Three Easy Summertime Recipes

Summertime, and the Cookin’ Is Easy

We love summer’s longer days and the excuse to fire up the grill any chance we get. Even if temps reach triple digits, sunset is a magical time for backyard or balcony grilling.

By now, you may have already had your fair share of the usual hot dogs, hamburgers and potato salad. We wanted to share our trio of simple summer recipes that’ll put a healthier twist on your next BBQ.

Try them out, and share a pic with #TakingOnHealthy!

CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE KABOBS

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Marinating time: 1 hour (up to 8 hours)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Directions:

Place the olive oil, soy sauce, honey, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Whisk to combine.

Add the chicken, bell peppers, zucchini, tomato and red onion to the bowl. Toss to coat in the marinade.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to 8 hours.

Soak wooden skewers in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

Thread the chicken and vegetables onto the skewers.

Grill or Broiler Option: Cook the chicken for about 8-15 minutes, turning halfway through, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Avoid overcooking so it does not dry out. Transfer the kabobs to a clean plate; loosely tent with aluminum or similar for about 5 minutes. 

Serve with a side salad of choice and whole-wheat pita cut in four.

Notes:

  • For the broiler: Preheat. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray. Place the skewers in a single layer on the sheet pan. Broil for about 5 minutes; then flip the skewers and broil on the other side for about 5 more minutes.
  • Vary the vegetables as desired.
  • You can use metal instead of wood skewers. 

Nutrition Information per Serving

Makes: 4

Calories278
Carbohydrates26g
Fiber2g
Fat12g
Sugar21g
Protein27g
Sodium420mg

Grilling high-fat meats can cause harmful compounds called “heterocyclic amines” and “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons” to be made when flame and smoke hit your food. To help prevent this from happening, marinate your meats before grilling, choose leaner and thinner cuts of meat to minimize grilling time, or try vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini or asparagus.

COOL COLESLAW

Aside from being crunchy and delicious, the cabbage family of vegetables, including red and green cabbage, have sulforaphane, a powerful phytochemical known to have cancer-fighting benefits. This healthier version of traditional coleslaw pairs the crisp cabbage with fresh fruit and a delicious Greek yogurt dressing to create a surprising and satisfying side dish.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup green Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into slices
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red and yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground chili pepper 
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, bell peppers, carrot and mango. Add avocado.

In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, mustard, lime juice, honey or maple syrup, and chili pepper. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Gently mix the dressing into the coleslaw until combined. Refrigerate if not consuming immediately.

DAIRY-FREE “NICE” CREAM

A meal isn’t complete without a little something sweet, right? Finish off with this dairy-free “nice” cream that is full of flavor and zero guilt!

Ingredients:

2-3 overripe frozen bananas

Optional add-ons:

  • For thinner “nice” cream: unsweetened almond milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • For added protein: Greek yogurt
  • For chocolate flavor: cocoa powder
  • For strawberry flavor: frozen strawberries
  • For peach flavor: frozen peaches

Toppings: berries; dark chocolate chips; sprinkle of cinnamon, cardamom or pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

For the Bananas

Peel and cut ripe bananas into large pieces. Freeze in an airtight bag or container. Tip: Freeze a bunch at once so they are ready whenever you want to make nice cream.

To Make the “Nice” Cream

Add 2-3 frozen bananas to a blender or food processor and blend until desired consistency is reached.

For smoother blending, add 2-4 tablespoons of dairy-free milk of choice (or regular milk if desired) and blend to a soft-serve texture.

Add favorite toppings and serve immediately.

We’re passionate about making meals healthier! Learn more about our health education and wellness programs or schedule a telephone consultation with a registered dietitian. If you’re a Health Plan of Nevada member, call 1-800-720-7253, TTY 711. Our business hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time.

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