Summer is in full swing down in Texas, and it is H-O-T. The temps have been hovering around the 80s and 90s, which doesn’t sound that bad….until you see the heat index is 111 degrees! It’s that thick, heavy, so-hot-you-can’t-breathe, kind of heat. It’s awful.
Not only do the stifling temps force us to live like vampires any time after 11:00 am, but it also changes the way I cook in the summer. I love to cook, so I’m in the kitchen alot during the day. However, if I turn my oven on in the summer I might as well sign over my retirement check to the electric company right now. The heat from the oven raises the temperature in the house several degrees, and my poor AC has to work over time to cool the house back down. Now that the heat is revving up, it’s time for me to use some alternative methods of cooking.
I’m not really down with cold meals every night, so what do I do instead? I use my Crock-pot, pressure cooker (lots of you have an Instant Pot), and Chase will grill. You’ll still get a little heat coming off of your Crock-pot and pressure cooker…but it’s nowhere near the heat you get radiating off of your oven.
Here’s what oven-free meals I’m cooking up this week!
Monday: Hamburgers on the grill
Hamburgers are one of my favorite foods because they are so versatile and budget friendly. You can go buy tons of different goodies to put on your hamburgers, or you can be resourceful with what you already have at home. We like to use up any produce we may have and just be creative with it! Also, we avoid buying buns every time because we just buy a pack and freeze what we don’t use. The next time we want burgers, we most likely will already have buns in the freezer.
Also, do you have shredded cheese that you’re using for another recipe? Don’t go buy sliced cheese just for your burgers…throw some of that shredded cheese on there! It’s going to all melt the same anyway.
Tuesday: Fajitas on the grill
We have company coming into town on Tuesday, so what better meal for a crowd than fajitas? Last week, HEB had an amazing Meal Deal on their chicken fajitas, and….they have it again this week too! This is seriously a great deal guys: buy HEB’s chicken fajita meat, and get shredded cheese, salsa, guacamole, and a 2L soda for free! Their fajita meat is so good, and it is more than enough for 2 or 3 meals. And with all the free stuff you get, you really only need to buy tortillas.
Wednesday: Chicken Caesar Sandwiches
This recepie is a Crock-pot meal if you are making it from scratch. However, the only part that cooks in the Crock-pot is the chicken. I know we will have tons of leftover fajita meat from Tuesday, so I plan on using that instead of cooking more chicken. I’m going to shred the leftover chicken fajita meat, whip up the dressing, and throw it on some buns. Easy. That’s already 2 meals from all that fajita meat, and I’m pretty confident that there will be enough for one more meal too.
I love all things Italian food, and lasagna is at the top of my list. Here’s an easy way to make it in your crock-pot, so you don’t have to touch your oven! Most of the ingredients are things we have at home, so I’ll only have to buy a few things at the store…which makes this recipe a win win!
I was looking for a cold dish to make, and kept coming across pasta salads. I had no idea if my husband would like pasta salad as a meal (not just a side), so I asked him and he proceeded to tell me in detail how much he loves pasta salad. Huh. I had no idea. I’m chose to make this one because I’ll have some of the ingredients on hand from other meals this week.
Saturday and Sunday are a toss up this week. I anticipate some left overs, or Chase can throw some kind of meat on the grill.
Our lunches this week aren’t going to be much different than previous weeks. I like to keep lunch simple and light, otherwise I feel pretty lethargic and useless the rest of the day.
We’ll have sandwiches, salads, left overs, and tuna salads.
We eat a lot of fruit for snacks, and this week Aldi has some great sales on fruit! We’ll be having strawberries, nectarines, mangos, and kiwis.
Other favorite snacks are boiled eggs, edemame, cheese sticks, yogurt, and cottage cheese+fruit.
I hope everyone is finding their way to beat the heat in the kitchen this summer! What are your favorite no-heat meals?