When the summer heat is sweltering, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven. Dining out or ordering in may be your go-to game plan when it’s just too hot to cook, but doing so too often can throw you off track from reaching your fat loss goals.
So what’s a woman to do? Chill out!
No, that doesn’t mean kick up your feet and let Ben and Jerry’s take the meal-planning wheel (no matter how wonderful that may sound). Instead, it’s time to dish up dinners that don’t crank up the temperature inside your home.
Healthy Eats for Summer Heat
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite meals that don’t add to the rising mercury level indoors. Without ever turning on your stove, you can enjoy quick, healthy eats that leave you feeling refreshingly satisfied.
- The Big Salad: For those Seinfeld rerun watchers out there, you well know the big salad as Elaine’s fave diner order. If you’re not familiar, it’s just what it sounds like–a “big salad.” The “big” means it’s a meal all on its own. And the bonus–it’s completely customizable to your palate and/or what’s in your fridge. Use a blend of greens as your base. Top it with all kinds of veggies and fruit. Add a lean protein, such as tuna or tofu. Sprinkle on a little cheese and a homemade salad dressing, and you’re ready to eat minus any heat.
Wrapper’s Delight: Add a twist on a sandwich by holding your fixings in a wrap. Wraps come in all kinds of flavors–spinach, whole wheat, sun-dried tomato–which kick up the taste level. In addition to deli meat, include cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocado for fresh flavor.
- Creative Kabobs: Take the cooking outdoors with a meal that heats up so quickly you’ll barely break a sweat above the BBQ. Cut up chunks of meat and veggies in uniform sizes and place on a skewer. Cook over a medium-hot grill for a few minutes on each side or until meat is cooked through.
- Pita Perfect: Pitas offer another sandwich alternative you can personalize with your favorite flavors. And since the pocket lends a better hold than two pieces of bread or a wrap, you can stuff it with a egg, chicken, tuna, or leafy green salads without making a complete mess.
- Taco ‘Bout It: It doesn’t have to be a Tuesday to enjoy tacos! Grill chicken or beef, or sacrifice less than five minutes over the stovetop to pan fry shrimp. Fill a tortilla or large lettuce wrap with meat, salsa and cheese for a quick and easy taco. Serve it with a chilled side salad of corn, black beans, chopped tomatoes, cilantro and squeeze of lime juice.
So Smooth: Smoothies may be your go-to morning meal, but breakfast for dinner can be a sweet treat, too. Instead of drinking, make a thick smoothie and pour it in a bowl. Top it off with fruit, nuts, chia seeds, and toasted coconut for a dinner that doubles as dessert.
- Roll with It: Egg rolls can feel too heavy for summer (and may not be best for burning fat), but spring rolls–the uncooked version–are just the opposite. Slice veggies, such as zucchini, carrots, red pepper, and avocado, into long strips. Prep a few herbs and some leftover grilled chicken or cooked shrimp. Wrap them up into a rice paper wrapper and dip them into a fresh batch of peanut dipping sauce.
- No Hokey Poke: Similar to deconstructed sushi, poke bowls are the new foodie trend you’ve got to try. And good news is, you can make them at home sans heat. Marinade chunks of raw tuna steak (sushi-grade) in a teriyaki and rice wine vinegar blend, letting it sit for at least two hours. For the bowl, begin with a base of shredded cabbage and top with sliced cucumbers and avocados. Add the marinaded tuna on top, reserving a little extra marinade to use for sauce. Top it off with chopped sushi nori, shaved ginger, sesame seeds, peanuts, and scallions.
What’s your favorite healthy eat for the summer? Share it with others in the comments!