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Health & Wellness

Easy Ways to Enjoy Summer's Bounty

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When fruits and vegetables are at their peak freshness, they’re brimming with vitamins and flavor.

That makes them easy to prepare, and this is never truer than during the summer when the bounty of produce is especially lush and luscious.

Here are tips from food pros of all stripes on how to enjoy summer’s produce without breaking a sweat:

Summer Fennel & Tomato Salad

“I always recommend throwing together a simple salad to serve alongside grilled chicken or fish. Salads are the perfect recipe for summer because you can use such a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and also toss in any leftovers you may have. Here’s a salad I love to serve with grilled shrimp.” – Chef Tariq Nasir

Salad ingredients

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • ½ fennel bulb
  • 1 red onion

Dressing ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Dice the tomatoes; slice the fennel and red onion. Add to a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients until well combined and smooth.
  3. Add the dressing to the salad and toss together until everything is well coated. Season to your taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve with grilled chicken or shrimp.

 

Spiralize Veggies and Swap Bread for Lettuce Leaves

“The summer tends to mean more delicate vegetables like summer squash, zucchini, and lettuces. Spiralizing zucchini or yellow squash can provide a great pasta substitute. Also, try large leaf lettuce for lettuce wraps, and lettuce buns for your burgers.” Liz Wyosnick, dietician

 

Dessert Off the Grill

“My all-time favorite summer dessert is grilled peaches. This is simply made by slicing a peach in half, brushing it with olive oil, and grilling it for three to five minutes. I then top it with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.” Chef Amanda Rose; Desserts First Baking & Catering

 

Chilled Strawberry Cucumber Soup

“This is a delicious fruity twist on cold soup that’s dairy-free, vegan, and healthy.” Carrie Forrest, cleaneatingkitchen.com

Ingredients

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 2 medium Persian cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 medium lime, juiced
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream, chilled
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Combine the strawberries, cucumbers, lime juice, coconut cream, and vanilla extract in the base of a high-speed blender or food processor.
  • Process on high until the ingredients are combined, about 30 seconds.
  • Serve immediately or place the soup in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes before serving.

Note: If you prefer a sweeter soup, feel free to add one tablespoon of raw honey or two Medjool dates to the blender.

 

Grilled Corn and Peach Salad 

“This simple salad celebrates summer with grilled corn, onion, and peaches tossed with bits of crispy prosciutto and a handful of fresh parsley. Serve it over a bed of soft bibb lettuce drizzled with a homemade honey vinaigrette for a pretty presentation. It's as flavorful as it is easy, hitting all those sweet and savory notes. And the best part is it can sit at room temperature while you pull the rest of your meal together.” Cathy Roma; whatshouldimakefor.com

Salad Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn, shucked
  • 3 peaches, pitted and cut into six wedges each
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1 inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, diced 
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 head bibb or romaine lettuce

Honey Vinaigrette 

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat a grill to medium/high heat and brush the ears of corn, peach wedges, and onion slices with one tablespoon olive oil. Grill until browned or charred to your liking.
  2. While the vegetables cook, heat the remaining olive oil in a medium non-stick skillet until hot but not smoking. Add the prosciutto and cook until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
  3. Cut the kernels off the grilled corn and coarsely chop the peaches and onion. 
  4. For the honey vinaigrette, whisk the honey and vinegar together. Add the oil in a steady stream while whisking. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Combine the corn kernels, peaches, onion, prosciutto, and parsley in a large bowl. Dress with the vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  6. Arrange the bibb or romaine lettuce leaves on a platter. Spoon the corn salad on top and serve. 

Recipe Notes

  • Omit prosciutto for a vegetarian option.
  • To avoid spraying corn kernels all over the kitchen as you cut them from the cob, take out a large bowl and place a small bowl upside-down inside it (this helps steady the corn cob as you cut). Hold the grilled ear of corn lengthwise on top of the inverted small bowl and slice the kernels off in downward strokes with a sharp knife. They will fall into the large bowl instead of all over the counter!

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