All anyone really wants to do during the summer is the warm weather activities, family events and travel. That’s why we collected these simple, delicious and sometimes even healthy recipes to help you take advantage of summer’s delicious bounty without breaking a sweat or missing any of the fun.
From Jamie Dement, author of The Farmhouse Chef: Recipes and Stories from My Carolina Farm
- Unbaked pie crust
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes (different varieties)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil and oregano
- ½ lb of fresh mozzarella
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 375º. Cover pie pan with a basic butter pastry. Use a fork to poke a few holes in the crust, then cover with parchment paper and pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Slice the tomatoes and arrange them in the pie dough in a single, even layer. Drizzle the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle the chopped fresh herbs on top of tomatoes, then arrange the slices of cheese on top. Bake the tart for 30 minutes – until the dough is cooked, the tomatoes are tender, and the cheese is browned. Let cool, drizzle with salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar and serve.
Avocado Taco Bowl
From Scott Burgett, professional trainer and plant-based diet evangelist in Austin
- 1 16-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 avocados, diced
- 1 c jicama, diced
- 1 c orange or red bell pepper, diced
- 1 c tomatoes, sliced (grape tomatoes, preferred but any will do here)
- ½ c jalapeno, finely diced
- ½ c corn, thawed if frozen
- ¼ c fresh cilantro, diced (can substitute 1tbsp + 1tsp dried)
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp each garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, salt
Place beans, avocados, jicama, bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeno, corn and cilantro into a large mixing bowl. Add in seasonings and mix well. Taste test and add extra salt or pepper as needed. Serve over rice and garnish with lime wedges.
From Cynthia Gray and Michael Narciso, owners of Mia’s Kitchen in Suffern, NY
- 1 c organic brown rice
- 2 c water or chicken broth
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 3 organic eggs
- 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
- 4-5 medium red peppers, halved, seeded and deveined
- Cheese, optional
Preheat over to 350. Cook rice in water or chicken broth. Finely dice onion and sauté on low heat until very soft. Add ground turkey and cook on medium/low heat until fully cooked.
Mix brown rice and turkey mixture together in a bowl. Stir in eggs and sea salt. Stuff pepper halves with turkey/rice/egg mixture. Place stuffed peppers on baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. After removing peppers from the oven you can top them with cheese while still hot.
Black Rice with Salmon
from America’s Test Kitchen’s cookbook Nutritious Delicious (used with permission)
- 1½ c black rice
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ c rice vinegar
- ¼ c mirin
- 1 tbsp white miso
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- ½ tsp teaspoon grated lime zest
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add rice and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain rice and transfer to large bowl. Whisk vinegar, mirin, miso, ginger, and lime zest and juice together in small bowl until miso is fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Measure out 1/4 cup vinegar mixture and drizzle over rice. Let rice cool to room temperature, tossing occasionally, about 20 minutes. Set remaining dressing aside for serving.
For salmon and vegetables
- 4 (4- to 6‑ounce) skin-on wild-caught salmon fillets, 1 inch thick
- 1 tsp expeller-pressed canola oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 (8- by 7½‑inch) sheet nori, crumbled (optional)
- 4 radishes, trimmed, halved and sliced thin
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted and sliced thin
- 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced thin
- 2 scallions, sliced thin
While rice is cooking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place aluminum foil–lined rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Pat salmon dry with paper towels, rub with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Once oven reaches 500 degrees, reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees. Remove sheet from oven and carefully place salmon skin-side down on hot sheet. Roast until center is still translucent when checked with tip of paring knife and registers 120 degrees (for medium-rare), 4 to 6 minutes. Portion rice into 4 individual serving bowls and sprinkle with some of nori, if using. Flake salmon into large 3-inch pieces. Top rice with salmon, radishes, avocado, and cucumber. Sprinkle with scallions and drizzle with reserved dressing. Serve, passing remaining nori separately.
Salads & sides
Tuscan Chopped Salad with Rockin’ Body Balsamic Dressing
From Devin Alexander, author of You Can Have It! published by the American Diabetes Association
- 1/2 c balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 c Dijon mustard
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
Add the vinegar and mustard to a small mixing bowl. Using a small whisk, slowly whisk in the oil until it is emulsified (well combined). Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container or cruet for up to 2 months.
- 4 c arugula leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 c asparagus, chopped on a diagonal into 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 c roasted red peppers, cut into strips
- 1/4 c rehydrated sundried tomatoes, cut into slivers
- 2 large fresh basil leaves, stems removed and cut into thin slivers
- 4 teaspoons Rockin’ Body Balsamic
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 ounces chicken or other protein, cut into strips
Add the arugula, asparagus, roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, and basil to a medium mixing bowl. Drizzle the dressing over top. Toss the salad. Season it with salt and pepper. Top the salad with the chicken breast. Enjoy immediately.
Curry & Turmeric Cauliflower
From Mia’s Kitchen
- 4 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 tbsp turmeric (fresh pureed is preferred or dried)
- 1 tbsp mild curry powder
- 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
- 1 head cauliflower
Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl mix together first 4 ingredients. Cut cauliflower into florets and add to sauce. Stir to coat fully. Spread evenly on lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes.
Cucumber Peach Salsa
Alicia Galvin, a registered and licensed dietician in Dallas
- 2 medium cucumbers, diced small
- 1 medium peach, diced
- ½ small sweet onion, finely diced (about ½ c)
- ½ c chopped cilantro
- ½ tsp sea salt
- juice of 1 lime
Place all ingredients into a medium-sized bowl and toss. Place in fridge and let sit to allow the flavors to marinate for about an hour before serving. Serve over grilled salmon or chicken.
Dark Chocolate Pudding with “Devinly” Whipped Topping
From Devin Alexander
For the topping
- 3 large egg whites (preferably cage-free), at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 3/4 c light agave nectar
Add the egg whites, cream of tartar, and xanthan gum to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium speed until combined and the egg whites have just started to foam. Pour the agave into a small saucepan and place it over medium heat. Making sure to watch it very carefully, heat the agave until it comes to a boil (it boils quickly and may burn if unattended even for a few seconds). Turn the mixer to high and slowly and carefully pour the hot agave into the mixer (stand back, making sure that it does not accidentally splatter on you). Let it continue to whip until the topping is very thick and fluffy, has very stiff peaks, and has turned white. Enjoy immediately, or transfer to an airtight plastic container and store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
For the pudding
- 1/2 c fat-free vanilla quark (a fresh milk product)
- 1/2 tbsp zero-calorie natural sweetener
- 3 tbsp special dark 100% cocoa powder
- 1/32 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp Devinly Whipped Topping
In a small mixing bowl or storage container, mix the quark, sweetener, and cocoa powder until there are no lumps at all and the ingredients are well combined. Transfer the mixture to a martini glass or serving bowl (or prepare to just dig in!). Sprinkle the salt over top. Add the whipped topping. Enjoy immediately.
From Meghan Rodgers, food editor of everybodycraves.com
- 3 ripe mangoes (cubed)
- ⅓– ¼ c water
- ⅓ c honey
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and spread mango cubes out in a single layer on top. Freeze for 4 to 6 hours, until mangoes are frozen, but not totally solid. Toss mangoes in a high-powered blender, and add water and honey. Blend on high, scraping down the sides and pushing down with a blender tamper. Once smooth, spoon into a baking pan, bread dish or other container for freezing. Spread evenly. Freeze for one hour, then serve.
Other resources for healthy recipes any time of year:
Whether you follow these easy recipes, or use them as inspiration for your own culinary innovations, you can enjoy the delicious tastes of summer and have fun doing it.