You’ve shed the weight to wear the hot swimsuit this summer. You’ve got an amazing sun-kissed glow. You feel great. Now, how to stay away from the hamburgers, hot dogs and potato salad you find at every BBQ and poolside party?
If you’re looking for quick summer meals, snacks and drinks to enjoy poolside, head on over to the farmer’s market! Summer is an ideal season to shop for delicious and nutrient-packed herbs and produce. With baskets full of stellar line-ups of naturally detoxifying fruits and vegetables, a light summer meal is a great way to kick-off a cleansing tune-up from the inside out.
Here are some of my favorite easy summer recipes, meant for anyone who wants to wants to keep the weight off without sacrificing a delicious, enjoyable meal!
- Sauteed Strawberries with Cracked Pepper and Fresh Mint
- Watermelon Cucumber Cooler
- Spicy Watermelon Gazpacho
- Naked Salmon Burgers
- Tease Me Tempt Me Chick Peas
2 lbs fresh strawberries, cleaned with stems removed
1½ tsp light brown sugar
½ vanilla bean
1 Tbs salted
1 cup fresh mint coarsely chopped, about ½ bunch
In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar and vanilla bean to skillet and cook until sugar begins to melt and butter slightly bubbles and browns, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add fresh strawberries and cook while tossing gently with kitchen tongs. After 20 seconds, the strawberries should be well-coated with the melted mixture.
Add cracked black pepper and cook strawberries another 20 seconds. Transfer to a large serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh mint. Serve immediately. Serves 4. Option: Top with crème fraîche.
- 4 cups (approx. 1½ lbs) cubed seedless watermelon, diced
- 3 large tomatoes, diced
- ½ jalapeno, habanero, or serrano chile, seeded and diced
- ½ cup blanched almonds
- 1 lime zested and juiced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbs minced red onion
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- Shot glasses
Entertaining Option: Skewers of grape tomatoes and cucumber slices inside each glass topped with basil and feta crumbles.
Puree in a blender or food processor the watermelon, tomatoes and chile. Add lime zest, juice and olive oil to mixture. Pulse until well combined.
Gently fold in the minced red onion and chopped cucumber. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Chill for an hour before serving. Pour watermelon gazpacho into shot glasses and garnish with skewers and crumbled feta.
NAKED SALMON BURGERS (BUN-LESS)
Prepared in 30 minutes or less
- 2 lbs skinless Wild Alaskan salmon fillets (you can also use fresh crabmeat)
- 1 cup all natural whole grain Panko breadcrumbs (I like Ian’s Panko breadcrumbs)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
- 2 large eggs, whisked together in a small bowl
- ½ red onion, peeled and finely minced
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and grated
- 3 scallions, trimmed and minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1 Tbs fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 tsp Tabasco hot sauce
- ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- ¼ cup safflower or sunflower oil
Preheat oven 250°F. Line a large platter with paper towels and set aside.
Place salmon fillets on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, until the salmon is medium-rare inside. Remove and cool. You can also use pre-cooked wild salmon fillets.
Gently flake the salmon into large chunks with a fork in a large bowl. Add half of the whole grain breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, eggs, red onion, grated garlic, scallions, jalapeno, fresh basil, hot sauce, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir ingredients just until mixed. The salmon chunks should be bite-sized.
Using your hands, form the mixture into a dozen 2½-inch by 1½-inch salmon cakes. Coat both sides of cakes with remaining bread crumbs. Shake off any excess breadcrumbs.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Cook half the salmon cakes at a time for 3 – 4 minutes each side. Be careful not to burn and turn only once until both sides are golden brown.
Remove salmon cakes from the skillet and place on lined platter to drain. Repeat process with remaining cakes. Plate hot salmon cakes atop market greens with fresh lemon wedges.
*To keep cooked salmon cakes warm between batches, transfer to a baking sheet and place them in a 200°F oven. Serves 6.
- 2 (14 oz) can of organic garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
- Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
- 2 Tbs olive oil
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Rinse the beans in a large colander, then pat dry with paper towels and allow to dry completely on counter top. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Sprinkle all ingredients over beans. Toss gently to completely coat the beans well. Once coated, spread beans out on a large, parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
Roast beans for 15 minutes, shake the pan, then continue to roast another 15-20 minutes. Beans should have a crispy texture. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and a touch of salt while still hot. Allow to cool completely before serving. Seal in an airtight container. A handful is a great post-workout snack or salad topper.
For more of Mindy’s recipes, please see: www.mealsonheelsbymindy.com.