Summer is here and I thought I'd share some of my favorite seasonal recipes with you. I love cooking, but over the past few years I've tried to change my cooking habits to be a lot healthier, reducing a lot of the added sugar, but including lots of vegetables, fruits, healthy proteins and the like. I still want to enjoy and love the food I make, but also know that I won't have to run a marathon afterwards to burn off loads of bad calories and extra fats I don't need.
All these recipes are not only extremely tasty and fail-safe to make, but I've also tried to make them as health conscious as I can without reducing flavor. Using fresh ingredients, spices and herbs, and combining them creatively is really my take on great cooking!
Keep reading to get 5 wonderful summer recipes, that will have your friends and family wanting more!
Sugar-Free Peach Iced Tea
2 bags of Peach Herbal tea
1 fresh sprig of mint
Place the mint and the tea bags in a large tea pot or jug. Add 1.5 - 2L of boiling water and allow the tea and the mint to steep. Remove the tea bags after about 5 minutes, and allow everything to cool to about room temperature. Slice up the lemon and the peach, and add to the jug. Store in the fridge for several hours until fully cooled, allowing the flavors to develop. Add ice cubes just before serving.
*Optional: Use Stevia to sweeten if you like a sweet tea, but without the calories!
Melon & Bacon Pasta Salad
500g wholewheat pasta (eg. penne, rotini, elbow)
150g Feta cheese (preferable sheep or goat milk)
Melon varieties (Watermelon, Charentais cantaloupe, Galia honeydew, etc.)
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tblsp. Apple vinegar
Fresh chopped herbs (mint, basil & chives are perfect)
salt & pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce (optional)
Cook the pasta according to package instructions in salted water. Drain and cool down by rinsing with cold water, then set aside.
Chop up the melon into bite size pieces. I used 3 halves of various melons, but just add however much you like! Using a melon scooper will make cute melon "balls". Cut up the bacon into small strips and fry up in a pan until browned. Set aside on a paper towel to soak up the excess fat.
Assemble the salad in a large bowl. Add the pasta, bacon, freshly chopped herbs, crumbled up feta, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and a dash of Tabasco. Add in the melon pieces then mix everything up. Allow to marinate for about 20 minutes before serving.
Quinoa Tabbouleh (100% Vegan)
250 Quinoa seeds
4 large tomatoes
2 lemons (juice thereof)
2 Tblsp. extra virgin olive oil
large bunch of parsley
several stalks of fresh mint
salt & pepper
Cook the quinoa according to package instructions, or in a large pot with salty water for about 15 minutes until it has sprouted and softened. Drain in a sieve, rinse under running cold water, allowing it to fully cool. Set aside for later.
Slice up the tomatoes and cucumbers into small chunks, making sure to remove the cucumber seeds beforehand to avoid excess water. Also finely chop the onions and the fresh herbs.
Assemble the salad in a large bowl. Add all the ingredients together, including the olive oil and lemon juice and the cooled off quinoa. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to marinate for about 10 minutes before serving.
Indian Mango Lassi
1 ripe mango (or frozen)
4 Tblsp. plain jogurt
1/2 tsp. rose water
dash of cardamom
1 Tblsp. chopped cashew nuts
Stevia to sweeten
Remove mango flesh from the pit and the peel, and chop into large chunks. (See my video below for a super easy method how I work with mangos!) Place all the ingredients except the cashew nuts into a blender and blend until perfectly smooth. Pour the mango lassi over ice cubes into a tall glass, top with the chopped up cashews.
Strawberry-Apricot FroYo Popsicles
Handful of fresh strawberries
2-3 fresh apricots
Stevia to sweeten
(There aren't any measurements given because it all depends on the size and quantity of your popsicle forms.)
Puree the strawberries with some plain yogurt using a hand mixer or blender. Add stevia or sweetening agent of choice to taste. Chop up the apricots into little chunks, then use a spoon to mix them in with the strawberry-yogurt concoction. Now fill the mixture into your popsicle forms, pop them in the freezer, and allow to fully freeze before enjoying.
Watch my video tutorial below to see how I made everything!
Which recipe will you be trying out??