At the time of writing this, it is Memorial Day weekend 2021, which means that summer is right around the corner! I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to this summer SO MUCH. After spending so much time at home in 2020 and with more locations starting to ease restrictions and open up, I feel like we are due for a fresh start (and some fun)! When I think of summer, I think of time spent with friends, family, BBQ’s, farmer’s markets, rooftop patios, hiking, and of course, great food! Today I am sharing 5 recipes you need to try this summer. These are all easy to make and don’t take much time to prepare, so you can spend more time with with the people around you and less time in the kitchen. Best of all, these dishes are on the healthier side, but trust me, you would not know it from the taste of them!
Quinoa Black Bean Burgers
These burgers have been a staple in our household for years. I have tried so many pre-made veggie burgers and there is something that is always just “off” about them. These homemade burgers take very little time to make, contain real ingredients, taste delicious and freeze well. Trust me, once you try these, you will never go back to store bought!
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 5 burgers
1 15oz can of black beans
1/4 cup of dry quinoa
1 cup of old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
3 tablespoons of finely chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 serrano pepper(optional)
2 teaspoons Sriracha, or preferred hot sauce
1-1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Cook quinoa according to directions.
While quinoa is cooking, drain and rinse black beans. Once rinsed, put the black beans in a bowl and mash with a fork into a paste-like mixture, leaving some black beans whole.
Once complete, add cooked quinoa, oats, bell pepper, onion, garlic, serrano pepper, egg, hot sauce, cumin and salt to the black bean mixture. Using your hands, mix all ingredients together.
Form the mixture into 5 small patties.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Place the patties in the pan and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes on each side.
Enjoy with a bun or over a plate of arugula. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Watermelon Feta Salad
Watermelon is the perfect refreshing snack on a hot summer day. With watermelon being 92% water, it is one of the most hydrating foods you can eat, but it also contains essential nutrients and fiber. Watermelon and feta salad is a classic summer recipe. However, this version adds a little spice balanced by a honey based dressing. You will be going back for more after one bite of this delicious salad!
Prep: 20 mins
Total: 20 mins
1 small watermelon
1 large cucumber
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 serrano peppers (or adjust to your liking)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 avocado, cubed
Handful of mint leaves
Handful of basil leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons honey
1 garlic clove, minced
Peel and cube the watermelon and cucumber. Add to a mixing bowl with diced red onion and mix. Add mixture to a platter or serving bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix together olive oil, lime juice, honey, and garlic clove. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour half of the dressing mixture over the watermelon, cucumber and onion. Place remaining dressing aside.
Slice the serrano peppers, cube the avocado and chop the mint and basil leaves.
Top the watermelon mix with the sliced serrano peppers, cubed avocado, chopped mint, chopped basil, and feta crumbles.
Pour remaining 1/2 of the dressing on top of the watermelon salad.
I know what you’re thinking – Dandelions!? As in, those pesky yellow weeds that grow in the yard? Trust me, I had my eyebrow raised too! While I was pursuing my nutrition certification, I was asked to make this recipe as part of an assignment and was pleasantly surprised after I tried it! I love this pesto with these crackers from Trader Joes or with baby carrots. There is a slight bitterness to it, so balancing the pesto with something that has a bit of sweetness is the perfect. You could also top the black bean burgers above with some of this pesto! That being said, I am hooked now and the best part is that dandelion is highly nutritious, contains antioxidants, fights inflammation, balances blood sugar, is highly detoxifying and more.
**Disclaimer: This is not my recipe and taken from the Body Into Balance Book linked here – check this book out for more great recipes including teas and topical products. It’s packed with great information about how herbal remedies can heal your body.
Prep: 20 mins
Total: 20 mins
1 bunch dandelion greens, chopped
1 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1-3 cloves of garlic
Squeeze of lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it makes a nice paste. Eat immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Coconut Ice Cream
To me, coconuts remind me of being on a beach vacation and who doesn’t want to feel like they are on a beach whenever they can!? This ice cream is super refreshing, dairy free, and packed with flavor. This is simple vanilla base, but you can add any flavorings you want to make it your own. For example, this summer, I want to try this recipe with blended pineapple to see if I can get a pina colada flavor. The point is, enjoy as is or make it your own! Either way, you can’t go wrong.
Prep: 10 mins + freezing overnight
Total: 10 mins + freezing overnight
2 cups full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Sprinkle of coconut sugar, to taste
Dash vanilla bean powder, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Dash of ground nutmeg, to taste
Dash of ground cinnamon, to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
There are two ways you can freeze this mixture:
Option 1: Pour mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze overnight. Once frozen, use a high powered blender to blend cubes into ice cream.
Option 2: Prepare your ice cream maker per the specific manufacturers instructions. Churn the mixture in the ice cream maker until you reach the desired consistency.
Lemon Ginger Spritzer
Last, but definitely least, we of course need a refreshing summer cocktail to round out the meal! When it’s summer, fizzy drinks with herbs and/or fruit are perfect to have in hand. This cocktail is the perfect way to stay cool and compliments the rest of the meals perfectly.
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 2 drinks
1 large lemon, juiced
Handful of fresh mint
Fresh ginger (about 1″), minced
1/2 cup agave or honey
1/2 cup of water
Sauvignon blanc, very chilled
Pellegrino, very chilled
First, make the ginger syrup. In a saucepan, combine ginger, agave, and water. From there, bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 35 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Add ice to two 16oz glasses. Split the lemon juice between each glass. Add 2 tablespoons of ginger syrup to each. Fill 3/4 of the glass with sauvignon blanc. Top with chilled Pellegrino and fresh mint. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Share with me your favorite summer recipes!