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What to cook when it's so hot out?

How hot is it where you live? In DC area the temperatures have been near a 100 degrees. Add to that the humidity, and sometimes it's almost unbearable to think about cooking.

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.

I hope you like these ideas. Please share what YOU are cooking when it's hot outside.
Have a lovely weekend.


Delicious Dishings said...

I love all of these ideas. I tend to make pasta salads and salads.

Belinda @zomppa said...

Ugh. The heat! Great ideas, that fruit salad is especially appealing.

Belinda @zomppa said...

Ugh. The heat! Great ideas, that fruit salad is especially appealing.

Cecilia said...

Love the idea of shrimp & pineapple! Would love to have that over quinoa for dinner. And great photo of the white board with the white bowl, the stir fry really pops!

Maris(In Good Taste) said...

I love all of these. I have a small apt and really hate to turn the oven on

Meister @ The Nervous Cook said...

You've definitely captured much of our summertime "cooking" regimin around here.

Stir-fry and salads play a huge role in my house, but so do one other "S" food: sandwiches! Sandwiches have been my summer savior this year, since they can easily be hot or cold, they're transportable (impromptu picnic dinners!), and are easily customizable for both my husband (a meat eater) and myself (a tempeh lover).

K said...

Everything looks delicious! I love adding fresh fruit to salads and just on their own when it's hot out.

Unknown said...

Oh daaaahling, can you believe we are still wearing our sweatshirts here? Its so gloomy and rainy today. I love your warm weather dishes though, everything looks so fresh and colourful.
*kisses* HH

Laura @MotherWouldKnow said...

I go with a dinner of salads when weather is steamy. My favorites include the Barefoot Contessa watermelon and feta salad with red onion and olives, cous cous, mozzarella and tomatoes, cold rice salad and sesame noodles

Melissa Jones said...

I have a no bake key lime cheesecake with chocolate crust that I love in the summer. Cool and refreshing, no over and still decadent. Oh...wait, did you mean *healthy* food? Then, salad. And anything I can stuff into a pita- bean dips, more salad, etc.

City Girl said...

What great ideas! Love that these options are tasty and easy to make. Thanks! xoxo