My Favorite Summer Clean Eating Recipes by Seay Stanford
Summer brings on a treasure trove of fresh produce. If you're not a green thumber, yourself, you can hit up your local farmer's market for yummy fruit and vegetables to not only feed your family this season, but to keep your fitness/nutrition in check, too. But, if you're like me, the plain versions of these fruits and veggies get a little tiresome and boring.
So, consider these recipes as a way to jazz up your summer cooking! Some of them may be just right for simple additions to your dinner table at home or late-night snacking needs, while others might be just the thing you need to take the block party.
Triple Berry Summer Salad
Ingredients: 9 oz. baby spinach, torn 1 cup sliced strawberries 1 cup raspberries 1 cup blueberries 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted 1/3 cup chopped basil 1 avocado, chopped 4 oz. goat or feta cheese
- Divide baby spinach between plates.
- Top with berries, almonds, basil and chopped avocado.
- Crumble goat cheese on top, then dress with salad dressing. I recommend raspberry or strawberry balsamic vinegar, but any olive-oil based vinaigrette would be fantastic!
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Combine the mango, cucumber, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice and cilantro leaves and mix well.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Avocado Tuna Salad
1 lemon, juiced, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped onion, to taste
5 ounces cooked or canned wild tuna
sea salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the avocado in half and scoop the middle of both avocado halves into a bowl, leaving a shell of avocado flesh about ¼-inch thick on each half.
- Add lemon juice and onion to the avocado in the bowl and mash together. Add tuna, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust if needed.
- Fill avocado shells with tuna salad and serve.
Chile Lime Chicken Wings
½ medium onion, roughly chopped
2 jalapeno peppers (or 1 Serrano pepper), ribs and seeds removed
3 garlic cloves, peeled
½ cup cilantro, tightly packed
Freshly ground pepper
Zest from 2 limes
¼ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons Paleo-friendly fish sauce (Red Boat!)
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
6 pounds chicken wings and/or drumsticks
1-2 tablespoons melted fat of choice
4 limes, cut into wedges
- Toss the onion, peppers, garlic, cilantro, ground pepper, lime zest and juice, fish sauce and coconut aminos into a blender, an blitz everything together until a bright green purée is formed.
- Place the chicken wings in a large bowl, and add the marinade. Mix well with your hands.
- Marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours. Don’t marinade the wings longer than 12 hours, because the acid will make the meat mushy. Yuck!
- Take the wings out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you intend to cook them.
- Use long-handled tongs to grease the cooking grate with a wad of paper towels dipped in coconut oil.
- Grill the wings over medium-hot coals (or with gas grill burners set to medium) for about 15 minutes, turning once, until the fat has rendered and the skin turns crisp and golden.
- Serve with lime wedges, and let the feeding frenzy commence.
Ingredients: 1 large seedless watermelon 2 cans full fat coconut milk (left in fridge for 6 hours or more) 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 Tbsp. raw honey 1 cup sliced almonds or shredded coconut Seasonal fresh fruit (for topping) (strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, etc.)
Directions: TO MAKE THE COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM 1. Make sure to place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (or overnight). This will cause the cream to separate from the milk. The cream will be at the top of the can. 2. Open the can of coconut milk and scrape out the cream into a medium sized bowl. Hint: I always open the can from the bottom and pour the milk out into a separate container before scraping out the cream. You can use the saved milk for smoothies and other recipes. 3. Add the vanilla and raw honey to the mixture. Whip the cream with a hand mixer on medium speed and work your way up to high speed until the cream is fluffy, about 5 minutes (it will not be as fluffy as dairy whipped cream). Place the bowl of whipped cream in the fridge until ready to use.
TO MAKE THE TOASTED ALMONDS OR COCONUT: 1. Place a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat and allow the pan to get hot. 2. Add the sliced almonds or shredded coconut and toss in the pan until they are toasted and turn a light brown color. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
TO ASSEMBLE 1. Remove the top and bottom from the watermelon and remove the rind from the middle section. You should be left with a cake-shaped piece of watermelon. Cut the watermelon "cake" into the number of wedges/slices you want. I recommend 6-8 slices depending on the size of the watermelon. (See below for a visual on how to cut the watermelon!). NOTE: You can leave the watermelon intact if you plan on traveling with it or do not want to cut it. Slicing a cake ahead of time just makes it much easier to dip the edges into the icing and then into anything else you want to adhere to the icing, such as the almonds or toasted coconut. 2. Pat the outside of the watermelon dry with paper towels (this is important because it will help the coconut whipped cream adhere better). 3. Dip the outside edge of each slice into the coconut whipped cream and then into the toasted almonds or coconut, and reassemble the wedges into the cake shape on a serving platter. Top with more whipped coconut cream and your favorite fresh fruit (I used blackberries, strawberries and kiwi). Serve or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberry Bites
2 cups Greek Yogurt (honey flavored)
1 carton fresh blueberries
- Stick a berry with a toothpick. Dip/swirl the berry in the yogurt. Use a second toothpick to push the berry off and onto a cookie sheet.
- Repeat with all of the berries.
- Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour.
- Use a fork/spatula to pop the blueberries off the cookie sheet and put them in plastic baggies or other containers to store them.
Tips: This recipe can make up to three sandwich bags full of yumminess. But, they won't stay frozen long enough to take on road trips or other activities. They are great snacks for afternoon treats at home.
Fish & Veggie Hobo Packets
4 fish fillets)
1 large lemon or 2 smaller lemons, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons butter
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
8 mini bell peppers, sliced (Or 1 regular bell pepper)
1 slicer tomato, chopped
1 Tablespoon capers, juice drained
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Small bunch fresh dill
- Preheat the grill to medium high (I tried to keep my temperature gauge between 400 and 450 degrees.)
- In a bowl, toss together zucchini, bell peppers, tomato, olive oil, Kosher salt and black pepper. Set aside.
- For each packet, you will need 2 large (about 20 inches long) sheets of foil, or just 1 sheet if it's the heavy duty kind.
- Lay your foil out and spray with cooking spray. Alternatively, you can brush them with olive oil.
- Lay one fish fillet on the foil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place three thin slivers of butter (or use coconut oil) on top of the fish. Put two slices of lemon on top of the butter. Place a few sprigs of dill on top of that.
- Place ¼ of the vegetables, including capers beside the fish.
- Fold the long sides of the foil in towards the center and roll over to seal. Seal up the edges, as well.
- Repeat with remaining fillets and vegetables.
- Place on the preheated grill, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes. Mine took a little longer because they were frozen. To serve, carefully remove them from the grill and peel back the foil layer. Fish are done when they are white (not translucent) and flake easily with a fork. Serve in the foil packet or on plates with the sauce from the bottom of the packet.
Take advantage of the season's offerings to create new recipes and variations in your healthy-eating menus. Often, when you're using fresh vegetables and fruit, prep is minimal, as a lot of extra ingredients are unnecessary. Try new things you haven't experimented with before. And, seek new ways to use old favorites in healthy ways.
You may be surprised how easy it is to eat a nutritious diet and still feel like you're enjoying the foods of summer!