The sun is shining, the days are warm and and balmy and you finally dare to get your lily white legs into some shorts (at least within the privacy of your own home). After the long, dark and cold months of Winter, Summer has officially arrived !
It’s also the time when even a food obsessed cook like me, finds that the heat has sapped my energy and I feel more like flopping down in a shady spot in the late afternoon after commuting home from work than spending time in front of a sweltering stove. Quick, easy, tasty summer recipes are the order of the day.
I have have gathered a huge variety of recipes … yes, many have been tweaked to make them more kid friendly (moderation of onions, hot peppers etc) but all of them depend on a few cooked ingredients and the addition of fresh vegetables or salad to make an easy summer meal. Often I bulk cook the meat for these dishes advance and freeze in meal sized portions, and in the morning put a container of cooked meat in the fridge to thaw and just heat it though later that evening.
Taco seasoned meat for instance, goes wonderfully in burritos or tortillas and has the added bonus of being an economical meal that stretches well for both unexpected (or expected) hordes and being a crowd pleaser no matter how picky your guests: be it with plain boiled rice, sweetcorn, cucumber, grated carrot, avocado, lettuce, tomato, or grated cheese, everyone can sort though the simple range of topping ingredients and find something that takes their fancy.
It’s also a ” serve yourself ” sort of meal and hands on (which is great for getting children interested in new veggies). This means more time with your guests, and a very relaxed meal. Over the years I have made this often for a crowd, and all you really need are some paper towels or a damp cloth to wipe sticky fingers after they have been clicked clean.
Summer meals are all about being as lazy as possible… I have discovered that if you are just a little bit efficient, and you spend a little time preparing in bulk taco sauces, pasta sauces etc in advance and stashing them into your freezer, then you can still eat healthily and well and be very lazy indeed.
Me? I am mega efficient in this respect… ergo I must therefore be the laziest Summer cook on the planet.
You know, somehow I don’t actually have a problem with that ….