Though we’ve had a slow start to summer here in the Northwest, I know the rest of the country is sweltering and thinking about staying cool – not about cooking. So while we may not need these yet, you all do, and I sure hope we’ll be in that grillin’-and-salad mood soon, too.
Here are five of our favorite quick, easy, and seasonal meals that all take minimal cooking and preparation:
1. Pasta Primavera with Sausage. A one-dish meal that is so versatile we actually make this all summer long, changing the vegetables according to what’s in season. Right now it’s broccoli, onions, and carrots – later in the summer it will be green beans, peppers, and onions.
For the next two meals, cook a Spiced Whole Chicken in the slow cooker one morning and remove the chicken from the bones, storing in the fridge until needed (remember to save the bones and juice to make broth- or make it right in the slow-cooker if it’s not too hot and freeze for later):
4. Asian Lettuce Wraps: shredded chicken from part of a Slow-Cooker Whole Spiced Chicken, shredded carrots and diced onions topped with sweet chili sauce and chopped peanuts and wrapped in lettuce leaves. Serve the fixings for everyone to make their own along with Spicy Asian Slaw.
5. Chef’s Salads served with grilled Easy Sourdough Artisan Bread toasts and White Bean-Dried Tomato Dip as a spread. We probably eat chef’s salads once a week in the summer when the lettuce is abundant. I top it with the chicken from the slow-cooker, hard boiled eggs, and any vegetables and cheeses we have in the refrigerator. For dressings, try any of these homemade favorites: Honey Mustard, Ranch, or a simple Vinaigrette.
What are your favorite early summer meals?