But along with all this wonderful summer bounty comes a price: hot weather!
I don’t know about you, but the hot and humid weather makes me turn to cooler and lighter foods that are quick and easy to assemble. Fortunately, there are lots of great recipes using summer fruits and vegetables that fit my summer eating preferences and that happen to be healthy eating choices as well.
Here are a few recipes that will be great using fresh foods from your garden or your local farmers market. Enjoy!
Roasted Corn with Basil Shallot Vinaigrette
Serves 4 (1/2 cup serving)
Per serving: 165 calories 8 g fat ( 1 g sat , 6 g mono ), 3 g fiber, 163 mg sodium
3 cups fresh corn kernels
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1.Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss corn and oil to coat and spread out on a large baking sheet. Bake, stirring once, until some kernels begin to brown, about 20 minutes.
2.Combine basil, shallot, vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
3.Add the corn to the dressing; toss to coat. Serve warm or cold.
This may be made up to a day ahead; just cover and refrigerate.
Tropical Cucumber Salad
Serves 4, about 1 cup per serving
169 calories; 11 g fat ( 1 g sat , 7 g mono ); 5 g fiber, 178 mg sodium
3-5 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 medium English cucumber, cut into 3/4-inch dice, peeled or remove peel in stripes so only half or so of the cucumber skin remains
1 avocado, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 mango, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1.Whisk fish sauce to taste, lime zest, lime juice, oil, brown sugar, vinegar and crushed red pepper in a large bowl until combined.
2.Add cucumber, avocado, mango and cilantro; gently toss to coat.
3.Serve garnished with lime zest.
This may be served at room temperature or chilled; it does not hold well more than 6 – 8 hours in the refrigerator, though.
Eggplant Caprese with Tomato and Basil
Per Serving (1 stack): 189 calories, 13 g fat (5 g sat fat), 5 g fiber, 358 mg sodium
1 medium eggplant
2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes
2 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
12 fresh basil leaves
8 thin slices unsalted fresh mozzarella (about 4 ounces total)
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Slice the eggplant and tomatoes crosswise into ½-inch-thick pieces. Place 8 eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Set the tomatoes aside.
2. In a small bowl combine the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Brush the mixture over the eggplant and tomato slices then set the remainder aside.
3. Bake the eggplant slices for about 10 minutes. Turn them over, brush with more of the olive-oil mixture, then bake for another 10 minutes; set aside. Place the tomatoes on the same baking sheet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they're soft.
4. Place a slice of cooked eggplant on a work surface. Top with a tomato slice, a basil leaf, a slice of mozzarella, a tomato slice, another slice of cheese, and a basil leaf. Finish the stack with a slice of eggplant. Repeat to make three more stacks.
5. When ready to serve return the stacks to the oven for about 5 minutes to reheat and melt the cheese. Top each with a drizzle of the remaining olive-oil mixture and a fresh basil leaf.