Summer is a season for outdoor fun, vacation time, and lazy, sun-soaked afternoons. It’s also a time when we want light, refreshing meals that don’t need a lot of prep work and no hot oven. In this post, we’re going to give attention to that favorite summertime entrée: pork. Plus, we’ll look at desserts that aren’t too sloppy but just as fun, answer why light meals are best for summer, and tips for meal prep. Let’s dig in!
Why Choose Light Meals in Summer?
When the temperature climbs, our bodies naturally want to keep cool. You may find that you crave light, easy-to-digest meals over heavy, calorie-laden ones in summertime. Eating meals such as salads, grilled vegetables, and lean proteins satisfies our appetite and helps maintain our energy levels. Is there anything worse than eating a big heavy lunch and then having to go back to work? Many summer dishes, such as fruit and vegetable salads, can have a lot of water content in them. These meals can support hydration, which is always important during the hot days of summer.
Sizzling Summer Meats: Pork
Hot dogs and cold fried chicken are summer staples. Elevate your dinner game with grilled pork chops, skewers, and pulled pork sandwiches this year. Put these ideas on your shopping list for a tasty summer meal. Bonus: They make great leftovers.
- Grilled Pork Chops
Grilling is a quintessential part of summer cooking, and pork chops are an excellent choice. Marinate them with herbs, spices, and some citrus for a refreshing flavor. Pair these chops with a summer salad or grilled vegetables for a light meal.
- Pork Skewers
Skewers are perfect for summer, easy to make, and fun to eat. You can thread pieces of pork loin with an assortment of summer vegetables like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini. A quality marinade will enhance the flavor even more and keep the meat juicy.
- Pulled Pork Salad
Pulled pork can be a great addition to a hearty summer salad. Use lean pork shoulder simmered until it’s tender enough to pull apart, then pair it with a slaw or mixed greens, corn, and black beans, and top it with a light vinaigrette. Use left over pulled pork for sandwiches.
- Stir-Fried Pork
For a fast summer dinner, stir-fry some lean pork cuts with a colorful group of vegetables, including crisp onions, baby corn, snap peas, and red bell pepper. You can use a light sauce of soy, ginger, garlic, and a dash of lime for a bright summery tang.
To keep this light, balance the portion of pork with a generous amount of vegetables and fresh, light sides. Try experimenting with pork throughout the summer and enjoy the results!
Summer Fruit & Vegetable Sides
Summer provides an abundance of fresh produce and the opportunity to experiment with new side recipes and they’re also great to eat right out of the fridge (of course washed first).
For vegetables, stick to ones that taste equally delicious raw and make for great snacking, don’t forget that summertime favorite, ranch dressing, for dipping. These fruits and veggies are not only delicious but also help you stay hydrated.
- Bell peppers
Desserts are a delicious part of summer dining, but this doesn’t mean they have to be overly indulgent or require an oven to make them. Yogurt-based desserts can be made quickly, with no heat. Many recipes require no sugar, just add berries for the right mix of sweetness. Homemade popsicles with natural fruit juice can be an excellent way to satisfy your sweet tooth without straying from the theme of light and refreshing. You’ll find, when making your own popsicle treats, that there is an endless supply of ideas.
Tips for Summer Meal Prep
Meal prep can be a game-changer, especially during the summer when you’d rather spend more time outdoors than in the kitchen.
- Prepare your ingredients in advance, including washing and chopping vegetables and fruit. This allows for easy assembly of meals later.
- To keep meals fresh and safe, always refrigerate them in airtight containers and consume them within a few days.
- Shop more often but buy less. This will reduce food waste. Try shopping at a farmer’s market once a week for the best in local produce.
Summertime and Dinner is Easy
Summer meals don’t need to be complex to be delicious. Choose light, refreshing ingredients, prep what you can, and grill often for perfect hot-weather meals. Now, all you need to do is spread out the picnic blanket.
For the freshest fruit and vegetables, delicious premade meals, and the best cuts of meats, head to Captuo’s! We have stores throughout the Chicagoland and surrounding area, or you can shop online for extra convenience. And don’t forget to send us an invite!
From Our Family To Yours