101 Menu Ideas for Summertime Meals

Cool Soba Noodle Salad, One of 101 Summertime Menu Ideas

Sometimes the hardest part of putting a meal together is just coming up with an idea of what to cook. Last fall I posted 101 menu ideas for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, and now I’m doing a warm weather version.  There are ideas for soups, appetizers, salads, main dishes, side dishes and desserts. There are already recipes on this blog for a few of these suggestions (marked**). For others, I will, when I’m able, put up recipes for those most requested (leave a comment to let me know which items you’d  want a recipe for). Just to get us started, here’s a recipe for a Cool Soba Noodle Salad…During the summers I lived in Japan when it was just too hot and humid to eat warm, cooked rice, cold soba noodles got me through. I’ve been enamored of them ever since.  Here’s my, only slightly California-ized, version.


(Makes two servings)

5 ounces dry soba noodles

1/2 of a medium carrot, julienned

1 cup sugar snap peas, stem ends snipped (or vegetable of choice)

1 tomato, cut into eighths

2 green onions, slivered on the diagonal

1/4 cup thinly cut toasted nori (buy this already sliced in packages in Asian markets)

For the Salad: Bring about 2 quarts of water to the boil in a generously sized pot.  When boiling, plunge the sugar snaps peas into the water for about a minute, then add the carrots for about 10 seconds.  Pull the peas and carrots out and rinse briefly under cold, running water, drain. Cook the soba noodles for 5 minutes, drain, run under cold water, drain and set aside. Make the dressing.

For the dressing: (This makes a lot more dressing than you will need, but it keeps in the fridge and is a tasty dressing to have on hand).

a 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup rice vinegar

6 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons rice syrup, honey or sweetener of choice

1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds (plus an extra tablespoon set aside)

a tiny sprinkle of red chili flakes– to taste (optional)

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender, blend thoroughly. Check and adjust seasoning.

In a roomy bowl, toss the soba noodles, peas,carrots and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds with about 6 tablespoons of dressing. Mound onto two serving plates or bowls.  Garnish with the tomato wedges, green onions and nori.



1. Corn-Potato-Veggie Chowder

2. Curried Spinach-Lentil Soup

3. Chilled Beet Borscht

4. Roasted Garlic Broth with Summer Greens

5. Garbanzos and Veggies in Garlic and Herb Broth with Pesto

6. Gazpacho with Herb Croutons

7. Bean Curd in Savory Broth with Bok Choy and Bean Sprouts

8. Tuscan Veggie-Cannellini Bean Soup

9. Puréed Carrot and Fennel

10. Chilled, Creamy Cucumber Soup

11. Thai Lemon Grass-Corn-Tomato-Coconut Soup

12. Sopa de Frijoles y  Nopales


13. Lentil Paté on Whole Wheat Toasts

14. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus

15. Baba Ghanouj with Pitas

16. Rye Bread with Smoked Tofu “Cheese”**


17. Roasted Beets with Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette

18. Cucumber-Wakame Salad

19. Udon Noodle-Corn-Veggie Salad with Sesame Dressing

20. Chinese Style Pickled Carrots, Daikon and Cucumber

21. Marinated French Lentil-Celery-Sun Dried Tomato Salad

22. Black-Eyed Peas, Rice, Cherry Tomato Salad with Basil Dressing

23. Sweet and Tart Cucumber Salad

24. Greek Salad (Romain, Olives, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Feta Cheese, etc.)

25. Red Cabbage Slaw with Pineapple

26. Marinated Cannellini Beans and Diced Raw Veggies with Mint Dressing

27. Brown Rice, Fresh Corn with Marinated, Diced Summer Squash

28. Crisp Greens with Toasted Sunflower Seeds and Raspberry Vinaigrette

29. Marinated Chick Peas, Bell Peppers and Fennel

30. Orange Sections, Julienned Jicama, Radish Slices, Radish Sprouts with Citrus Vinaigrette

31. Indian Cucumber, Tomato and Romaine Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette

32. Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes with Basil, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper

33. Couscous, Roasted Corn Kernels, Diced Summer Squash, Herb Vinaigrette

34. Roasted Cauliflower “Chicken” Salad**

35. Black Beans, Corn, Diced Bell Peppers, Cilantro, Lime Vinaigrette

36. Cool Soba Noodles and Veggies, Ginger-Soy Dressing**

37. Orzo and Roasted Summer Veggies with Toasted Pine Nuts

38. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


39. Provençale Onion and Olive Pizza

40. Moroccan Chickpea and Summer Vegetable Tagine**

41. Cuban Black Bean Stew with Cilantro-Onion-Corn Relish

42. Nori Maki Roll-ups with Sushi Rice, Marinated Tempeh, Veggies, Wasabi Mayo,  Ginger Pickles, etc

43. Tempeh-Wild Rice Burgers with Whole Wheat Buns

44. Baked Polenta with Creamy Corn Sauce

45. Pinto Bean-Roasted Cauliflower-Corn Tostadas with Guacamole and Salsa

46. Summer Veggie Okonomiyaki with Teriyaki Sauce**

47.Braised Tempeh and Green Beans with Thai Peanut Sauce

48. Lentil Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

49. Stir Fried Veggies over a Rice Noodle Cloud

50. Corn-Leek-Onion Tofu Frittata

51. Southern Succotash with Barbecued Seitan

52. Baked, Stuffed Zucchini with Fresh Tomato Sauce

53. Braised Tempeh with Potatoes and a Creamy Dill Sauce

54. Portobello Mushroom and Roasted Summer Veggie Polenta Pizza

55. Thai Yellow Curry with Tofu, Cauliflower and Peas

56. Chickpea-Veggie Cutlets with Tahini-Parsley Sauce

57. Mixed Veggies with Cumin-Scented Tomato Sauce and Basmati Rice

58. Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Saffron Tomato Sauce

59. Lentil-Veggie Burgers with Herbed Tomato Sauce


60. Baked Navy Beans with Apple Butter and Smoky Maple Barbecue Sauce

61. Summer Squash and Multi-Colored Bell Pepper Ragout

62. Bok Choy Stir Fried with Garlic, Mirin, Sesame Oil, Salt

63. Steamed Blue Lake Green Beans with Sweet and Tart Red Onion Dressing

64. Braised, Curried Cauliflower with Peas

65. Sugar Snap Peas Stir Fried with Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms and Ginger

66. French Potato Salad with Tarragon-Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing

67. Green Beans Stir Fried with Glazed Walnuts

68. Steamed Asparagus with Lemon and Olive Oil

69. Cabbage Sauté with Mustard Seeds and Coconut

70. Braised Collard Greens with Wild Mushrooms

71. Baby Summer Squash Medley with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Basil

72. Arame Sauté with Eda Mame, Lotus Root and Carrot

73. Balsamic-Glazed Roasted Summer Vegetable Medley

74. Carrots, Blanched then Pan Glazed with Olive Oil, Mirin, Lemon Juice, Salt and Pepper

75. Fresh Steamed Corn on the Cob with Sprinkle of Toasted, Lightly Salted, Ground Pumpkin Seeds

76. Braised Belgium Endive, (Browned Slightly in Olive Oil, Simmered in Veggie Stock)

77. Slow Cooked Okra and Tomato Stew

78. Balsamic-Glazed Roasted Half Onions

79. Mashed Potato-Celery Root (half and half)

80. Oven Roasted Sweet Potato “Fries”

81. Spinach Sauté with Garlic, Currants and Pine Nuts

82. Summer Squash and Herbs Baked in Parchment

83. Savory Tomato Cobbler


84. Granola Bars with Raisins and Nuts**

85. Melon Granita (melons diced, seeded, frozen, shaved)

86. Sweet Almond Milk Couscous with Slivered Almonds and Sliced Dried Figs

87.Coconut Dessert Soup

88. Apple Kanten with Fresh Berries

89. Strawberry Shortcake

90. Peach-Blackberry Crisp

91. Sweet Polenta with Grilled Fruit Topping

92. Santa Rosa Plum Tart

93. Sesame Custard with Fresh Fruit

95. Blueberry-Walnut Struesel Bars

96. Strawberry-Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

97. Chilled Melon and Summer Fruit Compote

98. Vanilla Pudding with Bananas and Toasted Almonds

99. Cinnamon Corn Cake with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

100. Zucchini Cake

101. Coconut Custard with Mango Sauce

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: