Sweet summertime is almost here! This is my favorite time of the year for fresh, healthy, and colorful meals. With so many seasonal fruits and vegetables to choose from, and long, hot days filled with activity, it’s the perfect opportunity to try out some new recipes. View six of my picks in the slideshow below, followed by a curated list from our other RDs. Happy cooking!
SLIDESHOW: Lizzie's 6 picks
1. BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad from Iowa Girl Eats
Smoked corn, grilled chicken breasts, buttery black beans, and nutty quinoa make this recipe a perfect combination of healthy and tasty. Corn is plentiful during the summer months and packs a punch in terms of nutrition. High in fiber and antioxidants, the vegetable is a great addition to summer meals! On top of that, quinoa is a superstar when it comes to grains. It is an excellent source of protein, contains almost twice as much fiber as other grains, and is a good source of iron.
Quick tip: Use your leftover grilled chicken and corn from the weekend barbecue, or rotisserie chicken and frozen corn to make this a delicious and quick meal during the busy week.View Recipe
2. Strawberry Lemon Cake from Amy’s Healthy Baking
Tangy, fresh, and sweet flavors combine to make this cake a summer favorite. Zesty lemon brings out the sweetness of the strawberries as they become infused in the cake batter. The best part? Using only a tablespoon of butter, and substituting Greek yogurt and non-fat milk for moistness keeps unhealthy fat low. Make this delicious summer dessert that is sure to please your family or guests!
Quick tip: Not sure what to do with the leftovers? Serve it as a healthy breakfast item along with eggs for a complete meal.View Recipe
3. Balsamic Honey Chicken & Peach Kebabs from Flavor the Moments
These kebabs are the perfect combination of savory and sweet, with zesty balsamic vinegar and juicy peaches. Marinating the chicken ahead of time decreases prep time, and with the abundance of vegetables this time of year, feel free to mix and match with ones you already have in the fridge!
Quick tip: The longer the chicken marinates, the more the flavor develops. Try marinating overnight for best results.View Recipe
4. Chili-Rubbed Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa from Sweet Peas and Saffron
Full of heart healthy omega-3’s from the salmon and monounsaturated fat from the avocado, your heart will be sure to thank you after trying this recipe! And the best news is that this isn’t just another bland, dry salmon recipe. The DIY rub can be generously applied to the salmon and becomes deliciously sticky and caramelized when grilled. For even more flavor, combine avocado, cilantro, lime, and colorful tomatoes for a creamy salsa to top it all off.
Quick tip: This recipe can be prepared in about 20 minutes, which makes it a great option for busy weeknights.View Recipe
5. Watermelon, Feta, and Orzo Salad from Cooking Classy
Watermelon is a summer staple. There’s nothing like taking a bite of this cold, juicy fruit when it’s hot and humid outside! Watermelon adds a hint of sweetness in this savory recipe, combined with creamy, crumbly feta and rich, protein-packed orzo. The lemon, honey, and basil dressing pairs seamlessly with these ingredients to make this blend of summer flavors.
Quick tip: Wondering about orzo? Orzo is popular in Italian cuisine, traditionally used in soups. Although often confused for rice, it is actually a pasta made of flour that is cut short and shaped to look like rice.View Recipe
6. Grilled Summer Veggie Pizza from Wife Mama Foodie
This recipe is a great way to use up all of the fresh, seasonal vegetables hanging out in your fridge. An easy homemade crust made of spelt flour is piled high with juicy tomatoes, buttery zucchini and squash, crunchy, sweet corn, crisp onions, and tender asparagus. Fresh, creamy chunks of mozzarella top it all off to make this pizza the perfect taste of summer.
Quick tip: Spelt flour is an ancient grain and is considered a distant cousin to wheat. Its flavor and texture are similar to whole grain flour, but it contains more protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Like other ancient grains, spelt flour is versatile enough to be substituted in most recipes.View Recipe