Monday, June 7, 2010

Menu Planning ~ keep the heat out of the kitchen version

Don't you just love the colors of summer? Just look at them. Aren't they gorgeous?

After a week away from home and cleaning out the cupboards before we left, our cabinets were empty. Really empty. Just ask my family. Lawman and I did a shopping trip together. Yes, he will go grocery shopping with me. In our early years of marriage it was a date; every other Friday. The grocery store was about the only place we felt like we could spend money back then.  Anyway...

Now that the summer season is upon us, I'm mixing things up a bit in the kitchen both literally and figuratively. Time to switch up the menu with dishes that don't require heating up the kitchen or a lot of prep time since our summer schedule seems to be just as busy or busier than the school year.  Girls are home, well, out of school but not home -- jobs, swim team, dance team practice, babysittng -- you get the idea. They're busy. That means it's beneficial for me to have meals made and in the fridge, sandwich or wrap fixings at the ready, some pre-cooked items in the freezer (pre-cooked by me, not a company) or items ready for the grill.

Tonight I arrived home at 5:00 and needed to be out the door by 5:40 meanwhile still being able to feed everyone. Madison pointed out this salad over the weekend. Turns out I had everything on hand and it took only 20 minutes to cook the pasta and assemble. Perfect. Dinner at home at our convenience since we all ate at different times. And there's plenty left for lunches tomorrow. I love it when that happens (which isn't often).

Those lovely veggies up above? They were grilled and became a California Grilled Veggie Sandwich. Soooo tasty. A complete meal between the slices. I'll definitely do this again and I'll be grilling veggies on a regular basis; they make an excellent side dish.

Other summer dishes on my menu include:
Asian Pasta Salad with chicken (I'm going to try creating this w/out a recipe)
Grilled Salmon
Shrimp Salad
Taco Salad
Pulled Pork (crockpot) on buns
Rice Bowls (I'll use leftover pulled pork and black beans from the freezer)
Homemade Pizza (yes, it will be in the oven but we can't give it up!)
Burgers & Bratwurst on the grill
Fresh fruit - berries and melons
and we can't do without dessert of Ice cream or popsicles

What's on your summer menu? And, if you've got a recipe for an Asian pasta salad, please share. I'm hoping for one that is similar to lo mein but in a cold salad form.


Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig said...

Maybe you can try your hand at making pizza on the grill?

Anonymous said...

the veggie sandwiches sound really good!

Anonymous said...

really like the summertime menu version. As simple as that sounds, it wasn't on my mind....more salads please. This will definately be the goal for planning next weeks menu. Thanks! Grilled veggie sandwiches, mmmmmm.