Ready to keep your summer meal plan organization on?
I have pulled out my summer recipes folder, one of the few brilliant organizational systems I actually use, and I’m starting to get excited about grilling, corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes (even though they’re a month or two away here in Michigan!), and eating outside.
I’ll make sure I still use healthy things like chicken stock and dry beans – here’s how I make sure I use broth and beans in the summer. I also just got my first CSA box, so I’m searching for or making up recipes with kale, swiss chard, and collard greens (any suggestions?). I don’t think they’ll go in my new protein bar recipe, but it sounds as though greens will have to make an appearance in practically everything else we eat! Good thing my friend Wendy at The Local Cook has a list of kale recipes on her blog…
If you win the Plan to Eat giveaway this week or are already a member and enjoying the new KS group, here are some summer recipes to store in your recipe box, my favorites for summer from the KS archives:
- Easy Deviled Eggs Eggs really are a seasonal food, most abundant naturally in spring and summer, but deviled eggs are great summer food because of picnics and parties.
- Potato Salad My ultimate favorite party dish to pass, potato salad with hamburgers and corn on the cob is the quintessential meal that said, “Summer is here!” in my childhood.
- Pasta Salad Variations: Traditional, Pizza, Spicy Red Pepper and Greek Another easy, inexpensive way to feed a crowd.
- Two Cold Beet Salads Beets are easy to find at the Market, and other seasonal vegetables make this a light, unique beginning course for any summer meal.
- Cold Spelt Salad Cold side dishes can be hard to come by, but this one fits the bill and is a great travel companion for picnics or camping, too.
- Tomato Basil Pasta Salad Not all that real food friendly if you don’t do pasta, but oh, so delicious – it’s worth a once-a-year indulgence for me!
- Cream of Vegetable or “End of Garden” Soup The fresher the veggies, the better this soup tastes. I’m never afraid to make soup in the summer!
- Chicken Barley Leek Soup Leeks are always more expensive at the grocery store than the Farmer’s Market, at least around here, and chickens are slaughtered in the summer.
- Garlic Soup My garlic is getting ready to harvest; I may have to make some of this blended soup as a side dish to a light summer salad or grilled chicken.
- Katie’s Simple Cabbage Soup with Secret Super Food The secret super food may be a fall veggie, but you can watch for cabbage any time now. I like to buy some in season, lightly steam it and freeze for the winter.
- Lazy French Fries in Tallow or Coconut Oil Nothing better than french fries with your grilled burgers!
- How to Grill Pizza (Sourdough) Don’t set yours on fire…
- Frozen Fruit Popsicles (no added sweetener!) My kids and I are playing with new recipes all summer; here are the early front runners.
- Mexican Stuffed Peppers I can’t wait for peppers to be abundant – I’ll freeze them in halves for this meal later!
- Mashed Cauliflower Trick One I learned to make to fit my MIL’s diabetes needs, this is a side dish that seems to fit better in the summer than the comfort food mashed potatoes. My 7yo loves it even though he won’t eat cauliflower any other way – I use lots of cheese!
Jamaican Meat Marinade(recipe no longer available) Utilizing in-season peppers, this unique homemade marinade is a must-have for grilled chicken and gets rave reviews every time I serve it.
- California Chicken Wraps Another way to avoid turning on your oven or stovetop in the heat of the summer while still getting a hot meal on the table.
- Sausage Zucchini Bake I watch for the zucchinis to come in just to make this low-carb, tastebud tantalizing meal. We’re having it this week, finally!
- Sausage, Beans and Kale Soup I always find kale tempting at the Farmer’s Market, and discovering this soup gave me the opportunity to buy some. The grilled tomato, basil and mozzarella sandwich we dip into the soup can only properly be made with fresh, local tomatoes and basil that was picked this week. Who says soups aren’t for summer?
- Green Smoothies With the leftover kale from your bunch or two you bought for the soup, lightly steam and freeze in ice cube trays for green smoothies all season long (or beyond).
- 100% Whole Grain Healthy Fruit Pizza The season’s best berries make fruit pizza a dazzlingly bold summer dessert choice, perfectly light and airy.
- Summer Fruit Dips Very basic, simple dipping options for your strawberries, blueberries, even melon.
- Fresh Salsa It always takes forever in Michigan for the bulk tomatoes to be ready, but I can almost taste the fresh salsa. Don’t even bother making salsa with grocery store tomatoes!
- Lacto-Fermented and Canned Garlic Dill Pickles I’m determined to get the perfect crunch this year!
- Summer Entertaining from the Eat Well, Spend Less series
- Summer Travel Foods from EWSL
What are your favorite summer dishes?