But cooking is still something I do when it's hot out because 1) I like to eat 2) Robyn makes me :)
I should explain the second reason: I do freelance cooking and photography for Robyn's Fabulous Food Finds blog, so most of the weekends I have two dishes that I make regardless of the weather.
I thought I'd share with you three of the dishes I've made for Robyn in the last few months (her recipes, my labor) that follow into three categories that could be customized to whatever your tastes and dietary needs are. Quick stir fries, not your typical lettuce salads, and kabobs.
Let's start with quick stir fries: The photo on the left is of the Gluten free vegetarian stir fry. It consists of ginger, garlic, scallions, red peppers, celery, broccoli, gluten free tamari, lime juice and cashews. The dish is not only pretty, takes minutes to put together, but is also really high in nutrients. And you would not need to heat up your entire house: that's the best part about stir fries: they are very quick.
Variations: add any of the vegetables you like (zucchini, green beans, fresh peas, or even corn), serve this over rice or noodles; add chicken, shrimp or beef (or go with mushrooms for an all vegetarian dish). This is also an excellent dish to double and eat cold the next day as leftovers for lunch.
Now for the not your typical lettuce salads: the photo below is of the Orange, Arugula & Pecan Salad. Forget your typical salad of lettuce, a few slices of tomatoes and cucumbers. Use your creativity to come up with something a bit more interesting. The slightly bitter arugula in this salad is offset by the sweet oranges and is balanced by salty olives and toasted nuts.
Variations: use any type of stone fruit (plums, nectarines, peaches), try using peppery watercress, add some blue cheese. Best part? You are not heating up anything in your kitchen!
And finally, kabobs. Know what's really fun about these? You can have your family members or friends help you in building whatever kabob they want. Don't have an outside grill? Use your broiler or even a panini maker. The photo below is of Shrimp and Pineapple Kabob. Of course the beauty of shrimp is that it takes only a few minutes to cook, so your kitchen will stay relatively cool. Yet the meal is filling enough to have as lunch or dinner.
Variations: go with an all vegetable kabob of zucchini, cherry tomatoes, yellow peppers and maybe even chunks of hard cheese. Or you could use chunks of white chicken breast, marinated mushrooms and roasted peppers.