10 Quick and Easy Summer Meal Prep Ideas
It's finally summer — yay more daylight after work! That means soaking up every second of outdoor time I can - from training runs after work or just taking the pups on an extra long walk. This also means my meal prep shifts a bit. Not just because I don't want to be in the kitchen or turn on the oven as much, but the menu does a complete 180 from what I was making 6 months ago.
Growing up in New England and even after we relocated to New Jersey — summer meant farm stands were out in full force. Now that I live in the city I can't exactly stop at the side of the road for fresh corn and tomatoes but I CAN check out a local farmer's Market. There are a lot of choices but two of the best are Fells Point on Saturday and the Farmer's Market and Bazar on Sunday. Take advantage of the fact that you can buy produce that is grown locally and switch up your recipes for ones that use seasonal produce.
Give the Oven A break
No one wants to heat up the house by turning on a hot oven so dishes that require minimal cooking or outdoor grilling are where it's at. Not only does the house stay cooler but raw or minimally cooked veggies actually have more nutrients in them.
There are certain things that just taste better in the summer — right? I'm talking BBQ, fresh berries and lemonade. So if you're suck on what do do in the kitchen here is a round up of some summer meal ideas I am loving right now.
10 Quick and Easy Summer Meal Prep Ideas
The easiest meals that don't require any heat? Salads. This summer corn salad would make a great side dish or on top of a bed of spinach with your protein of choice it could be a complete meal. This Raw Beet Salad from Cookie & Kate - while you're there check out the rest of her "What to make this June" post.
I LOVE a good power bowl. In fact we make one almost every week. Why? they are so versitle you can put whatever you want in it. This week I made this BBQ option - but with farro instead of quinoa, and without the slaw. I piled all the ingredients ontop of a bed of spinach for a power bowl salad combo. If your not into tempe you could always swap it out for bbq chicken. If you're into fruitier flavors this bowl from how sweet eats incorporates seasonal fruits such as cherries & peaches.
Another go-to in our house for oven free meals — hummus and veggie wraps. Sometimes I get crazy and make my own hummus, and sometimes I buy it from the store. It just depends on what else I'm making that week and how much time I want to save. This recipe from Foodie Crush has us crushing hard on hummus.
One of my mom's personal no-cook summer dishes is gazpacho. Cold soup. It may sound a little strange at first but you'll be addicted to how easy it to throw together. Toss ingredients in the blender and liquify then let the flavors bloom in the fridge overnight. Try this Green Gazpacho from Bon Appetite or this tomato based option from Cookie & Kate.
If you're in the mood for something pasta-like - you can't go wrong with this completely raw and cook free zucchini noodles & pesto from Genius Kitchen.
Another weekly staple in our house. PIZZA. Why? Because pizza dough is the perfect vessel to use up leftovers. House too hot to turn on the oven for pizza though? Head out to the grill. Yes you can put pizza dough on the grill. Feast your eye [and taste buds] on this Peach pizza from how sweet eats. We don't normally go out of our way to buy extra ingredients to specifically put on pizza — but we just might have to make an exception for this one.
ONO [overnight oats for those of you not yet in the know] still haven't gone out of style - and they make a perfect summer breakfast. For my intermittent fasting friends they also make a great post lunch snack. Now overall — oatmeal is something I am still not a HUGE fan of — but I know how good it can be for you and making homemade oats guarantees you can avoid all the added sugar and preservatives. Just say no to packaged oatmeal. These four options that all use yummy seasonal fruit - from Eating Bird Food. Make different recipe each week OR mix and match for different options throughout the week.
What are some of your go-to favorite summer meals and why do you love them so much? Easy to make? Love the flavor? Let me know I'd love to hear your ideas and swap some recipes!