Hello wonderful readers! Summer or at least late spring is here and my thoughts have recently turned to lighter healthy food and finding something different to eat. Do you ever go through those times where you are bored with everything you usually eat and want something different but can’t figure out what that different is? I do, quite regularly throughout the year. Hmm, maybe it’s a seasonal thing as I seem to go through it about 4-5 times a year. So with that thought in mind I’ve searched through my collection of recipes and pulled a couple of summery light and delicious ones for your interest and enjoyment. Bon appetit!
Grilled Chicken & Strawberry Salad: I’d eat this as a meal salad rather than as a starter or appetizer.
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup sliced strawberries
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups packed baby arugula
1 cup fresh, coarsely torn basil leaves
454-g tub strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
1 med sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
150 g feta, thickly sliced
WHIRL 1/3 cup oil with 1/3 cup berries, vinegar, chives, honey and 1/4 tsp salt in a blender until smooth. Season with pepper.
PREHEAT barbecue to medium and brush chicken breasts with 1 tsp oil. Season with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Barbecue chicken for 6 min; turn and continue barbecuing, 8 to 10 more min. Remove and let rest 5 min, then slice.
TOSS arugula with basil in a bowl and divide among 4 plates. Top with strawberries, apple, onion, walnuts and chicken. Drizzle dressing and add feta.
NUTRITION: Calories 521, Protein 25 g, Carbohydrates 24 g, Fat 38 g, Fibre 5 g, Sodium 749 mg
Dessert: Since it’s often too hot in my apt in the summer to want to turn on the oven, I thought this no-bake recipe for Coconut Snowballs would be a great accompaniment to the above salad. These are sweet enough, but not too much and not heavy or too rich either. These are gluten free, nut free, and vegan!
Makes 12 balls
1 3/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
2 teaspoons melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Place 1 cup of shredded coconut in a food processor along with the coconut oil. Process on high speed, scraping down the sides periodically, until it reaches a paste-like consistency. (It does not have to be completely smooth like butter; some coconut texture is good.)
Add the maple syrup, coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and process until well combined. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut and pulse until just combined.
Shape the mixture into 12 (1-inch) balls and coat with the remaining shredded coconut. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before eating.
NUTRITION: Per serving, based on 2 snowballs- Calories 623, Fat 53.5 g, Carbs 38.6 g, Fiber 12.5 g, Sugars 24 g, Protein 5.2 g, Sodium 179.6 mg. *Note, these are high in fat but it’s fat from Coconut oil (use organic)*
One last bit of deliciousness – Grilled Vegetables! Summer isn’t summer without some grilling going on, so here’s a How-to on grilling veggies!
How to grill small or skinny vegetables
While a perforated grill sheet or grill basket is nice, it’s by no means necessary. To grill scallions, green onions, asparagus, or green beans, trim them (for scallions and green onions, leave most of the greens attached) and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lay a few of them side by side on a work surface. Run two skewers in the same direction horizontally through the vegetables, leaving about a quarter inch between them, to make a raft. (If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes beforehand so they don’t burn.) Grill over moderately hot coals, or medium heat with a gas bbq, until tender and browned on both sides.
How to grill corn
Pull back the corn husks but leave them attached at the base of each ear. Remove the corn silk, then put the husks back around the ears. Grill the corn in the husks over moderately hot coals or on medium on a gas grill, turning often, for 10 minutes. Transfer the corn to a rimmed baking sheet and let it cool for a few minutes; then, holding each ear with a kitchen towel, peel back husk and either tie back with a strip of husk or discard altogether. Put the corn back on the grill and grill until tender and browned, another 8 to 10 minutes. Grilled corn is delicious with chipotle mayonnaise (mince canned chipotles in adobo and blend with mayo to taste) or queso fresco and a squeeze of lime.
How to grill eggplants and peppers
To grill purple Italian eggplants, first cut them into 3/4-inch-thick rounds or long slices. Brush them on both sides with oil and grill, flipping every so often, until eggplant is tender and sides give slightly when pressed, about eight minutes. It’s best to grill bell peppers whole as well. It takes about 25 minutes for them to turn very tender, with charred skins. Transfer them to a bowl and top with a large plate; let them steam until cool enough to handle, then remove the skins, cut in half, and discard the seeds and stems; toss the peppers with vinaigrette or drizzle with olive oil.
Hope you enjoy these recipes and grilled veggie ideas and most of all enjoy the sunshine and share it all with good friends, family, or maybe even new friends!