4 Easy Dishes Your Family Will Love This Summer

July 19, 2022

by kevin gardner, guest contributor

With warm, carefree nights and an abundance of colorful fruits and vegetables, summer is the king of all seasons. There's more sun, which means more time to play outside. More play means burning more calories, which also means your family might get extra hungry throughout the day. Of course, you probably don't want to spend those fleeting summer days toiling away in the kitchen. You need super easy meal options to share with all of your loved ones. Here are four simple dishes your family will love this summer. 

1. Overnight Chia Seed Pudding 

Wouldn't it be amazing if breakfast was ready straight out of the fridge? Chia seed pudding is a quick and easy dish you can prepare at night before you go to bed, and it will be ready to go first thing in the morning. It's as easy as combining chia seed and milk (or an alternative like soy milk) in a mason jar and letting it sit. You can add your favorite berries and a sweetener according to taste. A great alternative to overnight oats, chia seed pudding is naturally gluten-free and packed with protein and fiber, making it a great meal to keep you full long after you eat.

Oats tend to be the grain of choice for healthy eaters, but you should consider one important question: Is oatmeal inflammatory in sensitive systems? If you're worried about foods that could be cross-contaminated during factory processing, then chia seed pudding will be your new best friend. 

2. Colorful and Nutritious Rice Bowls

Photo by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron on Unsplash

When you've run out of dinner ideas for the week, you can throw together rice bowls in a zip. This dish will help you finish off leftover vegetables, herbs, and meat or meat alternatives, and it will be a hit with your family, even the little ones.

As a meal, rice bowls require very little preparation and cook time. You simply spoon cooked rice into the bottom of a bowl and top with a variety of fresh, roasted or sauteed vegetables and meat or tofu. Then you can add fresh or dried herbs and a delicious sauce to drizzle over everything. Nutritious and exciting, rice bowls should be every family's go-to meal at the end of the week. 

3. Build-Your-Own Wraps 

Sometimes you need to let your family get their hands dirty when it comes to mealtime. Build-your-own wraps are a great alternative when you've already done build-your-own tacos one too many times. On the plus side, wraps are very versatile. They can include fresh or cooked ingredients and can be sweet or savory. By using gluten-free wraps or vegetable-infused ones, you can add that extra bit of nutrition your family is craving. Popular ingredients for wraps include: 

  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Tofu 
  • Fresh spinach 
  • Carrot 
  • Cabbage 
  • Cheese 
  • Sweet potato 
  • Basil 
  • Cilantro 
  • Chili 

4. No-Bake Peanut Butter and Chocolate Drop Cookies

When the temperature rises, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven. Yet, the family is still asking for dessert. You can whip up these no-bake drop cookies in no time, and everyone will feel satisfied. As a bonus, ingredients like peanut butter and oats keep it at least semi-healthy. Melt plain chocolate and peanut butter on the stove, throw in the oats and a bit of vanilla, then drop the sticky mixture onto a tray and let it cool in the fridge. 

Delicious summer eats have never been easier to come by. You can make beautiful memories with home-cooked meals without losing your sanity by using these four easy recipes in a pinch. 

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