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As we transition to the warmer season, we can move away from comforting soups and casseroles in the dark evenings. Summertime calls for lots of picnics and BBQs, so it is time to take full advantage of the summery dinner ideas. Typically, the staple characteristics of a summer meal are that it is quick and easy to make. The last thing you want to do is stay stuck inside cooking in a hot kitchen and create most meals on the grill.
On hot summer days, a refreshing meal hits the spot. Here are 5 summer dinner ideas for hot days.
1. Chicken Primavera
If you want to celebrate the warm weather with fresh vegetable flavors, chicken primavera combines them perfectly with pasta and chicken. It is a speedy, one-bowl dish that can be served alone or with garlic bread. Primavera means spring in Italian despite the dish not originating in Italy. It was a way to incorporate the use of pasta and delicious spring veggies in one dish.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper while adding butter and olive to a large Dutch oven to make this meal. Turn it to medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan until browned, then set aside. Stir pasta into the oil mixture, add broth and water until it simmers, then drop the heat to low. Add carrots, asparagus and peas to the pot and cook until tender. Next, add tomatoes, garlic and chicken to the pan. Top with a mixture of butter, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, basil, salt and pepper.
2. Sweet Corn Shrimp and Rice
Shrimp and rice is a satisfying and light dinner for anyone to enjoy. The carb and protein combination will keep you feeling without feeling like you are weighed down from a heavy meal. This meal will only take an hour to make and you will be satisfied for the rest of the night.
Cut green onions and add chopped scallions to the blender with bell peppers, chopped garlic cloves, miso, ginger, turmeric, salt, sugar and cayenne. Blend the ingredients, then add olive oil to the mixture and blend again. Grab shrimp and add turmeric, minced garlic, salt and pepper to them, then transfer to a skillet. Cook shrimp, then set aside.
Pour the mixture onto the skillet and cook until the oil separates from the paste. Add corn and rice, then once the mixture is simmering, put it in the oven with a tight lid till the rice is tender. Top with shrimp and enjoy.
3. Beef-Veggie Kababs with a Bed of Orzo
If you want a dinner you can prep beforehand, this is a delicious option to try out. It makes mealtime less intimating and is an easy recipe that gets thrown onto the grill. It should take around 30 minutes to make, so you have more time to do other things you enjoy in the warm weather.
First, prepare the spices. Mix salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, cayenne, oregano and thyme together. If you use wooden skewers, soak them for at least 30 minutes before using them. Get your meat and sprinkle it with the spice mix. Place in resealable plastic bags and refrigerate before grilling.
In the meantime, boil a pot of water and add orzo. Add olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Once the orzo is done, you can start your kebabs. Use a grill or pan with medium to high heat. Stack meat, tomatoes, bell pepper, zucchini and red onion onto the skewers and brush with olive oil. Season and turn a few times until charred, then serve with orzo and enjoy. If you want an alternative to meat, you can replace it with gnocchi instead!
4. Mango and Shrimp Salad
Salads are a delicious and easy dinner option for the summer. The mango and shrimp salad is full of fresh, fulfilling ingredients that will energize you instead of weighing you down. The best thing about this dinner idea is the same concept can be used with different ingredients.
Try apple and chicken if you aren’t feeling mango and shrimp. For the sake of this recipe, we will stick with the mango and shrimp. Shrimp is low in calories and rich in nutrients to keep you satisfied. Protein is an important part of staying full and one serving of shrimp has around 20g, along with many other nutritional benefits.
Start off by seasoning shrimp with salt and pepper and grab a large skillet. Heat up oil and cook shrimp until pink. Combine lettuce, cabbage, mango, cucumber and avocado in a bowl and add the dressing of your choice. Top with shrimp, peanuts and herbs.
5. Turkey Burger
A turkey burger is an alternative to classic beef but tastes just as good. Substituting ground beef for turkey is healthy since the meat is leaner. You can grill outside and customize the toppings to fit your liking. If you are worried about the ground turkey falling apart while cooking, add mayonnaise and bread crumbs to allow it to stay firm.
This meal will only take around 15 minutes to make, so you can enjoy eating it more than prepping. Chill patties in the fridge before cooking for fifteen minutes, so they keep their shape. Combine mayo and breadcrumbs with ground turkey and season. Once mixed together, separate it into six portions. It can be cooked on a stovetop or grill. Make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165˚F before you serve. Top with cheese, lettuce, avocado or whatever you like to add.
Enjoy Your Summer Night Dinners
Experimenting with meals to make them your own is the perfect way to find your go-to meal. These options are perfect for trying out this summer. They may even become a new staple item. See which ones you love and build off the ideas for more inspiration to bloom. The possibilities are endless when creating yummy summer dinners.
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