Fresh & Cool Summer Meals

Super easy (and delicious) recipes that will help your family survive the sticky season -- one bite at a time.

  • Rainbow Salad

    Beautiful layers of fresh, colorful vegetables stack up to one great salad.

    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Yield: 6 servings

    4 cups romaine lettuce
    2 medium yellow peppers, seeded and cut into strips
    1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
    1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
    1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
    1 large cucumber, peeled and diced

    Layer ingredients in a glass bowl. Serve with your favorite dressing.

    Nutrition per serving (without dressing): 46 cal.; 2 g pro.; 0 g fat; 10 g carb.; 44 mg calcium; 3 g fiber.

  • Chicken Club Sandwich

    You can build a smaller version of this classic double-decker sandwich for little hands and mouths.

    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Cook time: 20 minutes
    Yield: 4 sandwiches

    2 (about 1 lb.) chicken-breast cutlets
    1 cup diced sweet apple
    6 Tbs. mayonnaise, divided
    2 Tbs. plain nonfat yogurt
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    12 slices toasted whole-wheat bread
    8 lettuce leaves
    1 large tomato, sliced
    8 slices bacon, cooked

    1. Place chicken in saucepan with enough cold water to cover, plus 1 inch. Bring to a simmer (do not boil) over medium heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through or meat thermometer inserted in center reaches 170°F, about 18 minutes. Drain and cool completely.

    2. Dice chicken and place in medium bowl. Stir in apple pieces, 4 Tbs. mayonnaise, yogurt, salt, and pepper. Spread remaining mayonnaise on toast slices.

    3. To assemble sandwiches: Place lettuce leaf on bottom pieces of toast. Top with tomato, two pieces of bacon, middle pieces of toast, remaining lettuce leaves, chicken salad, and remaining pieces of toast.

    Nutrition per serving: 590 cal.; 40 g pro.; 28 g fat; 48 g carb.; 109 mg calcium; 7 g fiber.

  • Candied-Beet-and-Orange Salad

    You can't beat this salad. Remember, buy beets that are firm and plump with no wrinkles.

    Ingredients: 4 medium or 8 small beets (about 1 lb.), trimmed
    2 tsp. plus 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
    1 Tbs. orange-juice concentrate
    1 Tbs. apple-cider vinegar
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp. pepper
    1 navel orange, peeled and cut into segments
    1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
    1/3 cup toasted pecan halves
    Chives (optional)

    1. Heat oven to 425?F. In small baking pan, combine beets, 2 tsp. olive oil, and 1 Tbs. water. Cover with foil and bake until beets are tender, about 1 hour. Peel beets when cool enough to handle, and then cut into wedges.

    2. To make dressing: In small jar with tight-fitting lid, combine remaining oil, orange-juice concentrate, vinegar, salt, and pepper; shake well.

    3. In large bowl, toss together beets, orange segments, apple slices, dressing, and pecans. Sprinkle with chives, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

  • Caribbean Grilled Chicken Salad

    With ingredients like juicy mango cubes, chicken strips, and raw, crunchy vegetables, this salad will put you in paradise.

    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 12 minutes
    Yield 4 servings

    1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    2 Tbs. honey
    1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
    1 medium garlic clove, minced
    1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 lb. bonelss, skinless chicken breast halves
    1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed
    1 can (16 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
    1/2 medium jicama, peeled and cut into thin sticks
    1/2 head green leaf letuce washed, dried, and sliced

    1. Whisk together lime juice, honey, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle in oil, whisking until thickened. Place 1/4-cup dressing in a shallow dish. Add chicken and marinade, covered, in refrigerator for 1 hour.

    2. Heat grill to medium and oil rack. Grill chicken for 6 minutes per side, until cooked through, or broil for 5 minutes per side. Cool slightly, then, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.

    3. On platter, arrange mango, beans, bell pepper, jicama, lettuce, and chicken. Drizzle with remaining dressing.

    Nutrition per serving: 410 cal.; 34 g pro.; 13 g fat; 44 g carb.; 89 mg calcium; 11 g fiber

  • Antipasto Salad

    You can serve this zesty Italian pasta salad hot or cold.

    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Cook time: 10 minutes
    Yield: 6 servings

    8 oz. penne, or any tube-shaped pasta
    1/3 cup olive oil
    3 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp. pepper
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1/4 lb. provolone or mozzarella cheese, diced
    1/4 lb. thickly cut salami, diced
    1 can (6 oz.) pitted black olives
    1/3 cup flat parsley leaves
    1/3 cup diced roasted red peppers

    1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and transfer to serving bowl. In small jar with tight-fitting lid, combine olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. Shake well. Pour over hot pasta, and toss to combine.

    2. Add remaining ingredients, and stir to mix well. If serving cold, cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

    Nutrition per serving: 429 cal.; 14 g pro.; 27 g fat; 32 g carb.; 182 mg calcium; 2 g fiber.

  • Tremendous Turkey

    Most kids love the novelty of having a sandwich for dinner. Slice up this family-size hero into easy-to-handle wedges.

    Prep time: 20 minutes
    Yield: 6 servings

    2. With serrated knife, cut bread horizon-tally into 3 pieces. Spread cut side of bottom bread slice with half of pimiento-mayonnaise mixture. Add half of lettuce, then half of turkey, salami, and cheddar-cheese slices. Place middle slice of bread on top. Add remaining slices of turkey, salami, cheese slices, and lettuce. Spread cut side of top bread section with remain-ing half of pimiento-mayonnaise mixture, and position on sandwich.

    3. Cut sandwich into 6 wedges.

    Nutrition per serving: 390 cal.; 21 g pro.; 19 g fat; 34 g carb.; 211 mg calcium; 1 g fiber.

    Nutrition per serving: 390 cal.; 21 g pro.; 19 g fat; 34 g carb.; 211 mg calcium; 1 g fiber.

  • Thai Shrimp Salad

    A nutty dressing gives this easy Asian dish its irresistible flavor.

    Prep time: 25 minutes
    Yield: 4 servings

    2 carrots, peeled
    8 cups sliced napa cabbage
    4 large radishes, cut into matchsticks
    1/4 seedless English cucumber, sliced
    1/4 cup cream of coconut
    2 Tbs. creamy peanut butter
    2 Tbs. lime juice
    1 Tbs. water
    1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp.
    Tabasco sauce
    3/4 lb. cooked medium-size shrimp
    1 cup chow mein noodles
    2 green onions, sliced

    1. Using vegetable peeler, cut carrots into ribbons. Place carrot ribbons and cabbage in colander. Pour 4 cups boiling water over vegetables; rinse with cold water. Transfer to salad spinner, and spin to remove as much water as possible. In large bowl, toss together cabbage, carrots, radishes, and cucumber.

    2. In jar with tight-fitting lid, combine cream of coconut, peanut butter, lime juice, water, anchovy paste, salt, and Tabasco sauce. Shake well to combine.

    3. Add shrimp, noodles, and green onions to salad. Drizzle with dressing.

    Nutrition per serving: 276 cal.; 24 g pro.; 12 g fat; 20 g carb.; 174 mg calcium; 4 g fiber.