Seasonal Summer Recipes: Easy to Prep and Delightfully Nutritious

With fresh peaches, berries and watermelon in season, try these cool and crunchy recipes for your barbecue or picnic to make the most out of the warm summer days.

1) Summer Salad
Serves 2–4

1 large yellow peach
1 heirloom tomato
1 cup cherries, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons basil, chiffonade (rolled up and chopped into ribbons)
2 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon mint, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to tasteDirections:
Slice up the peach into thin slices, roughly cube the tomato into one inch chunks, and combine with the cherries in a bowl. Add the herbs. In a small lidded container or with a whisk, combine the lime juice, agave nectar, olive oil, salt and pepper until mixed together. Pour over the herbs and fruit and combine to dress.

2) Cucumber Chicken Pita Sandwiches
Serves 4

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber
1/2 teaspoon dried dillweed
1/4 teaspoon dried mint, crushed
4 large pita bread rounds
4 lettuce leaves
6 ounces thinly sliced fully cooked chicken breast
1 small tomato, thinly sliced
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheeseDirections:
For the dressing, in a small mixing bowl stir together yogurt, cucumber, dillweed, and mint. Set aside. For each sandwich, place a pita bread round on a plate. Top with lettuce, chicken, tomato, and feta cheese. Spoon dressing on top. Roll up the pita bread. Secure with wooden toothpicks. Serve immediately.
Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare dressing; cover and chill up to 6 hours.

3) Watermelon Fizz

4 cups watermelon, diced
2 limes
1 1/3 cup Ginger Ale
A few chunks of watermelon frozen, for garnish
lime wedges, for garnish
3 oz Gin (optional)Directions:
Puree the 4 cups of watermelon in a food processor or blender. Pour through a strainer. You should have about 1 cup of watermelon juice. Fill each cup with ice. Pour about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of watermelon juice over the ice. Into each glass squeeze the juice of one lime. If using Gin add 1 1/2 oz to each glass. Pour in 2/3 cup of Ginger Ale, and stir. Garnish with frozen watermelon, and a lime wedge.

4) Stuffed Grilled Zucchini
Serves 4

4 medium zucchini
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheeseDirections:
Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4-in. shells. Brush with 2 teaspoons oil; set aside. Chop pulp. In a large skillet, saute pulp and onion in remaining oil. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add bread crumbs; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the heat. Stir in the mozzarella cheese, mint and salt. Spoon into zucchini shells. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until zucchini is tender.

5) Vegetable Medley Pasta
Serves 4–6

2 cups dry penne
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow crookneck squash, halved and sliced
1 Japanese eggplant, quartered and sliced
1 large fresh tomato or 2 canned tomatoes, grated
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup basil, cut into a wide chiffonade
1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
Parmesan cheese, for shaving as garnishDirections:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until noodles are soft but still have a bit of a bite to them. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat with garlic and shallots. When things begin to sizzle add bell peppers, squash, and eggplant. Stir everything around and let vegetables begin to soften. Add grated tomatoes, wine, salt, and pepper, and cook down until vegetables are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add basil and parsley. Stir into the vegetables until the herbs are wilted. Drain the pasta, but reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Empty pasta into a large serving bowl, add pasta water, and top with vegetable mixture. Stir everything together so that it’s evenly incorporated. Top with Parmesan shavings.

6) Strawberry Shortcake Popsicles
Makes 12 popsicles

2 cups fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 cup crushed Nilla wafers
2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
1/3 cup honey (more if desired)
12 6 oz. Dixie cups
wooden popsicle sticksDirections:
In a medium bowl, combine the crushed Nilla wafers, yogurt, and honey. Set out 12 6-ounce Dixie cups, and fill each one with 2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture. Set in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, puree the berries. Divide the berries among the 12 cups, and freeze for another 30 minutes. Finally, divide the remaining yogurt mixture among the cups, add a popsicle stick to each one, and chill completely, several hours or more. To serve, simply cut or tear the cup off.

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