Before walking away from the idea that eating spicy food in hot weather actually helps keep you cool, at least give it a try. A traditional Jerk-style marinade works on everything from turkey to tofu. In our house we like boneless, skinless chicken thighs (used in most of the recipe links below), but substitute whatever suits you and your people. Most preparations call for at least two hours’ worth of marinating time. The longer the better, for sure, but on a busy weeknight sometimes 30 minutes just has to work.
Love to Cook: These Jerk Chicken Bites and these Caribbean Chicken & Pineapple Kebabs are variations on the same theme; although the list of ingredients for the marinade is long in both recipes, the actual preparation is pretty simple. For a cool companion dish, try a salad with this no-oil/no-cream avocado-citrus dressing.
Weeknight Reality: Ok, so the marinade’s the thing. This version, prepared in a blender, can be used to marinate and coat whatever protein you pick. Again, the longer the marinating time, the richer the flavor. For the salad, toss chopped avocado and fresh greens in a lime-cilantro dressing like this one.
Need a Miracle: Your go-to miracle dinner, the rotisserie chicken, to the rescue: toss shredded chicken in some bottled sauce and served atop a green salad with fresh avocado slices.