When August arrives there are nights when cooking seems a chore that is out of your scope. Here we bring you the easiest of recipes that take minutes to make and yet are healthy and delicious. Since all of our recipes have the necessary protein and most of the carbs, all that’s needed to finish the meal is some fresh summer fruit, or fat-free, sugar-free ice cream or sorbet.
Have leftover chicken or duck? That’s excellent, too. Or, as in the recipe, microwave some fresh salmon. It’s an easy and cool way to cook. Merely place the fish on a microwave proof plate, top with a few mustard seeds and freshly grated pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and cut a slit in the wrap to allow for the release of steam. Cook on 50% power for 4-5 minutes until almost done for about 1 inch thick fish. Allow to rest and it will continue to cook until done.
Our first recipe is one to make when you have extra seafood from a previous night’s grilling. Use shrimp, scallops, lobster, or any firm fish such as salmon, tuna, or swordfish.
There are nights in August when it’s too hot to light the grill out on the patio or deck, but if you have a grill pan you can stay cool in the air conditioning and have a meal complete with grill marks on the steak and vegetables.
To make this recipe, I used what I had leftover from a visit to the Farmer’s Market. I have substituted fresh corn for the potatoes, zucchini for the summer squash, and shiitakes for portobellos. You can also serve this with chicken breasts, duck breasts, or leftover beef roasts.
I like to make the vegetables and then sauté some marinated firm tofu to mix in and I just know that my nutritional level is going up as I dine. Try and make all of the cut vegetables the same size for even cooking.
The third recipe again makes use of the microwave oven to brown the meat and onions for a taco salad that will appeal to everyone. The night before or early in the day, when it’s still cool in the kitchen, prepare the taco slivers that will finish off your salad with flair. When the meat’s hot, pile it onto the lettuce and add the salad toppings. Dinner’s ready in 15 minutes from start to finish.
The last recipe doesn’t require any cooking at all and when we tested the recipe, we had all the ingredients already on hand. You can mix the tuna salad up ahead of time, but don’t hollow the tomato cups until you’re almost ready to serve, as tomatoes will start to lose their fabulous aroma within 15 minutes of cutting.
And, never, never refrigerate a tomato. Hopefully you have fresh dill growing in your herb garden, if not dried dill weed can be used – just use 1/3 of the amount called for.