It’s been a delicious summer so far - there’s no denying that - despite the fact that we haven’t grilled as much as in previous years. I’m committed to rectifying that this weekend, but in the meantime here’s a look at what we have been eating this season.
Monochromatic Fruit Salads: Gather all the seasonal fruit you can find in the same colour palate and pile it high onto a serving platter, plate or quarter sheet pan. It’s easy and crowd-pleasing, for sure. Yellow/orange salads would be nice right now with peaches, nectarines, cantaloupe, mangos, and maybe some citrus, or vibrant green fruit salads with honeydew, kiwi, grapes, apples, etc.
Fish Tacos: On repeat every single week. The easiest dinner we’re eating this summer.
Zucchini and Parmesan-Crusted Chicken: Hands-down my boys’ favourite meal at the moment. With the exception of olive oil, salt and pepper, it’s a three-ingredient dish that is made start to finish in less than 30 minutes. Serve with a side salad and some crusty bread and dinner is done. Stay-tuned for the recipe coming later next week (you can see a sneak peek of it at the top of the above photo)
Instant Pot Rice: How many cups of rice do you cook when you make dinner for your family? I make 4 cups of uncooked brown rice in my Instant Pot twice a week. Each batch does one dinner with some leftovers for lunches for Rob and Ben, who is working full-time this summer. My family would live on rice if I let them, so I always cook a generous amount, and I like to use the Instant Pot for perfectly cooked brown rice that doesn’t leave my kitchen hot and steamy. I use this handy guide for rice cooking times, and the results are always perfect.
Zucchini Bread Waffles: Beloved by everyone, but especially the toddler, this version boasts a combination of whole grain and all-purpose flours, a minimal amount of sugar and two full cups of vegetables.
Banana Bonbons: Use whatever chocolate you like best, and let the kids help you make them. A delicious treat for anyone this season.
Spinach and Strawberry Salad: Spinach, strawberries, avocado, chicken, maple-glazed almonds, goat cheese, and poppyseed dressing come together to make a dinner we all love. For the toddler, I cook a small amount of pasta and toss it with the salad components he likes best, like the chicken, spinach and a smidge of goat cheese. I add some of the strawberries and sweet almonds on the side. Now that strawberry season has passed, feel free to use blueberries in their place.
Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad): If the question is, what side should I serve with dinner the answer should always be Mexican corn salad, at least for the next month or so. Grill your corn first, then shave it off the cob, and follow the recipe as written.