Monday, 27 June 2011

Cold Summer Meals

The LAST thing my family wants to eat for supper at the end of a sweltering summer day is a hot meal.   Kelly and both our oldest boys are working in construction which means a long day in the searing hot sun. Coming home to a tasty cold supper when you are overheated and exhausted is a comfort rather like coming to hot stew on a cold winter's day :)

Today turned out to be hot and humid so that signalled me to make the first cold supper of the year!  I cooked some pasta after lunch that became the base for a hearty, nutritious cold pasta salad.  Served with a fresh green salad it's a very satisfying and refreshing meal on a hot day.  Because I started it early, I had time to chill it before my family will be home for supper.

I particularly like to make pasta salad because it is a great way to use up bits of this and that from the fridge.  Today's pasta salad included red, green and yellow peppers, leftover bacon, leftover cured farmer's sausage (cubed), diced fresh asparagus, leftover bits of cheese from the fridge (grated and cubed), parmesan cheese and oodles of fresh basil, parley and oregano from the garden. 

Some other ideas for cold summer dishes are:

* potato salad
* cold cooked chicken
* lettuce wraps
* sandwich pitas or tortillas
* egg salad sandwiches
* a mixed platter of snacks (cold sliced meats or garlic sausage, cheeses, veggies and crackers)
* fruit salad with yogurt and granola
* hummus with fresh pitas and veggies
* tortilla chips with fresh salsa and guacamole
* chefs salad (loaded with grilled meat or leftover cold meat from the fridge)

The other benefit to having cold suppers in summer is that many of them can prepared very early in the day and put in the fridge to keep until suppertime.  It's is a wonderful feeling to have supper totally ready in the morning so that you can relax and enjoy the rest of your day without clock watching.  It never fails, I'm usually up to my eyeballs on a project or in the garden when it's time to come in and make supper :)

The possibilities for cold suppers are endless, and I'd love some suggestions - do share your ideas for cold meals on hot days!

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