your electric and it doesn't heat up your house. Ooh, I'll have to post about it this week! Thanks for the reminder to start thinking in this direction - we're definitely starting to heat up around here!

  4. I think I need more gadgets ... and an extra room to store them in. A friend suggested I use an electric roaster and electric rice cooker (set on the porch) ... but I don't have those or an electric skillet. LOL!!

  5. If you don't have pre-grilled chicken or pre-cooked meat, you can still make egg salad sandwiches out of boiled eggs quickly.

    I also take canned chicken (Sam's Club has them pretty cheap!) and make chicken salad spread for sandwiches or quesadillas out of them. I just mix a little sour cream, salsa, and a dash of ground cayenne pepper, add shredded sharp cheddar cheese, canned drained chicken, mix well, spread on tortillas and heat. Although I use my cooktop, you could also microwave.

  6. I like taco salads, grilling outdoors, foil meals on the grill, or anything on the grill. We don't actually have a grill, so we use our camp stove on the picnic table out back. I am trying not to turn our air on. I close up the house when the temp rises outside. It feel a lot cooler with the shade drawn and a fan going. Then I open it back up after the heat of the day is past. I have fans in key windows, too. I got them at Walmart for less than $20. They fit right in the window and are a huge help.

  7. We have a lot of pasta in our house and so many pastas can be served warm or cold, with or without leftover chicken. I use beans a lot in place of meat, so pasta with beans and an olive oil & herb dressing is a staple here. (I cook broccoli with the pasta so there's a veggie, too!)

    There is always egg salad, chicken salad, cucumber & sour cream with dill salad. Lots of tortilla or pita options.

    Scrambled eggs, homemade spanish rice & refried beans on torillas or with chips.

    The key that someone else mentioned is to cook ahead. When you cook chicken - cook a lot. You can even re-freeze it once it's cooked and store it in the portion you'd use in your stovetop cooking or salads.

    Do you have fans in your windows or an attic fan that might help take out the heat when you use your stove or oven?I am fortunate to have a strong exhaust fan in my kitchen and use it a lot in the summer.

  8. We have an all-house fan that is in the closet in the kitchen. We have to prop the door open to use it. It pulls air through the house quite well, into the attic ... which also has an attic fan to remove heat from the attic.

    But the kitchen is a box which really holds heat in summer. We only have one small window in it, and it doesn't have a fan in it. We keep a different fan to help circulate air on a table in there.

    Our bedroom is just off the kitchen, so it heats up our room, as well.

    April E.


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