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The heat is on in Scottsdale and all over the Valley. When it’s hot enough to cook an egg on the sidewalk, and cookies on your dashboard, the last thing you want to do is heat up the house with the oven! Here are some ideas for Scottsdale summer cooking, even if you’re too busy to cook most of the time.

Option 1 – The Crock-Pot
The Crock-Pot , though invented in the 1950’s, didn’t make its way into most of our kitchens until the 1970’s. The concept is as simple as the cooking itself, and has changed very little in the last 40 years. There are numerous sites with Crock-Pot specific recipes, and nothing beats just chopping up an onion, and then setting a whole chicken in it. It’s easy because it does all the cooking while you’re away at work, or out at the pool. The best part is that it emits very little heat into your house or apartment making it the perfect summertime solution for a hot meal.

Option 2 – Salad
Salads don’t have to be simple or boring. Many salads today are hearty enough for a whole meal – even dinner! Skip the bowl, and experiment with different meats, cheeses, and veggie combos to make a salad even you meat and potatoes guys will love. Try Asian twists with cashews, chicken, and mandarin orange segments, or a balsamic salad with tomatoes, mozzarella, and spinach. Bacon is a welcome addition to any salad. No matter how you decide to serve it, it won’t heat the house up.

Option 3 – Antipasto
One of my favorite summertime go to dinners is an Antipasto plate. Just gather your favorite cold cuts, cheeses, olives, and berries from the deli. Arrange them with some fancy crackers or bread, and sprinkle some raw almonds in there. This makes for a light, healthy, and surprisingly filling dinner. Add in a glass or two of your favorite wine, and you’ll feel like you’re at a fancy wine bar without leaving the air conditioned comfort of your home.

Option 4 – Take Out
Of course, if none of these options appeal to you, and let’s face it, sometimes we’re just too tired, take out is an option. Whether you have it delivered, or brave the heat (and rush hour traffic) to pick it up from that casual family restaurant, it’s another easy choice that’s heat free.

These are the most satisfying ways to eat cool in the summer when temperatures make being a sous chef prohibitive. When the heat is on outside, make sure your house stays cool inside by trying many different variations using these options. What are some ways you make cool summer meals? Leave us a comment below.