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10 Healthy and Simple Summer Recipes - Echo Market

10 Healthy and Simple Summer Recipes

| Victoria Hurd

Summer is the perfect season for gathering friends and family around the grill or picnic table to enjoy the warm weather and vibrant flavors of the season. Whether hosting a laid-back barbecue, a lakeside party or just enjoying dinner on the patio, the right dishes can elevate your event and nourish both body and soul. This collection of 10 healthy and simple summer recipes will delight your taste buds while keeping things light and nutritious. From zesty salads to savory grilled dishes, these recipes are sure to make your summer celebrations memorable and delicious. Dive into a world of fresh produce, bold flavors, and healthy twists on classic dishes that everyone will love.

*Bonus points for choosing local and organic whenever possible for your health and the planet. Consider shopping at local farmers' markets for the freshest, nutrient-dense, in-season ingredients!

1. Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken Skewers

Fire up the grill for these flavorful chicken skewers marinated in lemon, herbs, and olive oil. This dish is light, protein-rich, and savory, making it a perfect main course for your Fourth of July barbecue.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine lemon juice and zest in a mixing bowl, olive oil, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add chicken pieces to the marinade and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, preferably a few hours or overnight.
  3. Thread chicken onto skewers and let sit at room temperature for ~15 minutes. Grill over medium heat, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked thoroughly and golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

2. Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Satisfy your tastebuds with this vibrant, fiber-rich salad as colorful as the fireworks in the sky. This salad combines fluffy quinoa with black beans, fresh vegetables, and a zesty lime dressing for a refreshing side dish or a standalone meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Rinse quinoa under cold water. In a saucepan, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Combine cooled quinoa, black beans, bell pepper, onion, and cilantro in a large bowl. Note: If raw vegetables don't sit well with your digestive system, toss the diced bell pepper and onion in olive oil and pan-roast them in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Let cool, then combine.
  3. Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the quinoa and stir to combine.
  4. Chill for at least an hour before serving to let flavors meld.
A summer berry spinach salad with delicious-looking feta and walnuts

3. Summer Berry Spinach Salad

Take advantage of the season's berries with this delightful salad. Mix spinach leaves with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, toss in some feta cheese and nuts, and drizzle with a honey-balsamic vinaigrette for a sweet and tangy flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine spinach, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries in a large bowl.
  2. In a dry pan over medium heat, lightly toast the chopped walnuts until fragrant.
  3. Add toasted walnuts and feta cheese to the salad.
  4. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, honey, and olive oil in a small bowl. Drizzle over the salad and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

4. Chilled Avocado Soup

Cool down with a creamy avocado soup that's both refreshing and heart-healthy. Blend avocados with yogurt and chicken or vegetable broth for a smooth texture, then season with herbs and spices for a quick and easy appetizer.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups plain yogurt or kefir
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro or dill for garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a blender, combine avocados, cucumber, yogurt or kefir, broth, garlic, and lime juice. Blend until smooth.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
  4. Serve cold, garnished with fresh herbs.
A vegetable hummus platter with olive oil crackers on the side

5. Vegetable and Hummus Platter

Swap the traditional chips and dip for a platter of crisp summer vegetables and creamy hummus. This simple and healthy snack is perfect for grazing on throughout your summer festivities.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup hummus (store-bought or homemade)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into sticks
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olives
  • Pita bread or whole-grain crackers

Instructions:

  1. Arrange hummus in a central bowl on a large platter. Feel free to drizzle olive oil and sprinkle herbs or spices such as smoked paprika for the *this is homemade* touch.
  2. Neatly arrange carrot sticks, celery sticks, bell pepper slices, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and olives around the hummus.
  3. Serve with pita bread or crackers for dipping.

6. Grilled Veggie Pizza

Let color and flavor delight your senses with a grilled veggie-packed pizza. Lay out whole-wheat pizza dough and top with a variety of vegetables and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. Grill to perfection for a smoky, satisfying meal that will perk up any party.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole-wheat pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface to your desired thickness.
  3. Brush one side of the dough with olive oil and place oil-side down on the grill. Cook until the bottom is lightly charred, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Brush the top side with oil, then flip the dough using a spatula. Quickly spread tomato sauce, and then top with zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Close the grill and cook until the cheese is melted and the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Remove from grill, garnish with fresh basil, slice, and serve.

7. Fresh Mango Salsa

This sweet and spicy mango salsa is a great addition to grilled fish or chicken, or simply enjoyed with whole-grain tortilla chips. Combine ripe mangoes with red onion, cilantro, jalapeños, and lime juice for a burst of flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe mangoes, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine mangoes, red onion, jalapeño (if using), cilantro, and lime juice.
  2. Season with salt and gently mix.
  3. Let the salsa sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  4. Serve with grilled fish, the chicken skewer recipe above, or tortilla chips. Or all three!
Turkey burgers topped with soft boiled eggs, avocado, and stuffed with spinach

8. Turkey Burgers with Avocado

Give your burgers a healthy makeover by using lean ground turkey and topping them with slices of rich avocado and optional soft-boiled eggs. For a lighter option, serve on a whole-grain bun or a lettuce wrap.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 whole-grain burger buns
  • Lettuce, tomato slices, and any other desired toppings, such as 7-minute soft-boiled eggs

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, mix ground turkey with minced onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Form the mixture into four patties.
  3. Grill over medium heat, flipping once, until the burgers are cooked through, about 5-7 minutes on each side.
  4. Serve the burgers on buns with lettuce, tomato, and sliced avocado—option to add 7-minute soft-boiled eggs for a brain boost of choline.
A watermelon and feta salad styled with a bowl of gold honey on a gingham picnic blanket

9. Watermelon and Feta Salad

Nothing says summer like watermelon. Toss cubed watermelon with crumbled feta cheese, fresh mint, and a drizzle of olive oil for a refreshing side that’s sure to be a hit.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cubed watermelon
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine watermelon, feta, and mint.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and gently toss to combine.
  3. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Serve chilled as a refreshing side dish.

10. Frozen Yogurt Bark

For dessert, try this frozen treat that's easy to make and fun to eat. Spread Greek yogurt on a baking sheet, sprinkle with mixed berries and a drizzle of honey, then freeze. Break into pieces for a frosty, sweet snack.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries (such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries)
  • Optional toppings: nuts, seeds, or chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spread the Greek yogurt in an even layer on the parchment paper.
  3. Drizzle honey over the yogurt and scatter the berries and any other toppings over the top.
  4. Freeze until solid, about 4 hours.
  5. Break into pieces and enjoy as a cool, refreshing treat.

Embracing the joy of summer doesn’t have to mean compromising on health. With these 10 vibrant and nutritious recipes, you’re all set to impress at any summer gathering. Each dish is crafted to bring out the best in seasonal produce, ensuring that your meals are not only delicious but also good for you. Whether you're grilling out, hosting a picnic, or just enjoying a quiet meal under the sun, these recipes provide the perfect combination of flavor and freshness. So go ahead, make the most of the sunny days with meals that are as nourishing as they are delightful. Enjoy your summer feasts!

Tags: Recipes

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