6 Quick Meals To Make When It’s Too Hot For Life (Recipes)


By Cooking Panda

Is the heat getting to you?

If not, consider yourself lucky and file these away for those summer months when you are getting SCORCHED, or consider making any of these tasty recipes for a convenient, fresh lunch.

These recipes are pretty easy, and a lot of them offer a great opportunity to use leftover or pre-cooked meat, or just buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and be done with it.

1. Greek Cobb Salad

Everyone knows that Cobb Salads make for a satisfying and filling meal, which for a salad is something of an accomplishment. But why not mix it up and add an extra element of cool flavors? P.S. Want to know how to boil perfectly fluffy, bright yellow eggs that peel with ease? Look no further than right here.

2. Chicken Summer Rolls

Easy leftover chicken (pork, turkey, shrimp, tofu …), veggie matchsticks, bright herbs, green lettuce, filling rice (you can also use rice vermicelli noodles if you’d rather) and rich peanut butter dip combine for a refreshing meal or side perfect for those days when you need a pick-me-up.

3. Chicken Salad With Apples and Cranberries

With crunchy, sweet apples, tart dried cranberries, earthy chopped nuts, sassy celery chunks and a small but mighty dash of curry powder, this is no ordinary chicken salad! It lends itself pretty well to just about anything you want to eat it with — crackers, lettuce leaf rolls or just a sandwich or wrap would all be really tasty. Want to lighten it up? Swap out all or half of the mayo for Greek yogurt.

4. Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas

This one is particularly great when it’s too hot to fire up the oven or stove. Toss a pork shoulder into your slow cooker and forget about it for a few hours. It’ll come out ridiculously tender and flavorful — perfect in tacos with a few refreshing toppings like sour cream, cilantro, radishes, pineapple and/or lime.

5. Soba Noodle Salad with Bok Choy

This hearty sesame noodle salad, complete with cucumber, carrot and scallion slaw, is equally delicious warm or cold, and it is incredibly simple. The only cooking you need to do is boil some water, toss some stuff in there, and you’re all set.

6. Chilled Buttermilk Soup

If cold soup sounds weird to you, you should open your mind to the wonders of this creamy, tomato-basil-onion blend that makes a delicious appetizer or scrumptious light meal.

Featured Photo Credit: Steven Depolo/Flickr

Tags: hot weather dinner, no oven, summer dinner, summer food, what to eat when it's hot
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6 No-Fuss Slow Cooker Summer Dinners That Will Rock Your Socks Off


By Cooking Panda

When it gets crazy hot out, the last thing you want to do is fire up the oven. We hear you. Fortunately, we have the perfect way to make incredibly delicious food without heating up the whole kitchen.

That’s right, it’s time to whip out your slow cooker and try these delightfully summery dinners:

1. Summer Chowder

You might tend to think of chowder as a winter food, but you can absolutely update it for the summer with some zucchini, tomatoes and basil.

2. Frittata with Zucchini, Tomato and Feta

Looking for something light and summery? A slow cooker frittata (yes, you can make it in the slow cooker!) might just be the perfect addition to your weeknight dinner rotation.

3. Turkey Taco Salad

Make it as healthy or as indulgent as you want!

4. Chicken Pesto Caprese Sandwich

Hot or cold, in a sandwich or salad, this chicken is incredibly tender and flavorful. Drizzle a little balsamic reduction and you’ll be transported straight to heaven.

5. Stuffed Peppers

Hearty, flavorful and effortless. If you really want a night off from cooking, feel free to stuff these babies with leftovers.

6. Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

You’ll love these sweet, smoky sliders, complete with pineapple rings for an extra fruity, refreshing kick.

Featured Photo Credit: Life as a Strawberry

Tags: crock pot, easy dinner recipes, easy weeknight dinner, slow cooker, summer dinner
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Cool Off With These 6 Lazy, Refreshing No-Cook Dinners


By Cooking Panda

It may be too hot to fire up the oven, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat delicious homemade food every night this week. This is the perfect time to try out some awesome no-cook or minimal cook recipes. Now go make all of these recipes, and save us a bite.

1. Pan Bagnat

Absolutely no cooking required. The best part about this sandwich is that it gets better the longer it sits, so it is the ideal work lunch or make-ahead dinner.

2. No-Cook Tomato Sauce

Presumably, you’ll pour this over pasta, so it’s not no-cook unless you have instant, fresh, or leftover noodles on hand. Please forgive us.

3. Cold Rice Noodles with Grilled Chicken and Peanut Sauce

Rice noodles are great because they cook up so fast — all you need to do is soak them for a few minutes in a bowl of very hot water. You can buy pre-cooked chicken if you’re feeling lazy, or just grill (or sautee) it yourself.

4. Warm Chickpea Salad with Cumin and Garlic

Shout out to all the vegans and gluten-free folks out there. This dish is delicious served hot, warm or cold and gets better the longer it sits. Serve with some salad greens and/or something bready like flatbread or a crunchy baguette. This would even be great in corn tortillas or lettuce wraps.

5. Steak Tartare

Make sure you get quality meat from your butcher that is safe to eat raw! If you’re concerned about the taste or safety of raw eating, go for the seared version mentioned in the recipe.

6. Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps with Grapes and Pecans

These sweet-savory chicken salad lettuce wraps will fill you up and cool you off in the summer heat. It’s also pretty healthy and lean, with tangy Greek yogurt instead of mayo, so you can totally enjoy this guilt-free.

Featured Photo Credit: Karsten Moran​/The New York Times

Tags: easy dinner, no-cook meal, summer dinner, summer recipe, weeknight dinner
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8 Surprisingly Awesome Cold Soups For Summer


By Cooking Panda

Longer days and hotter weather means a few things – one of them being that cold food sounds more and more appealing, and hot food can turn into a hassle. Here are some cold soups to make this week, so that you can still get a satisfying, savory fix while cooling yourself off:

1. Gazpacho

This cold soup is a classic for good reason — it’s super refreshing with savory tomatoes, juicy, refreshing cucumbers and tangy vinegar.

2. Chilled Avocado Soup

If you’re looking for something super creamy and filling, you’ve come to the right place. This avocado soup is packed with flavor and healthy fats that will keep you full all evening.

3. Corn Vichyssoise

With leeks, corn and potato, this chilled soup is not only packed with flavor, but it’s also filling and satisfying.

4. Yogurt Soup with Cucumbers and Walnuts (Tarator)

The crushed walnuts and lemon juice turn plain yogurt into something truly special.

5. Mango Gazpacho with Pickled Shrimp

Got some extra mangoes lying around? Did you know that you can blend them into a deliciously creamy, rich soup? Oh yeah. Throw in some shrimp and avocado and you have a heavenly, filling dish.

6. Moroccan Carrot Summer Soup

This creamy, vegan, carrot, spiced soup will fill you right up on a hot summer day.

7. Chilled Cucumber Soup with Farm Fresh Herbs

Looking for the ultimate refreshing, savory, summery soup? This one is jam-packed with fresh summer flavors and won’t let you down.

8. Spanish Chilled Tomato Soup (Salmorejo)

Like gazpacho but richer and deeper. Top this creamy tomato soup with eggs, ham and an olive oil drizzle to take it to the next level.

Featured Photo Credit: Dishing Up the Dirt

Tags: cold soup, gazpacho, summer dinner, summer soup, weeknight dinner
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