Judy E. Buss
Summertime, when the living is…scrumptious! Chilled summer meals help you cool off and take the same amount of time to prepare as cooking immediately before a meal.
Ingredients which can be cooked in advance to form the basis for summer cuisine brimming with goodness are: dry beans, whole grain pasta, chicken, seafood, brown rice, bulgur, potatoes, sweet potatoes, steamed vegetables, etc. Overcooked, artificial-chemical-laden canned beans, vegetables, or frozen dinners are dead-on-arrival and offer little or no nutritional value. Cook a larger amount of dry beans, grains, or steamed vegetables, and incorporate them in more than one lunch or dinner. Make ahead whole-meal and side-dish salads.
Save time, money, and aggravation by keeping your kitchen stocked with a supply and variety of essential ingredients. This allows you to cook when you wish, without needing to make multiple trips to the grocery store, or get discouraged.
Delicious, chilled summer fare may include potato or sweet potato salads, bean, or whole grain salads with chopped raw vegetables, herbs, and a salad dressing; or add bite-sized chunks of cooked chicken. Or, after cooking the whole grain, or whole grain pasta, add steamed chopped veggies, herbs, and a dressing. Cold grain dishes can also be served mixed with pieces of fresh fruit, nuts and a lemony dressing. If disease is not on your to-do list, also make a refreshing and nutritious fresh vegetable salad daily. Salad veggies for 2 – 3 days can be washed in advance and refrigerated ready for use.
You can substantially cut grocery bills and improve your health by drinking mainly water – and plenty of it. Additionally, make fresh lemonade from lemons and a little honey (not sugar!), dissolved in a tablespoon of warm water, and keep a full pitcher in your fridge. Home-cooked, additive-free iced tea, made from all natural non-caffeinated herbal tea is another option. Do not however, drink more than half a cup of any liquid during or immediately after a meal. Keep the doctor away – deliciously!
Bean Salad Delight
1-1/2 cups dry navy beans
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely grated!
1 scallion, sliced
1-1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Cook beans in advance as follows: Check beans for debris, rinse. In a saucepan cover beans with water reaching 2 inches above them. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes. Remove from stove, let stand one hour. Drain water and fill with fresh water to the same level as before. Bring to a boil and cook for 35-40 minutes, or until soft. Cool. Meanwhile, in a steamer, steam corn 5 minutes, remove from stove. Briefly rinse with cold water to prevent overcooking.
In a large bowl, make dressing. Add all other ingredients, cover and chill.
“Mission Nutrition” Tips and Recipe from Judy E. Buss, Health Columnist, Nutritional Cooking Instructor.
Excerpted from Judy E. Buss’ article, first published in the “Feeling Fit” Magazine, Sun Coast Media Group newspapers, Florida.
Stay tuned for more Judy E. Buss’ “Mission Nutrition” words of wisdom and recipes.