Summer recipes should be fast, easy and require little or no cooking -- in my opinion.
Cold cereal for breakfast, lunch or dinner is good. A diet of popsicles and ice cream -- sugar free and low fat -- would be very refreshing.
But on a healthier note, take a look at all the fresh vegetables and fruit available in the stores and plan your meals accordingly.
Last week sweet corn, potatoes, red peppers, tomatoes and broccoli, plus watermelon, grapes, strawberries and apricots were on sale.
Sweet corn, shucked and cleaned, dumped in some boiling water for about 7 minutes, then served with butter, salt and pepper can make a great little meal all on its own. Finish it off with some cold watermelon and that's it.
Nuke a couple of potatoes as if they were being baked, get some more butter, salt and pepper, plus some sour cream and you have another light and tasty meal.
Tomatoes, red bell peppers and raw broccoli washed, chopped and tossed with some lettuce or a pre-made salad makes a speedy meal, too.
As for breakfast -- back on my grandparents' farm, cantaloupe, seasoned with salt and pepper, was a standing breakfast dish all summer long. They grew their own. My grandfather lived to be 93, my grandmother was 90 when she died, so there might be something to be said for that particular melon for breakfast.
But most of us are not inclined to just have fruit and vegetables.
Salmon and London broil were on sale last week too. A quick, easy and relatively cool way to prepare salmon involves some foil, Italian dressing and a toaster oven.
2 pounds salmon fillet
2 cups Italian dressing for marinating
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Foil to wrap
Wash and pat dry the salmon fillet, removing any skin and obvious bones. Combine other ingredients. Put salmon in a shallow baking dish and cover with marinade, let set for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove fish, reserving marinade for basting. Wrap fish in foil. Put rack on lowest rung of toaster oven, preheat to 350 degrees. Place wrapped salmon on rack and bake until it flakes with a fork. Turning and basting once or twice. Bake for about 8 minutes.
This can also be prepared on a grill, using a well-greased grill basket to hold fish instead of the foil -- though wrapping in heavy duty foil might work just as well.
2 pounds salmon (or other fish steaks)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 can (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup catsup
2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Wash and pat dry fish. Place in greased baking dish, 12x8x2 inches; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine remaining ingredients and spread over fish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until fish flakes easily.
(2) 2-pound London Broil steaks
1 cup salad oil
1 cup dry red wine
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Place steaks in shallow pan. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over meat. Marinate for at least 4 hours, or over night. Broil 5 to 7 minutes on each side, 3 inches from heat, basting frequently with marinade sauce. Slice thinly on diagonal when serving.
In the summer, the best cooking is no cooking at all though. So, get acquainted with the men and women behind the deli counters at the local grocery stores, sample the wide variety of dining experiences available to everyone on the Rim. There is something for every taste and a nice meal, with no home cooking, is just a phone call away.