Simple Summertime Fare – Fabulous Meals in Minutes!

During  the summer months, my family (like yours no doubt), is busy soaking up as much fun in the sun as we can.  I still want our family to eat healthy, yummy food, but I sure don’t want to be tied down to the kitchen for long!  My solution is pulling out the family favs that make delicious meals with limited prep time.  Here are some of our favorites:

Grilled Chicken Terryaki


6 Chicken breast halves

1/2 C. low sodium soy sauce

1/2 C. canola oil

1/2 C. water

1-2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Place all the ingredients in a gallon-sized zipper bag or shallow glass pan.
  2. Allow chicken to marinate for 1-2 hours.
  3. Preheat your grill or pan to medium high heat.
  4. Grill (or saute in stove-top grill pan) about 5-6 minutes per side, or until chicken is completely cooked through.

Asian Cabbage Slaw Salad

This salad originally called for  1 cup of canola oil, and for the ramen noodles and nuts to be sauteed in butter.  Yummy tasting, but not very health conscious.  My lower fat version has all the taste, without all the fat grams and calories!  This salad is such a crowd pleaser, it gets made almost weekly during the summer.


For the salad:

2 bags tri-color shredded cabbage (in the bagged salad area of the grocery)

2 bags of Ramen noodles, any flavor – discard the seasoning packet

1/2 C chopped nuts of your choice – I prefer almonds or pecans

1/3 C sesame seeds (I use these when I have them, and just skip it when I don’t!)

3 green onions, chopped, or about 1/3 cup diced red onion

For the Dressing:

1/2 C. canola oil

1/2 C. water

1/2 C. granulated sugar

2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce

1/2 C. cider vinegar


  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Mix to combine.  Set aside.
  3. Combine all of the dressing ingredients.
  4. Gently mix or whisk until sugar is dissolved.
  5. Pour over salad, and toss to coat thoroughly.
  6. Cover and  store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

This salad is best when it has a little time to marinate!

Miss Tiffany’s Chicken

Whenever I ask what my family would like for meals each week, someone pipes up with “Miss Tiff Chicken!”  And with it being so easy to prepare, how can I say no?  It’s simplicity also means it goes with just about anything.  Leftovers make great toppings for Caesar salad.  🙂


6 chicken breast halves

olive oil to drizzle

garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Clean and pat dry chicken breasts.
  3. Lay chicken flat on a cookie sheet.
  4. Drizzle each chicken breast with a little olive oil – about 1/2 tsp.
  5. Season each breast with garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Turn over the chicken breasts, and repeat steps 4 and 5.
  7. Bake chicken in oven for about 30 minutes.

Orzo, Pine Nut, and Feta Salad

from Gourmet Magazine


1 lb. orzo (rice-shaped pasta)

3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 C. olive oil

1/2 C. pine nuts (pignoli), toasted

1 1/4 C. feta cheese (6 oz), crumbled

1 C thinly sliced green onions or chives


  1. Cook orzo in an 8 qt. pot of boiling salted water until tender (follow box instructions).
  2. Drain orzo well in a colander.
  3. Whisk together lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper (to taste) in a large bowl.
  4. Add hot orzo and toss.
  5. Cool orzo, then toss with pine nuts, feta, and green onions.
  6. If necessary, season with additional salt and pepper.

Janie Burgers


1 # lean ground beef

2 Tbsp. green or red pepper, finely chopped

1/4 C. onion, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. horseradish (optional)

3 Tbsp. ketchup

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. dry mustard


  1. Mix all ingredients
  2. Form into 4 patties.
  3. Grill until cooked through.

Papa’s Grilled Potatoes


4 medium white or red potatoes, scrubbed

1 small onion, sliced

olive oil, enough to coat all ingredients (about 1/4 C)

salt, pepper and garlic powder


  1. Do not peel potatoes.  Cut into 1/4″ slices.
  2. Place on squares of heavy aluminum foil.
  3. Add onions and about 2 Tbsp. olive oil to each packet.
  4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
  5. Fold aluminum foil to seal tightly.
  6. Place on hot BBQ grill and cook about 1/2 hour, shaking or turning twice during cooking.



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Beth celebrates the everyday wonders of life with a keen eye for deals, a flare for the color green, and an honest desire to share with her fellow moms here in town! Check out more of Beth's recent articles, and subscribe to our daily email/rss feed to see what she writes next!
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