Last week, I figured out that it is getting around to the time of year where cooking is not very fun, at least in the oven. I made a quick casserole, just mixed a bunch a stuff together. It was hot in the house afterwards. I am fully aware that not all of the US is warming up. Some of the country is facing snow. However, my part of the country and farther south is warming up quite a bit. This means I will have to expand my repertoire a bit. Most of the foods I know how to make require heating up the stove. This issue has not come up for me before. In college, I didn’t have to pay for the consequences of air conditioning. I was a bit farther north as well so I didn’t have as warm weather in the summer.
This weekend I returned to one of my absolute favorite meals: taco salad. I should definitely qualify that by saying that what most people think of when they hear of taco salad is probably not what my family and I make. Probably not even close. For me taco salad is made of iceberg lettuce, onion, tomatoes, kidney beans, ground beef, cheese, Doritos, and finally Thousand Island salad dressing. While the original recipe made by my grandmother did include using taco seasoning, that part didn’t make it to my version. Therefore, there is very little resemblance between my family’s taco salad and what pretty much most restaurants will sell you. Regardless, this is one of my favorite meals. To me it represents hot summer days where you really didn’t want to do much when I was a kid. I wouldn’t be surprised if other people had a favorite meal that just hits the spot on a warm day.
Regardless, as much as I love eating taco salad, I can’t eat it for every meal and I can’t heat up the house too much. Either I expand my knowledge of slow cooker meals or fix foods that don’t need cooking. I know a few and I do make sure that I try to make meals for more than a couple of days. I know a cucumber salad and I like cold pickled beets. Yes, I know that I am weird for liking pickled beets. Quite a bit of my cold foods tend to be salads that aren’t based on greens like lettuce or arugula like coleslaw, egg salad, and similar salads. Now while I like to eat salads at a restaurant, especially the ones that have a wide variety of toppings, I find it very difficult to make one that I want to eat on a regular basis at home. I haven’t figured out yet as to why. I don’t see it being that hard but maybe it is just the idea of buying food for the purpose of being put in a salad. I really don’t know. Unfortunately sandwiches tend to be the same way, although my hesitation towards sandwiches mostly comes from their ability to stay intact until lunchtime at work.
I like Subway sandwiches when I feel up to spending the money. If that didn’t tell you my lifestyle, I don’t know what will. Anyway, I like their sandwiches and they usually aren’t soggy when I get to them at lunch. I think that it is because of the type of bread they use. It isn’t sandwich bread. Now I know that you can separate the bread from the more watery ingredients like pickles. However, that requires either using at least one Ziploc or multiple Tupperware containers. I generally try to avoid using Ziploc bags for work and I am pretty sure that more than one square Tupperware containers is not going to fit in my new lunch bag, which I had to buy because my last one disintegrated at one of the seams. So I really try to keep to a single container. It fits easier and helps me with somewhat controlling my portion sizes. I have a much harder time with portion control when I don’t have to eat out of a plastic container. So, it comes down to this: it is getting warmer and if I try to cook in my oven or on the stove, I will be heating up my house. I need to figure out what to make that does not require too much effort on my part, doesn’t require a blender, and doesn’t heat up the house. I don’t have a blender or a barbecue at the moment. Do you have a favorite food to make on hot days? Do they have good memories associated with them? Please answer below with your comments and thanks for reading.