Single Servings: Cool Meals For Hot Weather. - Single Servings Blog at - 116721

Single Servings

Single Servings: Cool meals for hot weather. 
Aug. 3, 2009 4:12 pm 
I don’t know about where you live, but in Seattle we are experiencing unbelievably beautiful weather and have been since June—pretty unheard of around here. I’ve lived in the Northwest my whole life, and I can’t remember a sunnier summer. Apparently though, we’ve stolen the great weather from other states such as California, where in parts they seem to be experiencing lower-than-average temperatures. That’s quite the double whammy we’re giving them since we Seattleites usually tend to bring the rain with us when we visit too. (At least I always seem to—sorry about that.)

Anyway, I’m definitely loving the sun, but when it’s this toasty, the last thing I want to do is cook (it’s too hot!), and I tend to crave foods on the lighter side; more snack-like and lunch-type foods for dinner. (Unless it’s coming hot off a grill that someone else is manning—in which case, I’ll definitely go for a burger!). So this month, I’ve put together some meals that will satisfy my current cravings and hopefully yours as well.

Prep and Freeze
Pesto Turkey Burgers: I ask you, what doesn’t taste better with pesto and feta? (Okay, maybe cookies.)

Serve with a green salad.

Cook Once, Eat Twice
Aegean Chicken Salad: This really is one of the best chicken salads I’ve ever had. And it calls for yogurt and hummus instead of mayo, so it’s healthy too. I had it on bread one day, over lettuce another day, and also in a wrap—all three versions were delicious. The only change I made was to add more red bell pepper.

NOTE: Change number of servings two.

Two Easy Meals—No Leftovers!
Avocado-Lime Shrimp Salad: Oh, wow. This is so good. Not to mention beautiful. I wanted to stare at it admiringly as much as I wanted to dig in—quite the tug of war for the senses! Ultimately my sense of taste was the winner.

After you prepare, be sure to let it sit for 15 minutes or so—there’s something that happens with the avocado and lime juice in that time that makes all the difference.  You could serve with a roll, but I found it to be filling on its own (of course, I always add extra veggies, so that helped).

NOTE: Change number of servings to one.

Carrie's Garlic Pesto Tuna Salad Sandwiches: I always forget about tuna sandwiches for some reason. Probably because I didn’t grow up eating them, but I really do love them now. This is a great twist on the traditional version—great flavors. To make it a little healthier, I cut the mayo in half and rolled it up in a low-carb tortilla to eat as a wrap—stuffed as much lettuce and tomato in there as I could. It was delicious!

Serve with fruit or green salad.

NOTE: Change number of servings to one.

Go to printable Shopping List.
And for Dessert…
Amazing Banana Sorbet: Sorbets are always good for beating the heat—enjoy!

Sunday Prep
Short and sweet on the prep time this month—it shouldn’t take you more than an hour.
  • Do step two in directions for Pesto Turkey Burgers. Wrap patties individually in plastic wrap, then store in resealable freezer bags in freezer. Defrost overnight to cook.
  • Chop and combine ingredients for Avocado-Lime Shrimp Salad and store in covered container in fridge. I would recommend holding off adding the avocado until at least 15 minutes before you plan to eat it. You could even do it the morning before. (Eat this dish towards the beginning of your week so shrimp isn’t sitting for more than 2-3 days.)
  • You could chop up red pepper, red onion, and kalamata olives for Aegean Chicken Salad, then refrigerate in resealable plastic bag to make prep easier the night you plan to eat it, but if you save all the prep for the night of, it still shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes. I’m leaving this one up to you!
  • No need to get a head start on Carrie's Garlic Pesto Tuna Salad Sandwiches—the prep only takes 10 minutes so you can do it start to finish the night of.
Extra Groceries
You’ll have a little excess from some of the items, so here are some recipes that should put them to good use:

Dill, feta, green onions:
Dill and green onions:
Feta and pesto:
Cilantro and green onions:

Looking for more to cook? Find past Single Servings meal plans here.

Too shy to post comments? I love emails too—feel free to drop me a line with questions or comments!
Pesto Turkey Burgers--photo by stormieskye
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Aegean Chicken Salad
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Avocado-Lime Shrimp Salad
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Carrie's Garlic Pesto Tuna Salad Sandwiches -- photo by GodivaGirl
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Amazing Banana Sorbet -- photo by SHORECOOK
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About Me
I am a 32-year old woman (I still stumble over the word "woman," but I don't think I can get away with "girl" anymore) living in Seattle, WA, writing for the very website you are browsing right now! I am originally from Bellingham (about 80 miles north of Seattle), where I went to Western Washington University, and then just kinda hung out for several more years until I moved south in September of 2006. I've always loved cooking and even had my own little spiral recipe notebook when I was in middle school to collect my star dishes in. (Apple pizza and scones were always a hit with the family—thanks Home Ec.!) I seriously considered going to culinary school when I was twenty, but then decided I didn't want to cook for a living. I’m definitely more of an entertaining cook, as opposed to a professional cook.
My favorite things to cook
I prefer cooking over baking, but I've been branching out more in the past couple years--I made a pie from scratch for the very first time for Thanksgiving 2006 and it was delicious. But, I made a cake from scratch for the first time recently, and it did not go as well. It looked great, but I would not use the word "great" to describe how it tasted. I've resolved to go back to boxed cake mix, and put my efforts into the decoration where I can actually do some good.
My favorite family cooking traditions
People are always surprised when I say that my dad does most of the cooking for holiday meals. "Does your mom get stressed out for Thanksgiving?" people will ask. Are you kidding me? No way! She, my sister, and I are all watching movies while my dad is basting the turkey and making mashed potatoes and gravy. Thanksgiving is probably the most relaxing day of the year for my mom!
My cooking triumphs
Ah, I remember it well ... I was twelve years old; I believe it was a Thursday and there was a chill in the air that night ... I pulled that seafood pasta bake out of the oven oh-so-carefully, and when we sat down to enjoy it ... so cheesy, creamy and seafoody (and I mean that in the very best way)... so very, very, delicious ... though I lost track of the recipe, each bite will live on in my memory forever ... ;)
My cooking tragedies
On my 30th birthday, I set fire to a cookie sheet full of French bread that I had only intended to toast. I had just finished cooking something else when I turned the oven to broil and underestimated how hot the top element already was. Chatting away with a friend, I was completely confused when I saw smoke coming through the burners and it wasn't until my friend yelled, "It's on fire!" pointing to the partially open oven door, that I realized what was happening. I swiftly yanked the baking sheet from the oven, dropped it into the sink, and cranked the faucet. Disaster averted. Moral of the story? Let other people cook for you on your birthday.
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