Summer can seem like such a whirlwind, can’t it? Even with the days being longer, it can still feel like somehow the days just get away from you! After all, the summer months seem to last so briefly, and we tend to pack the days with activities with friends and loved ones, pack the calendars with parties and vacations, and pack the suitcases with way too many clothes that become way too much laundry when we return home. With all that in mind, sometimes, at the end of a long day, the last thing we want to be thinking or worrying about is what we’re going to make and serve for dinner. But, with our health in mind, we hate to turn to convenience and fast food items. So, let’s take a look at some easy, fast summer dinner ideas that will keep you and your families satisfied and nourished for the rest of the season.
Become a summer salad master! Thankfully, it’s easy to make an entire meal out of fruits and vegetables alone with the most beautiful produce in season during the summer. And, if you’ve never heard of a plant-based diet, the benefits are absolutely astounding. Taking baby steps to mainly eating plant-based in your household can really pay off.
So, start shopping at your local farmer’s market (or grow your own), so you always have the freshest, most organic ingredients available to you. A simple sauteeing of zucchini and squash over rice is an incredibly satisfying meal you can make in less than twenty minutes. Garnish it with herbs fresh from your garden, and it’s become elevated and even more delicious.
You can even throw all the rules out the window and have a simple fruit salad for dinner. It takes less than five minutes to chop up a variety of berries or stone fruits and serve them alongside some cheese and bread. The best part about meals like that is they can be eaten family-style. Fewer dishes to clean up for the win!
Speaking of farmer’s markets, you can also obtain the freshest, least processed cuts of meat from vendors there. A lot of beef and pig farms make their own ground beef, sausages, and hot dogs. Grab some corn while you’re shopping too. If you really want to please everyone that will be eating the meal, some fresh peppers are a perfect add-on.
Get home and fire up the grill. In thirty minutes, you’ve got the freshest, best tasting meat in town ready to go, and you can grill your corn and peppers as your meat is finishing up—the best part about this meal – the leftovers. You can easily use your leftover meat and peppers for a sandwich the next day or eat on top of brown or white rice for a stir fry type dish.
Smoothies are 100% a meal on their own, and when you’re pressed for time, and it’s hot outside because it’s summer, they’re kind of the perfect meal. With all the fresh berries and fruit that are in season during the summer, there are no excuses for not being a smoothie master! If you want to make your smoothie packs an even healthier and nutritious punch, toss in some cruciferous vegetables like kale. The sky is really the limit when it comes to what you want in your smoothie. If you have supplement powders or flax seeds in your pantry, feel free to add those in to get the most out of your liquid meal. Just make sure you’re taking advantage of how much better your smoothie game becomes when you’re using in-season, fresh ingredients instead of the frozen kind you’re forced to use in the fall and winter months. Summer smoothies are a game changer!
Don’t Forget Dessert
Alright, just because we’re in a hurry doesn’t mean we must miss out on dessert. Plus, the little added time you have to put into the dessert you get back during the week as desserts tend to have more leftovers than you enjoy days after the initial making. So, grab your favorite ceramic cookware baking pans and get creative. Again, you’re strongly encouraged to use the fruits of the season, peach cobbler, anyone? Bon Appetit!
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