Monday, June 11, 2012

Fun Summer Recipes

By Dolores Seright

Summer fun always includes trips to the beach, camping, holiday celebrations and an amazing variety of family outings and activities.  It is also a terrific time to add exciting, and fun, new recipes to your celebrations or your daily menus.  Quick to fix recipes will leave you plenty of time for fun as well as an opportunity for everyone to join in and help with the preparations.
You have heard many times that breakfast is the most important meal of your day.  A delicious, and healthy, breakfast that you can prepare almost anywhere from the beach to the campground begins with Greek yogurt. 
Greek Yogurt Your Way
Greek Yogurt
Fresh Fruit (strawberries, blueberries, peaches, or any fruit in season)
Granola, nuts, dark chocolate pieces
Place all ingredients on a serving area and let each person create their own.  Children love to create something unique, just for them!
If you love eggs in the morning, and haven’t mastered omelets, you can customize your scrambled eggs and find a combination that everyone will love.
Scrambled Eggs with Veggies
If you like a hot breakfast, add veggies to your scrambled eggs!  Asparagus, mushrooms, tomato, peppers or onion are great additions to add variety and flavor to your scrambled eggs.  Select any veggies you love, saute them in olive oil, add eggs and cook until done.  Season to taste with salt, pepper or your choice of seasoning and add your favorite cheese.

Lunch menus can be exciting and easy to prepare.  The heat and humidity can drain your energy, so recharge with refreshing and light lunch fare.  My favorite is an entree salad with a variety of fresh ingredients and a light dressing.
Mix and Match Salads
Select the salads greens you prefer to get started.  Spinach, mixed greens or Romaine are great choices.   Preparing your favorite shrimp, salmon, chicken or grilled talapia in advance and refrigerating saves time.   You can easily plan to have leftovers from the day before to add to your salad.   Add fresh fruit for something sweet.  Peaches, strawberries, apricots or mango can make your salads compete with the finest restaurant.  Spiced pecans, walnuts, or slivered almonds add crunch, and feta cheese is always a great ingredient.  You can make a tasty dressing in a matter of minutes using 2 Tbsp olive oil, juice from ½ lemon and season with salt and pepper.  This light dressing is the perfect complement to many salads.

Crab and Avocado Salad
1 lb large lump crabmeat                                              1 stalk celery, sliced very thin
1 medium scallion, sliced very thin                                 ¼ small green pepper, finely diced
½ cup mayonnaise                                                        1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp small capers                                                      1 ½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning
½ ground mustard                                                         1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 ripe avocados                                                            Romaine lettuce
Lightly toss all vegetables with crabmeat, and try to minimize breaking up lumps of crab.  Stir remaining ingredients together and add to crab mixture.  Chill one hour.  Dice avocado and mix lightly with chopped Romaine.  Serve crab mixture over a bed of Romaine with avocado.  Delicious!

When the day is ending and you are looking for great taste and healthy options, stir fry recipes are great fun.  They are quick, easy and you have many options when choosing your ingredients.  Try this recipe for a great dinner.
Chicken Stir Fry with Snow Peas
2 Tbsp olive oil                                                                   2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped                                             2 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
6 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced                                ½ red bell pepper, sliced and cut strips in half
1 ½ cup asparagus, sliced in 1” pieced                                 1 ½ cup snow peas
½ cup sliced green onion                                                      ½  cup cashews
2 large chicken breasts cut in ½” chunks                              ½ cup soy sauce
1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
Saute garlic and ginger in oils over medium heat for 30 seconds.  Add mushrooms, peppers, asparagus and show peas.  Saute 2 minutes.  Add chicken and saute for 2 minutes.  Stir in soy sauce and vinegar.  Mix in green onions and cashews.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Enjoy letting everyone help in the preparation and substituting some of the ingredients based on your individual preferences.
Remember to add a light and refreshing sorbet, the perfect dessert for those hot summer evenings.

Dolores Seright

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