As I sit sweating away in my kitchen with the temperature rising outside to our first day in the 90s this summer, I am definitely a fan of my grilling heavy menu this week. Yes, the grill is hot, but at least it’s outside and doesn’t heat up the house. Plus, I’m not the one who does the grilling. Thanks Travis!! We get used to the 90s here in Colorado during the summer, but the first week of it is always a little extra brutal. And being from Vermont I am not used to this kind of heat and apparently I still haven’t adapted. So cold salads and little to no indoor cooking is the way to go. Travis gave me a subscription to a cooking magazine of my choosing for my birthday so if anyone has any favorites, send them along. I love Eating Well and would like another simple, healthy, weekday friendly magazine for inspiration. I am hoping for more ideas for dinner salads and no-cook meals since summer is just beginning! Menu Plan & Grocery List
Monday: Chicken Tacos with Mango-Avocado Salsa and a Grilled Veggie
- After rubbing the chicken with spices, we (Travis) of course grilled it.
- Some veggies we like to grill include asparagus, zucchini, okra, peppers, onions and corn. Take your pick! Okra, asparagus and onions we do in foil, the rest can be done on the grill if sliced large enough, in a grill basket or foil. We just season them with oil, salt and pepper before tossing them on the grill.
Tuesday: Pasta Salad with Tuna and Veggies with Greens
- This was a classic summer meal for me growing up. My mom would make this on a hot summer day when it was too warm to cook. It was easily transportable as a picnic to the beach and can be eaten warm or cold.
- Aside from boiling pasta, this does not require any cooking and is a “kitchen sink” kind of dish. Whatever veggies you have in your fridge can go in.
- This recipe breaks my “no cooking” streak for the week, but roasting the sweet potatoes is totally worth it! But they can be steamed instead and pan fried with the spices if you don’t want to heat up your house with an oven.
- I grilled the corn in advance with the chicken on Monday night and cut it off the cob. That way I didn’t have to turn on the grill just for this.
- Chipotle chiles in adobo are hot, so adjust accordingly!
- Since Stella is like her dad and does not “do” vegetarian, I have a stash of meat in our freezer for just such occasions. Some mini-meatloaves, small batches of shredded chicken, and if necessary some chicken sausage. Clearly I am terrified of my daughter’s hanger (hunger/anger) and don’t want to risk being without meat. This girl means business!
Thursday: Steak and Zucchini Salad with Shaved Parmesan
- The zucchini dish was used as inspiration; you better believe I did not spend that much time on a veggie side dish. Yes to steps 2-4, then toss the zucchini and dressing in a bowl and top with cheese, almonds (optional) and lemon zest. Done. We don’t bother with presentation here, particularly not on weeknights with just us.
- If I spend time on the side dishes, then I want the main dish to be super easy. So having Travis just grill a steak, or any piece of meat for that matter, to go with this was both delicious and practical.
- Baguette, English muffins or buns are all good burger holding material to me, so take your pick.
- I like that this burger is covered with toppings: lettuce, grilled onions, and chutney. It makes it a full meal in and of itself but breaks the, “don’t drag it through the garden” rule Travis used to insist on until he learned better (i.e. met me). But if you aren’t a fan of lettuce on your burger in such copious quantities, just make a side salad instead.
- Since the grill was on I added a red bell pepper too and sliced it up on the burger. The onions and pepper can either be grilled in large pieces, rings and halves, or sliced smaller and in foil.