If you’re like me, you’re likely not in the mood for yet another BBQ with friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trashing our healthy, carnivorous culture, but instead, I’m offering a slightly more refined option for dinner.
Yes, there are plenty of wonderful restaurants around where you can enjoy sundowners, followed by supper – but it would be even more wonderful to pull together an inexpensive meal you and your friends can enjoy as part of a picnic on the lawn, while the men watch the Super Bowl?
Here is an idea for a light summer supper.
Starter: Mini Caprese Salad
Halved baby tomatoes
Basil, cilantro, rocket
Cubed mozzarella cheese or crumbled feta
Salt and pepper to taste
In a wine glass, small dessert ramekin, or Styrofoam cup: Add the basil, cilantro, and rocket, then the baby tomatoes, and finally the mozzarella or feta cheese. Dress with olive oil, basil pesto, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a spoon.
Mains: Chicken and Veg
You’ve gotten a nice dose of vitamins with your starter, now it’s time to wow them with the main meal. Of course you don’t want anything too heavy or rich, so a simple meal with chicken is the perfect balance.
Skinned and deboned chicken
Optional: Lemon juice, ginger, herbs
Cook your chicken for 30 – 50 minutes (oven temperatures vary). While the chicken is cooking, peel and de-pip your butternut, then place in boiling water for around 30 – 40 minutes. Once the chicken is almost done, throw in the corn, mixed peppers, spinach, and garlic, stirring constantly so nothing burns. Drain the butternut, cube it once it cools, and then add it to the plates. Remove the chicken mixture from the heat and serve over the butternut.
Optional: Dribble lemon juice over the top of the meal, along with some grated ginger to give the food an oriental flavour. Sprinkle a pinch of mixed herbs over the top to act as a garnish.
Finish your night off with a simple berry and cream dessert to keep things light and airy.
Wash and de-stem your fruit. Place them in the dessert bowls. Mix a tablespoon of maple syrup and pouring cream together (this will add some sweetness to very fresh, tart berries). Pour the cream-and-maple mixture over the fruits, and serve.
Great Side Dishes to Try
Optionally, skip the main meal entirely and consider doing a variety of side dishes to mix things up a bit. This way, if you have vegetarian friends, they can enjoy everything without having to worry about needing a third helping of your picture-perfect but rather bland (by their taste), salad:
- Asparagus and garlic tossed with butter and sliced onions – serve in a shallow bowl
- Pasta with cheddar cheese, tomato sauce, and mixed herbs – tastes just like pizza
- Corn, peas, carrots, onion, and broccoli stir fry – some healthy veggies
- Creamed spinach (mix spinach with cream cheese and a bit of milk) – adding bacon is optional
- Grated carrots, celery, and mixed peppers, served with a creamy ranch sauce – a “no fuss” salad
- Potato salad – a summer staple
- Can of sweet corn mixed with grated parmesan cheese – creamy and delicious
- Fried mushrooms with onion or garlic – always a winner
- Avo, tomato, and onion chopped and mixed with cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper – serve with Doritos or Nacho chips
- Roasted and sliced red peppers filled with ham, onion, and cheese
Author Bio: Roseanna McBain is a writer for TravelGround. She enjoys creating fresh, healthy meals and inviting friends around to partake in them, when she’s not out exploring Cape Town.