Quick summer meals by Christie Hunter, RD

Well, school is officially out so that means that we all switch to summer mode. One of the things that I love about summer is the less hectic evening schedule. Summer also brings us longer daylight and opportunities to be more active in the evening. I hate it when people feel like they have to choose between exercise and healthy eating because of time constraints in the evening. Truly, I believe that they can go hand and hand and you don’t have to choose one over the other.

Take advantage of summer months with some quick and easy meals so that you can enjoy more evening activities. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Summer snack plate: lean deli meat like ham, turkey or chicken, slices of cheese, fresh fruit such as watermelon or cherries, whole grain crackers.

2. Caprese salad kabobs: wooden skewers with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella cheese drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

3. Turkey and avocado pitas: sliced turkey with slices of avocado in whole wheat pita.

4. Shrimp cocktail: boil shrimp for 3-4 minutes until pink and then serve chilled. Serve with your favorite raw summer veggies like cucumbers.

5. Southwest salad: Romaine lettuce with can of drained and rinsed black beans, frozen roasted corn that you have steamed, tomatoes, topped with cheese and salsa.

6. Chicken Cesar wraps: Rotisserie chicken (I always keep some on hand in the freezer) on spinach wrap with Romaine lettuce and Cesar salad dressing. Serve with your favorite summertime berries.

7. Greek quinoa salad: Cooked quinoa with chopped up cucumbers, tomatoes, feta and olives tossed with Greek vinaigrette dressing.

This summer, be creative and find ways to enjoy all the fresh produce available without spending hours in the kitchen preparing meals!

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