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Food Ventures

Easy Summertime Meals and Snacks

By Ann Hattes
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For healthy snacking during summertime fun, Stoneridge Orchards (www.stoneridgeorchards.com) offers sweet and tart dried Montmorency cherries plain, dipped in dark chocolate or in Greek yogurt, and in chili lime with a mild kick.

Summertime brings outdoor adventures such as picnics, backyard barbecues, trips to the beach or hiking in the woods. Food is often very much a part of these activities and Andrea Chesman helps out with no-fuss recipes that are delicious and nutritious in just one dish. Find them in her new cookbook 101 One-Dish Dinners (Storey Publishing). In addition to comfort food classics and international favorites, there is lighter but still filling fare with meal-in-a-bowl salads and soups. Recipes that show off the versatility of Dutch ovens, skillets, and casserole pans, helping the reader spend less time working on dinner and more time enjoying it.

For a speedy meal or snack anytime, consider Peter & Pat's Pierogies ready from frozen in minutes. Using a 60-year-old family recipe, Peter & Pat's 4 cheese pierogies are made with 100% real potato and a mixture of cheddar, farmers, parmesan and Swiss cheeses. All natural and made with no preservatives, they can be boiled or pan-fried (most recommended methods), or deep-fried, baked or microwaved. Available at Costco locations, the 65 pierogies per bag make 12 servings.

For healthy snacking during summertime fun, Stoneridge Orchards (www.stoneridgeorchards.com) offers sweet and tart dried Montmorency cherries plain, dipped in dark chocolate or in Greek yogurt, and in chili lime with a mild kick. They can be eaten alone, or added to yogurt, salads and many other dishes.

For peanuts with a punch of flavor try Pizootz peanuts (www.pizootz.com) infused with nine natural flavors: Bay Spice, Habanero, Baja Taco, Blazing Buffalo, New York Dill Pickle, Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Sea Salt, and Jalapeno. Packed with protein at 10 grams per 1.45-ounce nibble bag, the peanuts leave no flavored powders or residues all over your fingers when you eat them.

 


Chicken & Summer Vegetable Sauté

(Excerpted from 101 One-Dish Dinners, by Andrea Chesman, used with permission from Storey Publishing).

Serves 4.

 

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

3 - 4 cloves, garlic, minced

4 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 yellow summer squash or zucchini, diced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, alone or in any combination)

1 tablespoon capers

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and boil for 1 minute. Plunge into cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well and set aside.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Sauté the chicken in the oil for 6 to 8 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink and slightly browned outside. Add the beans and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and squash and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the squash is tender.

Mix in the herbs, and lemon juice. Season generously with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

 


Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Vegetables

(Excerpted from 101 One-Dish Dinners, by Andrea Chesman, used with permission from Storey Publishing).

Serves 4 to 6.

If different vegetables are preferred, frozen peas or green beans are recommended – just throw them into the pasta water about 2 minutes before the pasta is done. Fresh cauliflower can be substituted for the broccoli.

 

1 pound elbow macaroni

1 head broccoli, broken into florets

1 large carrot, grated

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon dry mustard

2 cups milk

1 pound sharp cheddar, grated

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a large casserole dish with butter.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and boil. About 3 minutes before the macaroni is done according to the cooking time on the package, add the broccoli. About 1 minute before the macaroni is done, add the carrot. Continue boiling until the macaroni is al dente. Drain well. Transfer to the casserole dish.

To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Stir in the flour and dry mustard to form a smooth paste. Stir in the milk and bring to a boil, stirring to prevent lumps. When the sauce thickens, stir in the cheddar until melted.

Stir the sauce into the macaroni and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and browned. Serve hot.

 

Ann Hattes has over 25 years experience writing about both travel and food for publications both in the US and internationally. A senior living in Wisconsin, she’s a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association and the Midwest Travel Writers Association.

Meet Ann