Hot Weather Hacks

Summer… my favorite season. I love the long days, blue skies, and smell of barbeques wafting from every backyard.  What I don’t love is heat waves, when the temperature hits the high 90s or more.  Because we live at the beach the weather is generally pretty mild so we have no air-conditioning.  Hot days for us are spent sitting on the front porch creating a misting system with our hose and praying for the sun to go down.

The last several days have been quite hot, especially for this early in the summer. Last Friday was 104 degrees at our house which makes cooking in the kitchen nearly impossible.  But by Sunday, after all the junk we had eaten over the 4th of July holiday, I was dying for a healthy home-cooked meal.   So here is my Hot Weather Hack meal for you, so you can still eat healthy without heating up the house another 10 degrees.

The first thing we did was pick up a few pre-made kabobs at our local Sprouts. Almost all grocery stores these days have them and they take out all the work of chopping, assembling and seasoning.  Because who has that kind of energy on a super hot day?  They are all pre-done and are ready to simply throw on the BBQ. I even had a few mushrooms  left in the frig so I threw them on a skewer to add a few more veggies to our dinner.

We needed a side-dish for our meal so I picked up a bag of baby medley potatoes and fennel. The potatoes were a mix of yellow, red and purple potatoes that I cleaned and cut in half.  I sliced the fennel in half, washed out the layers and then cut into fairly thick slices.  I threw everything on a piece of aluminum foil and tossed the potatoes and fennel in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of powered garlic and salt and pepper. Then I drizzled 1 Tablespoon of water on top to help cook the potatoes. I took another piece of aluminum foil, put it on top and folded up all four sides until I had a nice pouch to place on the barbeque.  I make sure the foil packet big enough so it’s just one layer of potatoes because I want them to get browned.

potaoes and fennel in a foil pack

Preheat the grill to approximately 425 degrees and put the potatoes on for 9 minutes. When the timer goes of flip the potato pouch and put the beef and chicken kabobs on the grill.  Cook the potato pouch for an additional 7 to 8 minutes on the other side and then open the pouch and test to be sure the potatoes are done.  When they’re done turn off that side of the grill but leave the potatoes on, so they stay warm.  If your grill doesn’t have two separate sides, you can remove the potatoes but keep them in the sealed pouch so they stay warm.

Cook the beef kabobs (turning every few minutes) for approx. 6-8 minutes, remove and cover with foil to let them rest while the chicken kabobs continue to cook.  The chicken kabobs should cook for 12 to 15 minutes (turning every few minutes) until they are cooked through. If you make a few mushroom kabobs put them on when you have about 8 to 10 minutes left on the chicken kabobs and they should be ready at the same time.

Super easy, healthy meal, on a hot day when you might otherwise be tempted to go get fast food. No heat in the kitchen, the foil pack you cooked the potatoes in goes in the trash, which means minimal dishes to wash.  Stay cool and eat well!

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