I really did not think of myself as an adult until I finally started to check the weather reports. I am a “go with the flow” type person on many things and live a life where I do not sweat the small stuff. If it is a little bit colder than I anticipated, I can always run back inside for another layer. Here I am, older, wiser, and hopefully smarter, remembering my mother fusing about how it was too hot to cook. All these years later, commuting to and from work, living the life of a singleton, looking at dishes as they stare back at me, I have officially turned into my mother and agree that when it hits 85 degrees, it is officially too hot to cook.
What is a girl suppose to do? I still have to eat, and the way my metabolism is set up, it will not let me eat fast food on a daily basis without messing with my blood pressure and making me feel like crap. The glory days of eating 5,000 calories a day and wearing a size six are long gone. If I had known this when I was young, I would have taken more pictures, but I digress, like Game of Thrones, a girl must cook. Some days my non stove cooking means putting it all in one pot and making use of my pressure cooker. This is my absolute favorite way to prepare stews and prime rib. We make adjustments for the heat and it can come in many forms.
For some of us, summertime really is all about grilling. Get those steaks, sausages, chicken, or whatever you like with that delicious smoke flavor and serve with vegetables. That meat you had falling off the bone will taste just as good in a sandwich or with a baked potato. I have taken leftover steak off the grill and added soy sauce, minced garlic, and olive oil to go with vegetables for a quick stir fry. Yes, my food planning on Sunday saves me tons of time during the week and allows me to get several meals out of one steak or chicken breast.
Standing over a hot stove on a 90 degree day really can steal all the joy from cooking. That is why I dedicate four to five hours each Sunday, cooking for the week. Meal planning takes the guess-work out of “what am I going to eat for lunch or dinner.” It also saves me money. I try to switch it up each week so meals do not become boring. If I prepared steak and chicken one week, the meals for the following week might include shrimp, turkey, or gasp, vegetarian. Don’t worry, the “no meat” thing does not happen that often.
The salmon I had with rice and broccoli on Monday night, will be used for lunch on Wednesday in a salad with poppy-seed dressing. So get the Tupperware out, because it is definitely your friend. If you have made a soup or stew and you do not want to eat it until you are tired of looking at it, freeze it. Sometimes you just want a taste of food you have not had in a while. There are no rules that say you have to eat it all up that week. Don’t be afraid to label your food and put a date on it to enjoy later.
Last, but not least, invest in some healthy snacks. On more than one occasion, I have come home and just eaten humus and pita chips or maybe I had cherry tomatoes and cheese with fruit, because it was just too hot to eat anything real heavy. Melons, cantaloupe, and grapes can be very refreshing. I do not know about you, but my appetite is lessened on inferno like summer days. Sometimes, it really is too hot to cook and you have to just plan ahead or just make a sandwich. When you go out to lunch and spend 9, 10, 12 bucks on a sandwich, it adds up. I enjoy going to restaurants like anyone else, but making time for a little meal planning really does add to the quality of your life and saves money.