No one wants to cook when it’s hot… and in the crazy heat waves we’ve been enduring, working up the energy to eat even takes effort. This weekend, not wanting myself to even spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I thought about the week ahead… and instead of cooking a bunch of different things, I decided to allot my “heating” time to a couple simple, quick things.
(1) Baked potatoes: I baked 6 potatoes in the toaster oven (keeping heat in the kitchen to a minimum. Potatoes are a great base to many easy dishes during the week, good on their own, and even better–delicious cold!
(2) Pasta: I cooked up a box of thin spaghetti noodles and divided them into 6 individual ziplock baggie servings (a trick I admit, I learned working at Pizza Hut — what, you thought that spaghetti was made to order??). These can be quickly warmed in sauce or veggies, placing the baggie in hot water, or in the work microwave.
(3) Chopped veggies: And lots of them. My fridge is akin to a salad bar at this moment in time–ready for a quick salad, stir fry, or just about anything.
(4) One sauce: No cooking required. I whipped up a double batch of my Szechuan noodle sauce. The sauce can be made ahead without cooking. Just note that on this recipe, the longer it sits, the spicier it becomes so adjust chili sauce accordingly.
I also did cave and turn the oven on for about 20 minutes to whipped out a batch of muffins for the week… I *had* to use up some pineapple and squash from the fridge, so I made the Pineapple Squash Muffins of recent… only this time I made them in the smaller tin to cut down cook time!
The key really is to think it through and then plan any batch cooking you can do for the earlier (or later) part of the day when the temps are a little less brutal and you aren’t battling the AC for dominance.