A Cool Southwestern Dinner for Hot Summer Nights

For warm late spring days, this Southwestern menu is weighty on vegetables (however not totally vegan). It begins with a chilled poblano soup, which might pack a little fiery intensity yet will keep you cool. The principal course is a barbecued chicken plate of mixed greens that extends a little chicken quite far to keep things light and invigorating. At long last, for dessert, enjoy a frozen interpretation of key lime pie: a no-heat frozen lime terrine shot through with dulce de leche.

Menu Timeline

Up to Two Days Ahead

⦁ Make the poblano soup.
One Day Ahead
⦁ Make the lime terrine.
⦁ Fry the tortilla strips for the poblano soup.
40 Minutes Ahead
⦁ Make the grilled chicken salad.

A Cool Southwestern Dinner for Hot Summer Nights

2ND METHOD OF Healthy Summer Dinner Recipes on the Grill

⦁ Looking for dinner ideas for hot summer nights? These healthy no-oven dinner recipes are perfect when you don’t want to heat up the house!
⦁ I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with summer cooking.
⦁ I LOVE all of the fresh summer produce. Nothing beats our local Texas peaches, ripe berries and beautiful summer squash.
⦁ On the other hand, I live in Texas and it is HOT. In the height of summer, I pretty much avoid turning on the oven at all costs. Over the years I’ve come up with some strategies for putting together simple summer meals that won’t heat up our entire house.
⦁ I love using the grill for this, but also mix in some lighter slow cooker or instant pot meals and some recipes that simply require little to no heat.
⦁ I hope this list helps the next time a heat wave hits your hometown!
⦁ Healthy Summer Dinner Recipes on the Grill
⦁ The grill is one of my favorite cooking methods for summer for a few different reasons.
⦁ First is the obvious reason that it doesn’t heat up the house. If you want some cooked protein but don’t want to turn on your oven, the grill is perfect.
⦁ Second, the grill naturally imparts so much delicious smoky flavor, it allows you to keep recipes super simple.
⦁ Third, the grill is perfect for batching. If you’re grilling chicken one night, throw on some extra for healthy lunches throughout the week. Or throw on some summer veggies tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper for the perfect summer side.
⦁ If you’re new to grilling, check out my beginner tips and my guide to how to clean a grill.

A Cool Southwestern Dinner for Hot Summer Nights

FAQ A Cool Southwestern Dinner for Hot Summer Nights

Q: What is a Cool Southwestern Dinner for Hot Summer Nights?

A: A Cool Southwestern Dinner for Hot Summer Nights refers to a refreshing and flavorful meal inspired by Southwestern cuisine, which incorporates ingredients and flavors commonly found in the American Southwest. It typically includes light and cooling dishes that are suitable for hot summer evenings.

Q: How can I prepare a Cool Southwestern Dinner for Hot Summer Nights?

A: Here’s a general guide on preparing a Cool Southwestern Dinner for Hot Summer Nights:

  1. Start with a refreshing salad. Prepare a Southwestern-inspired salad with mixed greens, diced tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, corn kernels, black beans, and avocado. You can add a tangy dressing made from lime juice, olive oil, cumin, and a touch of honey for sweetness.
  2. Serve chilled gazpacho soup. Gazpacho is a cold tomato-based soup that originates from Spain but has become popular in Southwestern cuisine. Blend together ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, garlic, onion, olive oil, vinegar, and seasonings like cumin and cilantro. Chill the gazpacho for a few hours before serving.
  3. Make chilled shrimp or chicken tacos. Grill or cook shrimp or chicken with Southwestern spices like cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Once cooked, let them cool, then assemble them in soft tortillas with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. For added freshness, top with a dollop of tangy sour cream or a drizzle of spicy salsa.
  4. Prepare a refreshing corn and black bean salad. Combine cooked corn kernels, black beans, diced red onions, diced bell peppers, chopped cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and salt. Toss everything together and let it chill in the refrigerator before serving. This salad can be enjoyed as a side dish or a topping for tacos.
  5. Offer a side of fresh fruit salsa. Dice a variety of fresh fruits like mangoes, pineapples, and strawberries. Mix them with finely chopped jalapeños, red onions, cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Allow the flavors to meld together in the refrigerator for a short while before serving. This fruity salsa pairs well with grilled meats or as a topping for tacos or salads.
  6. Serve refreshing beverages. Offer guests a choice of iced tea, fruity agua fresca, or a classic margarita with a twist, such as a watermelon or mango margarita. Make sure to have plenty of ice to keep the drinks cool.

Q: Can I make these dishes ahead of time?

A: Yes, many of these dishes can be prepared ahead of time. You can make the salad dressings, corn and black bean salad, and fruit salsa a few hours in advance and refrigerate them. The gazpacho soup can be made a day in advance, allowing the flavors to meld overnight. When it comes to tacos, grill the shrimp or chicken in advance, chill them, and assemble the tacos just before serving to maintain their freshness.

Q: Can I make vegetarian or vegan versions of these dishes?

A: Absolutely! Many of these dishes can easily be adapted to vegetarian or vegan preferences. For the tacos, you can use grilled vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms as a filling. Instead of shrimp or chicken, you can use tofu, tempeh, or plant-based meat substitutes marinated in Southwestern spices. For the dressings and sauces, use vegan-friendly ingredients, such as plant-based mayonnaise or sour cream alternatives and agave nectar instead of honey.

Q: Are there any other Cool Southwestern dishes I can include?

A: Yes, there are many other dishes you can include. Some

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