The temperatures this summer have been so hot this year that the last thing you probably want to do is turn on the oven to fix dinner. To avoid heating up the house, try these simple entrees that don’t require you to turn the oven on.
- Tropical chicken salad wrap. These wraps can be eaten at home or wrapped up and taken to the lake for a picnic. Mix the following together: 2 cups of cooked and shredded chicken, 1 can of mandarin oranges (drained), ½ cup of shredded coconut (toasted), ½ cup of cashews, 1 bunch of scallions chopped, juice of 1 lime, ¼ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and 1/3 cup of mayonnaise. Place a couple of lettuce leaves on your large tortilla, add chicken salad and wrap it all up.
- Butter bean, tuna, and celery salad. In a small bowl mix up the dressing for the salad by combining 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, and then slowly whisk in ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil. Add ¼ cup of chopped chives and salt and pepper. In a large bowl add 7 cans of Italian tuna packed in olive oil (drained), 3 stalks of celery sliced on the bias, 2 cans of butter beans (drained and rinsed), and 1 ½ tablespoons of capers (drained). Toss the dressing and salad together and enjoy.
- Cold cucumber soup with some French bread. In a food processor add 3 seedless cucumbers that have been peeled and chopped, ¾ cup of chopped green onions, 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper and 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth. Puree. Stir in ½ cup of sour cream and chill for about an hour. Garnish with additional chopped cucumbers, green onions and lemon zest if you like.
- Meat and potatoes. This menu requires the grill, which is a good alternative when you need to cook food but don’t want to do so in the oven. Salt and pepper your favorite cut of steak and put it on the grill. Slice potatoes and par boil them on the stove top before bringing them to the grill. Sprinkle the par cooked potato slices with a little steak seasoning and lay them on the grill. Watch these closely as it won’t take long for them to pick up some grill marks. Flip them over and continue to grill on the other side until cooked and heated through. Allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Chop up some lettuce and lay the sliced steak on top of the lettuce, then arrange the potatoes around the salad and your meal is complete.
- Baked potato bar. Nope, you’re not going to cook the baked potatoes in the oven or in the microwave. Wash the number of potatoes that you need for your family. Wrap the potatoes up individually in foil and place on the bottom of your slow cooker in a single layer. Turn the slow cooker on high for potatoes in about 4 hours or low to have baked potatoes in about 8 hours. The potatoes will stay in the cooker so as family members get home they can eat when they are ready. Have a selection of toppings ready, including cheese, sour cream, pre-cooked bacon bits, chopped ham, and butter. Anything your family likes on their baked potatoes can be used here.