What to Cook When It’s Too Hot to Cook
How’s summer? I’m back in Houston after a fun-filled summer. My youngest starts pre-season sports tomorrow and I’m currently a broken record stuck on “have you done your summer reading” and “unpack your suitcase.” We’re slowly transitioning to a routine, one baby step at a time.
For now, all I know is that it’s too hot to turn on the oven. Here’s what we have on tap this week at the Smart household.
Family Meal Spaghetti. Read all about its inspiration in this previous post. I made a couple tweaks to this and will post them on Instagram. Simmer the halved onion with the tomatoes, no need to dirty a third pot. The olive oil, garlic and basil seep on the stove make your whole house smell delicious.
We’re having a cold version of these udon noodles for dinner since I made them Sunday for lunch! Leftovers are a gift. To simplify things, use a bag of shredded cabbage or cole slaw mix instead of slicing your own Napa cabbage. I added half a bag of shredded carrots and thinly sliced broccolini. Use rice noodles if you’re gluten-free and if your family can’t do sesame, just leave it out.
My basil is in need of serious pruning. It’s time for any greens pesto Caprese sandos. Purchase ciabatta rolls or a loaf of crusty bread to make the sandwiches. Layer the pesto with slices of fresh buffalo mozzarella, good summer tomatoes with a pinch of flaky salt. Add a salad, or don’t.
Green bean and turkey stir fry. Healthy, fast, no oven involved!
- 1 ½ pounds green beans, trimmed and cut in thirds
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound lean ground turkey (or ground chicken, pork or lamb)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons sriracha or chili paste
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos, low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- For serving: cauliflower rice, steamed rice or steamed spinach
- Preheat the broiler. Toss the green beans, 1 tablespoon avocado oil and salt on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil, stirring once, until the beans are tender and charred, about 6 minutes.
- In a large skillet or wok over high heat, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon avocado oil. Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, it will take about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sriracha and cook until the garlic is slightly golden, about 3 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, and arrowroot powder. Add the green beans to the skillet with the turkey mixture and stir to combine. Add the sauce mixture and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2-3 minutes.
Instant Pot recipes won’t heat up your house. Keema is comfort food. I discovered keema in high school when a close friend’s mom made it for us. And it was also one of my favorite post-baby meals delivered by a fellow food writer in San Francisco. This Instant Pot keema is by from friend Izzah and it’s easy and fairly hands-off. Serve with steamed rice. You can cheat and microwave pre-cooked frozen rice.
I’m meeting up with friends, but if you have leftover keema, make a version of naan pizzas. Use store-bought naan (I use Stonefire for these) and layer it with shredded cheese–mozzarella or jack cheese–and keema. Top with cilantro before serving.