Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Easy Dinner for Hot Day
I actually invented this dinner when we lived in AZ, and it was so hot so often that no one wanted to eat, and I sure as heck didn't want to cook a hot meal. I affectionately refer to it as Cold Plate, and it has now become almost a weekly staple in my house.
The basic idea for this is that you serve a bunch of cold foods; fresh fruits and veggies, lunch meat rolls, sliced cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and any leftovers you may have in the house that you need to get rid of. Diced chicken breast, pasta salad, green salad, etc. are all perfect Cold Plate ingredients. I also try to make it as colorful as possible (at one time actually arranging the food by color to replicate a rainbow, with cottage cheese clouds) which just makes it even more fun to eat. The benefits to Cold Plate are many:
1. You don't have to cook anything and can get dinner on the table in about 15 minutes.
2. Cold Plate is never the same twice, so people don't really get tired of it.
3. If you eat on paper plates there are also no dishes.
4. It's a good way to get your kids to try new fruits and veggies, especially if you serve stuff with a ranch, yogurt, or cream cheese dip.
5. There is almost never any whining when I tell the kids we are having Cold Plate for dinner. This in itself is enough reason for me to serve it at least three nights a week. No whining. Can you imagine?
6. It is versatile enough that even picky eaters can find something to munch on, although my kids don't have a lot of say because I "encourage" them to eat what I put on the plate.
This dinner is great for summer, allowing you to take advantage of warm weather by spending more time at the pool, beach, or playing outside with the kids. Or, in the case of my family, watch more TV. Bon apetite!