Summertime and the Cookin's Easy!

I have a love/hate relationship with Summer. I'm sure we all enjoy the fruits of the season (pun intended), but the HEAT can get out of control. I've tried to get creative when it comes to our Summer meals. Avoiding the stovetop and oven are key to keeping the house cool and there are only so many versions of salad one can make. Here are some quick recipes and tips on how to take advantage of the produce available to us this season!

Grill it up! There's something nostalgic about the smell of a grill on a warm summer day. It goes without saying that the BBQ and Summer go hand in hand. Aside from the obvious grilling selections such as hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken, don't forget about fruits and vegetables too! Most of us are familiar with chicken and steak kababs. Mix in some fruit and veggie kababs as well! My favorite fruits to grill are watermelon, mango and pineapple. For the veggies, I prefer bell peppers, onions, asparagus and zucchini squash. I'm not a huge fan of sauce so I choose to use simple seasonings on my veggie kababs such as basic salt and pepper. You could choose your favorite seasoning and sprinkle that on as well!

*Quick tip!* Grill extra meat all at once and store in the refrigerator for future meals!

Cool Down! There are some days where the heat is too much to bare and stepping outside to grill isn't an option. On these occasions, I make my meals in my wonderfully air conditioned kitchen. I've invested in some wonderful appliances over the years and I can't tell you how much these have saved me during the Summer heat! These are my top three that have helped me make so many yummy recipes while staying cool!

  1. InstaPot. Over the years I've seen so many food bloggers mention the InstaPot. I held off on this purchase, being overwhelmed with the many buttons and gadgets that accompanied this device. Friends of mine would say how easy it was to use and encouraged me to invest in one. So, I finally buckled and bought one. Folks... words cannot describe how amazing this thing is! It does everything but fly! It can saute, steam, cook, boil, sing a happy tune that makes me dance around the kitchen. It's become essential for me to create meals inside without heating up the house. Click HERE for one of my favorite healthy Summertime Instapot recipes! Have any grilled pineapple or mango leftover? Why not make some mango or pineapple salsa to top it all off??

  2. Air Fryer. I'll admit that when this was gifted to me I thought of all of the things I could fry and went a little crazy with no so healthy foods. I've since discovered so many uses for this that do not include processed food! Do you hate soggy asparagus? Of course you do. No one likes a sad asparagus frowning from your fork. If I am not grilling my veggies you bet your bottom I'm throwing those bad boys in the air fryer! Simply toss your veggies in a bit of olive oil, top with your seasoning of choice and place in the air fryer. I've cooked asparagus, potatoes, sweet potato fries, zucchini, carrots, etc. I've even ventured to batter my own chicken using THIS recipe and holy cannoli, they turned out so good! Did you know you could even cook bacon in the air fryer? The possibilities are endless! Endless I tell you!!!

  3. Rice cooker. If you've browsed the internet for more Instapot recipes, you'll see a lot of healthy versions of things like broccoli beef, chicken curry and dishes alike. If you like to pair these dishes with perfectly cooked rice, then a rice cooker is the only way to go. Technically, you can use the Instapot for this as well! Yes, there's a rice cooking option on that massive dashboard of buttons. I do prefer the rice cooker for plain white or brown rice. If I want to make Spanish Rice or any flavored rice, I definitely prefer the Instapot. Click HERE for my favorite healthy broccoli beef recipe!

In need of additional tips or recipes? Leave a comment below and I will be happy to share more ideas! Stay cool everyone!

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