We have had three weeks of glorious sunshine here and the thought of hot, stodgy food just does not appeal… We got in the habit, when living in Spain, to have light meals in the really hot months, of chilled soups and homemade wholegrain soda bread, with a little butter (why not).
Here are some of my summer recipes for soup, salads and dressings with a little twist or two….
In the winter months it is very easy to stock up on nutrients with all the wonderful root vegetables available and also combining ingredients to make hearty soups and stews. However, as we get into the summer months, our appetites tend to change; I know there is a major shift in my taste buds once we get into late May. I want to move away from the stodgy comfort foods and eat a fresher and crisper menu.
There is no need to give up nutritionally packed soups however, because there are some stunning chilled varieties that you can make and store in the fridge or even freezer.
With the longer evenings there is no way I want to be slaving over a hot stove for hours and I usually cook enough for two nights at least, and that way I am only preparing main meals two or three times a week.
Anyway, I thought you might like these recipes to store away for those hot days when you feel like eating light or crave the tangy taste of fresh summer produce.. They are very versatile and you can always add your favourite protein on top.
Tasty but healthy soups and salads.
During the summer it is lovely to start off a meal with a fresh tasting, chilled soup or a wonderful refreshing salad. They can accompany main meals from around the world and because they are raw these starters will be carrying a very healthy and nutritious punch.
Gazpacho and other chilled soups.
When we lived in Spain we were blessed with an abundance of fresh vegetables that are perfect for making these summer soups. The most common of course is Gazpacho. I was a little concerned that when I came back to Ireland that there would not be the same range of vegetables, but I am delighted to say that apart from one or two ingredients, there is a wonderful range of home grown produce.
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
- Juice of half a fresh lemon.
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed.
- 1lb of fresh tomatoes skinned and chopped
- 1 red pepper – deseeded and chopped.
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped.
- ½ a cucumber roughly chopped
- ¾ pint fresh tomato juice
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 4 tablespoons of cider vinegar (optional)
Garnish – you can make your own choices here of chopped black olives, cucumber, spring onions or onion, red or green pepper, tomatoes and chives.
Put everything into a blender except the salt and pepper which you can add to taste when blended.
Chill and serve with the garnish and perhaps warm corn tortillas or Pitta bread.
Avocado and vegetable soup.
Ingredients for 6 people.
- 150 grm or cooked and chopped asparagus
- 100 grm of raw broccoli chopped
- 100 grm of raw mushrooms chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 250 ml of cold water or as needed for consistency
- ½ teaspoon of soy sauce (optional)
- 1 large avocado chopped
Blend the vegetables with water in the blender.
Add the avocado and soy sauce and blend until smooth.
Add seasoning to taste and serve straight away.
This salad is a wonderful accompaniment to fish, poultry or lean meat and will give your body a nutrient packed boost. The combined ingredients have been recognised as foods that actively work with your body to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, prevent heart disease, boost the immune system, help prevent cancer and are anti-ageing. This raw and unprocessed mix contains many wonderful nutrients but particularly Omega 3, Vitamins A,C,E and all the B’s. Minerals such as manganese, copper, calcium, iron, potassium and amino acids including tryptophan.
You can add any fresh vegetables that you like including grated carrot, finely chopped celery or red cabbage.
To serve four people.
- Packet of fresh, whole leaf baby spinach
- Large onion in finely chopped rings.
- 12 walnut halves
- Four firm, ripe tomatoes,
- One head of broccoli
- 50 grm Sesame Seeds
- I ripe and firm avocado.
- Olive oil.
Wash and put the spinach leaves in a large salad bowl.
Cut the broccoli into small florets and add with the thinly sliced onion rings.
Throw in the walnuts.
Toss the mix thoroughly.
Decorate around the edge with tomato segments and just before serving add chopped avocado to the centre.
You can either sprinkle with sesame seeds or add the seeds to two tablespoons of Olive oil and drizzle over the salad as a dressing.
Serve with toasted wholegrain French bread.
Yoghurt and date dressing Ingredients
- 250mil of natural yoghurt
- 100 grm of finely chopped stoned dates.
- ½ teaspoon of grated orange rind.
- 2 tablespoons of orange juice.
Combine all the ingredients together and chill in the refrigerator.
Avocado, Apple and Orange salad with cold salmon ingredients
- 3 large ripe avocados, stoned and quartered.
- 2 large oranges, peeled and separated into segments.
- 2 Large green apples, washed and cut into segments.
- Mixed lettuce leaves and ½ bag of young fresh spinach leaves.
- 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds
- Large Salmon fillet cut into 6 equal portions, grilled or steamed.
Arrange the lettuce and spinach leaves in the bottom of a large bowl.
Arrange alternate segments of the oranges and apples.
Arrange the avocado quarters in the centre of the bowl.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Serve the dressing in a separate serving bowl on the table.
Is lovely with fresh warm slices of Pitta bread or corn tortillas.
Papaya and prawn salad with tomato and herb dressing.
Tomato and herb dressing
- 2 large tomatoes skinned and chopped
- 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon of fresh basil, rosemary and cilantro.
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
Blend together and then chill in the refrigerator.
The Papaya Salad
- Assorted lettuce leaves
- Cherry tomatoes
- Thinly sliced cucumber
- 500gm of peeled prawns
- 3 ripe Papaya cut in cut in half, seeded.
Arrange the leaves on individual plates and place the Papaya in the centre.
Place the tomatoes and cucumber around the plate.
Mix the prawns with the dressing and place in the centre of the papaya
Sprinkle with pimiento
Alternative Salad Dressings
- 2 bananas mashed.
- 500 ml of natural yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon of mustard
- 240 ml of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or to taste.
Put the egg yolks into a blender bowl with the cider vinegar and blend gently until well mixed then add the olive oil drop by drop with the blender moving.
Gradually increase to a thin stream of oil and as the mayonnaise thickens you can increase the volume of oil.
After the oil has been added continue to blend until the mixture has thickened.
Season to taste with the lemon juice,mustard, pepper and salt.
I hope that this has given you some ideas for summer… Please feel free to share.. thanks Sally.
©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998-2018
A little bit about me nutritionally.
A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.
All available in Ebook from: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2
And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6
Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4: http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html
Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is email@example.com. I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally
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