Newswise — Summertime is the season of outdoor celebrations. From pool parties to cookouts, the warm days and long nights present many opportunities to gather outside with friends and family. For many, any summer soiree worth its salt is sure to include an assortment of seasonal eats. As taste is a well-known trigger of memory, food has the power to take us on a sudden, sentimental journey to summers past – helping us to define and recapture that special summer feeling.
Those striving to maintain weight loss goals need not miss out on the quintessential summer experience of gathering over great food. With just a willingness to learn, many classic summer dishes can be recreated in healthier ways, allowing you to stay on track with your weight loss goals while enjoying the cuisines that make the season special. Below, find several healthy recipes to capture that sweet summer feeling!
Black Bean Turkey Burgers
• 1 lb. lean ground turkey (93/7 preferred)
• 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 egg white
• 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
• 2 cloves roasted garlic
• 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
• 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
• 1/2 tsp. cumin
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 egg white
• 1/2 cup red onion
• 1 red pepper, pureed in blender (This adds flavor and moisture without having large chunks that can be difficult to digest.)
• 1/2 avocado, sliced*
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Coarsely chop the onion and add it to the food processor with the turkey, drained beans, seasoning, egg white, and garlic.
3. Blend until ingredients are evenly distributed.
4. Divide turkey into 10 patties.
5. Grill 5 minutes on each side. Finish them off in the oven for 8 minutes or until cooked through.
6. Enjoy with green beans and low-fat potato salad. Consider using plain yogurt to substitute some of the mayo in your potato salad, and mix up the potatoes with some sweet potatoes (leave the skins off for extra fiber if you are at least 3 months post-op!). Try mixing in dill, celery, peas, onion, mustard, hot sauce, and salt and pepper for a ton of flavor and little extra fat.
*Avocado is a great substitute for cheese. While cheese is high in saturated fat, avocado adds a ton of unsaturated fat – and flavor!
Cuban-Inspired BBQ Salmon
• 1/3 cup guava jelly (Consider Goya brand)
• 1/3 cup tomato paste
• 1 tsp. minced garlic
• 1-2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Mix ingredients together. Set aside 2 teaspoons for the salmon and refrigerate the rest.
3. Clean and season salmon. Spread sauce over the salmon and cook 15-20 minutes.*
*Overcooking the salmon will dry it out and make it harder to digest, so go easy on the cooking time.
Quinoa Mac & Cheese
• 1 ½ cups quinoa rinsed and drained
• Veggies of your choice
• Good pinch of salt or season salt
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup unsweetened soy milk or non-fat milk
• 1 ½ cups grated 2% or part-skim cheddar cheese (consider Cabot brand for a lactose-free variety)
• Crushed red pepper, optional
• Toppings – salsa, hot sauce, Greek yogurt, scallions
1. Lightly sauté veggies.
2. Cook quinoa to packaged instruction (2:1 ration of water or broth to grain for 15 minutes or in a rice cooker).
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 13x9 pan with non-stick spray.
4. Whisk eggs and milk in a large bowl. Fold quinoa mixture and cheese. Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt.
5. Transfer to prepared baking dish and bake 30-35 minutes until the top is browned.
Crab-Stuffed Deviled Eggs
• 8 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
• 4 Tbsp light mayo (low fat plain Greek yogurt)
• 1 ½ tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
• 1 tbsp. minced shallot
• 2 tsp. lemon juice
• 1/8 tsp. black pepper
• 1/4 tsp. hot sauce
• One 6.5 ounce can crab meat, drained or fresh crab meat
1. Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Scoop yolks into medium bowl and mash with a fork.
2. Mix in mayo and/or yogurt, tarragon, shallot, lemon juice, black pepper, and hot sauce. Mix in crab.
3. Divide the crab mixture into 16 equal portions and spoon into the cavity of each half egg white.
4. Tip: To hard-boil eggs, place eggs into a medium-sized pot and cover with water. Place on the stove and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in hot water for 12-15 minutes. Refrigerate eggs until you’re ready to use them.
Peanut Butter Ice Cream
• 1 very ripe banana, peeled and sliced (the more black spots on the peel, the better)
• 2 tbsp. PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
Slice the banana and freeze in a freezer-safe container. When completely frozen, blend the banana slices and PB2 until it becomes a nice smooth consistency similar to ice cream.