My Summer Recipe Obsessions

{By Ellery Sadler}

A friend of mine recently asked what it was that makes me love summer so much. And really, it goes beyond the beach and the lazy afternoons by the pool (which have been shockingly few this summer due to a lot of schoolwork). One of the main reasons I love summer is because of the FOOD.

Can we all just take a minute to appreciate how amazing food is? The combination of flavors, textures, smells, colors.

Food is artwork for your mouth.

If that sounds weird, you may need to learn how to truly appreciate food. Please watch Julie & Julia and The 100 Foot Journey. Right now.

My food Instagram has definitely been showing how much I’m in love with summer ingredients – fresh veggies, local fruit, fresh caught seafood – yummm. So I thought I would share with y’all a couple of my new favorite recipes.

1. Corn, Zucchini, & Lentil Stuffed Tomatoes

A lovely combination of fresh flavors creates a beautiful, but simple, summer dinner.

best summer recipes

[Serves 4. Preheat oven to 400.]

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 3 ears of corn – cut off of cob
  • 1 zucchini – diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp, white cheddar cheese, plus a little extra to top them off
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Cut the tops off of the tomatoes with a small knife and then hollow out the inside with a spoon, being careful not to cut through the skin. Set in a lightly greased baking dish. Dice onion and sauté in a saucepan with a dash of oil until they are soft and lightly browned and smell like heaven. Add diced zucchini and sauté for about 3 minutes. Next, add the fresh corn and stir. Take off of the heat and stir in the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Gently scoop into the tomatoes, sprinkle with a little cheese, and cook for 15-20 minutes, until tomatoes are slightly soft. Serve & enjoy!

2. Overnight Oatmeal

 

Creamy, cold, and refreshing – I’m loving this kind of oatmeal on hot summer days. 

easy overnight oatmeal

Serves 2-3

  • 1 cup oats [not instant]
  • 1/2 almond milk, coconut milk, or regular milk
  • 1/2 Kefir or yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of honey

Combine the ingredients together in a mason jar (if you’re feeling Pinterest-y & adorable) or in a plastic container (if you’re feeling practical like me) and shake until they are mixed. Set in the fridge overnight and eat in the morning.

Toppings: Strawberries, bannanas, honey, chia seeds, sliced almonds, berries, pecans, pineapple, granola (I like a little crunch), flaxseeds etc. Check Pinterest for tons of other ideas!

3. Sea Salt Roasted Chickpeas

Salty, crunchy & satisfying – these are a healthy alternative to other afternoon snacks. 

easy summer snack ideas

[Serves 3-6. Preheat oven to 425.]

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

These are incredibly easy and perfect for packing to take with you to work or school or to the beach. Lightly toss chickpeas in olive oil and then sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste. Spread out on a greased backing sheet and cook (stirring occasionally) for 15-20 minutes until crispy & lightly browned. (These are also really good dipped in ketchup. Or Chick-fil-a sauce.)

Other Flavor Ideas: Rosemary & Salt, Cinnamon Sugar, Garlic & Pepper, Curry, Italian (basil, oregano, rosemary etc.)

4. Granola That Even I Will Actually Eat

This is sweet & salty, with just the right amount of crunch – the kind of granola even a persnickety eater like me will eat. 

easy healthy granola

 

[Serves 2-4.]

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • Dash of salt

Gently toast your oats in a saucepan on the stove – for about 5 minutes, until you can smell them. But take them off before they burn. Combine all ingredients in a bowl while the oats are still warm enough to slightly melt the chocolate – serve warm or chilled. This is the perfect snack for basically any time of day or healthy dessert. Eat it plain or top some yogurt with it.

5. Toast with White Bean Spread & Fresh Tomato Salsa

This is one of the best lunches you will ever have. The combination of smooth, hearty white beans with the fresh, tangy salsa is to die for. 

easy summer lunches

[Serves 2-4]

White Bean Spread

  • 1 cup cooked white beans
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped basil

Combine ingredients and lightly mash the white beans with either a fork or a potato masher.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

  • 1 medium to large tomato – diced
  • 2 tablespoons onion – diced
  • 2 tsp fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons sweet green pepper – diced (or you can add jalapeños if you like spicy)

Spread the white beans on toasted multigrain bread and top with the fresh salsa – summer food at its best!

 

If you’d like to see more, check out @thepersnicketychef on Instagram.

 

 

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