The sun is starting to shine and the days are beginning to heat up. With the warm weather of June, it’s always helpful to have some great recipes to kick-off summer. Whether you want to impress your family or are just in the mood for some good cookin’, here are some ideas on how to prepare an easy summer meal.
The summer is all about keeping it light. With many foods “in season” during summer, making a healthy meal that tastes good is extremely easy. All the recipes I have posted below are those that either I have created or have been passed down in my family.
Grilled Corn on the Cobb
Grilled Dijon Chicken
Strawberry Almond Salad
Grilled Sweet Corn
Corn is something that is in season and can taste delicious if you make it the right way. Here’s a simple recipe I came up with for grilled corn on the cob.
8 ears of sweet corn
1 Stick of butter (softened)
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 clove of minced garlic
*Note: you can add whatever herbs you want to the butter; I like garlic and parsley
Salt and Pepper to Taste
¾ Cup Parmesan cheese
Optional: 1 lb of precooked bacon.
Preheat the grill and rub it with oil. Peel back the cornhusks and remove the silk. In a small bowl combine the softened butter, parsley and garlic. (Sometimes if you want more herbs, basil works well too.) Rub the butter mixture onto the corn evenly. Close the husks. Wrap each cob of corn in aluminum foil (works easiest for me). Cook the corn on the grill for about 30 minutes or until the corn is cooked. Remove the aluminum foil and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
If you are using the bacon, after adding the butter mixture to the corn, wrap the corn in bacon before closing the husks. This adds nice flavor, but the recipe is great without it, too.
Grilled Honey Dijon Chicken
I love this dish because not only is it healthy, it’s easy to make. In the summer, it’s fun to get outside and use the grill as much as possible. For the following Dijon chicken recipe, it’s important to marinate the chicken before grilling. This will enhance the flavor greatly.
5-6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1-½ cloves of garlic minced
1 Teaspoon dried thyme
¼ Teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional if you like spice)
3 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons of Honey
1 Tablespoon plus 1 Tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Teaspoon soy sauce
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Rub the chicken with the garlic and thyme and then add a little salt and pepper to your liking. In a small bowl, combine the Dijon mustard, honey, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), and soy sauce. Put the mixture into a large bag and add chicken. Refrigerate for over an hour. After refrigerating, preheat grill. Oil the grill, and cook chicken until a crust forms on each side (around 5-7 minutes per side depending on how hot the grill is). Remove cooked chicken and serve!
Easy Strawberry Almond Summer Salad
This salad has been passed down from my mom, but you can likely find variations of it anywhere. It’s easy to make, but it’s also very healthy!
Ingredients for Salad:
2 packages of baby spinach leaves, washed.
¾ cup of chopped red onion
1 1lb of strawberries, sliced into thin slices
¾ cup of roasted sliced almonds
Optional for flavor: Gorgonzola cheese
Poppy seed dressing from store
In a large bowl combine the spinach, chopped onion, sliced strawberries, roasted almonds and cheese. Toss and then add the dressing. Add as much dressing as you would like (I tend to like it on the lighter side). After you have tossed the salad with dressing*, serve it up.
*Note about the Dressing:
I usually use a poppy seed dressing bought from the store for convenience. If you are curious, poppy seed dressing usually contains: poppy seeds, sometimes sesame seeds, oil, honey, some vinegar and sugar (maybe even Worchester sauce). There are different variations, but those are the main ingredients.
These three dishes combine to make a savory meal that is bound to please. Since all require minimal preparation, perhaps these delicious recipes can become some of your favorites too. Enjoy!