Simple Summer Dinners


Summer is the time to pick orchard-fresh fruits and garden-crisp vegetables. It’s the time to soak up sun and splash in water. It’s not the time to spend all afternoon cooped up in the kitchen. Weavers offers several ways to simplify dinner preparations without skimping on taste or nutrition.  If you’re looking for side dishes to complement your grilled meats, the deli offers a variety of delicious salads. (My favorites are deli cole slaw, broccoli salad and creamy cucumber salad.)  And of course, summer corn is irresistible.  So maybe the boiling kettle will raise the kitchen temperature a bit—but corn on the cob needs to cook for only 3-5 minutes. And the joy of biting into those sweet, succulent kernels far outweighs the discomfort of a little more heat.  Plus, if you’re lucky enough to have a grill with a burner on the side, you can let the steam boil off into the evening air, far away from your kitchen!

Here are two more ideas for simple summer dinners.

Ginger Chicken Stir-fry and Asian Chicken Salad are tasty one-dish meals that are also low in calories.  What could be better than that? Weaver’s Fresh Vegetable Stir Fry provides the main ingredients for the first meal. By adding a few extras, you can enhance the flavors of the veggies and balance the meal with protein and whole grains. Use low-sodium soy sauce if you want to reduce the salt content.  If you’ve never used fresh ginger, here are some tips. And if you’d like to save time and energy, make the stir-fry one night, but cook 2 pounds of chicken. (When you fry the chicken, double the amount of oil, soy sauce, wine and ginger, and put the extra chicken in the fridge to serve cold with Asian salad tomorrow or the next night.)

Ginger Chicken Stir Fry
  • 1 cup brown rice (1 cup uncooked= 3 cups cooked rice)
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast
    For sautéing chicken:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (or ¼ teaspoon ground)
    For stir-frying veggies:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (1/8 teaspoon ground)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup cashews
  • Soy sauce as condiment
  1. Cut 1 pound boneless chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.  Sauté chicken in a large frying pan or wok with olive oil, soy sauce, white wine and finely grated ginger. Remove chicken when browned and fully cooked (5-10 min).
  2. Add to the frying pan: oil, minced garlic and ginger.  Pour fresh veggie mixture into the pan and stir-fry.
  3. Start cooking the brown rice. Boil 2 ½ cups water in a saucepan. Add 1 cup brown rice. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 40-50 minutes.
  4. Mix together: soy sauce, white wine and chicken broth. When veggies are crisp-tender, add cooked chicken and ½ cup cashews to vegetable mix. Pour soy sauce mixture over all and stir-fry for 1-2 more minutes, till flavors blend. Depending on the quantity of vegetables in the mixture, you may need to add a little water, or more soy sauce or broth.
  5. Serve with brown rice and extra soy sauce

Asian Chicken Salad
The Ginger-Garlic Dressing is mildly spicy. If this salad isn’t hearty enough to satisfy your family’s appetite, serve it with a loaf of whole grain bread and some savory brown rice. Just cook the rice according to above directions, but replace the water with chicken broth, and add 1 Tbsp butter, 1 tsp garlic and 1 Tbsp onion while it's cooking. And add more ginger if you like!
  • Two packages of Weaver’s Spring Mix
  • 1 small can of mandarin oranges, drained
  • ½ cup toasted, sliced almonds
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast, cooked according to above directions
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • Add ¼ cup olive oil
  1. Pour dressing into your favorite bottle. (I like to save decorative bottles with lids or corks to use for my own dressings.)
  2. To serve, mix lettuces, oranges, almonds and chicken together. Serve the dressing on the side.


, ,

Comments are closed.