Fall may be just around the corner and the kids are back in school, but the warm weather is still here. Although I love cooking and eating take-out meals at home, when it’s hot out, it’s hard for me to get motivated to get into the kitchen.

Maybe you can relate? Heat tends to kill my appetite as well, and my preferences definitely lean toward crisp, fresh, crunchy, and vibrant foods and flavors.

Here are some dinner ideas that come together quickly, maximize the flavors of summer and are absolutely delicious anytime.

DIY salad tee

We’ve been experiencing this about once a week lately. It’s less of a recipe and more of a combination of your favorite, most satisfying ingredients in a salad, because a plain old bowl of lettuce doesn’t make a satisfying salad.

As a template for creating satisfying salads, try to cover all the macronutrient bases – including carbohydrates, protein and fat, as well as interesting and appetizing colors and textures, like chewy and crunchy.

Visit my blog How to Build a More Satisfying Salad for more salad ingredient ideas.

Ours is pretty simple and usually includes mixed greens, halved grape tomatoes, chopped baby carrots, garbanzo beans, and cressins for a little sweet chew and then topped with vinaigrette or honey mustard depending on my mood.

More “No Recipe Required” Dinner Options.

These are some other quick and easy options.

Black bean quesadilla: Whole-grain black bean rolls with spinach, feta, and thinly sliced ​​onions, or alternatively try pairing black beans with cheddar cheese, sliced ​​red peppers, and corn kernels. Serve with salsa, guacamole, and a drizzle of Buffalo Ranch dressing.

Breakfast for dinner: Anything goes here. Some options include a good scrambled or fried egg with toast and fruit, a breakfast sandwich on whole grain bread, or a frittata or quiche with a side salad.

macaroni: Chilled tortellini with red sauce and canned side salad.

Not a beef burger: Chicken, turkey, or fish burgers on a whole-wheat bun or English muffin topped with avocado and tomato with a side of potato chips or crumbles (one of our favorites).

Dinner doesn’t have to be complicated or fussy. Life is complicated enough, no need to add any of that to dinner time. Hopefully these give you some options to add to your “What’s for dinner?” library.

Anna Jones is a registered dietitian. Visit her website at annajonesrd.com.

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