Savor the last of the summer, with quick and energizing dinners
The unofficial end of summer is only a couple of weeks away. Labor day will be here before you know it and then back to the routine of life! What is it about summer that feels lazier than the rest of the year? Maybe it is the hot weather or maybe it is the change in routine. I don't know about you but I love the lazy feelings the summer gives us. It is like getting permission to relax a little.
The produce that is available in the summer is one of the best things about the hot weather. My garden has been in overdrive the past few weeks. So we've had no shortage of fresh produce to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And boy the flavors! Nothing beats a fresh tomato picked from the garden and drizzled with a little olive oil and topped with fresh basil. It is summer on a plate.
I want to savor the flavors and the relaxing feeling of summer for as long as I can. Before the craziness of the fall and winter holidays are upon us. One way to keep summer going is to cook with the fresh, seasonal ingredients that are available. In New Jersey, that means tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers and cucumbers. Plus, the grocery store has had fresh watermelon, peaches, plums and strawberries on sale.
The recipes below focus on supplying healthy lean meats and fish as well as vegetables. In order for your body to feel energized after a meal, selecting organic meats, wild caught fish and organic fruits and vegetables are the way to go. You won't feel energized right after you eat, but you should feel a boost of energy about 2 hours later if you are eating organic. Also, organic is not more expensive than non-organic. Organic foods are nutrient dense which means you and your family will actually eat less. Sometimes you won't be able to find everything organic for a recipe. Shoot for at least 60% of the recipe to come from organic ingredients.
Now, let's get on with the recipes. There are endless possibilities for creating easy, fresh dinners for the last of the summer evenings. If you try any of the recipes below, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @heatherleehurst and use the #heathershealthhabits hashtag. I love seeing your takes on the recipes I share!
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Eggplant Lasagna Rollatini from Lexi's Clean Kitchen. Ok - so you may be thinking that lasagna is not a quick dish to put together. The reason I included this recipe is because you can make it ahead of time and then simply reheat it. Leaving you a lot of time to socialize if you are having people over for dinner. Eggplant is such a hearty vegetable that even meat-lovers won't miss the meat in this lasagna dish. Click here for the recipe.
Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Skewers from The Recipe Critic. Summertime means maximizing the use of the grill to keep the kitchen cool. While I use the grill year-round (and in any weather condition) making grilled skewers are a fast way to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes. Plus, it is a great mix of meat (if you want it) and vegetables. Any marinade will do or serve a dipping sauce if you don't have the time to marinade the ingredients. Click here for the recipe.
Healthy Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps from As Easy as Apple Pie. Lettuce wraps are a fun dinner and can be served as a buffet line so everyone can make their own wraps. You can vary the add-ins. This recipe calls for shredded carrots but I would also supply shredded red cabbage, shelled edamame and thinly sliced mushrooms. Click here for the recipe.
Grilled Lemon Herb Mediterranean Chicken Salad from Cafe Delights. If I am going to serve salad for dinner it has to be hearty or my significant other won't eat it. This recipe takes some time since the chicken needs to marinate in the dressing for 15-30 minutes. The marinade does not call for sugar which is great in my book. Added sugar in dinner is not part of a healthy eating lifestyle. This is why I always make my own dressings and marinades. Store bought dressings will always have sugar. Click here for the recipe.
Simple Grilled Salmon from The Stay at Home Chef. There is nothing easier than putting salmon on the grill. It is a healthy fish and holds up well on the grill. You can marinade it or just put it on the grill and top it later with a mango salsa. This is a summertime go to recipe whenever you are crunched for time. Click here for the recipe.
I hope you enjoyed the summertime recipes I shared in this blog post. If you try any, let me know what you thought! If you want to received free healthy living tips and recipes, follow my blog on Bloglovin