Tonight, I set a cutting board with cheese and a little bowl of strawberries on our dinner table. I swear, the kids would have eaten it all, if I let them. Sometimes easy, no-fuss sides like this are the best treat of all — both for me, who threw it together in seconds, and for everyone eating it all.
This heat wave … well, it’s not as bad as the hurricanes of 2011 and 2012, or the epic snows of 2011 (was it 2011?), but it’s reaching that critical mass point where I think I might just melt (ha! and you thought only water could do that to me, right?). I’ve been tempted to turn the hose on myself just to get a little relief from the muggy, steamy temperatures.
And I don’t feel much like cooking either. Kind of goes with the territory.
So dinner? These days, it’s as simple and easy as we can muster. That means veggies and protein on the grill. Maybe a salad. And something to nibble on. Tonight it was a cheese board with some favorite cheddars and berries. These two sharp varieties come from the refrigerated dairy case, and are always a hit. Speaking of the refrigerated dairy case, it’s one of my favorite parts of the grocery store. It’s the part that I walk into and can practically breathe in the inspiration — from the endless possibilities found in the shredded, tubbed and block cheeses to the milks, creams, doughs, eggs and more.
The refrigerated dairy case speaks to me because it’s filled with simple, easy and often health-friendly foods. The kids and I often get yogurt drinks and already hard-cooked eggs, which make mealtime so easy (they’re also great in lunchboxes when school is in session). The hard-cooked eggs are great with sliced veggies and a little hummus for quick and easy lunches.
And the yogurt? It’s a great little snack or drink anytime.
I was recently asked by the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) to talk a little about how we use the goods in the refrigerated dairy case to make healthy, balanced meals. The answer is that we use them every day, every meal.
The NFRA is also working with chef and culinary expert, Aida Mollenkamp, to spread the word that there’s so much goodness to be had in their corner of the grocery store — and it can lead to many possibilities for every meal. You can check out the NFRA on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook too.
And hey, there’s also going to be a NFRA Twitter Party. It’s planned for Thursday, June 27 at 8 pm EST and is being hosted by @ResourcefulMom. For more details, or to RSVP for the Easy Home Meals Twitter Party, check out the announcement post on Resourceful Mommy.
Disclosure: I am being compensated by the the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) via Global Influence for this post. All opinions are my own.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.