New Year’s resolutions seem to have come and gone long ago, most of them forgotten. With summer right around the corner, though, many of us still desire a sleeker figure and better health with which to enjoy the season. Take a cue from our ancestors and eat local, in-season produce to achieve your summer diet goals. Try one of my tasty summer diet recipes on for size.
3-4 large cucumbers or 6 pickling cucumbers (I prefer the latter for crispness and flavor)
multi-colored bell peppers (yellow, red, and green, one of each)
1 large onion
pinch of cayenne
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup vinegar
2 cups water
Slice veggies thinly and layer inside a large covered bowl. Sprinkle cayenne and salt over the top (sugar or Splenda may be added as well, to taste). Combine water and vinegar and pour over the top, ensuring all the veggies are covered. Refrigerate several hours or overnight and serve cold (use a slotted spoon to strain as serving). Makes about 8 servings, 40 calories and 2 grams of fiber per serving.
Fresh Fruit Smoothie
1 medium banana, sliced and frozen
1 5-6oz. Container Greek yogurt
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup skim milk
Whirl ingredients together in a blender. Makes two servings, 170 calories per serving, negligible fat, 3 grams of fiber, 13 grams of protein.
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
4 large bell peppers, stems and seeds removed
¾ pound soy crumbles
1 cup steel cut oats, dry
1 tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Pepper
12 oz. Tomato sauce
Heat oven to 350F. In a large skillet, heat 1.5 cups of water and ½ tsp. Salt to a boil. Add peppers and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Mix remaining ingredients and stuff each pepper equally. Place peppers in a non-stick baking dish, cover, and bake 45 minutes. Bake 15 more minutes uncovered. Makes 4 servings, 275 calories per serving, negligible fat, 10 grams of fiber, and 21 grams of protein.
Make my summer diet recipes even more nutritious by using fresh produce from your local farmer’s market or grow your own – gardening can be great exercise! All dietary information is an estimate, depending on which brands of ingredients you choose. Use http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp to determine the calorie count of your own versions of my recipes, as well as to calculate the caloric content of your own favorite recipes.