Too hot to cook? Yes, it is. The thoughts of a hot stove, hot oven, hot kitchen and even hot meals are not very appealing when the thermometer soars toward the century mark. Summer is a good time to eat light and cool. Smoothies, iced soft drinks and ice cream sound really good, but there is more to cool eating than desserts.
Some cooking is probably inevitable, but it doesn’t have to add heat to your afternoon or evening kitchen. Salads are a welcome treat on hot summer days, but salads don’t necessarily equate with plain ol’ tossed greens.
Speaking of tossed greens, stackable salads are welcome because everyone can choose the toppings they want. For example, a south of the border stacked salad could include choices of corn chips or tortillas, lettuce or mixtures of lettuce, tomatoes, olives, onions, hot sauce, sour cream, guacamole, ground beef (fully flavored with taco seasoning or more simply just use chili powder), beans of any variety, cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, mozzarella, Monterey jack or any other of your choice), and anything else that sounds appealing. Even picky kids can usually find something to their liking, and they can mix it or make sure their selections “don’t touch.”
Fruit Salad — Nuts optional
1 pint strawberries, sliced
2 bananas, sliced
2 apples, sliced
1 8-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained
1 12-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
1 16-ounce can fruit cocktail, drained
1 8-ounce package walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 8-ounce package almonds (optional)
1 large carton whipped topping
Combine fruits and half the nuts in a large bowl mixing well.
Mix in half the whipped topping
Spread the remaining topping over the mixture and top with remaining nuts.
Banana Split Salad
(Sometimes tasty food is also a matter of presentation)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained
1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges drained
1/2 cup shredded coconut
4 bananas, split lengthwise
2 red apples cut in wedges
1/2 cup pecans.
Blend the mayonnaise, honey and lemon juice in a bowl. Add pineapple, oranges and coconut tossing gently until they are coated. Cover and chill the mixture covered for an hour.
Arrange banana halves in serving dishes. Spread with the fruit mixture. Arrange apple wedges over the fruit and sprinkle the top with pecans.
Oriental Pea Salad
(Makes 6-8 servings)
1 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
3/4 cup chopped cashews
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon onion flakes
1 can water chestnuts drained and slivered,
1/2 cup sour cream
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Chill for several hours before serving.
Spicy Cauliflower Salad
(Makes 10 servings)
1 head cauliflower broken into flowerets
3/ to 4 green onions, chopped
1/2 box frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup bacon bits
1 package buttermilk salad dressing mix
1 cup salad dressing or mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
Combine the first four ingredients in a salad bowl and mix well.
Combine dressing, dressing mix, and sour cream in another bowl. Pour mixture over vegetables and toss to mix. Chill overnight.
Heavenly Fruit Salad
(Makes 12 servings)
1 10-ounce package frozen strawberries, thawed
3/4 cup sugar
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 large can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 2-ounce package chopped pecans
2 bananas, sliced
1 large carton whipped topping.
Drain strawberries reserving juice. Blend juice with sugar and cream cheese in a bowl. Combine fruits and nuts and fold into the cream cheese mixture. Spoon into a 2 quart serving dish and chill several hours before serving.