Admittedly, it's no fun cooking over the stove and oven when it's so hot outside you're not-so-slowly melting into a puddle like everything in that weird Perrier commercial. This was especially a problem for me when my husband and I lived in the fourth floor of a brutally hot four-floor walkup in our early years of marriage. I was actually hospitalized one year for heat exhaustion. To help combat the heat that summer we ate out every night at the food court in the mall down the street. That was an expensive and unhealthy summer.
I know it's tempting to just throw up your hands and eat takeout all summer. I totally get that impulse, I do. Sometimes I even give in. However, given all the strides we've made over the last few years in cleaning up our diets I'm so much more likely to practice restraint. I find the more unhealthy food we eat, the more we want it. If we buy anything that amounts to large quantities of sodium, fat, sugar, artificial flavouring, artificial colouring, and very little else, that's what the kids gravitate to. Chips instead of apples, pop instead of water, freezies instead of frozen raspberries...you name it. So we try not to bring that into the house very often.
That being said, what can you do when it's so hot?
My answer, is, of course, plan, plan, and plan some more. Be flexible, so that you can alter your meals based on an unexpected heat wave, or a welcome break from the heat. Today was my large shopping day for the month. Based on the events we've got going on and how hot the weather is trending, I have made a rough plan for the month.
Many of our meals are quick stovetop meals- the heat is on for at most 15 minutes. Some examples include stir fry's and fried rice. One involves an initial hour-long meal cooked in the oven- roast pork loin- but then the leftovers get added into other meals this month that don't require any cooking at all- sandwiches, wraps, and salads. I'm saving those meals for the super-hot days. I have my husband barbecuing a couple of times as well. During the second week of the month it looks like maybe we'll cool down enough to make soup in the slow cooker and a pot of chili. Those are both things that freeze really well, so if it gets hot again I can reheat and serve.
How are you cooking to beat the heat? What do some of your meals look like?