5 Healthy & Light Summer Dinner Recipes

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I can’t be the only one whose tastebuds automatically change as soon as the sun is out?

As the weather gets warmer, the thought of preparing and tucking in to a heavy meal is the last thing on my mind. I find myself craving lighter, healthier meals like fresh salads as opposed to a hearty stew or curry.

This season also provides us with some of the most delicious veggies such as broccoli, carrots, asparagus, cucumber which makes preparing delicious, healthy meals that bit more exciting!

Today we’re sharing 5 of our go to Summer recipes that are perfect for those hot evenings!

1. Veggie-Packed Summer Pasta Salad Recipe - Mind Body and Green

This quick and easy meal can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes and it packed with seasonal veggies! It's vegan, gluten-free, can be served hot or cold and makes for some yummy leftovers for lunch the next day. 

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup basil leaves, chopped

  • 2 cups kale leaves, chopped

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

  • 1 bunch asparagus

  • 1 cup shelled green peas, fresh or frozen

  • 1 cup radishes, thinly sliced

  • 4 servings brown rice fusilli

Preparation

1. Make pesto by combining the basil, kale, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, sea salt and sunflower seeds together in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

2. Trim the woody ends off the asparagus. Fill a pot with 2 cups water and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, add the asparagus and cover. Let cook for 3 minutes. Transfer asparagus out of the water and let cool before slicing into 1 inch pieces.

3. Bring another pot of water to a boil and cook brown rice fusilli as per the instructions on the package. Once cooked, strain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add in the asparagus, peas and radishes. Toss with desired amount of pesto. Divide into bowls and enjoy!

2. Grilled Summer Salad With Garlic Rye Croutons - Deliciously Ella

Perfect on it's own or as a side to your meal, this grilled Summer salad is wheat free and full of goodness to keep you fuller, for longer. Please note this recipe does contain gluten. 

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Ingredients:

For The Salad:

  • 2 courgettes (zucchinis)

  • 300g of cherry tomatoes

  • 100g of tenderstem broccoli

  • 100g of asparagus, woody ends removed

  • 100g of rocket

  • 100g of edamame beans

  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

  • A drizzle of olive oil

  • ½ a teaspoon of chilli flakes

  • Lots of salt and pepper

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For the Croutons:

  • 2 pieces of stale rye bread

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed

  • Lots of salt and pepper

For the dressing:

  • 180ml olive oil

  • 30g of basil

  • ½ a clove of garlic

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • Lots of salt and pepper

METHOD:

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (fan). Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes.

To make the croutons, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan along with the garlic and salt and pepper. Chop the rye bread into small squares and add to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the croutons are browned and crispy, then remove from the pan and leave to cool.

To make the dressing, simply peel and roughly chop the garlic and blend it along with the remaining ingredients until smooth.

Heat a griddle pan on the hob with a drizzle of olive oil. Slice the courgettes lengthways and cook on the griddle pan until cooked through and lightly charred. This will take about 2 minutes on each side. Remove the courgettes and cook the asparagus, tenderstem broccoli and edamame beans on the griddle pan for a few minutes until cooked through. In a mixing bowl, toss the broccoli, asparagus, courgettes, edamame beans and tomatoes with the rocket, apple cider vinegar and chilli flakes.

Plate up the salad, drizzle with basil dressing and sprinkle generously with garlicky croutons. Enjoy!

3.  Grilled Fish Tacos - Womens Health

This recipe is ditching the usual frying oil and fatty dressing that comes with fish tacos and instead focussing on the delicious flavour using a spicy Cajun seasoning and a nutrient-rich mango and avocado salsa. 

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Ingredients: 

  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and cubed

  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed

  • ½ red onion, finely chopped

  • Juice of 1 lime / wedges to garnish

  • Chopped fresh coriander

  • Salt and black pepper

  • A splash of canola oil

  • 2 large swordfish fillets

  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning

  • 8 corn tortillas

  • 2 handfuls shredded red cabbage

Method: 

Mix the mango, avocado, onion and lime juice in a bowl. Season with coriander, salt and pepper.

Heat a grill or griddle pan until hot. Drizzle a light coating of oil over the fish and rub on the Cajun spice. Cook the fish, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. Carefully flip with a spatula and cook for another 4 minutes. Now remove.

Warm the tortillas on the grill for 1 to 2 minutes or wrap in damp paper towels and microwave for 1 minute until warm and pliable.

Break the fish into chunks and divide among the warm tortillas. Top with the cabbage and the mango salsa. Serve with the lime wedges. Heaven.

4. Prawn And Pepper Courgette Stir Fry - Madeleine Shaw

A stir fry is a classic when you're low on time, and energy! This tasty prawn stir fry can be whipped up in just 10 minutes and is bursting with flavour! Prawns are super high in protein which means you'll stay fuller for longer and the red peppers are bursting with Vitamin C making this a great option if you're in need of some immune boosting goodness! 

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Ingredients: 

  • 2 courgettes

  • 150g of prawns

  • 2 red peppers

  • 1 grated thumb of ginger

  • 2 crushed garlic cloves

  • 1 red chilli (finely chopped)

  • 2 limes

  • 2 spring onions

  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil

Method:

Spiralize or julienne peel the courgette into noodle shapes and leave to the side.

Heat a pan up to a medium heat with the oil, chop up the spring onion and throw them in for a few minutes until golden brown.

Finely slice the pepper and add them in stirring for 2 minutes, then throw in the ginger, chilli and garlic.

Stir fry for 5 minutes then throw in the courgette and prawns and cook for 3 minutes until they are cooked through. Serve immediately with the fresh lime juice and some sesame seeds.

5. Celeriac Spaghetti + Kale Carbonara - Hemsley & Hemsley

This delicious twist in your traditional carbonara is made with freshly spiralized celeriac spaghetti rather than pasta and kale which is bursting with fibre, antioxidants, calcium and vitamin K making it a much healthier alternative and tastes just as good, if not better than the real thing!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs

  • 100g Parmesan, grated

  • 100g unsmoked bacon or pancetta, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, squashed with the back of a knife

  • 25-50g butter (use less if you are using pancetta)

  • 1 large celeriac (about 600g)

  • 150g kale leaves (stripped from their stalks)

  • Sea salt and black pepper

Method:

Beat the eggs in a medium bowl, mix in the grated Parmesan, reserving a small handful to serve, and season with a little pepper before setting aside.

Add the bacon or pancetta to a large pan with the garlic and butter, and fry on a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the bacon/pancetta is crisp and golden at the edges. Remove the garlic.

Peel the celeriac and slice off the knobbly bits. Slot the celeriac lengthways into a spiralizer.

Add the celeriac to the pan with the bacon/pancetta and cover, cooking on a medium heat for 10 minutes or until al dente and removing the lid to toss it occasionally.

Add the kale and leave to cook for another 2-3 minutes with the lid on, until just tender.

Take the pan off the heat and quickly pour in the eggs and cheese. Use tongs or two forks to toss everything in the egg mixture, which will thicken from the residual heat without scrambling. Season with a little salt, if needed.

Use a long-pronged fork to twist the spaghetti onto a serving plate or into a bowl. Serve immediately with a little sprinkling of the remaining cheese and a grind of black pepper.