It's September [already!?], but it's also Virginia. We all know there will be several more days this year when using the stove/oven will be unimaginable for fear of making the temperature inside our houses as unbearable as it is outside. So here are my final tips to “Beat the Heat” this summer.
The Question: “How can I create the carb-based meals that my little ones love without overheating at the stove?”
The Answer: Bulgur, couscous, rice noodles etc...
There are many products you can use as a carb-y base for summer meals that require only boiling water poured over them in a bowl to hydrate them. So you can go “instant” without the sometimes questionable ingredients usually associated with foodstuffs labeled as instant. Bulgur, couscous, rice noodles and frozen noodles are all incredibly versatile and require only a kettle; if you have an electric one even better, NOT an open vat of boiling water adding to the humidity. Some brands do instruct you to use the stovetop but all it takes is a little time reading labels in the store to find what you’re looking for. My mom and I learned this past winter (during an intense kitchen remodel) that any noodle that instructs you to cook in boiling water for any time between 1-5 minutes can be hydrated by pouring boiling water over them, covering the bowl, and waiting. 30 second intervals in the microwave can be added if the boiling water and steam still leave something too al dente for your taste.
So to close out my “beat the heat” series, I’ve got several meal ideas using “instant” products. Mix and match these ideas to find your family’s new warm-weather go-to.
Miso/Ramen (or any broth-y soup):
Grilling for sauces:
Made in the Morning:
As summer comes to a close the nights are getting cooler and less humid *knocks on wood* so braising or roasting in the morning then reheating at dinner time is a great way to cook what you already know how to cook and still leave the oven off on hot afternoons.Braised meats only get better with 8 hours of sitting in their flavorful juice. Then all you need to do in the muggy evening is toss a salad and quickly hydrate some couscous. Israeli, sometimes called pearl, is my favorite; the bits of pasta are larger so they have a more distinct texture. You can take it a step further by waking up early one day and cooking proteins and veggies for several meals at once, then the only dinner-related thing you need to worry about all week is what to microwave on which night (or call a personal chef service like mine and the diciding and warming up is the only actual work you will have to do)!