Summer Meals: It’s Chef Jess

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By Jessica Rodriguez

Summertime…the days when we lose track of time at the pool, it’s too hot to cook, and frankly, we would rather just sit on the back porch with an ice cold tea than stand in the kitchen over a hot stove.

While meal planning is helpful, hav- ing a few staple items in the refrig- erator can save the day when six o’clock rolls around and the thought of dinner has not crossed our minds.

A favorite around my house? Salad. Specifically, the “Strawberry Fields” salad as it has so lovingly been named. Fresh spinach, beautifully red strawberries, crum- bled feta cheese, sweet red onion, and if you are feeling dangerous, glazed pecans. Lightly dress with a balsamic vinaigrette, store-bought or homemade, and you have yourself a refreshing no-cook dinner in no time at all.

On the flip side, summertime has the grill begging to be fired up. One word comes to my mind- Kabobs! As if we needed an excuse to com- bine the two. Sweet and savory grill creations are one of my all time favorite combos. Fresh chicken mar- inated in a ginger/soy dressing, juicy pineapple chunks, diced red onion and green bell peppers. BAM! Su- per easy assembly, quick cook time, and delicious outcome all fit my cri- teria for a summertime grillfest! Just don’t forget to soak the skewers pre-grill! I hope you all get a chance to try some of my favorites this Sum- mer!

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