On May 23, 2019 by Kim
As spring and summer bring warm weather, it also heats up the kitchen.
The last thing you want to do is slave over a meal, let alone sweat it out for a big cooking day. But you’re in luck!
We have some helpful tips so you can keep cool, calm, and carry on.
These tips can be used for daily cooking or for once a month cooking. One thing to keep in mind is that once a month cooking means only one, long cooking session, keeping the kitchen cool for many days following. We work to utilize many of these principles in our summer menus and to provide you with themed Mini Menus for the warmer months as well.
Learn how to create your own custom menu from these recipes and menus using our Membership to keep your kitchen cool.
1. Cook with Small Appliances
Do everything you can to keep the stove and oven OFF. Instead break out your Instant Pot, rice cooker, slow cooker, electric griddle, etc. We tend to think of slow cooker meals in the winter when we want comfort food, but they are also a fantastic way to keep cool in the summer.
- Paleo Pulled Pork
- Pineapple Beef Teriyaki
- Spicy Peach Chicken Sliders
- GFDF Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Crockpot Mongolian Beef
2. Cook Outside
Search for recipes that are grilled in our archives. Many of these recipes also happen to be dump and go or no-cook recipes on a cooking day.
- Balsamic Grilled Pork Loin
- Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken
- Balsamic Grilled Veggies
- GFDF Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs
- Italian Flank Steak Pinwheels
3. Cook Simple Meals
Choose meals that have a simple ingredient list, short and sweet directions for prep, or one skillet type meals to minimize the time spent in the kitchen on a cooking day (or simply day to day). I personally seem to gravitate toward flavors that are lighter and simpler during the warmer months anyway. Maybe it is just our bodies and our instincts telling us to slow down so we don’t overheat!
- One Skillet Paleo Dinner
- Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps
- Beef and Barley Skillet
- Spinach Bacon Feta Frittata
- Healthy Hidden Veggie Pasta
4. “Cook” Some Cold Treats
Who says you always have to prepare a hot meal? Whip up some salads, cold soups, smoothies, or chilly desserts. Most of these require little prep beyond chopping and stirring, so it barely even counts as cooking.
- Watermelon Banana Smoothie
- Orange Banana Smoothie Pops
- Tri-Berry Yogurt Pops
- Basil Gazpacho
- Lean Cuisine Copy Cat Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Topper
- Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake
5. Just Don’t Cook!
Ok, I’m not advocating a cooking strike! Just urging you to choose recipes that require little to no cooking.
You can always search our recipes by cooking method, for example, no-cook prep day, no cooking serving day, or no bake. See the links to our dump and go mini menus below in this post. Many of the other resources and recipes below will not keep you in the kitchen very long, so you might as well make multiple batches of the recipe (our menu documents already double each recipe for the number of servings you chose) so you can have leftovers another day and skip prep and cooking altogether! Leftovers also mean easy cleanup. Win-win.
Fresh produce abounds this time of year, so cut it up and snack on it plain or use it for simple sides, salads, and smoothies – check out our Peak Produce Picks for summer. Bottom line, just keep it simple. Summer is a time to relax from the regular routine and enjoy fun places and activities with people we love. Best case scenario, you don’t have to stress because dinner is in the freezer and ready to go.
- Summer Instant Pot Mini Menu Vol. 1
- Summer Salad Topper Mini Menu Vol. 1
- Spring Instant Pot Freezer Menu Vol. 1
- Spring Instant Pot Freezer Menu Vol. 2
- Spring Instant Pot Freezer Menu Vol. 3
- Spring Instant Pot Mini Menu Vol. 1
- Spring Instant Pot Mini Menu Vol. 2
- Spring Instant Pot Dump and Go Mini Menu Vol. 1
- Spring Slow Cooker Dump and Go Mini Menu Vol. 1
- Spring Slow Cooker Freezer Menu Vol. 1