Be Cool – Tips to Stay Cooler in the Kitchen

Some tips to keep you cool.

Cook once, use twice. Cook a double batch of meat, dried beans, pasta, vegetables, whatever.  Freeze the extra for another day so you don’t have to cook it twice.


Grill whenever possible. It keeps the kitchen cool, is generally a healthy way to cook and allows the cook to be a part of the party.


Be a seasonal cook. Market prices on seasonal vegetables and fruits are generally lower and the flavor of fresh produce can’t be beat. Use them in salads, desserts and on the grill. If you or family members have a garden, plan menus around the bounty that nature provides at this time of year.


Re-invent the sandwich. Go beyond peanut butter and jelly on white bread. Use interesting breads like multigrain, pita, tortillas, and bagels. French bread etc.  Then get a little creative with the fillings. Try crab meat salad, or turkey ham with artichoke. Try grilling a whole Portobello mushroom cap and serving with grilled onions and cheese. You can just pile up vegetables and have a sort of tossed salad sandwich.


Spill the beans. Canned beans are a quick way to make a summer salad more filling, or to make any one of a number of fun dishes. Just drain and rinse for high protein, high fiber and no-cook ingredients.


Pastamania! There are so many new and exciting pasta on the market take advantage and try one of them in an old recipe to dress it up. Pasta cooks quickly and can be cooked ahead of time. Pasta come in many flavors, colors and shapes and can easily add interest to your summer menu. Fresh pasta cooks even faster than dried.

Buy a roasted chicken at your local store. Now you have a healthy entree and can round out dinner with a salad and some bread. Also the leftovers can make great salads or sandwiches for additional meals.

Use the microwave for cooking potatoes or rice. It will not heat up the kitchen as much as conventional cooking methods and rice and potatoes make a good base for salads.


Drink up. With warmer weather comes the need for more fluids. Drink plenty of water, but also enjoy lemonade, iced herbal teas and sparkling fruit juices. Watch out for alcohol and caffeine laden beverages as they act as diuretics and can dry you out. These should be enjoyed in moderation in hot weather and never after times of strenuous activity when your body needs water the most.


Fresh fruit is often the nicest dessert. Fruit salads or kabobs can be served along with homemade sorbets and smoothies.

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