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.
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.
- Recipe: Fresh Salmon Burgers
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.
- Recipe: Avocado-Black Bean Salsa
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.
- Recipe: Whole Grilled Striped Bass
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.
- Recipe: Grilled Veggie Kebabs
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. 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.
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.
- Recipe: Low-Fat Lobster Rolls
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.
- Recipe: Garden Fresh Green Beans
The herb-packed marinade takes grilled vegetables from dull to delicious.
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.
- Recipe: Quinoa, Corn, and Mint 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.
- Recipe: Waldorf Salad
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.
- Recipe: Greek Shrimp Bruschetta
This fresh fruit dessert is an easy menu addition—and is sure to be a hit with kids!
- Recipe: Berries with Mascarpone
Fill this salad with heirloom tomatoes from your local farmers’ market—the more colors and varieties, the better.
Grilling brings out the extra sweetness in the pineapple, but don't overcook or the fruit will get mushy.
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 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.
Liven up a fruit plate with this light and tasty mango cream dip.
- Recipe: Tropical Fruit with Mango Cream
This twist on classic sweet tea is easy to make for a crowd.
- Recipe: Mint Julep Iced Tea
Be sure to cut meat into equal pieces so that all of the kabobs finish cooking at the same time.