Perfect summer foods
It's summer! And the variety of summer foods is endless. You may ask what makes a particular type of food perfect for summer. Summer foods are those that can be had in a variety of ways, be prepared in as little time as possible, convenient, and even help to cool you down (think sweet, delicious ice cream). After all, who has time to waste in the kitchen when there are beach trips and parties to attend?
Chicken is one of the safest meats available, and it is the most widely consumed meat on the planet. Chicken is packed with vitamins and nutrients that are essential for positive health. It is a good source of niacin, B-6, B-12, vitamin D, iron and zinc which is essential to maintain a healthy body. Consuming chicken helps to slow down ageing; trace mineral selenium found in chicken is an anti-ageing component. Selenium is of fundamental importance to human health. It is an essential component of several major metabolic pathways, including thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defence systems, and immune function. Evidence from prospective studies and intervention trials on animal models of cancer have suggested a strong inverse correlation between selenium intake and cancer incidence.
There are a number of restaurants that have taken the guesswork out of eating chicken. Fried, barbecued, spicy, crispy, wings, chicken nuggets, are just a few ways to enjoy this tasty meat this summer. What's better? No cooking involved. However, if you do choose to whip up a tasty meal, then try the coconut oven-fried chicken recipe below.
Ready in a flash recipes
Coconut Oven-Fried Chicken
This quick meal has a nice texture and a subtle but delicious flavour. Since it is cooked in the oven, it is fast and easy to make, with no mess or fuss.
Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
1/4 cup/60ml melted butter
2 lbs/1kg chicken pieces
1/2 cup/125ml flaked unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup/60ml fine breadcrumbs
Brush the chicken pieces with melted butter.
In a shallow bowl, stir together the coconut and the breadcrumbs.
Roll the chicken pieces in the coconut mixture.
Place the chicken in a baking pan.
Drizzle any remaining butter over the chicken.
Bake for about an hour, or until no longer pink inside.
What tastes better than beef and beer (for those who drink)? Many families will be outside this summer grilling tasty, juicy beef. If you are not a fan of the grill, still get your protein fix on with our beef potato in one recipe. Not one for cooking beef at all? Then head on over to a fast-food chain near you and grab a delicious burger; treat yourself and have one with all the trimmings.
Beef Potato in One
2lbs ground sirloin
1 small onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 1/3 cups water
3 large Idaho potatoes, cut in round slices
1 pkg shredded cheddar cheese
Brown beef, onions, peppers. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain and add 1 cup water, bay leaves, tomatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves and add 1/3 cup water with cornstarch for thickening. In another skillet, brown potatoes in a small amount of oil until tender, and then drain. Place potatoes in casserole dish and pour beef mixture over. Add cheese to top and brown in oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool, then cut in squares for servings.
Tasty, light fish dishes are perfect for summer, especially if you add some of the season's fresh fruits. Make it a full day's activities by going out to catch your own fish and making a meal with our recipe below.
Honey Orange Fish Fillet
3tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/8tsp white pepper
1/2tsp orange zest
1lb fish fillet
Combine all ingredients except fillets and pour over fish in glass baking dish. Cover and chill at least one hour.
Remove fish and reserve marinade. Grill or broil fish four to six inches from heat source, turning once and brushing with marinade, until fish is thoroughly cooked and flakes easily when tested with fork, about 12-15 minutes. Discard remaining marinade.
Sausage, how many ways do I love thee? Sausage can be had at any time of the day and can be incorporated into a number of dishes for a quick breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack. It is also extremely convenient and perfect for social gatherings. If you are thinking of the famous hot dog, you are on the right track, but there are other ways of utilising the sumptuous sausage. Check out our recipe below.
Sausage and Egg Casserole
6 slices bread, cubed
1 pound sausage, browned, drained
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
8 eggs, each beaten
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
Cube bread and place evenly in greased 9x13 pan or baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with sausage and cheese. Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over ingredients in pan. May cover and chill overnight. (if left overnight, remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before baking). Bake 45 minutes at 325 degrees or until set. Cut into squares to serve.
For the hot summer days ahead, ice cream is a must-have. Enjoy your favourite flavours in as many ways as possible - in punches, on a cone, via a split, sundae or drizzled with our version of chocolate sauce below.
Ice Cream Porcupine Treats with chocolate sauce
Scoop balls of ice cream on to a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer to firm up. Insert salted peanuts into the ice cream balls so they resemble porcupines. Serve in dessert dishes drizzled with chocolate sauce. Use the recipe below or use purchased chocolate sauce.
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips with whipping cream, stirring constantly. Continue to cook until chocolate is melted and sauce is smooth and blended. Stir in vanilla. Keep chocolate sauce refrigerated for up to 10 days.