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5 Easy Healthy Summer Recipes You Need To Try ASAP

Summer is my favorite season. Why? 

  • #1: No school (obviously)

  • #2: The warm weather

  • #3: Summer foods!

Summer recipes are some of my favorites. I have a few go-to’s that I want to share with you all. Each meal is light, healthy and delicious and is made with whole, natural foods. Eating healthy doesn’t have to equate to plain chicken breast and broccoli. It can be fun and inventive while still being nutritious. Here are some of my favorites! 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Power Shake 

This smoothie literally tastes like a milkshake - it’s that creamy. It’s full of protein, fiber and vitamins. It has all your macronutrients too: carbs, protein and healthy fats. Here’s what really makes this smoothie shine: the zucchini and cocoa powder. Usually, bananas are used to create a creamy consistency. However, if you are trying to watch your sugar and carb intake, replacing some of the bananas with zucchini is a great option. Zucchinis are a hidden weapon when it comes to making your smoothie milkshake-like, and you don’t even taste it! The cocoa powder helps because it makes the chocolate flavor more intense. The key is to find a good quality, unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Guittard). 


- ½ cup almond milk

- ½ frozen banana

- 1 cup frozen zucchini 

- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder

- 1 Tbsp peanut butter

- 1 Tbsp PB2 (powdered PB)

- 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

- 1 cup spinach 


1. Add all the ingredients into the blender in the order listed. Use a blender tamper if the thick consistency is hard to blend.

Protein Pancakes

Pancakes are a breakfast classic. But, they aren’t the most healthy option. There are so many ways to turn this indulgent breakfast staple into something healthy and delicious. My favorite recipe is from Add a Pinch. I like it because it’s packed with protein, healthy fats and healthy carbs. Oats are a great way to get in complex carbs. They have a low glycemic index and help reduce inflammation in the body. That, in combination with the eggs and protein powder, should keep you full for hours! 


- 1 cup oats

- 1 banana

- 2 eggs 

- ½ cup egg whites

- 4 tsp baking powder

- 1 pinch of salt 

- 1-2 scoops protein powder

- 2 Tbsp flax

- *1 pinch of cinnamon (I like to add a full Tbsp)

- *1 tsp vanilla extract 

*I like to vanilla and a bit more cinnamon, just to enhance the flavors.


1. Blend everything in the blender.

2. Heat pan/griddle to medium heat, and add ¼ cup batter per pancake on the pan. When the edges begin to look dry (2-3 minutes), flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side. 

3. I like to top these pancakes off with sliced bananas, almond butter and 100% maple syrup. Or sometimes I like to make a blueberry compote with toasted almonds. But, feel free to finish them off however you like!


Korean Tofu Salad 

This salad is one of my favorite dishes to make for the summer. It is light, refreshing and reminds me of a Chinese chicken salad, but without all of the extra fats and fried toppings (even though it is delicious!). The key to any great salad is the greens. You want to make sure you thoroughly wash your lettuce. Also, to make your greens extra fresh and crisp, wash the lettuce, place it in between layers of paper towels and then place it in a big bowl and stick it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes prior to eating. 


For the salad:

- Romaine 

- Butter lettuce 

- Shredded carrots

- Sliced onion 

- Green onion 

- Sesame seeds 

- Korean red chili flakes (optional) 

- 8 oz soft tofu

For the dressing: 

- 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

- 1/2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

- 1/2 Tbsp agave (honey/maple syrup can also be used) 

- 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar 


1. Prep the salad ingredients by washing and cutting the lettuce, shredding the carrots, slicing the onion into thin slices and chopping the green onion. Set aside. 

2. To prep the dressing, mix the sesame oil, soy sauce, agave and rice vinegar into a small bowl. Set aside. 

3. Assemble your salad by tossing together your greens and veggies. Cut and add ⅓ (or however much you want) of the soft tofu and place on top of your greens. Drizzle the dressing on top, and sprinkle with chili flakes and sesame seeds.  

Turkey Bolognese with Zoodles

Zoodles are a great way to increase your daily vegetable intake. They also are a perfect option for those who are trying to limit their carb consumption. The crunch of the zoodles adds a nice texture and fresh taste to the heavier sauce. Also, turkey is a great way to add more lean protein into your diet. 


- 1-2 carrots minced 

- 3/4 onion minced 

- 5 cloves garlic minced

- Olive oil

- Ground turkey breast (you can also use ground chicken or beef) 

- 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms 

- 2 tbsp tomato paste 

- 1 container jarred tomato sauce (no added sugar if possible) 

- Salt to taste 

- Italian seasoning to taste 

- Fresh basil 

- Shredded parmesan (optional)

- 4-5 zucchinis 


1. Heat olive oil in a pot. Add minced garlic and onion and saute for 3-4 minutes. Then add the carrots and saute for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and saute for around 3-4 minutes, or until soft. 

2. Add the turkey and saute until thoroughly cooked. 

3. Add in the tomato sauce and tomato paste. 

4. Simmer for around 5-10 minutes, until the mixture comes to a light boil. 

5. Add salt and Italian seasoning to taste (I personally add A LOT of Italian seasoning). 

6. For the zucchini, spiralize (using spiralizer or pre-spiralized zucchini). Then lightly heat/cook the zucchini on a nonstick pan for around 2-3 minutes. You don’t want to overcook the zucchini spirals because it will taste mushy. You want the texture of the “noodles” to mimic real pasta as best as you can. 

7. Plate the zoodles, add the sauce and sprinkle a generous amount of fresh basil and parmesan. (I also like to add Tabasco for some heat, but this is optional!)

Chili Salmon with Garlicky Umami Rice and Broccolini

Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, potassium, vitamins and antioxidants. It’s a power food and perfect for a healthy dinner, especially because the healthy fats are known to help you have a better night’s rest. I like to pair this with a light vegetable, such as broccolini or snap peas, and brown umami rice. I like to make my rice a bit more sticky, so I add extra water. Also, the more water you add to your rice, the easier it gets broken down in your stomach when you eat it. Therefore, it can help with bloating as well. 



- 2 4oz Wild-caught salmon 

- 1 Tsp garlic powder 

- 1 Tsp onion powder

- Sea salt and black pepper to taste

- Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch sauce (*COPY CAT RECIPE* if you don't live near Trader Joe's)


- 1 cup brown rice

- 2 cups water

- ½ chopped onion (small, fine pieces) 

- 5 garlic gloves minced

- 1 Tbsp umami seasoning (I use the one from Trader Joes!) 

- 1 tsp garlic powder

- 1 tsp onion powder

- ½ tsp cumin

- Sea salt to taste 


- Broccolini

- 4 cloves garlic minced

- Olive oil 

- Onion powder

- Sea salt to taste

- 1 Lemon 


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking pan with foil. 

2. Next, make the rice. Rinse and drain brown rice. Set aside. 

3. In a pot, heat oil and saute chopped onions and minced garlic for around 5-7 minutes, or until the onions become tender and clear. 

4. Add rinsed rice to the pot and saute for around 3 minutes, until the rice is slightly toasted. 

5. Add water (double the amount of water as you did rice; the ratio of rice to water should be 1:2). Put the lid on the pot, and let cook for around 20-25 minutes. 

6. While the rice is cooking, pat the salmon dry and put on pan. Season it with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Put it in the oven for around 20 minutes, until thoroughly cooked. 

7. For the broccolini, boil a pot of water. Add broccolini and cook for 2 minutes. Take out and place it in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain the water. 

8. In a large pan, heat minced garlic and oil on medium heat. Add broccolini, onion powder and sea salt to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes. Make sure not to overcook the broccolini to avoid a mushy texture. You want it to be crisp and firm. Squeze ½ and zest half a lemon on the broccolini (or as much as you want) to top it off. 

9. Once the salmon is done, take it out of the oven and put about ½ Tbsp of Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch sauce on the top of each piece of salmon.

10. Once the rice is finished cooking, mix in Umami seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and salt. Serve with salmon and broccolini. Enjoy!

Madeline is the Assistant Director of Event Marketing for UCLA's Chapter of Her Campus. She is a third-year student majoring in Communication Studies. In her free time, she enjoys watching Rom Coms, cooking, and looking at pictures of cute pugs.
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