Growing up, the house I lived in with my mom had central air conditioning so I never really minded summer because I always knew no matter how hot it got outside, I could always cool off inside. However, since coming to university and living in an apartment on my own that does not have air conditioning, I am finding summer less enjoyable than before. The hardest part I’ve noticed about living without air conditioning is trying to cook healthy meals without using my oven, the last thing I want to do right now is turn on my oven and make my apartment even hotter. Luckily, I have taken to Google and found tons of tips and tricks to ensure I can eat healthy and delicious meals this summer without turning my apartment into a sauna.
First of all, it is important to try and utilize other means of cooking as much as possible. My new favourite way to prepare meals is with my slow cooker. Slow cookers are amazing because not only do they cook full meals without making your entire kitchen hot, but you can also find them for a good price at Walmart or even second-hand at Value Village, and they require little to no supervision. Once you put all your ingredients in and set it to the right temperature you can leave a slow cooker unattended for hours! Giving you free time to do anything else you might have planned for the day. Right now, my three favourite slow cooker meals are ‘Slow Cooker Irish Oats’, ‘Slow Cooker Pesto Mozzarella Pasta’, and ‘Slow Cooker Lo Mein’. The great thing about these meals, along with most slow cooker recipes is depending on the size of your slow cooker you can make a whole bunch of it and then just store it in your fridge and reheat it in the microwave as needed. I like to make a big batch of the Irish Oats on a Sunday and that way I have breakfast prepared for the whole week and I don’t have to stress in the mornings.
Another great thing I’ve learned from Google is how many recipes exist that don’t involve any kind of heat cooking. I used to just eat cereal or sandwiches when I didn’t want to cook with heat but now, I’ve majorly expanded my repertoire. Three of my favourite heatless recipes I’ve found so far are ‘Chickpea Avocado Tacos’, ‘No Noodle Pad Thai’, and ‘Orzo and Shrimp Salad with Lemon Dressing’. Since these meals don’t need to be cooked or heated, they’re perfect for packing and bringing to school as lunch. Plus, they’re much healthier and cheaper than anything you can find in a school cafeteria. I’ve included the links to all of these recipes down below. Stay cool this summer!
- Chickpea Avocado Tacos
- No Noodle Pad Thai
- Shrimp Orzo Salad
- Slow Cooker Pesto Mozzarella Chicken Pasta
- Slow Cooker Lo Mein
- Slow Cooker Irish Oats
-Andrew Rowat, Food Resource Centre Assistant