Oh the dreaded thought of turning on the stove when it’s 90+°F outside. There’s got to be some other way to make delicious, satisfying meals for your family turning on that stove! There are! I’m going to give you some delicious meal ideas for dinner that will not only keep you out of the kitchen, but will satisfy every appetite.
Summer is the time for grilling ! It’s August and right now we are in the dog days of summer where the current record temps we are having here in Upstate, New York are making our swimming pool feel like bath water. There is nothing like a lip-smacking grilled steak, grilled chicken breast or hamburger after a long, warm day. They are delicious and better for you than cooking inside because the fat and grease is allowed to drain off, where as in a pan, the meat soaks up all that fat and grease. (If you don’t drain it off!). While grilling up your favorite meat, try out of these unique side dishes that you can grill alongside the meat. Your family will beg you to these make over and over again !
The number one side dish in our family when we grill is grilled potatoes. They are easy, yet oh so delicious.
What you need:
- Obviously potatoes, cut into bit size pieces. I use one medium potato per person. I usually make a couple extra for leftovers for lunch the next day. We leave the skin on, but you can peel them if you so choose.
- Aluminum foil: Tear off 6 inch rectangles, large enough to make a nice envelope for the potatoes.
- Garlic Powder and pepper: I sprinkle some over each potato, but you can season to your taste though.
- Butter: 2 pats of butter for each envelope or a 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
- Onion: Chopped, enough to flavor each potato envelope (optional).
- Any other seasonings or vegetables you prefer.
How to prepare:
Like I said above, but will repeat in case you didn’t catch it, cut the potatoes into bite size pieces, placing 1 cut up potato on 1 piece of aluminum foil. (If you have small potatoes, you can use two per one piece of aluminum foil). Add the onion. Sprinkle with your favorite seasonings and top with 2 pats of butter or the olive oil. Fold the aluminum foil over to make a nice envelope around them so it won’t open on the grill.
The potatoes usually take about 15 minutes longer than the meat so prepare them first and get them going and then grill your meat.
You can use this same type of recipe for just about any of your favorite veggies like a delicious yellow or zucchini squash, red, green or yellow peppers and so on. Use your imagination. You can mix up as many different types of veggies as you want.
Not your typical corn on the cob
I’m sure most of you have heard of or even eaten grilled corn on the cob. Which is a family fave of ours. The ladies love them in our house! So, try this little twist on the traditional grilled corn on the cob.
- Corn on the cob, in the husks
- Butter, softened
- Bacon bits
- Chopped chives
How to make it:
- Pull back the husks from the corn, but do not remove completely. Remove the silk and soak in cold water for about 30 minutes.
- Brush on butter over the corn and replace the husks around the buttered corn
- Grill, turning frequently to avoid burning, about 5 to 7 minutes
- Serve with the bacon bits and chives.
Veggie kabobs are fun, colorful and delicious and healthy. They are also a great way to get your kids to eat more veggies because they come on a stick. I don’t know why kids like to eat things on a stick, but this works every time!
There are a variety of veggies you can use for veggie kabobs, so choose your favorites, or veggies you’ve been trying to get your kids to eat! Some of my favorites ingredients to use are: :
- Tomatoes: cut into quarters
- Cucumbers: sliced into one inch thick pieces
- Mushrooms: whole
- Onions: cut into quarters
- Peppers, green, red or yellow: Slice the pepper into quarters and remove the seeds
- Zucchini squash: sliced into one inch thick pieces
- Yellow squash: sliced into one inch thick pieces
- Broccoli: Use pieces big enough to stay on the stick
- Cauliflower: Again, you will need to use pieces that won’t break when you put them on the stick.
- Carrots: baby carrots work great or slice regular size carrots into one inch size pieces
Put the veggies on the stick by inserting the stick in the center. For crispier veggies you will need to be more careful when inserting the stick into it so they won’t break. Alternate veggies as you place them on the sticks. You can have any variety of veggies you like in any order you like. I like to put a piece of onion in between each veggie piece for flavor, but that’s me, I like onions. Some like a piece of pepper between each, which is good too. Use your imagination; use a variety of color like green, red and orange. This will entice your kids even more.
Brush each veggie with olive oil before placing on the grill and be sure to leave enough room on the stick for handling! When grilling, turn frequently to prevent burning. I prefer a little burnt flavor around the edges, but again, that’s me! Grill them to your families taste.
Veggie kabobs are a great side dish for any meat including steak, chicken and hamburgers; they brighten up a plate and are full of flavor and yummy healthiness.
So, besides grilling what else could you make that doesn’t require a stove, oven or grill? Oh, I know, how about an easy recipes you can microwave?
One of our favorites is Nachos!. We usually serve them as a snack when they don’t have any meat on them. If you have any leftover taco meat, definitely add it to them for a yummy, easy to make, dinner everyone will love.
All you do is:
- Spread some tortilla chips on a plate
- If adding leftover taco meat, do it here
- Sprinkle shredded cheese over each chip
- Microwave for 30 to 45 seconds
- Top with your favorite nacho toppings like salsa, sour cream, olives, tomatoes, lettuce and jalapenos.
These are an easy, delicious and great way to use leftover taco meat, if you decide to do that. They are great no matter which way you choose to go. If you even have any leftover chicken, try adding it and make chicken nachos!
Another summertime meal idea is to serve salad as a main dish! You can use your favorite veggies and top with a piece of that grilled chicken or steak, cut into slices. It’s common for some to eat this when trying to shed some pounds too. Not only is it great for staying out of the kitchen on a hot summer’s day, but it’s also a healthy, high protein meal.