Summer is the season light – light cooking, that is.
With vacations and time at beach or pool, you’ll want to look – and feel – your summer best. And with temperature up, your metabolism is down. So you should feel less hunger, and need fewer calories.
The key to cooking light is your ingredients, such as plenty of vegetables and fruits. Happily these tasty, light foods are in season and full of flavor. As for meats, go light like chicken or seafood.
Here are 11 healthy summer meal ideas:
Veggies – Easy and light: carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, peppers sugar peas, and more: serve them raw with your favorite dip. For a healthy, exotic variation try hummus or Greek yogurt tzatziki.
Salad Cups – Easy and light, just scoop your favorite salad in a curved salad leaf: a light, fun, eat-it-all summer bowl. Try chicken salad with paprika and fresh parsley and sage.
Coleslaw – Cabbage is light, tasty and crisp – and at its best in summer. The best summer slaws are made primarily of cabbage and vinegar, and avoid mayo which is heavy and can go bad quickly in summer months. Crisp and tasty, cabbage comes in many varieties.
Grilled Veggies – Light, delicious, and easy to make. Marinate your veggies – such as onions, peppers, zucchini and mushrooms – overnight in olive oil, vinegar and herbs. Then grill, chill and enjoy!
Pasta Salad – A light, cool starch, ideal to serve with your favorite chilled grilled meats and seafoods. Just mix chilled cooked pasta with your favorite colorful veggies: olives, tomatoes, peas, celery, peppers, mushrooms and more.
Bean Salad – Nice and cool, and packed with healthy nutrients, including protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. Bean salads go great with many other dishes. And they’re easy to make: just combine beans, corn, olives and your favorite herbs.
Spreads – They can be enjoyed as an appetizer, or to accompany other dishes. For an exotic flair, try hummus , tzatziki, or baba ganoush.
Meats and Seafood
Skewers – Grill ahead of time and served chilled. Make up any variation from meats, veggies, or all the above. Try different dips and sauces – such as peanut, chutney and tamarind – for an exotic summer taste.
Seafood – With so much summer time spent at pool, beach or lake, seafood is always a favorite. How about smoked salmon bites? Use wasabi mayonnaise for kick, with smoked salmon on rice-crackers.
Sorbet – Dairy-free, so a great choice for a light finish to a light meal. It’s easy to make it home: all you need is your favorite fruits, ice, sugar or agave, and a food processor.
Grilled Fruit – Grilling fruit gives it added flavor – and a unique summer appeal. Try grilled pineapple or barbequed bananas, and serve with tropical sorbets such as coconut or mango. Nectarines and peaches are also great for grilling.
Summer foods have never been more healthy and delicious. Look and feel great by eating foods that are tasty and good for you.