Jen and Company

easy ‘summer’ meals

September 6, 2011 · 3 Comments

Technically it is still summer.

I know, I know. School is back in session and as Willa pointed out, September is the second new year. However, in terms of produce, Minnesota is in its summer prime.

The farmer’s markets are crazy full of beautiful produce. Tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, kale, potatoes, onions, cucumbers, melons, sweet corn, herbs, green beans, beets, and cabbage are all on stage. September might just be the best eating month of the year.

My friend, Diane, asked me for some complete summer meal ideas for when it’s too hot to cook….or you just don’t want to. So, the weather has cooled down a bit, but I still wanted to grant Diane’s wish. She’s one of those people that I like to please. She’s BFF’s with my sister, so it’s really in my best interest. Plus, I like her. You may remember her daughter made my super cool cake tester. Creativity and fun run in the family.

So Diane, here are some ideas for meals that are satisfying and easy.

  • B,L,T’s are of the hook right now! You could try my badass vegetarian version (feel free to use real bacon – I won’t tell) and serve it with some sweet corn and cut up melon.
  • Gazpacho! This is a great one since it gets better as it sits. I suggest a double batch. Serve it with some crusty bread or grill the bread and top with cheese. Add some fruit and maybe even throw in some ice cream for dessert. Cool and delish.
  • Grilled Panzanella – I like Ina’s version because the grilling adds deeper flavor and it’s just more fun. I would suggest adding cubes of feta cheese at the end. You could grill up your favorite brats or sausages to go along with it. For dessert, why not give the one-ingredient ice cream a try?
  • A different take on a burger. You may be sick of burgers, but why not mix it up? Try the lamb burgers with pistachio apricot relish or go crazy and try a black and blue bean burger. Sweet corn on the grill would be a great side dish for either one along with some cut up watermelon. If you still need something sweet, how about busting out the smores? It’s perfect roasting weather.
  • My favorite orzo veggie salad is perfect for a potluck, but it’s also perfect for a weeknight meal. Add some hummus and pita on the side and you are good to go. For dessert, try grilling pineapple or peaches. Drizzle with balsamic if you want to get crazy.


What do you guys think? Do you have meal suggestion for Diane that are easy, satisfying and low-heat? Please share!

Categories: "it's all about the friendships" · cooking · ice cream · Jen said · recipes

3 responses so far ↓

  • Fav Sista // September 7, 2011 at 8:29 am | Reply

    I love the Black Bean & Bleu Burgers – we have had them and they are awesome – I so love black beans. We use our grill basket a lot – just chop up you favorite veggies, toss in some olive oil, sea salt and fresh pepper – toss then throw in the basket and grill. We can make an entire meal of that. Love the ideas Jen!

  • Fav Sista's BFF // September 7, 2011 at 10:02 am | Reply

    This is funny. Sharing recipes via Fav Sista’s sista’s blog. And I must say Jen I get a big thrill being mentioned, also making note to be careful of what I ask you for since God and everyone will see. Doesn’t take much at my age for a thrill, so thanks. Now, as far as recipes….. well guess I will make my list and make everything you suggest. Eating in moderation of course (I do have to fit into something creepy at the end of October and SUMO is not on the list). I will also make the Black Bean and Bleu Burgers, however I wish Fav Sista would stay away from beans. Just saying. And hummus. Speaking of hummus Jen, how about kitchen testing some versions of home made hummus that go great on raw veggies? Store bought ones are not all created equal.
    Danka again for fulfilling my secret dinner fantasy. I will report back on the Famdamily’s approval when I get cooking.

  • Kate in the Kitchen » Blog Archive » the best of a season // September 9, 2011 at 7:40 am | Reply

    […] and recipes utilizing Summer produce, check out my friend Jen’s blog too. Her post on Easy ‘Summer’ Meals has a lot of […]

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