We’re just around the corner from some warm weather here in Australia, which will be fantastic after the wet winter we had! Before long, I’m sure plenty of us will be complaining that it’s too hot! That’s why I thought this blog would be a great idea. It covers some useful tips for meal prep without overheating—perfect for hot summers.
Here are some ways to prepare meals in the summer that don’t involve slaving over a hot stove when it’s simply too hot to spend the afternoon cooking.
Make use of raw ingredients
For satisfying and healthy meals during the hot weather, refreshing salads and dishes that don’t need cooking are ideal. Take advantage of all those yummy in-season fruits and vegetables to make delicious salads. You can also use raw vegetables, such as carrot and cucumber, for spiralising. Mix them in with grilled chicken and pesto or some grains and a tasty vinaigrette for a refreshing meal that needs almost no cooking.
Use your barbecue or grill
We’re lucky to enjoy longer days in the summer, which is perfect for a backyard barbecue. By cooking outside, your kitchen (and the rest of the house) can stay cooler. It’s also a quick and easy way to cook plenty of vegetables and grill your meat. Grilled vegetables, such as onions, capsicums and sweet potato, can last for a few days in the fridge. and the extra flavour that comes with grilling food is also hard to beat!
Make time to grill some extra meat while preparing the evening meal and you’ll have easy lunch options for the next day too.
Choose no-cook meals
Have you ever noticed you don’t always feel like eating when it’s really hot out? Instead of roast dinners and stove-top meals, try substituting these for a couple of lighter, no-cook options. Use some shredded poached chicken in rice paper rolls or make a tasty wrap with tinned tuna and salad. Instead of cooking breakfast on a Sunday morning, try cutting up a delicious fresh fruit platter and serving with some muesli and yoghurt.
Cut food into smaller pieces for cooking
If you are after a cooked meal, a stir-fry is still a great option during hot weather as the heat from the cooktop doesn’t need to be on for long. You can keep your cooking time short by dicing the meat and vegetables into smaller pieces, so they take less time to cook. Bulk the stir-fry up with noodles that are quick and easy to heat, such as rice vermicelli.
Bring out your slow cooker
The beauty of using a slow cooker is you can leave the meal on low heat over a longer period of time. It also means you aren’t trapped in the kitchen stirring away while trying to get the sauce just right. The ‘set and forget’ approach is fantastic for warmer days when you would much rather be outside (or under the air-conditioner). You can also set the slow cooker up to cook the meal overnight, when it’s much cooler indoors.
When the warmer weather rolls around, quick and easy meals can become your friend. Look for meal options that don’t require a lot of cooking because when it’s hot inside and out, turning on the oven could start to feel like torture! Try following these simple meal prep tips for healthy eating when the heat is making you feel lazy.
Love, Kayla xx