· Article

Summer Dining the Intentional Way

· Article

Summer Dining the Intentional Way


Ideas to streamline summer meals + a recipe to help. We’re all about being intentional with your time so you can spend it with those you love; fueled by quality sleep.

Everyone wants to grab on to summer with both hands. It’s a chance to spend time outside with loved ones, enjoy the sunshine, jump in a pool, relax and take it easy.

This summer, consider going a step further, aiming to live intentionally. Focus on things that matter, like biking with the kids, instead of things no one remembers, like five trips to the grocery store because you keep forgetting dinner ingredients.

Here are some tips to help streamline and refocus your mealtimes, with an easy summer recipe to help get you there.

Think Seasonal

Make a meal plan, and be sure to include the bounty of seasonal produce when deciding on your menus. Planning meals often saves money as you buy what you really need instead of what you think you need. And no more going back to the shop for things you forgot.

Power Up the Toaster Oven

Employ the toaster oven instead of turning on the stove in your kitchen to cook. The toaster helps keep your kitchen and your house cool. The toaster works perfectly for a small chicken, pork loin, tuna melts, roasted potatoes, or casseroles.

Focus on Fast and Fresh

Embrace leftovers and local produce that make a cool dish on a hot day or night. For example, add strips of yesterday’s grilled steak, pork, chicken or shrimp on top of cold rice noodles and crisp slivers of peppers, green onions, carrots, and maybe jicama, with any chopped herbs you have in the fridge and toasted nuts. Try batch cooking or grilling on the weekend so dinners, and perhaps a few lunches, are ready for the week.

Stock the Pantry

A stocked pantry means less trips to the grocery store, saving you precious time. Keep essentials on hand like:

  • Good extra virgin olive oil
  • Pasta
  • Vinegar
  • Mustard
  • Nut butters
  • Nut or vegetable oils
  • Spices
  • Coconut milk
  • Canned beans
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Chickpeas
  • Fresh garlic
  • Jams

Stock the freezer, too, with bread, tortillas, chicken thighs, wings or breasts, steaks, ground meat, frozen berries, veggies and even butter or cheese so you can pull meals together quickly.

Embrace the Outdoors

Set up a pretty table and eat outside. Perhaps invest in recyclable, disposable plates for a real no-fuss affair, so everyone can enjoy the sunset out back instead of rushing around cleaning. Savor the flavor of what you’ve prepared, the company and the summer.

Citrus Marinated Shrimp

Serves: 4

These tasty shrimp are ready in under 20 minutes and work with a noodle or rice bowl, a green salad or a taco. It isn’t a heavy meal either, so it shouldn’t interfere with your sleep.

Ingredients:

• 2 lbs fresh shrimp , peeled and de-veined

• ⅓ cup fresh orange juice

• 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (mint, parsley, cilantro — anything you have on hand)

• 1 teaspoon maple syrup

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 1 clove finely minced garlic

• Pinch of red chile flakes

• Pinch sea salt

• Pinch black pepper

Note: add 6 to 8 bamboo skewers if cooking as kabobs on a barbecue.

Instructions:

1. Whisk all the ingredients (minus the shrimp) in a medium-sized bowl.

2. Add the shrimp to the marinade for 10-15 minutes. Longer than 20 minutes and the citric acid in the juice will start to break down the shrimp, which will get rubbery.

3. If you’re making kabobs, soak the bamboo skewers in water while the shrimp marinate. Otherwise, skip to step 5.

4. Thread shrimp onto the pre-soaked bamboo skewers and barbecue on medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side, depending on the size of shrimp.

5. If you’re cooking in a cast-iron pan, heat the skillet on medium high until hot, then add a few drops of oil.

6. Drain the shrimp and keep them in the pan until pink and firm. Remove from heat and serve.

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