It may be time for back to school for lots of families nationwide, but summer is still in full swing in farmer’s markets and the supermarket produce section. Peaches, berries, summer squash and melons – all kinds of melons are ripe for the picking and deliciously nutritious. I’ve shared a couple of recipes from The Slim Down South Cookbook below.
Back to work after summer vacation often means busy weeknights. But that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to the fresh tastes of summer produce. Why not celebrate the fabulously fresh with the wonderfully easy to prepare microwavable frozen entrees such as Lean Cuisine Sweet & Spicy Korean-Style Beef? It comes with brown rice and vegetables and I added a cup of snow peas to balance the plate. The Lean Cuisine website is beautiful with lots of nutrition information to explore. “Freshly made, simply frozen” is a great way to describe the variety of entrees inspired by global cuisines and close to home comfort foods.
Nestle’s Balance Your Plate campaign provides great information on nutrition, portion control and creative combos for satisfying meals. I added a parfait of fresh berries and a cup of steamed summer squash and zucchini with onions to a plate starring Lean Cuisine Roasted Turkey and Vegetables.
You can add your own creativity to the table too. Lean Cuisine’s Vermont Cheddar Mac n Cheese is beautiful when you add broccoli florets. Or even if it’s a weeknight why not enjoy Lobster Mac n Cheese? I bought a lobster tail for $6.99, boiled it in water (with some lemon juice added) for about six minutes until the shell turns bright red and the meat is translucent. Plunge the lobster tail in ice water to cool. Remove the meat from the tail by slicing through the center of the shell longwise and pull out the meat. Chop it up and add to the mac n cheese! Fancy but soooo easy.
SUMMER PRODUCE RECIPES from The Slim Down South Cookbook: As seen on NBC Atlanta & Company with host Christine Pulara!
Here’s the link to the TV Segment: CLICK HERE
Grilled Watermelon with Balsamic Glaze
Adding a bit of savory blue cheese and salty prosciutto (optional) to sweet watermelon makes for a wonderful combination. Brush the watermelon wedges with a bit of oil to keep them from sticking to the grill.
Makes 12 servings
Hands-On 20 min.
Total 20 min.
3 (½-inch-thick) watermelon rounds, quartered
1 Tbsp. olive oil
⅛ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
Fresh basil leaves
2 tsp. bottled balsamic glaze
- Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Brush both sides of each watermelon quarter with olive oil, and season with desired amount of salt and pepper. Cut prosciutto into thin strips.2. Grill watermelon quarters, without grill lid, 1 minute on each side or until grill marks appear.3. Transfer watermelon to a serving plate; top with blue cheese, prosciutto strips, and fresh basil. Drizzle watermelon with balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.Serving size 1 wedge CALORIES 44; FAT 3g (sat 1.2g, mono 1.2g, poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 7g; CARB 2g; FIBER 0.1g; CHOL 7mg; IRON 0.2mg; SODIUM 213mg; CALC 28mg
Tipsy Melon Salad
Cantaloupe is packed with vitamins A & C for eye and skin healthy, plus it’s is a good source of the B vitamin folate, which is critical for pregnant women. It’s high water content also makes it super hydrating for hot summer months.
Raspberry liqueur and vodka give this colorful spiked fruit salad its lighthearted moniker. Liven up a weeknight dinner party, or skip the booze if it’s a ‘school night’.
Makes 6 servings
Hands-On 16 min.
Total 1 hour, 16 min.
2 cups cubed honeydew
2 cups cubed cantaloupe
1.3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
⅔ cup sugar
½ cup vodka ( optional)
⅓ cup black raspberry liqueur (optional)
¹/₁₆ tsp. fine sea salt
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs
1. Place melon cubes in a large bowl.
2. Whisk together lemon juice and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Pour lemon juice mixture over watermelon balls; stir gently to coat. Cover and chill 1 to 2 hours.
3. Gently toss melon. Sprinkle with chopped fresh mint. Serve immediately with a slotted spoon.
Serving size about 1 cup CALORIES 228; FAT 0.1g (sat 0g, mono 0g, poly 0g); PROTEIN 0.7g; CARB 41.5g; FIBER 0.7g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0.5mg; SODIUM 25mg; CALC 14m
Many thanks to Nestle and Lean Cuisine. It’s a pleasure working with you to help happy, healthy folks learn to Balance Your Plate!