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Summer Inspired Meals

Ah, summertime. There is nothing like warm sunny longer days. The green grass, colorful flowers, smell of honeysuckle or gardenias in the air, lighting bugs glowing at night, and laying out or splashing in the pool or beach. Now is the time to ditch recipes sweating over the stovetop or oven. Below are some quick easy-breezy summer-inspired meals that are great for you to enjoy the seasonal produce that summer has to offer! 

I have included a range from no-bake easiness to using the grill to help maximize your time outdoors and keep the heat out of the kitchen. Keep your summer eating simple and fun while still working towards your towards health goals.

Pineapple Coconut Shrimp

Total time-25 minutes

9 ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3 Garlic (cloves, minced)
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 lbs Shrimp (raw, peeled and de-veined) *If vegetarian or vegan, use extra firm Tofu and make sure water has been pressed as much as possible
  • 4 Cups Fresh Pineapple (diced into chunks)
  • 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 12 Barbecue Skewers

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, parsley, and sea salt. Mix well. Add shrimp (or Tofu if plant-based) and toss well to coat.
  2. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  3. Slide a shrimp (or Tofu) onto a skewer, followed by a pineapple chunk. Repeat until all ingredients are used up.
  4. Transfer skewers to the grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until shrimp is pink. If using Tofu, cook time will be the same. Remove from grill and sprinkle with coconut flakes. Serve over a bed of greens or with your favorite side dishes. Enjoy!

Notes

No Pineapple? Use lemon or peaches or mangos instead.

Like it Spicy? Add Sriracha or Cayenne pepper to the sauce.

No Shrimp? Add Chicken, Fish, or do just Vegetables

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves 4

Calories 357, Fat 10g (Sat 3 g, Trans 0g, Polyunsat 1g, Monounsat 5g) Carbs 23g, Fiber 3g, Sugar 16g, Protein 47g, Cholesterol 365mg, Sodium 570mg


BBQ Chimichurri Chicken

Total time- 30 minutes

6 Ingredients

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  2. 1 cup Cilantro (thick stems removed)
  3. 1/4 cup Fresh Oregano
  4. 4 Garlic (cloves)
  5. 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  6. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  7. 1 1/4 lbs Chicken Breast (skinless, boneless) *If vegetarian or Vegan you can use Portabella Mushroom caps, Squash, or Eggplant.
  8. 2 Sweet Potato (medium, peeled and cut into wedges)

Directions

  1. Add vinegar, cilantro, oregano, garlic, 2/3 of the olive oil, and salt to a food processor and blend until smooth. Occasionally scrape down the sides as needed.
  2. In a large bowl, coat chicken breasts or vegetables in half the chimichurri sauce and set aside. In a separate bowl, coat sweet potato wedges in the remaining olive oil.
  3. Preheat grill on medium heat. Grill the chicken breasts or vegetables until cooked, about 10 to 12 minutes each side. Grill the sweet potato wedges on all sides, about 10 minutes total.
  4. Transfer to plates and top with the desired amount of chimichurri. Enjoy!

Notes

No Cilantro? Use parsley instead

Storage– Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days. Leftover chimichurri will keep up to 7 days.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves 4

Calories 609, Fat 45g (Saturated 6g, Trans 0g, Polyunsat. 5g, Monounsat. 31g) Carbs 18g, Fiber 4g, Sugar 3g, Protein 34g, Cholesterol 102mg, Calcium 123mg


Strawberry Maple Walnut Salad

Total time -15 minutes

7 ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Walnuts
  • 1 Tbsps Maple Syrup
  • 4 Cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 Cup Fresh Strawberries (sliced)
  • 1/4 Goat Cheese (crumbled) or Vegan Cheese if preferred
  • 1 1/2 Tbsps Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Toast walnuts in a pan over medium heat. When slightly browned, coat with maple syrup. Turn heat to low and stir until sticky (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat.
  2. Divide spinach into bowls. Top with strawberries, goat cheese, and toasted walnuts.
  3. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over your salad and enjoy!

Notes

Want More Protein? Add quinoa, edamame, chickpeas, or strips of chicken breast.

Short on Time? Leave the walnuts raw and add maple syrup to the dressing.

No Goat Cheese? Use feta or cashew cheese instead.

No Fresh Strawberries? Use in-season fruit like peaches, berries, apricots, or plums

Storage-Refrigerate in an airtight container with dressing in a separate up to 2 to 3 days.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves 2

Calories 387, Fat 33g (Saturated 5g, Trans 0g, Polyunsat. 15g, Monounsat. 10g, Carbs 20g, Fiber 5g, Sugar 12g, Protein 9g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 264mg, Calcium 122mg


Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca

Total time-10 minutes

5 Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Seedless Watermelon (large)
  • 2 Tbsps Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Mint Leaves
  • 1/2 Lime (sliced into wedges)

Directions

  1. Slice your watermelon into rounds and then into quarters. Slice off the rind. Dice the watermelon and add to the blender with maple syrup and water.
  2. Divide mint and lime wedges into drinking glasses. Use a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon to mash them together.
  3. Add ice (optional) and pour watermelon agua fresca into each glass. Stir to combine and enjoy!

Notes

Less Pulp? Strain your agua fresca after blending.

Garnish-Lime wedge, mint leaves, and/or coarse ground sea salt.

Like it Fizzy? Use sparkling water instead of flat water.

No Maple Syrup? Use honey or agave instead.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves 4

Calories 198, Fat 1g (Saturated 0g, Trans 0g, Polyunsat 0g, Monounsat 0g, Carbs 50g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 41g, Protein 4g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 9mg, Calcium 60mg


Cherry Blueberry Coconut Popsicles

Total Time-4 hours

3 Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Frozen Cherries (roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Blueberries
  • 1/2 cup Organic Coconut Milk

Directions

  1. If you do not have popsicle molds, purchase 3oz cups and popsicle sticks from the dollar store. Insert each popsicle stick into the middle of cherry to anchor it in each cup.
  2. Add chopped cherries and blueberries to fill about 3/4 of the cup, around the stick. Fill the remainder of the cup with coconut milk.
  3. Place in the freezer for 4 hours or until completely frozen.
  4. Once frozen, run under warm water for a few seconds to make it easier to remove from the cup or mold. Enjoy!

Notes

Want it Creamier? Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender and divide it into cups.
No Coconut Milk? Use almond milk or any other dairy milk alternative.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves 6

Calories 48, Fat 4g Saturated 4g, Trans 0g, Polyunsat 0g, Monounsat 0g, Carbs 4g, Fiber 1g, Sugar 3g, Protein 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 5mg, Calcium 3mg


I hope you enjoy trying some or all of the refreshing summer meals while having fun this summer. Let me know what are your go to meals and what are your summer favorites in the comments below!

Published by Erin Wheless

I am a passionate Health and Fitness Professional who thrives on helping and motivating others into a healthier way of life, improving their quality of life being in a more Zen state of mind, along with helping them obtaining a stronger body and mind. I want to help them be the best version of themselves and want to help make a difference one small step at a time.

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