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Jun 18, 2012 01:29 PM

Dinner suggestions for a hot day for hungry, outdoor-working husband

My husband works outside here in Chicago (labor intensive) and today it's been 95 and sunny since this morning. In winter for bitter cold days I go to heavy soups and stews to quell his enormous appetitie, but I don't know what to do for really hot days/weeks like we're having now. Any suggestions? He eats the equivalent of what 2 or 3 people would, but is fit as a fiddle as the saying goes.

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    1. For the really hot days where you don't even want to eat warm food - how about potato or pasta salads? Add a protein like tuna or cooked salmon, or salami. I have a "pick 3" salad idea I use frequently in the summer. Corn kernels, canned beans, avocado, tomato, cucumber, cubed cheese, etc - toss together in a bowl, dress with your favorite salad dressing (or just mayo/vinegar).

      1. Steak and cheesy polenta-both cooked on the stove top to not use the oven
        sausage and orichettie (sp?) pasta with broccoli or spinach
        pasta carbonara
        Carmelized salmon with garlic/cilantro potato salad.
        And a cold beer. Good luck.

        1. Well, it also sounds like it would be nice not to heat up the house, since it's so hot outside, so plan around stovetop meal, the crockpot, and meals prepared early in the day before it heats up. With that in mind, great big tacos would be wonderful. You could do a braised meat with chile sauce on the stove and have shredded steak tacos, nice and hearty with add-ons: strips of roasted green chiles (available canned, and in good Mexican markets, at the meat counter.) Salsa, Cotija cheese, chopped onion, nice thick corn tortillas......never better. You could do a side of rice cooked in chicken broth (canned is fine for this as well) with onions and garlic, salt, pepper, and a black bean salad (beans-canned, rinsed, drained), diced fresh tomato, diced fresh avocado, sliced green onions, diced white onions, cilantro and lime dressing w/ some cumin...corn kernels are nice in this, and it can also be a hot, succotash-type dish..Simplify by making taco meat out of lean ground beef.
          If he likes salads, marinated steak salad is good stuff, especially w. crumbled blue cheese on top and a Dijon dressing. Big hunks of garlic bread on the side.
          Do a corned beef in the crockpot, and cool, slice, and use in Reuben sandwiches. Serve w/ potato salad and pickles.
          Good old classic Spaghetti, with meat sauce and meatballs that you brown on the stove and finish cooking in the sauce. Green salad, garlic bread. (you can do the bread stovetop, with a griddle. Just lay the garlic-buttered slices on a preheated pan, and let them brown. I like to mix parmesan cheese into the butter.
          Pan-grilled teriyaki pork chops, stir-fried long beans with garlic and sliced onion, hoisin broccoli, rice.
          Schnitzel, boiled potatoes w/ butter and parsley, salad.

          1. The grill is my best friend in the summer! Classic summer sandwiches for men around here are sausage, with peppers and onions. Can grill the sausage whole or cut it up and bake it in the oven with tomato sauce. Or marinate and grill chicken breast and serve on a nice roll with fresh mozz, and roasted peppers, drizzled with balsamic. Or change it up with some basil and sundried tomatoes? How about homemade po boys? Fried shrimp or oysters on an italian loaf? Serve with giardinera or pasta salad and some chips? Is he a veggie eater? Grilled portobello? Stuffed zucchini? Eggplant parm? Steamers on the grill? Cold fried chicken!