I’m gonna go ahead and state the obvious here: It’s hot. Not like 1,000 degrees hot but 80 degrees with a dew point of a million hot.
You walk outside and you can immediately feel the air just sitting on you like an elephant.
Swamp-ass and under-boob sweat are guaranteed.
Public transportation is a living hell because not only will you get on the ONE bus that doesn’t have air conditioning, you will be sardined inside that hot box with 100 other sweaty smelly people.
Pretty much it’s July in the Midwest.
And who really wants to turn on their oven in the middle of July? I mean, that’s just adding fuel to the fire. Literally.
I have been on a no-oven meal kick lately so I thought I would share some of the recipes that I’ve been making around here lately so that you can get in on the no-heat no-problem awesomeness. I also have two other tips to cool you down that involve food.
Because all good tips should involve food.
No Oven Meals
My secret weapon this summer has been my slow cooker. That thing gets so much use in the winter but then I store it away and never think about it during the summer. It’s so useful though because it can cook so many things without heating up your whole house. I’ve made baked potatoes/sweet potatoes, my lentil loaf, cherry pudding, mac and cheese, and even some chicken breasts for Adam. All it takes is a little reworking of cooking times but other than that, if it cooks in your oven and fits in your slow cooker, you’re pretty much good to go.
We’ve also been doing a lot of meals that require no cooking at all like salads, coleslaw (recipe coming soon), and leftovers. Here are a few of the recipes that have been in heavy rotation lately.
Smoothie Bowls (great for a cool breakfast or lunch)
Avocado & Corn Gazpacho (cold soup is refreshing and way better than it sounds)
Tahini BBQ Summer Vegetable Bake (skip roasting the veggies and cook in slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours)
Slow Cooker Cauliflower Pesto Mac N’ Cheese (cause… pesto)
Swiss Chard & Cherry Salad (can’t. stop. eating. this. salad.)
Pesto Quinoa Salad (I like adding cooked chicken or pork in Adam’s portion and again…pesto)
Taco Boats (simple and delicious)
Eat Your Water
I have the worst time remembering to drink enough water even when it’s hot outside. Plain water just isn’t my jam and once I get busy I hardly ever stop to take a water break. I’ve tried everything from putting a huge water bottle right in front of me to reminders on my phone to drink. Still doesn’t work so I eat my water. Yes, you can use water from food like fruits and vegetables. My favorite? Watermelon (this watermelon soda is pretty awesome too). I could eat that until my stomach exploded and then go back for more. Other good ones:
- Leafy salads
- Bell peppers
Delicious, healthy, and hydrating. Of course, you still need to drink water but these foods help too.
No, I’m not giving you permission to gorge yourself on ice cream (although an ice cream recipe is coming soon) but having some healthy frozen treats is a tasty way to cool off. Try making your own popsicles, like these key-lime ones, or freezing fruit. I love frozen grapes, but you can freeze berries or melon too.