It’s summer now in Melbourne and we’ll be facing hot days ahead and often the last thing you want to do is cook dinner on a hot night. Who’s with me?
If your home is anything like mine, putting the oven on heats up the house. No thanks when the air conditioning is already working hard.
It’s hard to sleep on hot nights and you feel tired, especially when it comes to the end of the day and you want to relax, but everyone still wants dinner.
With the heat, all you want is something lighter and refreshing to satisfy you anyway rather than having something hearty and rich.
Then is when some strategies for meal planning come in handy. Let’s get you out of the hot kitchen quick smart!
Change HOW you cook
Keep the house cool and don't use the oven. Break out the slow cooker, use the stove (briefly!), use the BBQ outside.
Change WHAT you're cooking
Be inspired by cuisines from hot climates - Mediterranean, Indian, Asian, Mexican, Moroccan and more. They know how to pull meals together that pack a flavour punch, and FAST! As a bonus, this will use up the spices you have in your collection that may otherwise be forgotten.
Change WHEN you're cooking
There are two ways to handle this.
- Cook at the cooler part of the day and save it for later.
- Cook up a storm before a heat wave. Look for recipes for dinner that can be eaten cold Eg. Bake a quiche or frittata, fry up some fritters, bake a batch of savoury muffins. Think of food you might take to a picnic.
Change WHO'S DOING the cooking
Isn't delegating beautiful? lol
No, what I actually mean is take a short cut. Buy a roast chicken from your local chicken shop or supermarket, and prepare a salad at home. Easy.
Go raw. You could even make your salad fancy with that spiraliser you bought that's sitting in your utensil drawer. You knew there was a reason you bought it!
If you’re lucky enough to grow your own produce, go and pick from your own garden. Now that's fresh!
Are you on a health kick? Make a smoothie with those salad leaves in a bag before they wilt and need to be thrown out. Win-win!
So what difference would it make to you if you could spend your time on those hot summer nights taking care of your needs instead of feeling burdened, uncomfortable and even resentful of having to cook? Which of these strategies will you try? Tell me what you think.
All the best,