Here are a few ideas how to make your summer more enjoyable through food:
Slow down and plan ahead to makes dinnertime less stressful. Being organized doesn’t have to take much time but it can save a lot of last minute headaches- and will certainly save you time in the end. You might even invest in setting up a weekly meal planner. Plan and shop for meals a few days or even a week in advance so you can be sure you have the ingredients you need on hand. Keep very perishable items and some ready-to-cook dinners in the freezer to save having to shop frequently. You don’t want to have to run to the store from the cottage or even stop on your way home from work to pick up one essential but missing ingredient. Wouldn’t it be nicer to go straight home?
Try some fresh new foods. This is a great time of year to try something new. You might find some new vegetables or at least some interesting variations on familiar foods at local farmers markets. Think heirloom tomatoes, purple carrots, the many varieties of mushrooms. Take your kids and let them choose - they will be more likely to eat their veggies!
Cook extras. That way you will have easy leftovers for lunches or spontaneous dinners when unexpected company drops by. BBQ’d meats, chicken, shrimp or fish are also great to use on salads the next day for lunch or a lighter dinner. For example, slices of steak or marinated chicken make a bed of leafy green salad something special.
Speaking of salads, always have salad ingredients on hand - some of my favourites are berries, nuts, seeds, mixed greens, avocado, crumbles of cheese (goat!). A great salad can accompany almost anything - like a delicious burger - to complete an easy, summery supper. For an easy and delightful salad dressing, try one-third good quality olive oil, one-third balsamic vinegar and one-third maple syrup.
Quiche is another excellent staple in the summer. It can serve as a breakfast, lunch or dinner and comes in many different varieties. It can be served hot or cold. And it’s an first-rate source of protein.
Have some fun with your child at a cooking class for children. Experience shows that children who have a hand in making dinner are much more likely to enjoy eating it - and are even willing to try more adventurous foods!
Ok, one more thing. You’re probably not going to be happy if you add a few pounds to your frame eating all this good food. It is bathing suit season after all. So enjoy all the flavours but watch your portion sizes. Establish a portion size that works for you and use it as a guideline. And get out and enjoy all the opportunities for outdoor exercise!