January 2023 Food Champions Challenge: Best Summer Meals

The heat of the Australian summer can sap our energy, the last thing we feel like doing is staying in a hot kitchen to cook hot meals. We need simple, tasty, lazy meals to help us keep cool during hot days.

For a chance to be awarded a Food Challenge Badge, please vote and post below your suggestions, tricks and tips for summer meals.

  • Go cold (noodle or rice salads with shredded veggies)
  • Go raw (unprocessed- uncooked food, fruit, nuts, vegetables)
  • Use appliances that cook quickly and release little or no heat (pressure cooker, microwave)
  • Cook on the bbq
  • Other

0 voters

Big Thank You to all participants of the December 2022 Food Champions Challenge.
Congrats to: @wraith_oz @sydneydowers @kpa26287
@Grub @maggie1 @Bubblinky @Oldfield
You have been awarded a Food Champions Badge for your profile.

Peter @phb Mike @vax2000 and Gaby @Gaby would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

7 Likes

I suppose I should select ‘Other’ in the Poll because today, a day of 36 degrees Celsius in Melbourne, I had lunch at a friend’s place. They did the cooking!:laughing:

I guess if I had stayed home, lunch would have been a green salad, soft cheese, nuts and a few of the chocolates I’ve been squirrelling away for the past few weeks :laughing:

Fortunately tomorrow the temperature will come down and there’s a 90% chance of rain. And Tuesday the max will be 19 degrees Celsius. So I’ll be able to get into the kitchen and cook a hot meal :joy::rofl:

5 Likes

Prepare/cook what you want - it’s food - so what if the house heats up a bit, the joy of a nice meal more than accounts for it :wink:

5 Likes

Definitely in the “other” camp.

Modern RC air conditioning plus solar PV provides relief when the temperatures hit either extreme. Some food is best enjoyed cool (oysters, most salads, etc), some just warm (fresh bread rolls) and some steaming hot. Spoilt for choice if one is ready to cook.

There are only so many ways to prepare a steak uncooked. There are risks.
foodsafety.asn.au Aussies taking a food safety risk by eating raw or rare meat - don’t be raw and risky this Australian Food Safety Week - foodsafety.asn.au

1 Like

It is an individual choice whether we eat raw meat and fish, but there’s many diverse ways of preparing the dishes. Just to name a few: think of Carpaccio (beef, veal, venison) thinly sliced and served with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, a drizzle of Evoo and a little vinegar or lemon juice.
Or Steak Tartare, raw ground beef with flavours including pickled veggies.

Or the Latin American Ceviche: raw fish cured in citrus juice, mixed with sliced red onions and spices.

Or Sushi: raw salmon (or tuna) and rice wrapped in nori.

Or a Tuna sandwich :laughing:

2 Likes

I’m a big fan of 3 of the 4 options. I prefer my Tuna lightly seared on the outside, and fresh inside.
Beef Carpaccio, Steak Tartare, or an expertly prepared Sashimi Wagyu are all great options.

I can suggest a few more but for a family meal it’s always best to find the middle ground.

P.S.
There may be a useful future topic on how to safely select, transport, store and prepare raw meat for any of the above.

If I find a good Lebanese restaurant I am likely to order kibbeh nayeh. Some eat with enjoyment and then wonder when they find out what it is. Life is education.

1 Like

Certain names for dishes require
translation :laughing:
kibbeh (patties) nayeh (raw), a popular Lebanese appetiser made of raw lamb or beef meat mixed with onions and grains and formed into balls.

1 Like

As with any raw protein dish you need to trust the food handling skills of the restaurant, or better DIY. Minced and handled meat in particular need special attention to be safe. If wanting to try it yourself; the meat must remain cold until served, everything (including your hands) must be scrupulously clean and you eat it the day it is made or cook it.

1 Like

Yes indeed.

My go to on hot days is either a rice or pasta salad . Easy to prepare and the preparation lends itself to many vegetables to suit ones taste .

4 Likes

The slow cooker is a great option during the heat of summer.

5 Likes

Yes, it’s all food but, like different cooking methods, some foods are more appropriate to a certain season/temperature than others.
i.e. In a cold wintry night (and we have our share of those in Vic.) hot soup warms up my kitchen as it cooks and also warms me up with every spoonful I enjoy from my steaming hot bowl.
OTOH on a hot day a bowl of Ice cream just out of the freezer keeps me cool but it doesn’t add to the temperature in my kitchen.

1 Like

Can add to other things. :wink:

We could also look to a Nobel Prize winning Physicist for ways to reduce the thermal gradient at the cooktop and still enjoy our favourite pasta. Originally intended to save energy and cost it is equally useful in a hot climate.

For those who can prepare ahead and wait patiently it’s also possible to save money, energy and heat in the kitchen with the daily coffee. Nobel Prize expertise not required.

P.S.
I’ve only a slight addiction to cold drip coffee. The Capsule style coffee machines are very efficient compared to boiling a kettle for tea or instant. I can’t relate to the second as being coffee, any more.

2 Likes

Already mentioned that trick on a saving energy post and was accused of pulling legs :joy:

3 Likes
4 Likes

Today is a very hot day in Melbourne with temperatures in the high 30’s, and will stay in the mid 20’s during the night. But, not to worry, tomorrow will be a lot cooler. That’s Melbourne!

To keep myself and my kitchen cool I’ve gone ‘cold’ for my lunch: a chickpea salad dressed with mayo, and a few slices of mozzarella cheese.

As it shows from the poll ‘Appliances’ lead the way but there’s also a biggish selection of ‘Other’. I feel I have failed to offer a wide enough selection on the poll, and I’m curious about what exactly it is that many of you do to keep things cool in your kitchen? So I hope you don’t mind if I ask you to, please, share it with us? :slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face:

3 Likes

or vice-versa - gazpacho ! :slight_smile:

I run the swampy ! It’s usually very dry here so they work really well even well into the 40’s, which is common here in summer. As for foods, I really do just cook what I have a hankering for - a roast when it’s 42 in the shade? why not ! :rofl: I understand thats not to everyones liking though …

1 Like

As you reiterate, very hot weather doesn’t bother you when cooking or when eating, and that’s understandable as you have acclimatised to the weather conditions you live in.
I apologise for the topic of my challenge being irrelevant to you and possibly to others too.