This summer, it’s hot as usual, and who wants to heat up the kitchen? That’s why in the summer, we do things a little differently, relying more on main dish salads, grilled foods and easy to put together meals and bowls. It’s easier to lean towards a Mediterranean Diet in the summer with the abundance of fresh produce. Here are some menus for inspiration.
Quick No-Cook Breakfasts:
- Boiled eggs: Cook up 6-12 and then keep them in the fridge, ready for a meal or snack.
- Slice boiled eggs on toast for a sandwich.
- Chop, mix with avocado, chopped tomato and cucumber and a little mayo or plain yogurt. Eat on a baked tostada or alone.
- Overnight oatmeal: Perfect for summer, you can make a batch of 4 or 5 with different ingredients. Simply mix ½ cup old fashioned oats with ¾ cup of any milk or milk/yogurt combination. If you use only yogurt, you’ll be getting a healthy extra—probiotics—but you may, depending on the texture you like, need to add a little liquid. Add sweetener of choice, fresh fruit and optional chia, flax seeds, dried fruit or chopped nuts. Make it higher protein by mixing protein powder into liquid first. See a variety of variations here:
- Peanut, peanut butter: I try to eat nuts or peanut butter daily. Peanut butter on whole grain toast, topped with fresh blueberries is my favorite. Sometimes if I’m not as hungry, I just eat a tablespoon of peanut butter with a banana.
- Waffles: I know what you’re thinking…maybe not the best choice? Well Kodiak brand has some fantastic high protein, whole grain waffles in a variety of flavors. Two of the homestyle waffles have 230 calories, 24 grams of carbs,12 grams of protein and just 1 g of saturated fat. Add light syrup and some berries and you’ve got a quick meal! Or throw on an over-easy egg and make a sandwich.
Lunch and Dinner
Start with a protein base like a rotisserie chicken, grilled fish or other protein food like canned beans or tuna, and put together any of the following first-time or leftover meals:
- Mix chicken or pork with barbecue sauce; serve in a carb-smart tortilla, on top of a baked sweet or white potato or on a sandwich. Low-sugar barbecue sauces include Stubb’s Original and serve with grilled zucchini.
- Chop your protein to make a bowl with tomatoes, chick peas or black beans, grated cheese, grated cabbage or other cold leftover veggies to your liking, and don’t forget the avocado. Marinate the cabbage or onions in vinaigrette for a while to give it more flavor. (Lime, garlic, cilantro and olive oil go great!)
- Make a taco or tostada bar with all the fixings. Serve with a big spinach salad.
- Chopped salad with romaine or other dark green lettuce, boiled egg, avocado chunks, beans or other protein food. Add feta, sharp cheddar or blue cheese for an extra flavor kick.
- Mini pizzas on the grill using whole grain tortillas or buy a pre-made crust. Add grilled veggies, like onions, bell pepper, etc. to your pizza, along with preferred sauce and protein. Check out my blog post Pizza on the Grill.
- Leftover everything: We always cook double of what we eat, and then just pop it in the microwave. We often start with a crudité, like grated raw beets, shredded red cabbage, or grated celery root all marinated with a Dijon vinaigrette. It takes some prep with the grating, but you have large servings of cold veggies for the week!
- Hungry for a sandwich? Check out my blog post Building a Better Sandwich.
Stay cool and healthy!