As hot summer days roll in, it seems that our cravings change. Heavy meals simply don’t match the weather or the setting. That said, it’s only logical to shift your attention to light summer meals, perfect for both lunch and dinner. Fresh ingredients and salads won’t require you to stand next to the oven. What’s more, the best restaurants recognize a change of seasons as an added way to cater to their customers, which means that you can always ditch the cooking entirely and enjoy hot weather meals served to you. So, what would be the most ideal lunch and dinner dishes for hot weather?
Best Meals for Hot Days
Chicken Salad with Apples and Cranberries
If you’re looking for the best hot weather dinner ideas that will be both refreshing and hearty enough, why not make the delicious chicken salad with apples and cranberries? These ingredients go surprisingly well together. To add an extra crunch to the salad, you can also mix in some nuts. What’s more, you don’t even have to grill the chicken yourself if you want to avoid heat exposure; it’s simple enough to get a rotisserie chicken from the store. Ideally, serve this salad wrapped up in a tortilla or on lettuce leaves.
As one of the most popular dishes in Miami, it’s no wonder that ceviche is a great option to satiate your hunger on warm summer days. It’s also one of the staple dishes on the menu in tropical climates. After all, the dish doesn’t involve food processing as the fish is served raw with citrus juice, to provide the perfect blend of taste and refreshment. It’s often served with aji amarillo, leche de tigre, radish, jalapeno, and avocado when ordered at a restaurant.
Macaroni and Black Bean Salad
Those of you interested in light summer dinners suitable for a vegetarian diet will definitely love the macaroni and black bean salad. Even though the meal is refreshing and light, it also provides a healthy dose of protein that will keep you full for longer. What’s more, it’s simple enough to adjust this dish to a vegan diet as well by switching up the dressings; for instance, instead of mayo, you can use a vegan dressing of your choice. To further freshen up the salad, blend the flavors together with a touch of lime and cilantro.
A Peruvian twist to Japanese sashimi, tiradito is a great addition to light summer dinners with some added punch. Fish is served raw and chilled, cut into thin slices. And what makes this simple dish truly remarkable is the sauce that tops it all off, featuring citrus and chili. Garlic and ginger bring all the flavors together for a spicy yet rather refreshing bite during the hot summer weather. Tiradito is hearty enough to be consumed on its own, but serving it together with corn or sweet potato pairs surprisingly well, too.
Basic Deviled Eggs
If you’re looking for a quick solution for a light lunch, perfect to eat when the weather is hot, you really can’t go wrong with basic deviled eggs. This is also a rather nice and refreshing option when you feel like snacking in between meals as well. To make the basic deviled eggs more nutritious and delicious, serve them with red onion, fresh parsley, olives, chives, grape tomatoes, and/or cornichons. These are also an ideal dish to serve at intimate gatherings at home during the lazy summer evenings and afternoons as a quick and filling bite.
Shrimp and Watermelon Salad
Shrimp is a rather popular ingredient when it comes to light and fresh dishes for hot weather. And if you’ve never tried the shrimp and watermelon pairing, you’re seriously missing out. The seemingly strange pair at first actually provides an ideal mix of flavors to maintain the refreshing yet filling taste. The key to this meal’s success is the careful blend of every single ingredient, which typically includes poached pink shrimp, watermelon, basil, mint, arugula, cilantro, sesame seeds, lemongrass, jalapenos, and ice hot dressing.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
For more diversity in terms of fresh and filling hot weather meals without too much cooking on your part, it’s easy enough to fix up a colorful Mediterranean pasta salad. Essentially, all you need to cook is pasta. Then, you can mix the pasta with fresh tomatoes, arugula, olives, cucumber, and basil, and top it all off with some juicy feta cheese. Mix everything well with lemon-garlic vinaigrette and your tasty, fresh, healthy, and filling summer dish is done!
Tuna tartare is another well-loved dish when you’re looking for something light and refreshing when the weather is hot. If you want to make your tuna tartare on your own, make sure to get sushi-grade tuna from renowned sellers. You can always enjoy this meal at your favorite restaurant, as well. Tuna is used raw and fresh, chopped into tiny cubes. The most popular sauce it’s served with includes soy, ginger, and garlic, but you can always mix things up to better suit your palate if you’re making this dish at home. Tuna tartare at restaurants often comes with crispy chips to provide additional taste and texture for a nice and filling meal.
Creamy Potato Salad
Creamy potato salad is a great way to satiate your hunger and enjoy a chilled and refreshing flavor when you don’t feel like cooking or eating something heavy when the heat is at its peak. Mix in the capers, fresh tarragon, and Dijon mustard to create the ideal blend of flavors. And once that simple prep is done, all you have to do is leave the salad to chill for a couple of hours. This will also give the ingredients enough time to truly blend together into a superb taste parade.
Shrimp and Rice Salad with Peas and Celery
As mentioned, shrimp is a great ingredient for hot weather meals as it provides enough protein without being too heavy. To make a great lunch and/or dinner, you can simply mix cooked rice with shrimp and top everything off with some peas, celery, and bell pepper. Add mayo as a dressing, and your tasty salad is completed and ready to serve. This meal is perfect for getting your dose of healthy nutrients without having to spend too much time over the stove or near the oven.
A great part of enjoying your meals during the hot summer days is the overall setting and atmosphere for the dining time. If you can’t set things up in your own backyard or patio, you can always enjoy the beauty of an outdoor restaurant in Coconut Grove. That said, we at Glass and Vine restaurant will welcome you to the intimate secret garden by the bay where you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your meal to the fullest.
Experience a dazzling and diverse array of flavors and textures while you also get to soothe your senses and nerves, and maybe even share this moment with someone close to you. After all, Glass and Vine can be your escape from the hubbub and stress of daily life as we serve you the most delicious meals while surrounded by lush and beautiful nature.