Perhaps our favorite thing about summer – besides everything – is all the healthy, fresh food suddenly available at every turn. Whipping up healthy summer meals becomes a Choose Your Own Adventure of tomatoes, strawberries, and whatever else turns up in surplus in your produce department. True, there are also BBQ temptations everywhere you turn, but who wants a hamburger when you could have a fresh mango and toasted corn salad? Okay, sometimes you need the burger. It’s easy, and it’s awesome. Plus, who has time to toast corn? (Spoiler alert: You do.)
To help you enjoy the seasonal goodies, we’ve dreamed up five healthy summer recipes that are easy as pie – but involve a fraction of the calories. We’re talking no stove, no oven, and nothing you can’t find at a basic supermarket. These healthy dishes are guaranteed to satisfy, without coming between you and your bikini. Looks like you can have your
cake chocolate banana pudding pop and eat it, too.
Strawberry Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette
2 cups strawberries, sliced
5 cups baby spinach
½ cup slivered almonds
Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients:
Juice of 2 lemons
½ tbsp. lemon zest
2 tbsp Dijon mustard (the seedier, the better)
½ cup white vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. honey
Toast almonds in a dry pan, over a medium heat. Remove from heat the moment they start to brown (about 2 minutes). Toss strawberries, spinach and avocado together.
In a small bowl, combine all vinaigrette ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
Just before serving, dress the salad and sprinkle with toasted almonds. Eat the best salad of your life.
Chocolate Banana Pudding Pops
1 box Jell-O instant chocolate pudding
2 cups cold milk
2 bananas, sliced
Mix pudding and milk, whisking until it’s lump-free. Let pudding set for a minute while you prep the rest.
Place banana slices along the bottom of five paper cups. Distribute pudding evenly into cups, mix in a few more bananas. Stand a heavy duty plastic spoon in the middle of each cup.
Freeze for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, peel the paper cups off the pops. Serve to eager guests (or yourself).
5 potato buns
2 cups tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup basil, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed or chopped
½ cup fresh mozzarella, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 (just for a few minutes, promise!)
Drain as much liquid as possible from tomatoes. Gently mix in all remaining ingredients, making sure the cheese is evenly distributed.
Place bottom half of each potato bun onto a baking sheet. Spoon the bruschetta mix onto the buns and pop into the oven for 5-10 minutes – just until the cheese is melted and edges browned.
Toast the top half of the potato buns and place atop the hot bottom half. Enjoy your “burgers!”
Mango & Toasted Corn Salsa
1 large (not too ripe) mango, diced
1.5 cups of corn kernels
2 tbps. Jalapeno peppers, minced
½ large red onion, finely chopped
½ cup fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
1 sweet red pepper, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup white vinegar
¾ cup cilantro, chopped
Salt to taste
Pour corn kernels into a dry pan (well drained if you’re using canned), over a medium-high heat. Stirring about every minute, let the corn toast until it becomes fragrant, and brown spots appear (about five minutes). Take corn off the hot burner, and let it cool while you prep the rest.
Mix mango, onion and sweet pepper together. Toss with liquids, gently, so as not to mush the mango. Stir in jalapenos and cilantro. When corn has cooled, mix it in.
Let this sit in the fridge for at least 20 mins, for a sweet, hot, flavor-packed salsa. Go buy some chips while it's cooling!
White Bean & Tuna Salad
2 cans small white beans
2 cans white tuna, packed in oil or water
3 tbsp capers
½ red onion, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup white or red wine vinegar
1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
Drain tuna well and mix with beans. Stir in onion, capers and all liquids. Fluff mixture with a fork to make sure the tuna is well mixed. Lastly, mix in parsley.
This will keep for several days in the fridge. If the combo looks mushy on the second day, just do the fork fluffing trick. Serve on toast for a healthy, flavorful lunch.