Earlier this week, as I prepped for a boat-based spin on my Fine Dining: Front Country workshop, I was reminded how much I love grilled meals. Especially when I can create two dinners from one prep session. And especially in the middle of a heatwave.
This month, I’ll be sharing recipes perfect for blazing summer days. They require minimal stovetop time and instead have you firing up the grill. They also let you maximize your summer playtime by prepping the next night’s meal, using the same base ingredients but putting a new spin on their flavors. Instead of eating tiresome leftovers, you’ll enjoy a fresh dish with minimal added effort.
One Prep, Two Meals
I’ve blogged in the past about my “one prep, two meals” plan, but here’s the basic concept: Simplify meal prep by pairing meals that let you prep the bulk of the ingredients the first night and whiz through to dinner on night 2.
On night 1, you’ll gather all the ingredients you need for both dinners, chop and cook whatever can handle an extra day in the fridge, and enjoy your first delicious creation. On night 2, you’ll take those prepped ingredients and give them a fresh flavor with spices, herbs, and other kitchen staples. Maybe the base becomes the garnish; maybe you swap out the protein or exchange fruit for veg. The whole goal is a new look and flavor—fast.
Like the idea? Check out this blog post for scheduling ideas and meal-planning tips. Then give it a go with a pair of recipes already on the blog:
- Peppers: Creamy Grilled Bell Pepper Pasta & Grilled Pepper Pancakes with Goat Cheese
- Fish: Mediterranean Fish Cakes & Grilled Fish Skewers
- Couscous: Vegetable Couscous with Chickpeas and Feta & Couscous Salad with Raw Vegetables
- Risotto: Garden Risotto & Last-Minute Shrimp Risotto
- Potatoes: Potato Bowl with Black Bean Sauté & Quick Potato Salad
- Pasta: Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin and Parmesan & Pumpkin–Goat Cheese Ravioli with Butter–Nut Sauce
- Buckwheat: Buckwheat Porridge with Mushrooms and Eggs & Roasted Vegetables with Tofu and Buckwheat
From the Grill
When it’s so hot even I don’t want to cook, I’m still comfy firing up the grill. Most foods take minimal cooking time over grilled heat. Even though you’ll have to spend a few minutes by the flames, that heat is quickly dispersed outside instead of boosting your kitchen and house temperatures for hours. Best of all, when the cooking’s done you can walk away and enjoy your meal cooled by a breeze and the shade.
Here are just a few of my favorite heatwave grilling recipes; you can find more in the recipe index:
- Grilled Asparagus
- Grilled Corn
- Wasabi-Marinated Shrimp
- Grilled Fish Tacos
- Whiskey-Basted Grilled Salmon
- Shish Kebabs with Garlic–Soy Marinade
Twice as Tasty
Even though I shared grilling recipes earlier, many of my favorite grilled foods don’t need a recipe. But when I’m prepping two meals at a time, I like recipes to keep me on target. So I’ll be sharing new grill-focused meal-prep hacks and recipes this month. These are meals I plan and pair when we’re cruising coastal islands in the sailboat or just eating on the deck during the busy summer. They’re simple enough that you can take them on the road or throw them together at home.
Of course, I have another meal-prep shortcut: pickling. When I was writing The Complete Guide to Pickling, people often asked how I would use all of those pickles. My short answer: Meal-prep shortcuts. To show exactly what I meant, I created The Pickled Picnic. This collection combines recipes that use pickled foods to make quick dishes with gorgeous photos by Brenda Ahearn Photography, all in an easy-to-read PDF format. Many recipes in The Pickled Picnic are my go-to standards in hot, busy summers.
Click here to order a personally signed, packaged, and shipped copy of The Complete Guide to Pickling directly from me. At the same time, pick up The Pickled Picnic, available exclusively through Twice as Tasty.