Healthy Summer Recipes: Light and Refreshing Meals to keep you satiated in this heat

By Lavanya

Jun 25, 20249 mins read

Healthy Summer Recipes: Light and Refreshing Meals to keep you satiated in this heat

Summer is never looked on in that nostalgic gaze that old Hollywood films depicted them in. At least, not in our country - unless you are of school-going age! For the rest of us, summer is one long hot day from March to October. 


Light summer meals are the order of the day. Or the season. With the weather sapping our energy, the last thing we need is heavy, greasy food sitting like a lump in our belly. Think fresh flavors. Think simple ingredients. A hot summer day is the perfect time for easy recipes, fresh veggie and seasonal ingredients. But it isn't all a mouthful of leaves either. Hearty summer salads are a thing! You can zhuzh up a traditional Greek salad by adding in a piece of chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken for protein. 


Easy summer dinner ideas 


Hot summer nights, when the last thing we feel like doing is eating anything to weigh us down, healthy summer dinners, featuring light salads and stir-fries are the way to go. If you are unsure as to how to come up with new and exciting ways to keep your family interested in their food, the key, as ever, lies in striking the perfect balance. Stock up on seasonal fruits and fresh veggies. 


But sunny days also mean ice lollies - what better way to get some relief from the heat than to juice up some of those fruits and freeze them in moulds? By making these yourself, you can control the amount of sugar and preservatives that go into these lollies. 


Summer is also the time to go to the farmers market and stock up on fresh summer tomatoes. Use the relentless heat to make and bottle your own sundried tomatoes. Toss in some fresh basil, and crushed garlic, top up with extra virgin olive oil and you can have jars of goodness at the ready for the rest of the year.   


Enough chat, let's have some recipes! 


Some healthy summer recipes for your tickle your taste buds


Here are some of our favorite summer recipes, that make for a delicious summer dinner or just as delicious light lunch. 


Watermelon Feta Salad


Healthy

Ingredients:


4 cups cubed seedless watermelon


1 cup crumbled feta cheese


1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped


1/4 red onion, thinly sliced


2 tablespoons balsamic glaze


Salt and pepper to taste


Instructions:


In a large bowl, combine the cubed watermelon, crumbled feta cheese, chopped mint leaves, and thinly sliced red onion.


Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the salad and toss gently to combine.


Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or chill for 15 minutes before serving.


Health Benefits: Watermelon is incredibly hydrating and rich in vitamins A and C. Combined with the tangy feta and fresh mint, this salad is both refreshing and packed with antioxidants, making it an ideal summer dish.


Quinoa and Black Bean Salad


Healthy

Ingredients:


1 cup quinoa, washed in cold water


2 cups water


1 cup black beans, soaked and pressure-cooked (you can use white beans instead too)


1 cup tomatoes, quartered


1 red capsicum, chopped


1/4 cup onion, finely chopped


A few sprigs of fresh coriander, chopped


1/4 cup olive oil


2 tablespoons lemon juice


1 teaspoon ground cumin (or chat masala)


Salt and pepper to taste


Instructions:


In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and cool.


In a large bowl, combine the cooled cooked quinoa, beans, tomatoes, red capsicum, onion, and coriander. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and pepper.


Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and toss nicely to combine.


Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Substitute the beans with ground turkey or chicken for a meaty option. 


These also make for good wrap fillings. Just heat up some flour tortillas, place a couple of spoonfuls of the above salad in the middle, wrap up tight, and pack in your lunch box for a great packed lunch or even picnic fare! 


Lemon Herb Grilled Shrimp


Ingredients:


1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined


1/4 cup olive oil


Juice of 2 lemons


3 cloves garlic, minced


2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


1 teaspoon dried oregano


Salt and pepper to taste


Instructions:


In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, chopped parsley, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.


Add the shrimp to the bowl and toss to coat evenly. Marinate for 15-20 minutes.


Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Thread the shrimp onto skewers.


Grill the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are opaque and cooked through.


Serve hot with a side of lemon wedges and a fresh salad.


Nutritional Benefits: Shrimp is a lean source of protein and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The lemon and herbs add a burst of flavor without the need for heavy sauces, making this dish light and delicious.


Chilled Cucumber Soup


Ingredients:


2 large cucumbers, peeled and chopped


1 cup plain Greek yogurt


1 clove garlic, minced


2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped


Juice of 1 lemon


Salt and pepper to taste


Chopped fresh chives for garnish


Instructions:


In a blender, combine the cucumbers, Greek yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.


Chill the soup in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.


Serve cold, garnished with chopped chives.


Cooling Benefits: Cucumbers are incredibly hydrating and low in calories, making this soup an excellent choice for a refreshing and light summer meal. The Greek yogurt adds a creamy texture and a boost of protein.


Rainbow Lettuce Wraps


Ingredients:


1/4 cup purple cabbage, sliced thin


1/4 cup carrots, sliced thin


1 block paneer or tofu


1 red capsicum, sliced thin


1/4 cup spring onion, sliced thin


1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped


1/4 cup lemon juice


1 tablespoon olive oil


Salt and pepper to taste


Large lettuce leaves (such as romaine or butter lettuce)


Instructions:


Slice the block of paneer or tofu into long, thin strips. Toss them in a bit of salt, turmeric and garam masala. 


Saute them with a little bit of ghee in a hot pan. Cool. 


In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Toss well.


Spoon the mixture into the center of each lettuce leaf. If you have rice paper, you can use them instead of lettuce leaves.


Fold the lettuce leaves around the filling to form wraps.


Serve immediately.


There you have it! Some light and refreshing ideas for easy summer dinner recipes! We are sure these are dishes your whole family would enjoy!