Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Easy Meals for a Summer Weekend

In the summer, we often don’t feel like cooking; even less like eating. There are some easy salads to put together and meats to cook, that require minimal effort. Even if it’s too hot to grill outside, there are ways to cook inside that don’t heat up the house.

A grill pan is great for indoor cooking. Hamburgers or turkey burgers are great on an indoor grill. With turkey, add chopped onion, peppers, and cheese to make them moist and delicious. Marinate chicken or steak tenders in a vinaigrette for a couple hours and quick cook on the grill pan. Serve on a bed of salad or make tacos with cheese, tomatoes, and guacamole. I make my own guacamole with diced and seeded tomatoes, chopped red onion, and chopped jalapeno. Season with garlic powder and hot sauce. You can add chopped cilantro if you like, but I’m not a fan.

You can make easy, cool salads. Try a Greek style salad! Start with canned garbanzo beans; rinse and drain them well. Toss with feta cheese, halved Kalamata olives, chopped onion, and green pepper. Dress with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Serve with super easy grilled pita triangles. All you have to do is brush the pita rounds with olive oil and grill. Do an Italian pasta salad. Cook, rinse, and cool rotini pasta. Add chopped Italian salami, onions, green peppers, sliced black olives, and halved cherry tomatoes. Add an Italian dressing or vinaigrette. Serve with grated Parmigiana Reggiano. Tomato and mozzarella salad is also easy and cool. When the good homegrown tomatoes come, of course use them. Now in early summer, we must unfortunately deal with cardboard tomatoes from Mexico. I prefer grape or Campari tomatoes. Slice or halve these according to their size. Add fresh mozzarella balls and seeded, cubed cucumbers. Toss with red wine vinaigrette.