It’s summertime and the living is easy out of the hot kitchen

It’s summertime and nobody wants to be stuck in the kitchen, especially a hot kitchen! So take a cue from these quickie ideas and enjoy them without all the fuss and bother in the kitchen.

Leftovers Salad

Got a bit of leftover grilled chicken? How about cold cuts like ham, turkey and anything else that are hiding in your refrigerator? You can include cheese, nuts, and avocado,  even a few berries for color.

Start with your lettuce. You can soak loose-leaf lettuce and swish it in cold water to clean the head, then shake it dry before cutting. Lay it on the cutting board to chop quickly instead of ripping leaves by hand. Of course, compact head lettuce like iceberg can be quickly quartered and chopped after removing outer leaves.

Use your kitchen scissors

Instead of crying your eyes out slicing up red onions, try cutting green onions with your kitchen scissors great flavor, quick and easy on the eyes. I do the same scissor-slicing with celery (just the hearts) and zip, they are in the bowl all in one step.

Use scissors for quickly dicing sliced meats like cold cuts: roll the slices together into a tube; then holding the “tube” at on end, make two cuts length-wise so the tube now looks like a paintbrush with four bristles. Now snip away in inch-long increments, you’ll get four pieces with each cut. (You’ll get more, depending on how many slices you rolled up together.)

Okay, you’ve got lettuce, onion, celery and meats, cheese, maybe some sliced almonds or some raspberries, what more do you want? Snip it right into your salad bowl. Then try plain or vanilla yogurt as salad dressing and you’re out the door and into the fun!

Note this same basic technique of scissor-slicing cold cuts and veggies into the bowl can be done with a bowlful of leftover (pre-cooked, but without any sauce) pasta like elbows, ziti (use the scissors to cut them down to bite-size if needed) or other macaroni; then just add mayo and your favorite spices—plus maybe a bit of paprika and dry mustard and, voila, you have a great pasta salad. Use your imagination and your scissors and you’ll be a summer not-in-the-kitchen wizard in no time!

Summer’s Perfect Dessert: Fast, Nutritious and not fattening!

This dessert can be a lifesaver, and it can be served simply scooped out into plastic cups for a picnic, – or sliced into a stemmed glass with topping for a fancy gathering.

The recipe below calls for sugar-free gelatin, but check with your crowd’s dietary needs,  some people do get a reaction to aspartame.

You will need:

2 Cups boiling water

2 Packages sugar-free gelatin Raspberry, Mixed Berry, Strawberry, or your favorite.

Approximately 1 cup still frozen Strawberries (no juice)

Approximately 1 cup still frozen Raspberries (no juice)

Approximately 1 cup still frozen Blueberries (no juice)

Approximately 1 cup still frozen Blackberries (no juice)

Pour the frozen berries into a 48- ounce plastic container that has a tight lid (so you can securely put this in a cooler for summer fun!)

Boil 2 cups of water in the microwave until boiling merrily (less than 2 minutes for 1100-watt microwave).

Remove boiling water from microwave immediately and quickly pour the contents of 2 boxes of sugar-free gelatin into the container of boiling water while stirring with a whisk or slatted spatula, to dissolve the gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

Once all the gelatin has been completely dissolved in the hot water, pour it directly over the still-frozen berries in the container. Stir it about for a bit, just to get it mixed around. DO NOT ADD COLD WATER as instructions on the gelatin package indicate.

The hot boiled water will thaw the berries, as the frozen berries set the gelatin. It can be soft-served after setting for a minute or two, or place it in the refrigerator for about five – ten minutes and you will have a nice firm set.

If you leave it in the fridge longer, you will have a gelatin that can be “unmolded” in about twenty minutes and served with whipped cream to look fancy! And the best part is, you don’t need to feel guilty about enjoying it because it’s full of anti-oxidants and vitamins!

Posted by admin in Health Comments Off on It’s summertime and the living is easy out of the hot kitchen
20 January

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