What to Eat This Summer
Enjoy the Season's Freshest Foods
-- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator
- Beets. Stem, wash, peel, thinly slice, lightly salt, and toss onto salads. Or roast them for a sweet and simple side dish: In a baking dish, bake clean, unpeeled beets at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until easily pierced with a knife. You can also eat the greens. Just wash, chop, steam for a few minutes, sauté in olive oil until tender, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
- Broccoli. Broccoli-cheddar soup is always good. Or steam the florets and throw into a whole-grain wrap with barbequed onions (see instructions below), avocado, and sprouts.
- Cauliflower. Steam and top with butter and a dash of salt.
- Celery. Pair it with peanut butter for a healthy and satisfying snack. To lure children to try some, make "ants on a log" by placing a few raisins on top of the peanut butter.
- Cucumbers. Wow your party guests with this one: Slice the cucumber into rounds, and stack with tomatoes, a leaf of basil, and a wedge of fresh mozzarella. Or try cold cucumber soup as an appetizer.
- Eggplant. This purple plant is great on the grill: Just slice, brush both sides with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill until tender. Make extra and refrigerate the leftovers to use as a pizza topping, on sandwiches, or in soups.
- Green beans. Fresh green beans are simple to prepare: Clean and snap-off ends. Steam until tender and toss with sautéed onions and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Onions. Try these yummy barbequed onions: Slice onion into rings and sauté them in olive oil until tender. Mix in a few tablespoons of your favorite barbeque sauce. Add barbequed onions to a sandwich or wrap with avocado, lettuce, and shredded chicken for a quick lunch.
- Peppers. Peppers are delicious when roasted: Slice in half lengthwise, seed, rinse and brush heavily with olive oil. Place skin-side-up on a baking sheet. Smash the peppers to flatten before putting them into a 400 degree oven to roast for 10-20 minutes. Take them out, stack them, and allow them to rest for another 15 minutes. Then peel them by scraping the skin off with a spoon. Eat roasted peppers plain, or add them to salads, pastas, pizzas or sandwiches.
- Potatoes. Small new potatoes are delicious when simply boiled until tender and topped with grated cheese, plain yogurt, and diced green onions.
- Summer squash. Slice and sauté in olive oil, and drizzle with soy sauce. Toss with pasta and grated parmesan cheese.
- Tomatoes. Fresh, raw tomatoes are delicious in salads and as an appetizer: Wash and cut into thick slices. Top each slice with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh basil leaves, and a slice of mozzarella cheese.
- Zucchini. Use the suggestions for summer squash, above, or boil them whole until tender, allow to cool somewhat, then cut them in half length-wise and scoop out the pulp. Combine with sautéed onions, whole wheat breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and an egg to hold it together, and stuff the skins. Top with grated cheese and bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden.