Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer Seasonal Meals

Summer seems like the season to take a break from routine, doesn't it? The school year calendar never really leaves our system. So, I've been taking a break from menu planning--at least the more scripted versions I do during the school year. Instead, I've compiled a short list that takes advantage of the summer produce, the desire to NOT turn the oven on or spend long hours doing anything that involves heat, and my attempt to make meat stretch as far as possible. I just work from this basic list and go with whatever is coming from my garden (I have tons of tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and green beans--which are getting frozen). Here is my list:

  • Homemade pizza (with or without tomato sauce, toppings are up to you!)
  • Calzones
  • Grilled Chicken and veggies/corn (if you flatten boneless, skinless breasts a bit, they will go further because they look like a bigger serving....)
  • Salad topped with grilled chicken/beef
  • Fajitas with peppers, onions, and grilled chicken/beef
  • Stir-fry with Thai flavors (basil, jalapenos, peppers)
  • Pasta with quick tomato sauces and fresh herbs
  • Anything with salsa (burritos, tacos, etc.)
  • Greek "stuff" (falafel, gyros, etc.--anything that works with Tzatziki sauce)
  • Tomato/cucumber salads
Most of these are relatively complete meals just as an entree. So, what do you serve with them to make them seem more like a meal? Fruit!

Need a quick dessert? Fruit!

What about an appetizer or snack? Fruit!

This coming week's menu as an example (the days can all be flip-flopped somewhat):

Sat: Grilled chicken (lots), grilled veggies, grilled corn, grilled flatbread ("naked" pizza crust), and grilled peaches for dessert (I'm grilling enough chicken for a few days' meals)

Sun: Salad with grilled chicken, more grilled flatbread; watermelon

Mon: Fajitas with grilled chicken, peppers, onions; black beans; grilled peaches or watermelon

Tues: Calzones with... grilled chicken and the leftover grilled veggies; watermelon

Wed: church

Thurs: Empanadas with beans from Mon. night; watermelon or peaches

Fri: Pizza or Pasta with tomato sauce from garden bounty

Sat: Grilled something and we'll start over!

What's YOUR favorite summer meal?

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