I’ll be honest. In the summer, I just don’t feel like cooking. Maybe it’s the heat. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m working on other projects. Maybe I just don’t want to get out of the pool. Regardless of the reason (or excuse), I have a few summer supper solutions that keep the kids fed (and fed well), keep me relaxed in the pool, and keep me sane.
The first and probably most popular around my house is the almighty flatbread. Granted, flatbreads are nothing more than a glorified pizza, and maybe that’s why the kids (and my husband) love them so much. Either way, flatbreads make summer suppers so much easier.
Flatbread Tips and Suggestions to keep you sane
- Pizza Dough from your local supermarket or pizza shop. I’ve heard that some pizza restaurants will sell bags of dough, but I haven’t tried yet. Instead, my local Walmart and Publix Supermarket both sell bags of ready-to-use dough for around $1. Each bag of dough will make 4 flat breads and I never had to turn on the mixer.
- To use store bought pizza dough, let it come to room temperature before stretching it. Likewise, brush the edges with olive oil to make it brown better.
- Puff Pastry from the supermarket freezer section. I don’t actually know anyone who makes their own puff pastry, so I don’t feel the least bit guilty about buying a box. Each box of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry contains 2 sheets of puff pastry, and each sheet of pastry will make either 2 large flatbreads or 4 smaller flatbreads. This is also a easy way to make flatbreads a bit fancier for parties and get togethers.
- To use puff pastry, let the pastry thaw before unfolding it. Then, on a lightly floured surface, roll it out to increase it by 1 inch on all sides. Brush it with egg wash, and the pastry will brown beautifully.
- Naan, Wrap Bread, and Pitas from the supermarket bakery.
- While there is nothing that you have to do to use naan, I suggest brushing it with olive oil to help it brown and give it a little more flavor.
- Not all wrap bread is created equal, so pay attention to what you buy. Some of the low calorie wraps tend to get gummy. However, if you brown it a bit before you top it, gummy flatbreads can be avoided.
- Pitas are my go-to for breakfast flatbreads. Even after I bake it, I can fold it in half to eat it as I run out the door.
Flatbread Toppings to keep it interesting
- Forget the pepperoni. Seriously, don’t even buy it. Instead, give everyone other protein options like thick sliced turkey from the deli, a variety of sandwich meat, precooked bacon, shredded chicken, precooked sausage crumbles, leftover steak, and my husband’s favorite kielbasa sausage.
- Skip the sauce. Adding sauce to a flatbread instantly makes it a pizza and added another step to your summer supper prep. Instead, encourage everyone to try a drizzle of bbq or teriyaki sauce after the flatbread bakes. Other drizzles that we’ve tried and loved…balsamic vinegar reductions, apricot preserves melted in the microwave, honey mustard, ranch and blue cheese dressing.
- Experiment with veggies and fruits. Don’t limit the options to peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Instead, set up small bowls of different veggie and fruit choices to pique everyone’s interest. Why not try some avocado, halved cranberries, blueberries, peanuts, green olives, marinated artichoke hearts, fresh asparagus, shredded brussel sprouts, and even fresh chopped greens (arugula, kale, spinach, mustard).
- Reconsider the cheese choice. Shredded mozzarella cheese isn’t required. In fact, shredded cheese of any variety isn’t required. Instead, try crumbled feta or blue cheese, dollops of cream cheese or herbed soft cheese like Alouette, or even shards of Parmesan.
- Don’t forget the leftovers. The ultimate in summer laziness also doubles as a resourceful way to clean out the fridge. Before buying new ingredients, use what’s already on hand. We’ve used everything from leftover meatballs to leftover grilled veggies.