Tag Archives: summer meal ideas

Too Hot to Cook? Try These No-Cook Meal Ideas This Summer!

Has it become too hot to cook in your kitchen this summer? The thought of turning on the oven or stove is less than appealing when you’ve been out in the sun all day. But don’t let the heat spoil your appetite. There are plenty of light, no-cook meal ideas available to beat the heat while keeping your family well-fed!

Key Ingredients for No-Cook Meals

1. Seasonal Veggies: When building a meal that doesn’t require the stovetop or oven, think veggies first. Summer is the ideal time to enjoy a variety of raw veggies, from sugar snap peas to bell peppers. Invest in a spiralizer to make fresh “noodles” out of zucchini, carrots or beets. Avocados are incredibly diverse and can be transformed into anything from salad toppings to creamy sauces. Try this recipe for Caprese-Stuffed Avocados for a light twist on traditional caprese salad.

2. Pre-Made Proteins: This is also the perfect time to use canned meats such as tuna, chicken or salmon. Any of these proteins can be combined with mayonnaise, diced veggies and a few spices for a wonderfully flavorful salad. Scoop it onto crackers or into butter lettuce leaves for a crisp, refreshing meal.

3. Leafy Greens: Salads can easily become the centerpiece of the meal if you’re dreading turning on the oven. A southwestern-flavored salad with corn, black beans and tomatoes lends itself to a variety of other toppings like peppers, guacamole and salsa. Or try a Greek salad with feta cheese, kalamata olives and cucumbers.

4. Gourmet Items: Who says dinner needs to be plated? Fill up the table with platters of gourmet deli meats and cheeses, raw fruits (like figs) and veggies. Add your favorite dips, and let everyone gather around the table and build their own meal. This could easily become a picnic dinner if you want to venture to a park to eat.

Too Hot and Tired to Make a Meal?

Let us help! About the Table can prepare light, refreshing cold meals for you and your family to enjoy all summer long. Contact us here to set up a weekly meal plan.

Already a client? Ask us about including more cold meals on the menu!

New Ways to Enjoy Coffee (That Don’t Involve Sipping!)

Coffee is the latest trend in the food and beverage industry, and there are new and brilliant coffee recipes popping up every day. Millennials are driving demand for more innovative ways to consume their cup of joe, including cold brew and Bulletproof. But you can also enjoy coffee as a delicious ingredient in your summer dishes. From meat rubs to dessert sauces, coffee isn’t just for drinking anymore!

Coffee in Its Natural State

Most high-quality coffee comes from the C. arabica variety of coffee bean. The green coffee beans are contained in small red coffee berries and roasted after harvesting to attain their rich brown color. Because most coffee contains chemical residues from pesticides, organic coffee is worth purchasing if you consume it every day.

Coffee’s Health Benefits

The health benefits of coffee and caffeine are vast, but here are a few of the highlights:

• May reduce the risk of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and high blood pressure
• Improves physical performance, memory and mental alertness
• Stimulates digestion and weight loss

Our Favorite Coffee Recipes

If you’ve never tried coffee as a food addition, it’s time to change that! A few of our preferred ways to incorporate coffee include:

Coffee bean flour: Use coffee bean flour to enhance the flavor and nutritional value of your baked goods! Coffee flour can be substituted for up to 15% of flour in most recipes, but keep in mind you’ll need to add 10-25% more liquid as well.
Light roast coffee rub for roast beef or pork tenderloin: Combine ground light roast beans with salt, pepper and your spices of choice (we recommend chili powder and paprika), then rub to cover the outside of a roast and cook as you normally would. This makes a great option for summer grilling!
Mocha sauce: Warm a cup of brewed dark roast coffee on the stove and stir in baking chocolate, butter and sugar until the chocolate has dissolved. You’ll have a lovely mocha sauce to drizzle on top of whipped cream, cakes or fruit.
Espresso vinaigrette: This one is super simple—just add red wine vinegar, olive oil, honey and instant espresso to a dressing cruet and shake thoroughly. Try it on a breakfast salad with bacon, eggs and avocado, or on this grilled green salad from Bon Appetit.

Keep the Caffeine Buzz Going

Request coffee recipes as part of your event menu with our catering services. Coffee-inspired dishes are always a hit with party guests (hint: you MUST try our triple chocolate espresso brownies!). Contact us to book your next gathering.

Source: http://www.foodinsight.org/caffeine-facts-tea-coffee-chocolate-guarana-kola-nut-benefits

5 Must-Have Produce and Meal Ideas for Summer

Every season I like to introduce new meals and ingredients to my clients’ menus. It keeps things interesting, and it’s healthier, too! Mother Nature knows exactly what we need each season, and in summer, it’s all about raw, delicate fruits and veggies to keep us cool and hydrated.

Produce in season doesn’t require much preparation because it’s perfect as-is. But incorporating these fresh ingredients into your dishes in new and unique ways will add intrigue to your plate—and bring the whole family around the table.

When planning your weekly meals and snacks, take a page from About the Table. We’ll be highlighting these seasonal favorites in our clients’ menus. Add them to your grocery list or let us do it for you!

Summer Produce & Meal Ideas

Cherries: Perfectly sweet and tart, take advantage of cherries while you can (as much as you can). They’re a great snack to enjoy on the go or at the beach. You can also incorporate them into your side dishes and desserts. Think: cherries over vanilla ice cream, homemade cherry jam and this Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Feta.

Berries: Another snackable fruit to have on hand, berries are bursting with nutrients and antioxidants. Try all varieties, from strawberries to blackberries, in muesli, yogurt, smoothies and salads. Top with whipped cream for a sweet treat or macerate in balsamic vinegar to use as a sauce on grilled steaks.

Peaches: Juicy peaches are the stars of summer! And they pair perfectly with lots of unexpected ingredients. Some appetizer and meal ideas? Peach salsa over pork chops or pork tenderloin. Sliced peaches wrapped in salty prosciutto. Grilled peaches with mascarpone cheese and honey. Or, keep it simple and add raw peaches to your cheese boards for easy entertaining.

Eggplant: Ripening in July and throughout the season, eggplant is a diverse ingredient I love to cook with. Hearty dishes like eggplant parmesan and eggplant rollatini are ideal for a crowd—especially if you have vegetarians in your family. For a weekday meal, try grilled eggplant and chicken served over arugula and spinach salad.

Bell Peppers: Sliced, stuffed or stir-fried, the opportunities with bell peppers are limitless. Enjoy raw with hummus. Stuff with meat, rice and tomato sauce for a one-pan Mediterranean meal. Cut into matchsticks and add to a veggie and chicken stir fry with brown rice (one of our faves!). Peppers come in fun colors so mix and match them all to add a rainbow to your plates and platters.

Too busy this summer?
Vacation, camp, beach days, work…your schedule is probably jam-packed! Skip the fast food and let us come up with seasonal meal ideas just for you! We’ll keep you healthy and happy with fresh dishes stored in your fridge or packed in a cooler for your travels.

Contact us to get started or to request your summer favorites!