15 cool dinner ideas for when it’s too hot to cook
In the height of summer, when just the thought of entering the kitchen makes us start breaking out in a sweat, the last thing anyone wants to be doing is slaving away for hours over a hot stove. Not only do we want to be eating food that is light, fresh and flavoursome, it would also be nice to avoid getting heatstroke while preparing it, right? Try these delicious meals that have minimum cooking time but still provide maximum taste.
A salad that’s substantial enough to be a complete meal is the perfect antidote to a heat wave.
1. Nicoise salad
This classic nicoise with its perfect marriage of tuna, potatoes and olives won’t have anybody whingeing that they’ve ‘only had a salad’ for dinner. You know who we mean. (Cough, cough, Dad.)
- See here for the Nicoise salad recipe.
2. Thai beef salad with nam jim recipe
Give the family a hit of protein, zest and spice, and give yourself an evening spent largely out of the kitchen, with this easy to prepare Asian dish.
- See here for the Thai beef salad with nam jim recipe.
3. Chicken and mango salad
Make the most of divine summer mangoes with this recipe that just screams ‘hot weather food’.
- See here for the Chicken and mango salad recipe.
4. Pumpkin, feta and chickpea salad
A vegetarian offering that delivers all the necessary protein and flavour, it will fill your family up without heating you up in the process.
- See here for the Pumpkin feta and chickpea salad recipe.
Take a BBQ chook …
Pick up a BBQ chook on the way home and all the hot work is done for you. Now you can just concentrate on making it taste fab!
5. BBQ chicken and rice salad
Have you ever discovered that the more effort you put into making a dish, the less likely your kids are to want to eat it? Well, this is that concept in reverse!
- See here for the BBQ chicken and rice salad recipe.
6. Chicken quesadillas
Grab some tortillas, your chook and a sandwich press and you’re three-quarters of the way through this recipe! Adapt it to suit the tastes of your family and/or what you have handy in your fridge and pantry.
- See here for the Chicken quesadillas recipe.
7. Chicken wraps
Yummy and healthy, these are also very portable, so great for eating al fresco to catch a hint of breeze. (Please?)
- See here for the Chicken wraps recipe.
Three cheers for seafood with its super fast cooking time and fresh healthy taste.
8. Prawns with snow peas
A swifty Asian-flavoured stir-fry that you can be sitting down to 10 minutes after starting.
- See here for the Prawns with snow peas recipe.
9. Lemon garlic prawns
This classic flavour combination is hard to beat and is so simple that you’ll be in and out of the kitchen and back in front of the fan or air con in a jiffy.
- See here for the Lemon garlic prawns recipe.
10. Prawn fried rice
Even the fussiest eaters are hard-pressed to find an issue with fried rice and if they don’t want to eat the prawns, well, all the more for you. Hehe …
- See here for the Prawn fried rice recipe.
11. Chicken and Asian green stir fry
The flavour of the chicken combined with the freshness of Asian greens make this the perfect hot weather meal, and the fact that it takes mere minutes to throw together is just icing on the cake.
- See here for the Chicken and Asian green stir fry recipe.
Roll up, roll up
Whether it’s rice paper, lettuce or seaweed, these ‘roll your own’ dishes require barely any cooking and many of them can be assembled at the table. By others.
12. Vietnamese rice paper rolls
Packed with healthy salad ingredients, they taste just as good as the ones you buy ready-made, and are actually quite fun to put together.
- See here for the Vietnamese rice paper rolls recipe.
13. BBQ beef san choi bao
Deliciously flavoured mince beef in a crisp lettuce leaf – heaven on a hot day.
- See here for the BBQ beef san choi bao recipe.
14. DIY tuna sushi hand roll
Turn dinner into a chilled craft project that the whole family can enjoy – and then enjoy eating.
- See here for the DIY tuna sushi hand roll recipe.
15. Thai chicken rice paper rolls
Use your leftover BBQ chook breast and this recipe will be even simpler than it already is.
- See here for the Thai chicken rice paper rolls recipe.