Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Meal Planning

It has been uncommonly HOT where I live for a couple of weeks straight. Every day the temperatures reach 100 degrees or more. I am more of a rainy and cool climate girl and scorching sun and sweaty days seem to bring on lethargy for me.  I just want to lay still until the horrible conditions pass.  And when they don't I pull myself together and realize that like it or not, I have to deal with it.  :)

So in the summer, I am challenged to think outside the oven.  I want to get more veggies into our diet so I've decided to make this "salad week".  To make salad week enjoyable, I load each salad with hearty protein and fiber rich veggies and always add some rich and delicious cheese and flavorful homemade or good quality salad dressings. 

Never use diet dressings. Bleh!  Studies show that fat is actually a necessary component to properly digest vegetables. So enjoy full fat dressings but be careful to keep the portion size to under 2 tablespoons. 

Here are my cold dinner creations for this week. Keep in mind that the portions for the ingredients are to be scaled to one portion.  For example, I don't put an entire can of salmon or beans onto one salad, but divide it four ways for my family of four. :-)
Monday - Perfect Pantry Salad
Top a bed of salad greens with chopped tomato, canned salmon, canned kidney beans, canned beets, croutons or French's Onions, sprinkle of shredded cheese and your favorite salad dressing.


Tuesday - Grilled Chicken Salad
Top a bed of salad greens with grilled seasoned chicken (grilled earlier and refrigerated) sliced avacado, black olives, chopped or grape tomato, blue cheese crumbles, sprinkled with olive oil, vinegar, sea salt and pepper.

Wednesday - Brie Bacon Salad
Top a bed of salad greens with hard boiled egss, cooked, crumbled bacon, sauted onions & squash, jarred artichoke hearts, brie cheese, croutons and your favorite salad dressing.

Thursday - Garbonzo Tuna Salad
Top a bed of Salad greens with canned garbonzo beans, canned tuna, sliced green olives, blue cheese crumbles, tomato, chopped green pepper and your favorite salad dressing.

Friday - Pizza
I usually make homemade pizzas every Friday but if the temps are still tilting the scales, I think we'll have to do something different.  I have never grilled a pizza before but maybe this is a good time to try it. :)

What do you like to fix your family for dinner when it's hot out? Please share!

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