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Easy Summer Recipes: Stay Cool With These Simple Meals

Healthy Summer Smoothie Recipe

Asian Ginger Chicken

4 small skinless boneless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (2 cups)
2 cups packaged julienne-cut carrots
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 1/3 cups hot cooked brown rice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)


  1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Addchicken to skillet. Reduce heat to medium; cook for 8 to 12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear (170 degrees F), turning once halfway through cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, place a steamer basket in a large saucepan. Add enough water to come just below the bottom of the basket. Bring water to boiling. Add asparagus and carrots to steamer basket. Cover and reduce heat. Steam for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Transfer vegetables to a dish.
  3. To serve, stir the soy sauce and ginger into the vegetables and/or hot cooked brown rice. Divide rice and vegetable mixture among four dinner plates; top with chicken. If desired, sprinkle with crushed red pepper. Makes 4 servings (1 chicken breast, about 1/2 cup steamed vegetables, and 1/3 cup cooked rice per serving)

Servings Per Recipe: 4

PER SERVING: 290 cal., 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 82 mg chol., 428 mg sodium, 24 g carb. (4 g fiber, 4 g sugars), 37 g protein

Variation #1

Summer Lemon Variation: Prepare as above, except substitute 1 medium zucchini and 1 medium yellow summer squash, each halved and sliced, for the asparagus and carrots; reduce steaming time to 3 to 5 minutes. Substitute 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper for the soy sauce and ginger. Substitute hot cooked whole grain orzo for the hot cooked rice. Omit crushed red pepper. If desired, sprinkle with additional finely shredded lemon peel.

PER SERVING: 264 cal., 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 82 mg chol., 243 mg sodium, 18 g carb., 5 g fiber, 36 g protein

Variation #2

Broccoli Slaw Variation: Prepare as above, except omit the salt. Substitute 4 cups packaged shredded broccoli (broccoli slaw mix) for the asparagus and carrots; do not steam. Substitute 1/2 cup light Italian salad dressing for the soy sauce and ginger. Substitute 2 whole grain pita bread rounds, cut into sixths, for the rice. Omit crushed red pepper.

PER SERVING: 339 cal., 9 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 83 mg chol., 516 mg sodium, 25 g carb., 5 g fiber, 38 g protein

Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo with Summer Vegetables


1/2 12 – ounce package pretrimmed fresh green beans
1/2 9 – ounce package refrigerated 100 percet whole wheat linguine
1 small yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
Nonstick cooking spray
1 small skinless, boneless chicken breast half (4 ounces), cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 10 – ounce container (1/2 cup) refrigerated Italian cheese and herb-flavor cream cheese sauce for cooking 
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
Cracked black pepper


  1. In a 4-quart pot, cook green beans in boiling water for 6 minutes, adding the pasta and squash for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain and return to hot pot.
  2. Meanwhile, lightly coat a medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Preheat skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low. Add cream cheese sauce and milk. Cook and stir just until heated through.
  3. Add chicken mixture to cooked linguine mixture; toss to coat. Divide linguine mixture among two serving plates. Sprinkle with pepper.

Servings Per Recipe: 2

PER SERVING: 390 cal., 13 g total fat (6 g sat. fat), 79 mg chol., 536 mg sodium, 45 g carb. (9 g fiber, 6 g sugars), 27 g protein

Veggie Slaw


3 cups shredded cabbage
5 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1 cup fresh cauliflowerets, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and onion.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over cabbage mixture; toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Servings per recipe: 6     

Nutritional Facts: 3/4 cup equals 84 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 7 mg cholesterol, 402 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein

No Bake Cheesecake with Ginger Snap Crust and Mango Puree


Nonstick cooking spray
15 gingersnaps, crumbled
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup sugar 
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
 2 8 – ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 medium, ripe mango, peeled, seeded, and cut up
1 tablespoon lime juice


  1. For crust: Lightly coat an 8-inch springform pan or a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray; set aside. Place gingersnaps in a food processor. Cover and process until fine crumbs form. With the machine running, add melted butter and the 2 tablespoons sugar through the opening in the lid, processing until crumbs are moistened. Transfer crumb mixture to the prepared pan. Press crumb mixture evenly into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the 1/3 cup sugar and the gelatin. Add the boiling water; stir about 5 minutes or until gelatin is dissolved.
  3. For cheesecake filling: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Gradually add the gelatin mixture, beating until combined. Pour mixture into the crust.
  4. In a food processor, combine mango and lime juice; cover and process until a smooth puree. Press mango puree through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the mango puree on top of thecheesecake filling. Draw a toothpick through the puree and filling to create a marbled effect. Cover and chill the cheesecake and the remaining mango puree about 3 hours or until cheesecake is firm.
  5. To serve, remove sides of the springform pan; cut cheesecake into wedges. Serve the remaining mango puree with cheesecake wedges.

Servings Per Recipe: 12
PER SERVING: 202 cal., 12 g total fat (7 g sat. fat), 36 mg chol., 206 mg sodium, 19 g carb. (1 g fiber, 13 g sugars), 5 g protein

Cherry-Blueberry Banana Smoothie


1/2 cup frozen unsweetened pitted dark sweet or sour cherries
1 cup unsweetened vanilla-flavored almond milk
1 – 6 oz. carton blueberry flavored Greek yogurt (nonfat)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 small banana, peeled


  1. In a blender, combine cherries, milk, yogurt, blueberries and banana. Cover and blend until smooth.

Servings per recipe: 4
PER SERVING: 104 cal., 1 g total fat 62 mg sodium, 20 g carb. (3 g fiber, 16 g sugars), 5 g protein

Sources: Taste of Home; Diabetic Living

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Healthy Summer Smoothie Recipe
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