Pick Healthy Foods to Cook Up a Great Summer


Lots of leafy green salads topped with fresh fruit and avocado slices, can lead the way to a string of summer picnics that are healthy and simple. Later they can be followed up with barbecued fish tacos, grilled ears of corn, garden ripe tomato salads and popsicles made from fresh juices.

But sometimes, as we all know, summer can get snagged with too much free time, too many video games and too many ice cream sandwiches and corndogs. Now is the time to make a better plan and get there first, ahead of the junk food.

As summer starts up, pick the best good stuff to break away from the bad stuff.

Health.com advises avoiding  fried clams, chicken and fried dough and run from barbecued ribs and hotdogs. We all know how great they can taste and how much saturated fats, sugars and chemicals they deliver.

Think in terms of fresh raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, juicy slices of watermelon, fresh tomato salsa, avocado dips and apple, pear and peach fruit salad combinations.

Avoid mayonnaise loaded potato and macaroni salads. If your family refuses to give up these favorites, invent your own versions using low fat mayonnaise, olive oils and low fat parmesan cheeses, mixed with healthy veggies like green onions, shredded carrots and peppers or olives.

As the summer moves on and you are looking for more ways to dodge fats, sugars and processed foods, start prowling the farmers’ markets and recipe sites for more good ideas. Wherever you can keep fresh grapes, berries, apples, pears and nuts on hand in place of bags of chips and cookies.

Peaches, pears, grapes, zucchini, beets, spinach leaves, sweet potatoes, lemons, limes, rhubarb, cauliflower, broccoli, peas and green beans can all provide the beginnings for healthy summer picnics and dinners.

Combined with lots of swimming, hiking, biking and camping, better menus will help keep the whole family slimmer all summer long.

Food & Wine suggests using juicy chicken thighs to enjoy this healthy recipe.

Baja Style Chicken Rosemary Skewers

Ingredients: half an onion chopped, 3 minced garlic cloves, two dried chiles, one teaspoon minced rosemary, a teaspoon of oregano, one quarter cup of fresh lemon juice, quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil, two pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into small chunks, salt, pepper, eight sprigs of rosemary. Combine onion, garlic, chiles, rosemary, oregano, lemon juice and oil and use as a marinade for the chicken. Save some of the marinade to baste the chicken. Thread the chicken with rosemary sprigs and grill for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with lime slices.

Throughout the summer, make the most of the free time at home or away. Barbecued corn, and chocolate s’mores around a camp side fire are hard to beat.


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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Mr.TinDC