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Beat the Summer Heat: Cool and Refreshing Recipes for Your Outdoor Kitchen

The sun is blazing, the birds are chirping, and the perfect weather for outdoor entertaining has arrived! But who wants to be stuck in a hot kitchen when the fun is happening outside? This summer, ditch the indoor stove and fire up your outdoor kitchen with these cool and refreshing recipes that are guaranteed to beat the heat.

Main Courses that Keep You Cool:

  • Grilled Gazpacho: Take a break from the traditional tomato-based version and try a chilled watermelon gazpacho. Simply blend seedless watermelon, cucumber, red onion, lime juice, and a touch of olive oil for a light and vibrant soup perfect for a hot day. Serve it with grilled shrimp/prawns or a dollop of fresh feta cheese for added protein.

  • Cedar Plank Salmon with Herb Butter: This recipe is as easy as it is impressive. Cedar planks impart a subtle smoky flavour to the salmon while keeping it moist. Whip up a cool herb butter with fresh dill, parsley, and chives, and slather it over the salmon before grilling.
  • Asian Noodle Salad: Toss together chilled rice noodles, shredded vegetables like carrots, peppers, and cucumbers, and a light peanut dressing. This dish is endlessly customisable, so add in cooked chicken, tofu, or prawns for extra protein.

Sides that Sizzle (Without the Heat):

  • Marinated Veggie Skewers: Grill colourful vegetables like zucchini, peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes on skewers for a delightful side dish. Marinate them beforehand in a simple mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Italian herbs for added flavour.
  • Three-Bean Salad: This classic summer side dish is refreshing and packed with protein. Combine kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, chopped corn, red onion, and a light vinaigrette for a flavourful and satisfying accompaniment to any grilled dish.
  • Creamy Coleslaw: A cool and crunchy coleslaw is a must-have at any summer cookout. Use a pre-shredded cabbage mix or thinly slice your own green or purple cabbage. Toss it with a creamy dressing made with mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, and a hint of apple cider vinegar.

Desserts that Don't Disappoint:

  • Grilled Fruit Skewers: Thread pineapple chunks, banana slices, and fresh berries onto skewers and grill them for a warm and delicious dessert. Serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of honey for extra decadence.
  • No-Churn Mango Ice Cream: This easy recipe requires no ice cream maker! Simply blend frozen mango chunks, coconut milk, lime juice, and a touch of honey for a creamy and refreshing treat that will cool you down on a hot day.

Bonus Tip:

Don't forget the drinks! Keep the fridge stocked with refreshing beverages like iced tea, homemade lemonade, or sparkling water with fresh fruit slices.

With these recipes in your arsenal, you can enjoy the beautiful summer weather without sacrificing a delicious meal. So fire up your grill, grab your favourite people, and create lasting memories with refreshing food and good company!