When the weather gets hot, I rarely feel like cooking a meal. I want to be able to reach into my refrigerator for something that will cool me off and fill me up. Our August recipe of the month is Cool Cucumber Salad and it is a cool recipe for a hot summer day.
The base for this recipe is chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. Stir in some feta cheese, oil, lemon juice, and ground black pepper and you have a side dish or a whole meal. I like to let this salad cool in the refrigerator for a few hours before eating it to let the flavors come together. I also tend to have more cucumbers than the recipe calls for, so I double or triple this recipe depending on how many cucumbers I have. This recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
The three vegetables in this recipe are currently in season so they are plentiful in gardens, farmers markets, and stores. If you have a lot of any of these vegetables, check out our produce basics below for information on how to store, clean, and use them.
Do not forget about potatoes when you are looking for a healthy and cheap meal that will fill you up. I especially like baked and roasted potatoes and try to cook extra so I have a good start for another meal later in the week.
This month’s featured recipe is Loaded Potato Soup. When you use already-cooked potatoes, you can have this soup on the table in less than 15 minutes. The recipe calls for peas, but you can substitute other frozen vegetables such as corn, broccoli or mixed vegetables.
The key to this soup and other great potatoes is to BAKE them. Do not steam them by wrapping them in foil to bake in the oven or paper towels in the microwave. Check out our video for step by step directions for the Best Baked Potatoes.
The Healthy Hash Browns recipe calls for Best Baked Potatoes, because one secret to great hash browns is starting with great baked potatoes. We do this by baking the potatoes, unwrapped, at a high temperature. (Save the foil for another recipe!)
You can keep baked potatoes for up to three days. Make sure you let them cool, then place them in a plastic bag and refrigerate. (If you put them in hot, they will sweat in the bag. Soggy is not good. Dry is not either, so do use the bag.)
TIP – Keep baked potatoes in mind when you already have your oven heated to 425°F. You’ll save energy if you do not heat your oven just for the potatoes.
In fact, you can do even more than make hash browns with your extra baked potatoes…
Add to scrambled eggs with some diced ham and fresh spinach for a yummy egg dish