Healthy Refreshing Meal Ideas for Summer

The summertime is a great season to enjoy healthy, light, refreshing meals that will give you the energy you need to enjoy the great weather and some fun in the sun with friends and family. Unlike the hearty meals that you enjoy in the autumn and winter, use the summer season to switch things up and enjoy some lighter options. Check out the tips below to get started with some ideas that you’ll love, and feel free to come up with your own recipes too, of course!

 

A Salad with Fruit

From pineapple and mangoes, to berries and more, you can choose from a variety of deliciously sweet fruits this summer. Add them to your salad to get a great mix of your favourite fruits and vegetables, loaded with nutrients that will make you feel and look great. Whether you choose to have a salad as a meal or as a side, adding some fresh fruits, perhaps some nuts, and a fruity dressing is the perfect way to really make it a summer salad.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are super healthy and delicious, and they can also serve as the perfect alternative to your favourite meat-based grilled dishes. There are a variety of recipes to choose from that use these versatile mushrooms, so choose a few and give them a try when you’re grilling this summer. You may be surprised by how much they satisfy you.

Couscous with Vegetables

Another great option is to make a couscous dish and load it up with a variety of vegetables. For example, you can opt for Israeli couscous and serve it with peas, corn, and mint for a really refreshing summer dish that will fill you up and give you plenty of energy, fibre, vitamins, and minerals so you can look your best in your bikini.

Chilled Soup

A gazpacho is the perfect chilled soup for summer. Stick with vegetables that are in-season and organic for the best flavours. Great examples include bell peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes. This classic dish is sure to please your friends and family of all ages at your next barbecue or outdoor event, so make plenty and then enjoy the leftovers the next day.

A Healthier Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad makes a delicious treat in the summer, whether you enjoy it as a meal or as a side to your favourite grilled meals and smoked meat Montreal. But take it a step further and make it healthier by using a plant-based mayonnaise and adding in plenty of fresh, crispy vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, and celery, or whatever veggies you prefer. These will add flavour and nutrition and take an otherwise boring and bland macaroni salad to a new level.

There are plenty of ways to take an otherwise unhealthy summer meal and transform it into a refreshing, healthy, light summer meal. Ditching a lot of the heavy meats and dairy products and opting for more fresh ingredients, particularly fruits and vegetables, will definitely make a big difference, so indulge in the fact that there is so much in-season produce to enjoy.

 

Image via Pixabay.com

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4 Unique Dessert Ideas for Your Next Event

Are you a competitive person that wants to make a statement every time you show up at a party or other event by bringing the best dish in the place? Or maybe you just want to surprise your family with a strange yet tasty treat? You don’t need to be on one of the many cooking-related reality shows to be able to put together a completely memorable dessert that beats the competition, and you don’t even have to make it yourself if you don’t feel like it… and that will be your little secret!

Cherpumple Cake

Image courtesy of nodigio – https://flic.kr/p/c8zvYQ

Keep reading for a list of four unique dessert ideas that are sure to impress!

1. Cherpumple

The name alone is enough to get you interested, but this dessert is only for the brave and only for people with a lot of time to prepare. To put it simply, the oddly named cherpumple is a cake made up of three different layers, with each layer containing a pie of different flavors. Yes, it’s a cake with three pies in it… cherry, pumpkin, and apple. Each pie is cooked in a different type of cake as well, which include yellow, white, and spice cake. This dessert was invented by Charles Phoenix because, as he says, he could never settle for just one type of pie and wanted to have a taste of all three.

2. Funky Limon Tiger

Limon? You mean lemon, right? No. It’s limon because it combines a layer of key lime filling, a layer of lemon mousse, and finally a layer of whipped cream on top, in a deep dish with a baked chocolate crumb shell. It looks like a tiger’s stripes inside when you cut it, hence the name. This is one of Montreal’s speciality desserts that you can order online, or you could try to make it yourself if you feel up to it.

3. Deep-Fried Chocolate Bars

Depending on where you live, this may not be that strange at all. The most common one to start off with is a deep-fried Mars bar, but you should absolutely try whatever else you think may work well. Of course the trick is to fry it quickly so that the chocolate bar doesn’t disintegrate, and you will be left with the crispy batter on the outside, and warm and gooey chocolate goodness trapped inside.

4. Bacon Doughnut

Because it should be common knowledge by now that bacon makes everything better, why not try adding it to a doughnut for a little bit of weirdness? The most common way to do this is to add crispy bacon pieces sprinkled on top of the doughnut. At first it sounds really strange, but when you think about it… combining sweet and salty tastes is fairly common in the food world and is becoming even more popular these days. You’ve heard of salted caramel, right? Exactly!

So, now that your taste buds are working overtime and your mind is racing with all of the possibilities, you can finally forget about making that tired old chocolate cake that everyone else is already thinking of bringing to the party. Be unique and bring something special that will get everyone talking.

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Six Mouthwatering Sandwich Recipes to Try This Summer

Long warm days just beg you to pull out the picnics, BBQs, and go out on expeditions. No matter what your summer plans, a sandwich is the perfect lunch. Check out these six mouthwatering creations and try them on your hottest day.

 

Six Mouthwatering Sandwich Recipes to Try This Summer 2

 

BBQ Pork Sandwich
When you don’t have the time to cook outside and it’s too hot to cook inside, capture the taste of summer with a slow cooker pulled-pork roast. Chop an onion and a few sticks of celery and place at the bottom of the crock. Add a whole pork roast and sprinkle liberally with your favorite grill seasoning. Pour a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar over it all, and set the cooker to low. After 8-10 hours, tear the pork with two forks and serve on buns with your favorite BBQ sauce. It’s easy to make and perfect for when hosting a lot of guests.

Peruvian Triple Sandwich
The triple sandwich is a classic in Peru, and it’s available on almost every street corner in Lima. Toast three slices of Klosterman baking company’s sandwich bread and add mayonnaise. Build the sandwich with one toast topped with sliced tomatoes and avocadoes. Add the second toast and cover with thick slices of boiled egg. Add the final piece of toast on top and cut into quarters.

The Classic Cucumber
Cool and refreshing, a cucumber may be the most delicious vegetable to eat in the heat of summer. Sliced thin, and sprinkled with a bit of salt and fresh dill, they make an equally refreshing sandwich. Softened cream cheese and fresh radish sprouts add a mild kick. Try it on soft Country Potato Bread for an interesting mix of flavors.

The Tomato Sandwich
Another simple summer option is the refreshing tomato sandwich. Start with fresh, ripe tomatoes sliced medium-thin. Lightly toast a hearty white bread and add a light smear of mayonnaise and perhaps a slice of baby swiss and it’s done.

Chicken Salad on Cinnamon Raison Toast
Chicken salad is delicious, but it’s even better served on lightly toasted cinnamon raison bread. Try whole grain bread to add some extra nutrition to your lunch. This is especially yummy with almonds and apples mixed in with the salad.

Roast Beef Po-Boy
It may not be easy to eat on the go, but a good roast beef po-boy will make you want to take your time anyway. Split French bread topped with slices of roast beef, a light drizzle of gravy and dressed with lettuce, tomato, and pickles. It’s a creation worth indulging in.

A summer sandwich needn’t be boring. Add some kick to your summer with a delicious lunch and fresh ingredients for a healthy and delicious option.

 

Image courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Safe Snacking: Better Ways to Satisfy Your Cravings

Snacking is the single most dangerous activity for anyone trying to maintain or reach a healthy weight. It can even ruin your teeth and, depending upon what and how much you eat, drain your wallet of funds. Let’s take a look at some snacks that are lighter on your caloric intake, your teeth, and your wallet.

Milk
Milk has numerous benefits that make it a great snack solution. It contains protein, which keeps you feeling full for longer, and you can choose how much fat you ingest by choosing between whole or skim. Compared to other snacks, it’s also incredibly light on your wallet. Milk is one of those staples that you should make use of if you’re not lactose intolerant.
According to Guerra Dental, another added benefit of milk is it can dramatically strengthen your teeth. While you’ll still need to seek dental care in Colorado Springs to fix any tooth decay, this simple snack may be the perfect thing to keep your pearly whites happy and healthy while fighting plaque.

Cantaloupes and Yogurt
Nothing beats fresh fruit paired with something creamy and nutritious. Which is why taking some slices of fresh cantaloupe and mixing them with some low-fat yogurt makes for a great snack. The best part is it’s easy to make and light on your wallet. You’ll also be getting vitamin C from the cantaloupe, while getting a large amount of calcium and protein from the yogurt. You’ll feel good and have the energy to get through the rest of the day with this snack.

Raisins with Nuts
Raisins mixed with peanuts are a great snack for anyone who needs something to chew. You’ll find this snack is much healthier than candy or any of the snacks you might consume simply to have something to eat. The best part is nuts contain a high amount of protein and raisins provide plenty of fiber, the latter of which is good for your heart and digestion. If you can’t eat nuts or don’t enjoy them, then consider eating raisins alone or with a crunchy granola.

Tomatoes
Tomatoes are a relatively inexpensive food that contain antioxidants, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. They’re a fresh food you can eat by slicing them up, or by simply taking a bite out of them.
If you don’t enjoy plain tomatoes, then consider buying some herbs like parsley and basil and a side item like low-fat mozzarella cheese. These low-cost additions can make tomatoes taste even better and you can even grow them at home for a year round herb you only buy once.

Banana and Kale Smoothies
While bananas and kale are both great snacks on their own, they’re not always something most people want to eat. You can mix things up by combining one medium banana and one cup of chopped kale with some almond milk in a blender.

This provides an excellent source of fiber and protein with a low amount of fat. You’ll benefit from the potassium in the bananas, the protein from the almond milk and the antioxidants in the kale. The only danger is that it may taste so good, you might want another.

Celery Sticks
While celery sticks are nothing new when it comes to healthy snacks, there are many healthy topping options that most aren’t conscious of when it comes to this vegetable. For example, hummus and olives make for an excellent way to spice up celery sticks. You’ll still get that satisfying crunch while having a taste that simply dances on your taste buds. If you want something more traditional or you can’t find hummus at your local store, then consider using peanut butter or a dark chocolate spread. Both are healthy alternatives that can minimize your caloric intake.

You don’t have to eat unhealthy or costly things when it comes to snacking. You can make your snacks work with you by satisfying you cravings with low-calorie foods high in protein and vitamins. Next time you think about reaching for something unhealthy to snack on, consider making one of the items listed here instead. You’ll be eating things that are healthy for your heart, your digestive system, your teeth, and even your wallet.

 

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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How to make a statement in your kitchen

Whether you love to cook fine cuisine for friends or whip up a quick meal for the family, the kitchen of the modern day is the heart of the home. It’s the place where people gather at the beginning and end of each day. So how do you ensure your kitchen hits the right heartwarming notes?Here are five tips on how to make a statement in your kitchen.

 

kitchen

Appliances

If you enjoy cooking and spending time preparing food, then appliances are the place to start when planning your kitchen. Great appliances equal ease of entertaining, from ovens that take the legwork out of cooking and cleaning to dishwashers that ensure the room is clean when you leave.

A cook knows the appliances they need to get the job done and one of these has to be a great oven that can accommodate your style of entertaining, whether that be a family roast or intricate delicacies. Appliance experts such as ASKO have the top of the range appliances on offer to ensure you never slave over a hot stove.

Workspaces

When designing your awe-inspiring kitchen, consider your work zones. Just like a professional kitchen, there should be places for preparing food, enough room to rest hot pans and areas for dishing up. Good workspaces should also incorporate the flow of cooking, meaning you aren’t traipsing across the kitchen in search of pans or spices.

Cupboards

A stunning kitchen should make food preparation look effortless. That means a place for everything and everything in its place. In recent times, this has led to the popularity of the butler’s pantry where the messiness of cooking can be shut off to the prying eye. But should a butler’s pantry be a little beyond your space or budget means, then cupboards that can secrete appliances and the paraphernalia of cooking are a must-have.

That means including bench height cupboards with power points where large appliances such as blenders and toasters can be discreetly stashed away.

The little things

It can be the little things that make a kitchen truly beautiful, such as clean lines and soft close drawers. From double sinks or large sinks that can accommodate pots and pans when washing up to designated pot cupboards complete with racks for your potlids, the small things add up for ease of use and aesthetic appeal.

The heart of the home

Ultimately, the kitchen represents the heart of the home and the cockpit for modern entertaining and it should reflect this with its position and design. Consider island benches that guests or family can sit around to take part in food preparation and ensure your kitchen is not tucked away in a corner of the house.

Great kitchens don’t come about by accident. They are the result of planning, investment and the acknowledgement that cooking and entertaining play a pivotal role in family life. Creating a statement is all about ensuring it does this with ease and minimal fuss.

Are you thinking of making over your kitchen? Do you have any other tips to share? Do so by commenting below.

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