Healthy Summer Recipes

From Greek shrimp bruschetta to fresh berries with mascarpone, this list of 20 light and fresh foods will make any summer occasion one to remember.

Fresh Salmon Burgers

Photographer Becky Luigart-Stayner

Fresh Salmon Burgers

May starts the summer salmon season when all varieties of Alaskan salmon—king, sockeye, pink, coho, and pink are available. Frozen-at-sea salmon is delicious and available year-round.

Avocado–Black Bean Salsa

Photo: Jennifer Davick

Avocado–Black Bean Salsa

People love this highly flavored, not too spicy dip. To make ahead, combine all ingredients except the avocado. Cover and chill, and then gently stir in the freshly diced avocado just before serving.

Whole Grilled Striped Bass

Photo: Melanie Acevedo, Food Stylist: Jamie Kim

Whole Grilled Striped Bass

Whole fish is easier to simpler to grill than, say, separate burgers or filets when you’re feeding a crowd. Try using fresh lemon—it infuses flavor in fish.

Grilled Veggie Kebabs

Photo: Melanie Acevedo, Food Stylist: Jamie Kim

Grilled Veggie Kebabs

Firing up the grill means you can mingle while you cook, and makes it easier to time your dishes are guests arrive. Kebabs are a smart choice because they can be prepped earlier in the day.

 

Grilled Shrimp with Asian Barbecue Sauce

Photo: Jean Allsopp

Grilled Shrimp with Asian Barbecue Sauce

Offer this low-fat dish as an appetizer or an entrée served with hot steamed brown rice—and be sure to use reduced-sodium soy sauce.

Salmon is a fatty fish, but it’s the good fat your body needs.

Photographer Jean Allsopp

Grilled Salmon and Spinach Salad with Peach Dressing

Salmon is a fatty fish, but it’s the good fat your body needs. The Peach Dressing tastes rich because the pureed peaches add a lot of body. You don’t have to make a salad, either―skip the Peach Dressing and don’t break the salmon into pieces for a delicious entrée.

Low-Fat Lobster Rolls

Photo: Jennifer Davick

Low-Fat Lobster Rolls

Using reduced-fat mayonnaise and whole-wheat buns cuts out calories in this lightened-up version of typical lobster rolls. When toasting the buns, use a butter-flavored cooking spray instead of real butter.

Garden Fresh Green Beans

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Garden Fresh Green Beans

Green beans are packed with nutrients, and mushrooms add texture and flavor. For an even healthier twist, season with lemon juice and black pepper instead of butter.

Favorite Side Dishes: Herb Marinated Grilled Vegetables

Photographer Charles Walton IV

Herb Marinated Grilled Vegetables

The herb-packed marinade takes grilled vegetables from dull to delicious.

Our Best Tailgating Recipes: Quinoa, Corn, and Mint Salad

Photographer: Melanie Acevedo, Writer: Amber Sandoval-Griffin

Quinoa, Corn, and Mint Salad

Quinoa is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds, which star in this light and refreshing salad. You can substitute orzo pasta, faro, or couscous for the quinoa, if you prefer.

Our Best Tailgating Recipes: Waldorf Salad

Photographer Squire Fox

Waldorf Salad

This quick and easy salad is perfect for a last-minute addition to your barbecue. The apple yogurt adds an extra punch of sweet flavor while keeping the dish lower in fat.

Greek Shrimp Bruschetta

Photographer Howard L. Puckett

Greek Shrimp Bruschetta

Combine some Mediterranean flavors with a classic Italian antipasto, and you get this highly rated recipe. Shrimp adds a new dimension to bruschetta and makes it a heartier accompaniment to a meal. This zesty dish is perfect for a crowd.

Berries with Mascarpone

Food Stylist Jamie Kim, Photographer Melanie Acevedo

Berries with Mascarpone

This fresh fruit dessert is an easy menu addition—and is sure to be a hit with kids!

Watermelon, Heirloom Tomato, and Feta Salad

Food Stylist Jamie Kim, Photographer Melanie Acevedo

Watermelon, Heirloom Tomato, and Feta Salad

Fill this salad with heirloom tomatoes from your local farmers’ market—the more colors and varieties, the better.

 

Grilled Glazed Pineapple with Coconut Sorbet

Photographer Con Poulos,

Grilled Glazed Pineapple with Coconut Sorbet

Grilling brings out the extra sweetness in the pineapple, but don't overcook or the fruit will get mushy.

Grilled Halibut with Lemon-Mint Gremolata

Jean Allsopp

Grilled Halibut with Lemon-Mint Gremolata

There aren’t a lot of fussy ingredients here, so start with the best piece of fish you can find. Try any firm white fish―thin fillets will fall apart on the grill. Pacific halibut is more plentiful, so you may see better prices in the market. Frozen fillets are an even better deal, but purchase from a retailer that has a high turnover so you don’t get fish that’s past its chilly prime.

Make your next fish taco a healthy one by grilling the fish instead of frying.

Photographer Jean Allsopp

Grilled Fish Tacos with Tomato-Green Onion Relish

Make your fish tacos healthy by grilling the fish instead of frying. Use whole-wheat tortillas for a fiber boost. Watch out for sauces―they are hidden sources of calories. The Tomato-Green Onion Relish is fat-free but loaded with flavor.

Favorite Side Dishes: Tropical Fruit with Mango Cream

Photographer Howard L. Puckett

Tropical Fruit with Mango Cream

Liven up a fruit plate with this light and tasty mango cream dip.

Mint Julep Iced Tea

Howard L. Puckett

Mint Julep Iced Tea

This twist on classic sweet tea is easy to make for a crowd.

Be sure to cut meat into equal pieces so they all finish cooking at the same time.

Photographer Con Poulos,

Grilled Chinese Sweet and Sour Kabobs

Be sure to cut meat into equal pieces so that all of the kabobs finish cooking at the same time.

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