Happy first day of summer!
I’m not a fan of hazy, hot and humid summer weather but what I do look forward to this time of year is the bounty of delicious, nutritious, fresh foods. There’s no easier time to eat healthy than in June, July and August. Not only are fresh, healthy foods affordable and in ample supply, but the hot weather urges us to forgo the oven and stovetop to consume foods in their most nutritious raw or minimally cooked forms.
So what follows is a sampling of some of my favorite super-easy summery recipes.
- 1/2 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup in-season fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- 1/4 cup low-sugar granola or whole grain cold cereal
- 1/4 cup fresh, pitted Bing cherries
For a quick breakfast, mix together in a cereal bowl and enjoy. But, if you have extra time, make it look like an indulgent breakfast sundae using a glass goblet and layer: 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup berries, 1/8 cup granola/cereal, remaining yogurt, berries, granola/cereal and top with fresh cherries.
- One small tomato, sliced thin
- Fresh basil
- Fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
- Extra virgin olive oil (1 Tblsp) & balsamic vinegar (1/2 Tblsp)
- 1/2 slice of 100% whole wheat pita
Arrange tomato slices in a single layer on a plate, drizzle lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top each tomato slice with one leaf of basil and 1/2 slice of mozzarella. It’s a knife and fork lunch with pita bread on the side. Be sure to save a bite of pita to mop up the leftover oil, vinegar and tomato juices on the plate. (Had this for lunch today – so delicious!)
- 1 cup watermelon cubes
- 2 oz aged, block parmesan cheese, shaved with vegetable peeler
- Aged balsamic vinegar (1/2 Tblsp)
No, this isn’t a typo. When watermelon is at its sweetest, there is nothing better than pairing it with the salty sharpness of quality parmesan and the sweet acidity of a good, aged balsamic.
- 100% whole wheat rotini pasta, 12 oz
- 1 small eggplant, sliced thin
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
- 2 yellow or orange peppers, halved & cleaned
- 1 red onion, sliced vertically
- Balsamic vinaigrette, approx. 1 cup
- Salmon fillet, 1 lb
Make ahead: Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and rinse with cold water. Season vegetables with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and grill (or roast in oven at 400 degrees). Allow vegetables to cool and cut into bite sized pieces. Toss together pasta, vegetables and balsamic vinaigrette. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Just before serving: Season salmon with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and grill. Portion into four, 4 oz pieces and serve over 1 cup of cold pasta salad.
- Fresh peaches, sliced into wedges (one small peach per person)
- Small madeleines
- Heavy cream, 1 cup
- Pinch of confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
Pour cream into a chilled mixing bowl, add sugar and zest. Whip with mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Serve sliced peaches over two small (or one large) madeleines, top with a dollop of whipped cream.
For more depth of flavor, grill peaches to caramelize the natural sugars and add a slight smokiness. Serve warm.