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Wellness Wednesday

5 Summer Recipes That Don’t Require Preheating Your Oven

spiced stuffed peaches with chickpeas

DOMINIC PERRI FOR TOPS CLUB INC.

Last week I had the not-so-bright idea to slow cook chicken drumsticks in the oven for two and a half hours. I figured since they were only cooking at 250°F, the house wouldn’t get too overheated. I was wrong. And I felt guilty about wasting energy since our air conditioner ran nonstop. When the temps keep climbing and the humidity feels like it’s wrapping you in a wet blanket, the last thing you want to do is fire up the oven. Well, maybe I should say the last thing you should do is fire up the oven (my frozen pizza cravings don’t take a break just because it’s hot, after all). To keep your taste buds happy without breaking a sweat, check out these five TOPS recipes:

Spiced Stuffed Peaches With Chickpeas – Peaches aren’t just for pies. Make them the spotlight of your next meal with this fresh and delicious entrée.

Steamed Zucchini Ribbons With Couscous and Tomato-Corn Salsa – This name is a mouthful but I promise it’s a tasty one. Plus, here in the Midwest, it’s zucchini, and corn and (almost) tomato season!

Melon Soup – Few healthy foods feel more summery than a ripe, juicy cantaloupe. And this fruity take on gazpacho with cantaloupe as the star of the show hits the spot. Give it a whirl yourself and see what you think. You may even want to impress your foodie friends by posting a picture of your chilled creation on Instagram. #Yum.

Warm Steak Salad With Cherries and Corn – If you can, try grilling your steak instead of using a pan for this perfect pairing of protein and produce.

Mini Strawberry Parfait – Okay, so obviously no parfait in the history of parfaits has ever required preheating an oven. But I just couldn’t feature recipes without including dessert. And I couldn’t showcase summer recipes without mentioning strawberries. Crumbled graham crackers and creamy yogurt combined with freshly sliced strawberries make for a trio of deliciousness.

As for the chicken drumsticks, I’ll be filing these with my “save-for-winter” recipes. It’s just not worth raising my energy bill and irritating my husband. If you happen to try any of the above dishes, please let me know what you think!

Stay cool, TOPS friends.

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