This Summer, Keep it Simple in the Kitchen
(Family Features) Once the stress of the school year fades away, everyone has easy summer living on their minds. For Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD, LDN, summer is all about convenience in the kitchen. “When my daughter has a less structured schedule and the sunshine is calling my name, I always make sure mealtime is hassle-free but still healthy and delicious,” says the culinary savvy dietitian.
Prepare meals without the mess
No-cook meals are the best solution when you would rather spend time outdoors than toiling in the kitchen. “Grains like bulgur and whole wheat couscous can be cooked using only hot water,” Segrave-Daly says. “Add nuts, beans, sliced fruit or vegetables, and toss with canola oil, pepper and salt to create a balanced meal.” Should you prefer a greens-based salad, try a mix of different lettuces or raw kale. And chopped salads topped with green beans, corn, and pinto, black or kidney beans make for a refreshing, meatless and fuss-free entrée.
Grill to perfection
Backyard cooking is a foodie’s favorite summertime activity. In addition to grilling lean meats, barbecue vegetable and fruit kabobs for healthy alternatives. Portabella mushrooms make a great alternative to burgers when brushed with olive oil. Fruits like pineapple, peaches, pears, apricots and plums are delicious when grilled and drizzled with honey.
Make multi-purpose meals
Save time by following Segrave-Daly’s golden rule of flexibility: cook once and eat twice. “Take leftover green salads, add cooked shrimp or chicken, and stuff into a wrap for a tasty sandwich,” she says. Bean and vegetable dips, like Smoky Carrot Hummus, can also double as sandwich spreads or a mayonnaise alternative in a potato or pasta salad.