Tip Talk – Simple Summer MEAL Ideas

This weeks TIP TALK on 24/7 MOMS Live, we shared 10 TIPS for Simple Summer MEAL Ideas for “Cool” Dinners

1. Ready Made MEAL– check out meals that are ready to go.
-NEW Macaroni Grill boxed meals, try Chicken Pasta Alfredo-yummy.
-Try “Dream Dinners”, “Dinner’s Ready” style stores for make-it-yourself
-Tyson ready meals
-Check out ready made meals at local supermarket or Costco store.

2. Freezer Friendly MEAL
-Freeze Ready Made Meals for later
-Freeze take and bake pizzas
-Check out frozen section of grocery store for meals, beyond the box
-Schwan Company delivered meals
-When marinating meats double the recipe for marinated meats and poultry then freeze one in marinade for a later, then thaw and cook when needed. The marinating time is in the freezing and thawing stages.
-Try out specialty stores such as Trader Joe’s (Trisha’s personal favorite).

3. Grill MEAL- use that bar-b-que!
-BBQ Hamburgers/Hot Dogs
-Kabobs – beef or chicken
-BBQ Ribs
-Corn on the cob grilled
-Veggies use California garlic salt and olive oil
-Fried potatoes on the Grill
-Using the outdoor barbecue keeps the kitchen cool, and all you need is a piece of meat or fish (or some vegetables) and a good sauce or marinade.

4. Crock Pot MEAL –no need to heat up the kitchen
-BBQ beef/pork sandwiches, roast, rolls and bbq sauce
-Lasagna (add extra liquid)
-Cook meat up ahead during the cooler part of the day and let simmer in crock pot. I.e. Sloppy Joes, taco meat, etc.
-Deli chicken (buy ahead and freeze then cook on high ½ day)
-Check out local freezer section for crock pot meals
-Use crock pot instead of oven for recipes, less heat.
-Check out crock pot cookbook from local library.

5. Sandwich MEAL-
-French Dips-
-Meatball sandwiches
-Tuna melts
-Make your own Deli Sandwiches /club sandwich /BLT’s (Make bacon ahead)
-Choose whole-grain breads and reduced-fat fillers and spreads whenever possible. Double up on the lettuce and tomato to boost the nutritional value and fiber.

6. Salad MEALS-
-Taco Salad
-Chicken Caesar Salad
-Spinach Salad
-Cobb Salad
-Use prewashed salads in a bag especially when they go on sale. Spruce them up by tossing in canned beans (kidney, black, edamame, or garbanzo, rinsed and drained); more veggies; cubed or shredded reduced-fat cheese; and cooked, shredded lean beef or pork, skinless chicken breast filets, or shellfish; fruit; toasted nuts; and/or fresh herbs. Use leftover grilled meat from the previous night.

7. Deli Deal MEAL-
-Check out special of the week-fried chicken or whole chicken meals
-Ready made pizzas
-Chinese express
-Dash to the supermarket deli for a whole rotisserie chicken or some sliced roasted turkey. Suddenly, you have your featured ingredient for salads and sandwiches (either meat) or quesadillas and enchiladas (the chicken). The turkey is ready to go, and it only takes five minutes to remove the chicken’s skin and shred or cube the breast and thigh meat.

8. That’s a Wrap-
-Start with a soft tortilla (choose higher-fiber, no-trans fat tortillas or flavored when possible) and lightly coat the top with light cream cheese, Dijon mustard, sun-dried tomato pesto, green pesto or mayonnaise. Layer on sandwich meats, vegetables, and sliced or shredded cheese, roll, and you’ve got dinner wrapped up.
-Go traditional with chicken, lettuce, tomato and cheese and serve with salsa. -Chicken Caesar wraps is always a favorite.

9. Mexican Fiesta MEAL
-Tacos, fry meat earlier finish in crock pot
-Fajitas chicken or beef (crock pot or grill)
-Quesadillas on the grill- used either left over chicken from a previous night or store roasted chicken, or grilled chicken in the refrigerated section of Costco or grocery store.Stressless MEALS-
-Cook outside/Eat outside
-Purchase paper place and plastic utensils for easy/quick cleanup
-Place BBQ items in plastic tub in refrigerator to easy access. I.e. ketchup, mustard, relish, mayo, etc.

10. Stressless MEALS-
-Cook outside/Eat outside
-Purchase paper place and plastic utensils for easy/quick cleanup
-Place BBQ items in plastic tub in refrigerator to easy access. I.e. ketchup, mustard, relish, mayo, etc.

Enjoy your family this summer ONE MEAL AT A TIME and try to stay out of the kitchen.

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