To long days, warm nights…and healthy eating.
Ahh, those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are once again upon us. Not only is summertime the perfect time to relax and unwind, it’s also the perfect time to embrace healthier eating.
During the summer the abundance of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, the opportunities to spend time strolling through farmer’s markets and buying from local farms are just some of the benefits that encourage healthier eating. For example, the berries of summer that are so plentiful at this time of year—blackberries, blueberries and strawberries— are not only low in fat and calories, but also are a great source of antioxidants that can help protect you from certain health conditions … and are all healthy sources of fiber, potassium and vitamin C.
In addition, the natural tendency to choose “lighter” foods during the summer and cook outdoors on the grill present many unique opportunities to savor the longer, sun-kissed days of summer and the ripe, rich flavors that come with it. Summer barbecues are the perfect way to enjoy the health benefits of cooking lean meats, vegetables and tofu on the grill, but don’t forget to grill fruits, such as pineapples and pears, which truly brings out their flavors and are a great summertime treat!
The longer, more relaxed days of summer also provide opportunities to try your hand at new healthy salad combinations chock-full of fresh fruit and vibrant veggies, as well as some new twists on how to prepare your favorite healthy vegetables, such as our “No Peek Cheesy Cauliflower Bake”—a whole new spin on cauliflower that you’ll have to experience to believe. And the ripe, bursting-with-flavor summertime fruits that make a perfect, healthy, hot-weather snack and addition to many fresh and light summertime dishes. You can enjoy them in beverage form, too! (Who doesn’t love a summertime fruit smoothie?) Or, savor the refreshing and incredibly healthy taste of our Chilled Blueberry Bisque.
So enjoy the slower pace, sun-kissed days and more relaxing nights that summer brings, as well as the opportunity to truly savor the distinctive and healthy tastes of the season. As the song says, “Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” With these tips, recipes and some simple substitutions, not only is the living easy here in the beautiful Lowcountry, but healthy eating is, too!
Garden Fresh Green Bean Salad
- Large Sauce Pan
- Large Mixing Bowl
- 2 Lbs Fresh Green Beans ends chopped off, whole
- ½ of Red Onion chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic fresh, minced
- ½ Cup Olive Oil
- ¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tsp Pepper
- In a large sauce pan on medium heat, cook greenbeans to desired doneness or al dente (firm to the bite) Rinse in a cold icebath to stop the cooking and keep them green.
- In a large mixing bowl; add red onion, garlic,olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Add cooked green beans.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 4 hours to marinate and chill the garden fresh green bean salad.
Veggie and Tofu Kabobs
- Wide Bamboo Skewers, soaked in water
- Grill or Iron Skillet
- 2 pkgs Extra Firm Tofu cut in large pieces
- 8 whole Campari Tomatoes
- 1 whole Red Onion cut into 8 pieces
- 1 whole Sweet Onion cut into 8 pieces
- 1 whole Yellow Pepper cut into 6 pieces
- 1 whole Red Pepper cut into 6 pieces
- 10 small Portobello Mushroom Caps
- 10 small White Mushroom Caps
- 1 handful Steak Seasoning to taste
- 1 jar Ken's Italian Romano Dressing or GF option
- Preheat oven to 375F. Par Bake all of thevegetables for about 10 minutes.
- Place 4-5 pieces of Tofu arranged with a varietyof vegetable on each soaked bamboo skewer.
- When the skewers are completed, sprinkle lightlywith steak seasoning and drizzle with Italian Dressing. Let set and marinate in the refrigerator forat least one hour.
- Place the skewers on the hot grill or a hot ironskillet until the vegetables and tofu have a grill edge.
Cheesy “No Peek” Cauliflower Bake
- Dutch oven
- Medium Saucepan
- 8 small Cauliflower Steaks
- 2 cups Wild Rice uncooked
- 1 cup Mushrooms chopped
- ½ cup Sweet Onion chopped
- 1 tbsp Parsley
- ½ tsp Curry Powder
- 4-½ cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Onion Flake
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- ¼ cup Measure to Measure Gluten Free Flour
- 1 pkg Shreed Coby or Vegan Cheese
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Grease a 3 quart shallow baking pan or Dutch Oven
- In a medium sauce pan on medium heat; add OliveOil, mushrooms, sweet onion, parsley, salt, pepper, curry, onion flake, and garlic powder together. Saute slightly.
- Add Measure to Measure Flour to make your rue.Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes; slowly add Vegetable Broth, carefully whisk together well. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Prepare the Cauliflower Steaks. Wash the entire cauliflower and keep in whole and in tack, do not cut off green leaves yet. (this keeps the cauliflower together as you slice it)
- Starting off center, cut roughly 2-3 solid cauliflower steaks from the center of cauliflower. (now trim off the green leaves as you see where the cauliflower will remain intake) The ends will be smaller steaks.
- Place the rice mixture into the greased shallow baking pan or Dutch Oven
- Place the Cauliflower steaks on top of the rice mixture.
- Sprinkle the Cauliflower with Salt, Pepper, and a little Garlic Powder.
- Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes and DO NOT PEEK!
- After 25 minutes , take the foil off and spread some shredded Colby Cheese or Vegan Cheese over the Cauliflower.
- Bake for an additional 10 minutes, uncovered, until the cheese and cauliflower are golden.
Chilled Blueberry Bisque
- Food Processor or Blender
- 2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
- 1 Cup Milk or Almond Milk
- ½ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream or Nut Pod Cream
- ½ Cup Sour Cream or Tofutti
- 2 Tbsp Sugar or 1 Tbsp Splenda
- 1 Sprig Fresh Mint minced for garnish
- Puree blueberries, milk, cream, and sour cream in blender or food processor until smooth
- Stir in sugar
- Chill 8 hours or overnight in refrigerator before serving