The long, lazy days of summer are the perfect backdrop for lingering at backyard barbecues, picnicking in the park, and savoring sweet and juicy desserts. Keeping that in mind, here are some sensational summer recipes from MyPlate Kitchen. These recipes range from salads to beverages to desserts. They use seasonal produce, and are all healthy, low cost, and delicious!
Check out our Seasonal Produce Guide to see what's in season for Summer!
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Oranges help to brighten up this tasty veggie salad. It is quick and easy to make. Top it off with your favorite vinaigrette.
Makes 5 servings.
5 cups spinach leaves (packed, washed, and dried well)
1/2 red onion (sliced thin)
1/2 red pepper (sliced)
1 cucumber (whole, sliced)
2 orange (peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces)
1/3 cup vinaigrette dressing ("lite", around 15 calories per tablespoon or less)
- Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss again. Serve immediately.
For nutrition information, please visit Sunshine Salad at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.
Fresh avocado doubles for dressing and filling complementing blueberries, carrots, arugula and chicken in this appetizing summer wrap.
Makes 4 servings.
1 ripe avocado (seeded, peeled, and cut into chunks)
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup carrots (grated)
1/4 cup red onion (chopped)
2 cups fresh arugula (chopped)
12 ounces cooked chicken breast (cubed)
4 8" whole wheat tortillas
- Mash half the avocado chunks with yogurt and lime juice in a medium bowl.
- Add remaining filling ingredients, including the rest of the avocado chunks; mix gently.
- Top each tortilla with 1/4 of filling mixture.
- Roll tuck in ends. Slice in half diagonally, securing with toothpicks, if needed.
For nutrition information, please visit California Avocado Super Summer Wrap at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.
A delicious smoothie makes the perfect summer snack or dessert.
Makes 3 servings.
1 cup plain yogurt (non-fat)
6 strawberries (medium)
1 cup pineapple (crushed, canned in juice)
1 banana (medium)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ice cubes
- Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.
- Serve in frosted glass.
For nutrition information, please visit Summer Breeze Smoothies at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.
Fruit kabobs make a colorful and fun snack that kids can help prepare.
Makes 8 servings.
1 cup watermelon (chunks)
1 cup pineapple (chunks)
1 cup grapes, red seedless
1 cup strawberries (stemmed)
2 kiwi (peeled and cut in quarters)
bamboo skewers (6 inches long)
1 cup yogurt, light strawberry
- Place fruit chunks on bamboo skewers. Place fruit kabobs on platter.
- Place light strawberry yogurt in bowl. Serve kabobs with yogurt on the side.
For nutrition information, please visit Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.
The perfect dessert when peaches are in season. Simple to prepare but absolutely scrumptious.
Makes 6 servings.
4 peaches (4 cups sliced)
2 tablespoons margarine
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Slice the peaches.
- Spread the peach slices on the bottom of the baking pan.
- Melt the margarine in a saucepan.
- In a small bowl, mix everything but the peaches. Stir until the mix is well blended.
- Sprinkle the oat mix on top of the peaches.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
For nutrition information, please visit Peach Crisp at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.
A delicious summer salad to serve when summer vegetables are at their peak. Great with grilled meat, fish, and tofu.
Makes 8 servings.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 green peppers
salt and pepper (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine oil and lemon juice.
- Dice all the fruits and vegetables and then add to the bowl.
- Add salt and pepper to taste (optional).
- Serve chilled.
- Best served within 24 hours.
For nutrition information, please visit Somali Summer Salad at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.
Summer squash is the secret ingredient in this fun summer salsa. Enjoy with your favorite whole grains.
Makes 12 servings.
1 can black beans (rinsed)
6 tomatoes, seeded and diced (medium)
1/2 green pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium red onion (minced)
1 summer squash, medium (peeled, seeds removed, diced)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Adobo seasoning (combination or garlic, coriander, salt, and cumin)
lemon or lime juice (2 Tablespoons, optional)
4 tablespoons mozzarella cheese, part skim
fresh cilantro or dried parsley (optional)
- Combine all ingredients except cheese. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Spoon over tortilla chips, cooked rice, or noodles.
- Top with grated, part-skim mozzarella cheese. Serve hot or cold!
For nutrition information, please visit Squash Salsa at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.
Toss this fruit salad together in a flash. Doubles and triples easily for a large group.
Makes 4 servings.
1 cup strawberries (diced, fresh or frozen)
1 cup watermelon (cubed)
1 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or canned packed in natural juice (do not drain)
- Stir fruit together in a medium sized bowl.
- Cover and chill. Serve as soon as possible.
For nutrition information, please visit Summer Fruit Salad at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.
Garlic, cumin, and lemon juice give a zesty flavor to this cold, blended vegetable soup. Cilantro added at the end leaves a refreshing pop of flavor.
Makes 4 servings.
2 cucumbers (diced into 1/4 inch pieces)
3 red bell peppers (seeded and diced into 1/4 inch pieces)
3 green peppers (seeded and diced into 1/4 inch pieces)
4 celery stalks (diced into 1/4 inch pieces)
2 tomatoes (diced into 1/4 inch pieces)
1 onion (medium, diced into 1/4 inch pieces)
2 cups tomato juice, low-sodium
3 garlic cloves (fresh minced)
1 tablespoon cumin (ground)
1 cup cilantro (fresh chopped)
salt and pepper (to taste, optional)
- Combine all ingredients except salt, pepper, and lemons in a bowl.
- Remove 2 cups of the mixture and reserve.
- Using a blender or food processor, puree the remaining mixture in the bowl.
- Add 2 cups of reserved mixture to the pureed mixture.
- Season with salt, pepper (optional) and the juice from the lemons.
- Cover mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Serve cold, garnished with chopped cilantro.
For nutrition information, please visit Farmers Market Gazpacho at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.