Monday, July 6, 2015

Healthy Summer Meals

There's just something about summer that completely changes my cooking habits. Of course, the change from fall and winter, to spring and summer always means different fruits and veggies are in season, but there are other factors involved too, like the weather or how hot you're willing to get in your kitchen. 
Unless you've got a really amazing central cooling system in your home, you're probably not going to be too psyched about cooking something like turkey and mashed potatoes! A great solution to hot kitchens in the summer, is to simply move things outside and use a grill or BBQ. If you think the grill is something reserved only for backyard parties with hamburgers and hot dogs, you are quite mistaken. In fact, you can grill everything from chicken and steak, to corn on the cob and zucchini!

Even without a grill, there are plenty of great summer food options out there to suit a variety of tastes. Eating in the summer doesn't have to mean sticking with salads and sandwiches! There are plenty of ways to spice things up in the kitchen without breaking the bank or using too many rare and exotic ingredients. Of course, all of the recipes listed below are customizable, so feel free to add, subtract, or substitute ingredients to create a dish you truly love!

1. Moroccan Quinoa Salad

This salad is amazing! It's the perfect blend of flavors and textures and will absolutely fill you up! You can get the recipe here!

2. Grilled Asian Chicken Wraps 

These wraps are both tasty and refreshing! I love cooking with sesame flavors, and these wraps are packed with plenty of flavor. You can get the recipe here!

3. Grilled Shrimp and Couscous 

This recipe is so delicious! I personally love shrimp, whether they are grilled or served cold! The mint, feta, and garlic add a whole lot of really great flavor, while the couscous and zucchini anchor the meal. You can get the recipe here!

4. Pork & Noodle Stir-Fry 

A stir-fry is one of the easiest and most delicious things anyone can cook in my opinion. The beauty of a stir-fry is that it's completely customizable! The sweetness of the pork works perfectly with the heat from the chili, while the vermicelli noodles are nice and light for summer. You can get the recipe here!

5. No Bake Granola Bars 

I personally love to bake, but sometimes it is just too hot in our apartment (we do not have central air unfortunately). So naturally, anything that has "no-bake" in front of it, instantly catches my eye! These granola bars are so tasty and as a bonus, also happen to be quite good for you too! You can get the recipe here!

6. Fresh Fruit & Smoothies 

Of course, one of the most refreshing things you can enjoy quilt-free throughout the summer is fresh fruit. You can either enjoy it in its natural state, or blend a few different fruits together in order to make a smoothie. If you're interested in a few smoothie recipes, I've got two great ones here!

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