It’s summer time, it’s hot, you don’t want to spend any more time indoors than you have to, not to mention heat up the house more than you have to by firing up the oven or stove. But you still have to feed yourself and your family. You need some delicious and easy summer recipes to add to your arsenal! I’m always a big fan of recipes that take little time to pull off but are still healthy and delicious, so I chose my five favourite easy summer recipes that are both tasty and fast. Take a look!
Photo credit: Kristine’s Kitchen
Potato Packets on the Barbecue
David has been making these for us for quite some time, and I LOVE them. Whenever we (when I say we I really mean David) are barbecuing, David will usually cut up some potatoes and veggies and toss them in some oil and butter with salt, pepper and whatever herbs he wants to include, wraps them up in a foil packet and cooks them on the barbecue while the other food items are cooking. Super easy way to cook your veggies and potatoes while your main item is cooking, and absolutely no clean-up in the kitchen required. Since I don’t know the exact amounts of what he puts in them, here’s an estimate:
-Potatoes, cut into quarters (we usually use baby red potatoes with the skin still on)
-Whatever veggies you want to include: onions, peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, etc. cut in a small dice
-Salt & pepper to taste
-About 1-2 tablespoons of oil and a bit of butter
-Any herbs you want to include: rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, etc.
Toss the potatoes & veggies in your oil, butter and seasonings. Tear off some tinfoil and place your potatoes and veggies in the middle. Fold the tinfoil over and crimp the edges together to seal the packet.
Throw them on the barbecue and cook for about twenty minutes (or more, depending on the size of your packet) and enjoy! You can also do these in the oven if need be at about 350 F.
Easy Homemade Bruschetta
Nothing says summer more to me than fresh homemade bruschetta. Ripe tomatoes, basil from the garden and lots of garlic…YUM. For the longest time I had my husband make it for me because I craved it so much. Finally he showed me how to do it, and it is SO simple! Again I don’t have exact measurements, so I have an estimate. I just start with a little of each ingredient and work my way up to reach my desired taste. The amount I’ll describe below makes about two servings, so adjust the amounts accordingly depending on how much you want to make. I love how easy this recipe is to make and the flavours are so fresh and bright! I usually cut up a pita and bake them in the oven for a few minutes with a bit of olive oil drizzled on them, but you could use whatever you like.
-Two Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded & diced
-One large garlic clove, minced
-Fresh basil, minced (about two teaspoons)
-Sea salt, about half a teaspoon
-One to two tablespoons olive oil
In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt and olive oil. You’re done. It’s seriously that easy.
Photo credit: Weelicious
Corn and Black Bean Salad
I used to make this dish from Weelicious a long time ago when Tatum was a toddler, and I really need to revisit it. The colours are so appealing for little ones and the flavours are simple and fresh. Again, I love recipes that require little preparation and don’t heat up the whole house on a hot and humid summer day, and this one definitely fits the bill. Not only does it taste amazing but it’s full of healthy ingredients so you can be sure your kids are getting the nutrition they need.
- 2 ears of corn, husked and cleaned or 2 cups of frozen corn kernels, defrosted
- 1 16 oz. can black beans, rinsed
- 1 red bell pepper, small dice
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Bring 1 inch of water to a boil and add the corn.
- Cover and steam for 5 minutes, remove and let cool.
- Cut the corn off the cob and place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients.
- Stir to combine throughly.
Chicken Fingers on a Stick
I don’t know what it is about kids and food that’s on a stick, but they love it. How cool is this idea? Kids already enjoy chicken fingers, so why not throw ‘em on a stick and barbecue them? I would go a step further with this and do veggies on a stick as well for this meal. Chances are if it’s on a stick, they will eat it.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
- Salt and pepper
- 24 (10-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 1 1/4 cups plain dried bread crumbs
- Cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold the chicken strips slightly and weave them onto the skewers.
- Prepare a charcoal fire or set a gas grill to medium-high, close the lid, and heat until hot — about 10 to 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, stir together the oil and the barbecue sauce. Spread the bread crumbs on a sheet of waxed paper. Lightly brush the sauce mixture over the chicken strips and then roll them in the bread crumbs.
- Grill the chicken fingers uncovered until they’re no longer pink inside, about 2 to 4 minutes per side on a gas grill.
- Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice. Serves 6 to 8.
Photo credit: Eating Well
It is well known that you cannot go without pasta salad in the summer time. It’s at every barbecue and family get-together. Pasta salad is one of my favourite summer side dishes, but I really don’t want my family to be eating a ton of mayonnaise . I found this easy and healthy recipe from Eating Well
that still delivers the amazing flavours of pasta salad while packing in a ton of nutrients.
- 2 cups whole-wheat rotini, (6 ounces)
- 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar, or lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup diced yellow or red bell pepper, (1 small)
- 1 cup grated carrots, (2-4 carrots)
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions, (4 scallions)
- 1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
- 1/3 cup slivered fresh basil
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain and refresh under cold running water.
- Whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, oil, vinegar (or lemon juice), garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl until smooth. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Add tomatoes, bell pepper, carrots, scallions, olives and basil; toss to coat well.
What are your favourite summer recipes to serve your family?