In most parts of the country, the warm days of summer and early fall can leave the family cook sweltering in
front of a hot stove, preparing those nutritious meals. Besides making your house too warm for comfort, you may
find yourself starving by the time you're ready to sit down. Here are some quick cooking recipes and tips that
save you time and energy.
The outdoor barbecue grill is your best friend in the summer. But it can also serve you well in the winter
months too. Many people forget that cooking out on a barbecue grill really is a year-round event. Grilled
recipes are amazing, not to mention that you save a lot of money on energy when you choose to cook outdoors. Take
some shrimp, lather it up with some of Terry's Barbecue Sauce, wrap in aluminum foil, and
throw it on the grill for about 12 minutes. Wow, what a great smoked flavor!
The microwave is another one of your best friends, particularly in hot weather. It lends itself perfectly to
preparing quick cooking recipes and certainly helps keep the kitchen cool. For entrees, try cooking a batch of
chicken or fish in the microwave. These meats turn out perfect when cooked in the microwave. You can even cook
chicken in the morning and simply warm it up in a lidded frying pan just before serving, with the added advantage
of giving the chicken a quick browning that enhances the taste. Fish cooks so quickly that it takes just a few
minutes to prepare at dinner time. Use the microwave to cook fresh veggies in the cool morning hours, cooking them
until just slightly undercooked. Refrigerate until ready to serve, warming and finishing cooking in the
The slow cooker is another time saver for those looking for quick cooking recipes.
It takes just minutes to assemble a complete one-dish meal in the morning and then let it do its thing while you
attend to your busy schedule. One example is a pot roast. Cut up some potatoes, carrots and onions, put in a cup of
water and lay your roast on top, seasoning as desired. Put the lid on and you're done! The slow cooker does the
Cooking in bulk is another time saver for the busy cook, which also saves money and helps keep the kitchen cool
in hot weather. Here are a couple of examples for this type of quick cooking recipes. Let's say ground beef is on
sale this week. Get five pounds and cook or grill it all up at once. Divide the cooked meat into family dinner
sized portions and then season a pound for spaghetti, another for tacos, enchiladas or a casserole dish. You might
reserve two pounds for a meatloaf to bake while you're frying up the other three pounds. You've now got at least
three stove top tasks finished in one effort, plus a meatloaf. Freeze your individually seasoned portions in
freezer bags ready to go as the mood strikes. Serve meatloaf for dinner and use leftovers for sandwiches. Cooking
during the cool hours makes this much easier on the cook.
In the same way, cooking up a big batch of rice takes the same amount of time as preparing it for a single meal.
Divide the cooked rice and freeze, ready to defrost and use whenever your menu calls for rice. This tip on quick
cooking recipes saves time and reduces your energy consumption, while making summertime cooking less stressful on
you in a hot kitchen.
Busy Moms can get a jump on the kid's school lunch prep here. Watch for sales on lunch meats and cheeses at the
deli. Stock up and make an 'assembly line' production of sandwiches. Line up a bunch of hoagie rolls and fill them
with your sandwich goodies. Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap and freeze. Defrost the number of sandwiches you
need for tomorrow's lunch tonight. In the morning, let the kids put on mayo, mustard or whatever they like to dress
the sandwich. Pack and go!
Everyone welcomes a chef's salad during hot weather. These quick cooking recipes don't even require cooking and
help you fit those nutrient-packed 5-9 servings of veggies in to your menus. Julienne sliced chicken or salad
shrimp may be prepared in bulk as well to make another one-dish meal as a do-ahead.
How about breakfast? Pancakes, waffles and crepes can be prepared ahead of time in bulk and frozen for future
quick and easy breakfasts. These can be cooked over an outdoor firepit if you are out camping too. With a side
of sausage patties, you've got a delicious breakfast.
You can see that these tips for quick cooking recipes, using your microwave, slow cooker and freezer, along with
cooking in bulk makes good sense. You save time and money while staying cool. Quick cooking recipes for indoor
and outdoor cooking are favorites year-round.
Over 600 Gourmet Recipes at StonewallKitchen.com