Cooking Studio Highlighted by Greeley Tribune
By ANGEL DEY | firstname.lastname@example.org | Greeley Tribune
PUBLISHED: August 8, 2020 at 3:51 p.m. | UPDATED: August 8, 2020 at 6:48 p.m.
It’s hot. No one wants to turn on the oven or stand over a hot stove or grill when the temperature hovers near 90 outside.
Microwave meals are so unappetizing, though, and there’s only so much salad one person can handle.
It’s time to start thinking creatively when making meals that don’t heat the whole house, are more filling, more appetizing and more adventurous.
Plan aheadMichelle Krusmark, owner of The Bottled Olive in Windsor and Loveland, suggests using a slow cooker to cook up enough meat for several meals during the week. It won’t heat the house and you can let it do all the work.
“Put (the slow cooker) on low and add your meat of choice. I make a lot so I can use it for multiple dinners — so no cooking throughout the week,” she said.
Krusmark suggests making chicken and ground beef or turkey.
For the chicken, Krusmark said, “I add Tahitian Lime Olive Oil and a seasoning we have called Herb Delight or Tuscan Tomato” for robust flavor. Think ahead to the kinds of recipes you’ll be making to flavor the chicken appropriately.
For the ground beef or turkey, Krusmark suggests caramelized garlic olive oil or a spicy olive oil like Vera Cruz Chili, sold at The Bottled Olive.
It’s also good to keep some staples on hand to make a variety of quick meals.
Trish O’Neill, owner of The Cooking Studio in Fort Collins, suggests keeping these items:
Mix it upWhen planning out meals, think of different ways to deliver the food (wraps instead of sandwiches), adding unique ingredients to a classic recipe or adding flavorful sauces to make an ordinary meal more exciting.
Instead of making sandwiches, O’Neill said, “Pita pockets are a great summer meal. You can make them simple, with tuna salad, tomatoes, cucumbers and something pickled, or go fancier with shredded chicken, avocados and cheese with yogurt dressing.”
Other alternatives to sandwiches would be to use tortillas or lettuce as wraps, or fill and fold pita flatbread or naan.
Another delivery consideration would be to use vegetables, like avocados, tomatoes or bell peppers, as edible serving dishes. Add a salmon, chicken or ground beef filling (mixed with fresh herbs and a sauce) for a delicious meal.
Sandwiches still work as a good meal, but O’Neill suggests making them more interesting. “Try something vegetarian like a beet, goat cheese, arugula and red onion sandwich on rye bread,” she said.
And don’t forget dessert. Add a flavored drizzle to fresh fruit or make no-cook pies (with a graham cracker crust) or parfaits using pureed fruit.
Above all, know that meals don’t have to be hot to be good.
“Eating something hot is not healthier or more of a ‘real’ meal — no matter how well the oatmeal companies might spin it. Cool meals can be so fun, interesting and just as filling as something served hot,” O’Neill said.