Summer gives us a bounty of fresh fruits & vegetables. A walk through your local farmer’s market is like a trip to a candy store: all bright colors and fresh flavors. The bonus? All of summer’s “candy” is good for you too!
Last week, we learned ways to sneak vegetables into our meals. These recipes are so good, you won’t need to trick anyone into eating their veggies.
Health Perks of Summer’s Bounty
Fresh fruits & vegetables are loaded with antioxidants that can help fight disease and aging. Fiber is another benefit, keeping your GI tract working smoothly and combating weight gain by making you feel full. And for those amongst us who are not big water drinkers, you’ll be happy to know that most fruits & vegetables are at least 90% water, so load up your plate and drink up!
Summer is the best time for so many fruits & vegetables. Some of my favorites:
- summer squash
- berries, especially blueberries
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
This is a very FLEX•ABLE recipe. Made with beans, itʼs a delicious vegetarian recipe. The simple addition of shrimp gives it an even broader appeal. Or skip the protein and use it as a bruschetta topping.
6 red bell peppers
½ cup parsley leaves
¼ cup dry white wine
2 garlic cloves, smashed & chopped
1 pound peeled & deveined shrimp OR
1 15-ounce can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
salt & pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese
Roast peppers by placing on a cookie sheet under a broiler and broiling until pepper skin is uniformly charred (turn occasionally). This should take about 10 – 15 minutes total.
Place roasted peppers in a large bowl. Seal bowl with plastic wrap and steam peppers for 15 minutes. Carefully remove plastic wrap and rub off charred pepper skins, discarding the stems and seeds.
In a food processor, combine the peppers, parsley, white wine and garlic. Pulse this mixture, leaving slightly chunky.
Pour mixture into a medium saucepan, add shrimp or beans, salt & pepper. Gently simmer until the shrimp are pink and cooked; or about 5 – 10 minutes.
Serve this yummy sauce over:
• multi-grain pasta
• spaghetti squash strands (cut squash in half around the middle, clean out seeds and microwave until strands are tender, about 15 – 20 minutes)
• zucchini julienne (using a julienne peeler, create zucchini strands and sauté in a little olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes)
Download the printable Roasted Red Pepper Sauce PDF .
Too hot to cook? Keep your kitchen cool and take a trip to the Greek Isles with this next recipe.
3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
½ English seedless cucumber, cut into chunks
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chunked
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
½ chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ pound good quality Greek feta cheese, cubed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
Combine first 7 ingredients (tomatoes through feta cheese) in a large bowl.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over salad and toss gently to coat.
Download the printable Greek Salad PDF