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Summer Menu Recipe Roundup

I struggle with summertime… I’m constantly trying to regulate my body’s temperature which is basically a 24 / 7 battle (read more about my struggles, plus tips for staying cool here!). That being said, one of the things that I actually do enjoy about this time of year is the abundance of fruits and vegetables. I naturally prefer to have a mostly vegetarian diet, so this is a pretty ideal time of year for me from that perspective. It’s such a great time for cool salads, gazpacho, and fruit popsicles (always looking for ways to chill out – haha)! I’m sharing a roundup of some of my favorite recipes for dinners at home that would also make for great BBQ, picnic, or by-the-pool dishes. Any of these dishes could be made portable — these reusable containers are perfect for use in coolers, picnic baskets and tote bags.


Cocktails – These beverages are perfect for day-drinking
Lightened Up Cocktail Classics
Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri
Frozen Aperol Spritz
Smashed Berry Rosé Spritz
Balsamic Peach Spritz
Strawberry Gin Mojito
Blackberry Champagne Mule

Panzanella Salad – Such a yummy way to repurpose stale bread (and we all know everyone’s been making hella sourdough in quarantine).
Classic version
Herb-Marinated Tomato
Extra Greens
Greek Salad with Ina’s Panzanella Twist
Avocado Panzanella
Peach, Burrata and Bacon Panzanella
Savory Fruit Panzanella

Summer Squash & Halloumi Salad by local restaurant Cafe Flora which contains: shaved roasted squash, fresh peaches, grilled green beans, seared halloumi, arugula, and a citrus-mint “pesto” vinaigrette. So delicious!

Summer Fruits / Veggie Salad – Salads are the BEST part of summer dining.
Classic Caprese
Avocado Caprese Salad
Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad
Classic Summer Corn Salad
Addicting Corn Salad
Grilled Zucchini Salad
Cucumber Tomato Salad (Vegan)
Chickpea Salad (Vegan & Oil-Free)
Cranberry Almond Broccoli Salad
Peach Spinach Salad
Berry Balsamic Salad
Watermelon Salad
Berry Fruit Salad
Summer Fruit Salad with Mint + Honey Dressing

This Avocado Salad pictured above is easily one my favorite salads EVER and it’s from a local Seattle restaurant called Fiasco. I’m salivating just thinking about it! 😂 If you want to try making it at home, the ingredients are: avocado, frisée, basil, cucumbers, shallots, pepitas, crispy quinoa, orange zest, and champagne vinaigrette.

Salads with Protein – Heartier salads that could be used as a filling main.
Classic Chicken Salad
Lightened Up version 1 & version 2
Southern Style
Southwestern Style (Keto)
Pineapple Chicken Salad
Jalapeño Popper Chicken Salad
Asian Chicken Salad (Vegan)
Chicken Avocado Roasted Corn Salad
Cole Slaw BBQ Chicken Salad
Sesame Chicken Salad
Crispy Buffalo Chicken Salad (Paleo, Keto, Whole30)
Blackberry Chicken Salad
Melon and Prosciutto Salad

Chilled Pasta Salad – I’ve never understood why these dishes are called “salads” since they’re the farthest thing from… maybe because they have salad dressing on them? At any rate, they’re a cool, delicious dish that can be used as either a main or a side.
Pesto Caprese style
Pesto Tuscan style
Pesto twist
Pesto Tortellini Salad
Basil Lemon Pasta Salad
Low-Carb Pesto Pasta Salad
Mexican Streetcorn Pasta Salad

This bowl of gazpacho was one of many that I had while we were in Paris in September 2018 (this particular bowl was my favorite from when we had lunch at Ladurée Paris Royale). After walking around sightseeing all day it was nice to cool down with a bowl of gazpacho.

Gazpacho – I’m a HUGE fan of soup in general, and a chilled gazpacho is so perfect in the summertime.
Classic
Cucumber Tomatillo
“White” Gazpacho
Roasted Tomato
Creamy Corn Gazpacho (Vegan)
Thai twist

Grilled Skewers / Kebabs – In two words: Grill. Heaven.
Lemon Garlic Chicken
Grilled Lemon Chicken
Cilantro Lime Chicken
Greek Style Chicken
Rosemary Garlic Steak
Grilled Brussel Sprouts
Teriyaki Chicken
Fajita Style Chicken
Grilled Ratatouille
Tandoori Grilled Chicken
Maple Bourbon Shrimp
Balsamic Grilled Vegetable Kebabs
BBQ Pineapple & Tofu
BBQ Chicken

I love a black bean burger. They’re so delicious and a great classic meat burger substitute because they’re so filling! If there’s a black bean burger on a menu, you can guarantee that I’ll be ordering it.

Black Bean Burgers
Classic (Vegan!)
Spicy Black Bean
Chipotle-Flavored
Cilantro Lime-Flavored
Salsa Black Bean
Avocado Black Bean
Sweet Potato / Black Bean
Jerk Sweet Potato / Black Bean
Butternut Squash / Quinoa / Black Bean
Spicy Lentil / Black Bean
Quinoa / Black Bean
Brown Rice / Black Bean
Mushroom / Black Bean (Vegan / GF!)
Tofu / Black Bean
Beet / Black Bean
Jalapeño Cheddar
Jalapeño Popper-Stuffed
Mediterranean Style
Jamaican Style
Teriyaki (Vegan!)

Sides – Side salad alternatives.
Elote In A Cup!
Corn & Tomato Salsa
Black Bean and Corn Salad
Parmesan Oregano Breadcrumb-topped Tomatoes
Roasted Garlic Zucchini, Squash and Tomatoes
Lightened Up Pineapple Coleslaw
Grilled Zucchini with Balsamic Glaze
Mango Jicama Slaw

Popsicles – I just ordered these popsicle molds and can’t wait to make all of these tasty treat recipes in them this summer!
Classic Froyo Base (Customizable!)
Classic All-Fruit Pops (Customizable!)
Strawberry Cheesecake Froyo
Orange Dreamsicle
Peaches & Cream
Cherry Creamsicle
Coffee & Coconut Milk (Vegan!)
Dole Whip Style
Mint Chocolate Chip Froyo
Creamy Coconut
Lava Flow Style
Coconut Cream & Vanilla Poptail (Boozy!)
Margarita Poptail (Boozy!)
Bahama Mama Poptail (Boozy!)
Peach Sweet Tea Poptail (Boozy!)
Strawberry Lemonade Poptail (Boozy!)
Key Lime Poptail (Boozy!)


We don’t have a safe space for an outdoor grill, so I’ve been eyeballing this stovetop grill pan for our gas range as well as these stainless steel skewers. I’m looking forward to enjoying some yummy grilled items at home this summer… if we decide to get one I’ll definitely keep you posted on how we like it!

Do you have any favorite summer recipes? Feel free to link them in the Comment section below!

Happy grilling & stay cool!
xx, Natalie

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