5 Tips for Summer Cooking

Summer is officially here! Louisa is sharing some of her best tips for cooking this season. After reading, I’m certainly inspired to whip something healthy up in the kitchen!
 5 Tips for Summer Cooking
Guest post by Living Lou
Summer is by far my favorite time to cook because of all the amazing, fresh produce. Local, seasonal produce packs a ton of flavor because it is picked when it’s ripe (instead of sitting in a factory or on a truck for days). This is the time of year to experiment with new flavors and try simple, fresh and flavorful recipes. Enjoy this produce out of hand and then turn it into a meal or dessert. 
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind for an exceptional summer filled with delicious eats. 
1. Head to the farmer’s market
Any cook will tell you that a great meal starts with high quality ingredients. Head to your local farmer’s market and take a look around. Not only will you find the most flavorful produce, but you might also pick up some dinner inspiration at the same time. 
2. No-cook challenge
Challenge yourself to try some no-cook recipes during the dog days of summer. Not only will it keep your space cool, but it will also challenge you to try new things. Whip up a delicious fresh salad like my Summer Salad or make use of a kettle to boil water for couscous salad or try your hand at making your favorite take-out fresh rolls. 
3. Use your slow cooker
Think a slow cooker is only meant for the winter? No way! It’s the perfect tool for summer cooking because it won’t heat up the kitchen and takes a lot of the stress out of feeding a crowd.Try my slow cooker chicken caesar salad sandwiches for a crowd-pleasing summer meal. 
4. Make a smoothie
Turn all that fresh produce from the farmer’s market into a filling and nutritious smoothie. I love to make green smoothies for breakfast and for a light lunch, especially if i’m on-the-go. Try experimenting with flavor pairings like ginger and kale, coconut milk and blueberries or strawberry and mint. 
5. Master homemade salad dressing
Salad dressing is the best way to up your salad game. Experiment with different oils, vinegars, spices and herbs and remember the golden ratio of acid (vinegar, lemon juice etc.) to oil is typically one part acid to three parts oil. Try a white balsamic vinaigrette for a refreshing and light dressing. 

For more healthy recipe inspiration, follow along on Twitter and Instagram

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White balsamic vinegrette is my favorite, especially during the summertime! I use a slightly different recipe, but whenever I make it for friends, they always complement how tasty it is. A super easy alternative to bottled dressing 🙂

Tori A.

I should definitely try the no-cooking challenge; it's entirely too hot in the South!

Tori A. from Prep For A Day

Ariana | Paris To Go

Ever since moving to Paris, I've done nothing but shop at the farmer's markets. I went into a grocery store recently and couldn't buy a thing- the produce looked so plain compared to the purple and yellow and green vegetables at the marché!

Ditto on the no-cook challenge, it's especially great in an apartment with no air conditioning 🙂

Jordyn Brown

I love that you're encouraging people to go to the farmer's market! As the daughter & wife of a farmer, I love that more people are taking advantage of our tasty and fresh ingredients & supporting our careers 🙂

xoxo, SS

The Southern Stylista