10 Easy Recipes for Cool Summer Eating

You might wilt in these humid summer days, but your appetite isn’t going anywhere.

Outside dining for yourself and friends can seem easy: sandwiches and chips for beach picnics, hot dogs and hamburgers for backyard and park barbecues.

But what about all the meals in between? On an evening after a long day of work or on a quiet weekend afternoon, firing up the grill just for yourself won't always cut it. We know you don't want to stand around in a hot kitchen, but there's no need to resort to pricey (and greasy) takeout meals.

We’ve got ten refreshing dishes that are perfect for summer days and summer appetites, and definitely won’t have you standing over a hot stove for more than 30 minutes.

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  • Stephen Castellari

    $3 Panini? Then why do they charge $9 + tip when I go for lunch? Grrr.

    • http://pennyparsnip.wordpress.com/ PennyParsnip

      Labor costs.

    • http://profiles.google.com/brandy.n.oliver Brandy Oliver

       Because restaurants have to pay for way more than food. Like Penny said, labor. But also electricity, water, and likely a monthly lease.

      Plus, often, when you get a panini at a cafe it has far more on it than just pepperoni and cheese. And often comes with a side.
      But, I do feel silly when I pay for sandwiches, especially if it’s over $5.

    • Middtere

      You can generally expect about a 300% markup on the cost of whatever it is your eating over what it would cost to make it at home. So a $3 panini at home would cost about $9 out. Eesh. :)

      • Janas23

        You’re right about the markup.  I like a little market in Suffolk, VA that makes up food-to-go…nothing fancy at all…just good.  But I bought a container of Brunswick stew that was $10.  I was think it was costly but considered it was two healthy bowls for two with some left over.  They do have to make a profit.  I just keep thinking…”I can do that” it’s just that I don’t!

  • http://twitter.com/thefinancegeek Megan Z Taylor

    I love this list of recipes, and the “Pepperoni Panini” has been a big hit with my husband.  I wanted to say that you might mention for #3 whether it’s 1-1/2 cups dry couscous or cooked couscous.  I used 1-1/2 cups dry couscous, which made almost 6 cups of couscous, and ended up with way more than 4 servings from the recipe.  I’m not sad about this, I think that the recipe tastes great, even with more couscous than I think was intended, but it might be a good thing to note for the next time you post recipes. :)