Summer is all about warmth, vacation, and good weather. It is also about relaxing and hanging out with friends. We entertain more often. We want to treat ourselves, but at the same time, take less time to cook so we can enjoy the outdoors and our guests as much as possible. The heat is becoming a good argument for not wanting to get in the kitchen unless we want to cook on the grill or get out the slow cooker for a comforting dinner on a cool night. Here are some ideas for summer meals that are tasty, healthy, and easy to prepare!
A tasty and refreshing summer cooking
When you cook in the summer, you can do everything you do in the winter and more. It's time to use the barbecue again or go for a picnic. Nobody wants to be overwhelmed by the oven heat, so we're more tempted by salads, raw vegetables, cold cuts, cheese, and other cold menus. And, of course, thirst-quenching ice creams and sorbets are welcome. Maybe it's time to plant some herbs or reconnect with your favorite farmers' market? All these fresh foods can inspire you to create new recipes. You can also find inspiration in countries where it is warm all year round and have developed many dishes accordingly. Just think of Gaspacho, Antipastis, Mexican salads, and other summer recipes. So many ideas that will make you want to entertain your loved ones.
Summer cooking is more convivial
What a pleasure to cook and go outside! Everything becomes an excuse to have a picnic, the goal being to finally be able to eat outside, alone, with friends or family. Your grandchildren are sure to jump for joy at the idea of going on a picnic, no matter what the menu. It's a great way to get the more home-loving ones out and break the isolation. If you add local cheese and cold cuts, everyone will appreciate it.
Why not take advantage of this opportunity to discover new places, or reconnect with those we had forgotten about? In Quebec City, for example, in addition to the famous Plains of Abraham, there are many other ideal places, both in the city and in the region. For instance, close to the Plains, there is the Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge. In Rimouski, the Parc Beauséjour will enchant you.
Did you know that some cities allow barbecues in certain parks? This is possible in Montreal and Quebec City, among others. In Quebec City, for example, the city has opted for a concept of friendly parks.
The benefits of a healthy summer cooking
If summer recipes are all about steaks on the barbecue, don't forget the traditional sandwiches, salads, grilled vegetables, and even soups and consommés.
As for summer soups, there are hot and cold soups, including Gaspacho soups. Gaspacho soups originated in Spain and Portugal. In a blender, mix tomatoes and other raw vegetables. Once ready to serve, you can add ice cubes to your bowl. It's a great way to cool down. You want to add seafood or cold cuts to your Gaspacho? Your cold soup is now a complete meal!
When we think of salads, we immediately think of lettuce. It's a good base. But you can also make salads with quinoa, apples, macaroni, or potatoes. Add seasonal vegetables, such as corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, or arugula. Why not add fruit, such as citrus fruits? An orange or peach will be very refreshing.
Seasonal fruits will enhance the taste and beauty of your salad. Some strawberries, raspberries, or even cold blueberries and you will forget the heat. You can buy them at a farmers' market or directly from the producer, like on Île d'Orléans. Involve your grandchildren and take them to a picking activity! And if you want a more substantial salad, add some protein, such as fish, white meat or even tofu, if you are vegetarian.
Why not consider joining a community garden? Along with picnics, it's another great way to get together with other gardening enthusiasts and, who knows, make friends. More and more cities are offering this opportunity.
You live in an apartment and prefer growing fruits and vegetables on your balcony? A simple planter is enough. Some can be hung from the balcony ceiling or attached to the railing. Raised planters are ideal for people who have difficulty bending over. If you have good sun exposure, strawberries, tomatoes, and radishes are perfect. But don't forget green beans, snow peas, which grow very fast. You'll only need some stakes. Add a few herbs, and that's it. It's even better when it's our own work!
Simply using fresh food is good for the health. Cooking yourself instead of eating processed foods is part of healthy eating. Also, it is good to eat lighter in the summer. Prioritizing fruits and vegetables and vegetable proteins helps you feel less heavy and reduces the impact of the heat. A boon for the health!
Some recipes with seasonal foods
Gone are the days when we only barbecued beef steak with onions and potatoes. Nowadays, we don't hesitate to experiment, and that's good! You can grill red or white meat, fish, tofu, or vegetables of all shapes and flavors. Try beef or chicken brochettes, salmon steaks, or even grilled fruits.
To experiment with freshness in its simplicity, whether as an appetizer, main course, or dessert, get out your blender and prepare tasty cold soups. And don't be afraid to get creative.
You think making homemade sorbet is complicated? Think again. All you need is 4 ingredients maximum, some tasty fruit, and a freezer!
Summer cooking is full of vitality! It's a time to try recipes full of flavor, simple to execute and combine ingredients with creativity.
Moreover, summer is a time for conviviality. Berry picking, picnics, or barbecues are opportunities to share moments of laughter and closeness with your loved ones.
Don't wait any longer, have fun, and most importantly, enjoy!
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