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Easy Summer Meals For Busy Parents

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james weiselman schulman chef daddy

James Weiselman Schulman CHEF DADDY

The summer could not be a better time for easy meal preparation for the busy parent. It’s hot out, so no one wants to turn on the oven and the fresh produce is abundant.

Take advantage…

Salads are always a great way to enjoy the freshest produce. And no one says that they have to contain lettuce, either. Beans, nuts, fruit and dried fruit, all add texture and flavor. Looking for some protein – toss in some cheese, nuts, or edamame. You want some crunch – try seeds like sesame, pepitas (pumpkin), or sunflower.

Maybe you have some leftovers from the weekend grilling – what better place than into the salad. Toss grilled corn and onion with black beans and a squeeze of lime and you have a great quick Mexican salad.

Or for the really lazy, slice a variety of tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with oil. That’s it. Couldn’t be simpler. Add some crusty bread, cheese, and a glass of wine and you have a great summer dinner.

Another great option is cold soups. They couldn’t be simpler to make either. The red variety of gazpacho is by far the most popular, only takes minutes to prepare, and does well made ahead of time. Make a batch on the weekend after a visit to the farmers’ market and you’ll have it at the ready for a couple of days. In a blender, mix tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and bell peppers. Add oil and vinegar and salt and pepper to taste and thin with water. You can also toss in a piece of day-old bread that’s been soaked in water. In true Spanish fashion, drink it out of a glass served over ice.

Or, one of the favorite versions around our house is a green one that uses avocados instead of tomatoes.

Summer is also the best time of year for all the yummy fruits the kids love, from cherries to blueberries to peaches. Make sure to finish every meal with some. Not only are they better for you than most other desserts, many are mostly water (think watermelon), which the kids will need after running around all day in the hot sun.

Got a question for Chef Daddy? Ask in the comment section below and he’ll answer in an upcoming post.

For more from James, check out his own blog at:, follow him on twitter @jamesschulman, and find his other Chef Daddy posts at


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