Delightful summer dishes

Here are some easy, yet delicious suggestions to help your dinner keep up with the summer heat.

Curry Chicken (photo credit: Courtesy)
Curry Chicken
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The temperature is heating up and so are our appetites. These easy, yet  delicious suggestions don’t eliminate time spent in the kitchen but they certainly minimize it.

Easy Chicken Curry
Love this for a weeknight dinner. If you like kick, add a little more curry and a pinch of crushed chili peppers.
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
½ cup margarine
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon curry
4 cups nondairy creamer
2 packages chicken ramen noodles
Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown, about two minutes per side.
In a medium saucepan, melt margarine over low-medium heat. Whisk in flour, curry powder and two seasoning packets from the noodles. Stir until smooth. Gradually add creamer, whisking constantly until mixture is thickened. Add chicken and simmer briefly. 
Cook noodles according to package directions and drain. Pour chicken and sauce over noodles and serve.
Main Course Taco Salad
Serves 6 to 8
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound vegetarian ground round
1 envelope taco seasoning
Shredded lettuce
Chopped tomatoes
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (14-ounce) can sliced hearts of palm
4 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 (14-ounce) bottle Thousand Island dressing
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground round and taco seasoning. Cook, stirring constantly, until browned. Cool. 
In a large bowl, combine “meat” mixture with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, beans and hearts of palm. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Immediately before serving, stir in crushed tortilla chips and toss with the dressing.

Easy Meringue Chocolate Chip Bars
I get intimidated by the word “meringue” but these couldn’t be easier. Eat them outside on the patio – with tea or a cool drink.
½ cup (1 stick) margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 cup miniature marshmallows
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks.  On low speed, add the flour and baking powder.  Spread over bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts, marshmallows and chocolate chips.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Gently mix in brown sugar and carefully spread over top of batter. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden.  Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
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