Something happens when you grill lettuce: it gets deliciously smoky and earthy. Little gems are a miniature variety of romaine, and because of their small size, they’re perfect for this dish. If you can’t find them, don’t hesitate to use romaine hearts. The Spanish-inspired dressing flavours of sherry vinegar and sweet paprika enhance the smokiness provided by the grilled lettuce. Finish it off with a bright splash of orange zest and crunchy walnuts. Make ahead Although this dressing is so simple to assemble, you can make preparation even simpler if you make it ahead of time. Save even more time by chopping walnuts in advance. You’ll be ready to sizzle once the grill is hot.
Fragrant flavours of cinnamon, coriander, and cumin lend a warm spiciness to these meatball skewers made from ground turkey. Serve them on their own as part of a larger meal, or take them a step further by adding some grilled veggies and wrapping them in a pita for a portable handheld meal. Skewer skills You’ll benefit from additional flavour and save time if you prepare meatballs in advance. But hold off making up the skewers until just before cooking, since if they’re made up too early, the meat tends to pull away from the skewer, making it difficult to manoeuvre them while on the grill. As you assemble skewers, squeeze meatballs around the skewer slightly with your hands so they “grab” onto the skewer and the other meatballs. When moving skewers on the grill, think of rolling them over, versus lifting and flipping them. And don’t forget to soak wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes before you assemble them. Ground oats Instead of the usual bread crumbs, use rolled oats and you’ll reduce your sodium intake significantly. Grind them up by blitzing them quickly in the food processor until they’re the texture of fine bread crumbs.
The thyme-scented dough for this flatbread takes only a few minutes to put together, but it develops flavour as it rises slowly in the fridge over several hours. Plan to make the dough in the morning for an evening cookout, or the night before for a lunchtime get-together. Cooked quickly on the grill, slightly charred plums, red onions, spinach, and a hint of goat cheese provide a fantastic flavour punch. Freeze with ease Flatbread dough can be made in advance and frozen. You can make a double or quadruple batch and freeze so you always have some on hand. Allow dough to rise in the fridge as described, but instead of bringing it out and allowing it to warm up, freeze individual portions in an airtight container. Take dough out of the freezer the night before you wish to use it and allow to thaw in the refrigerator. Depending on how warm it is, allow 1 to 2 hours for it to come up to temperature before grilling.
Figs are often served with yogurt and honey as a dessert. For this salad recipe, yogurt and honey come together in a tangy dressing for sweet summer leaves. The figs are grilled quickly on the barbecue for an extra bit of charred flavour. How to choose figs Although we refer to them as fruits, figs are actually a conglomeration of tiny flowers held within their fleshy structure. A perfectly ripe fig is a true pleasure that doesn’t last long, so aim to pick some at their peak. Look for figs with soft flesh that yields to a gentle touch. If there is any sign of mushiness or mold, leave them behind.
Challenge your whole family to create a rainbow in their bowls, and you’ll be sure to kick their nutrient levels sky high! Add a creative flair and keep these nourish bowls innovative by switching up the vegetables and proteins each time you prepare them. Bowl bar Involve the entire family in the prep for these delicious nourish bowls, then create a bowl bar so everyone can create their own. It’s a perfect way to involve your kids in kitchen fun by having them contribute to age-appropriate cutting, chopping, and prepping. Prep ahead for perfect weekday “quick” bowls Prepare large portions of each bowl ingredient on Sunday and divide into reusable containers for a quick grab-and-go lunch at work or at the beach!
Peas are a beautiful, bright reminder of summer, so this salad is the perfect side dish for a summer barbecue, or a light, fresh lunch. Peas are naturally sweet, so they’re a favourite with kids. The nuttiness of the dukkah adds flavour to the simple and subtle dressing, while the burrata provides depth, creaminess, and an element of decadence suitable for a lazy summer day. Summertime switches Use a mixture of cherry and heirloom tomatoes combined with arugula for an equally delicious alternative to the summery peas and sprouts.
This beautiful, tasty, and vegetable-packed ceviche makes the perfect appetizer for friends on a warm summer evening. The vegetables are so perfectly uplifted by the tangy citrus and aromatic herbs, you won’t even notice the fish is missing. Sweet steep This ceviche can be served immediately, but tastes even better after resting in its sweet citrus juices for a few hours. It will last for up to three days in the fridge, so make a double batch and enjoy as a deliciously cool snack over the coming warm days.
Do your kids run wild all summer long and only slow down long enough to graze? Add this yogurt dip to a simple platter of fruit to up the amount of protein, so your kids stay fuller for longer. This dip also pairs perfectly with pancakes topped with fresh berries or stone fruits. Or serve it as a yummy replacement for whipped cream on your next summertime dessert.
Need a midday break? This delicious spiced lemonade is the perfect pick-me-up for a quick afternoon reset. The beautiful warm spices we typically associate with the colder months don’t need to be forgotten in the summer. They pair beautifully with tropical fruits such as mango or papaya and can be enjoyed year-round. A fruity herbal tea also would work perfectly for a simple caffeine-free version. Freeze the peel Save your juiced citrus fruits and pop them into the freezer to add to future iced beverages for a hit of flavour and a pop of colour—while keeping your drinks cool and refreshing!
Have some ripe bananas you don’t want to waste? Instead of simply freezing them, why not use them in a simple yet delicious ice cream for a sweet dessert without the guilt? Ripe bananas not only add healthy sweetness but also blend beautifully, adding the perfect creaminess we all look for in an ice cream. Kid-friendly boost Easily make this ice cream more kid friendly by replacing coffee with a tablespoon of your (or your kids’) favourite nut butter. This provides some added protein, as well as a kid-favourite flavour to this delicious summertime treat.
Whether serving for breakfast or after a hard workout, this “I-can’t-believe-it-has-greens” frosty smoothie hits all the nutritional and flavour high points. Yes, it does taste like dessert in a glass. If your dates are dry or stiff, it’s recommended to soak them in warm water for a few minutes before blending. If you want to go big on protein, you can blend in some of your favourite protein powder.
When temperatures begin to climb, it’s good to know that soup need not be off the menu. Just serve it cold for a refreshing way to beat the heat. This vibrant Thai-flavoured carrot soup is a feast for the eyes and a smart way to spoon up some brain-benefitting nutrition. The soup may thicken in the refrigerator, so thin with additional liquid if needed. During the cooler months, this soup can be served warm for cozy comfort.
Something about summer weather makes most people want to cook dishes requiring minimal time, effort, and cleanup. This version of Italian puttanesca fits the bill. Eggs and chickpeas are nestled into a super-fragrant sauce studded with flavour boosters including garlic, capers, and anchovies. Consider serving with crusty sourdough bread so you can enjoy every last bit of this sauce.
These salmon cakes are adorable on their own, but the sweet-savoury blueberry sauce is what puts this weeknight-worthy meal over the top, so to speak. And in this age of rising food costs, it’s heartening to know that budget-friendly dishes like this one can be both nutritious and delicious. Consider serving with a side of roasted sweet potato or whole grain rice.
This lovely open-faced sandwich is at once earthy, bright, briny, and fruity. Combining garden-fresh carrots and raspberries not only provides a great flavour profile but also delivers a good dose of anti-inflammatory properties. Also, feel free to play around with the herbs in this recipe. Be inspired by the soft herbs growing in your garden to make this recipe your own. Herb appeal Culinary herbs can be generally categorized in one of two ways: hard or soft. Hard herbs are more durable plants with woody stalks and tough leaves and are generally added toward the beginning of a dish. Examples: rosemary, bay leaves, and thyme. Soft herbs are more delicate in texture and are generally added toward the end of cooking or as garnish. Examples: basil, parsley, dill, cilantro, and chives.
This recipe has an unexpected secret ingredient: cantaloupe. While it may seem a bit out of place among the vegetables, it adds a silkiness and sweetness that plays nicely with the corn and peppers. While I’ve kept the soup simple, feel free to go wild with the garnish. Some crab meat would be a luxurious addition, while some toasted almonds or pecans would give the soup some textural dimension. Pick of the crop Whether watermelon, honeydew, or cantaloupe, here are a few tips to keep in mind when picking the perfect melon. Choose a melon that feels heavy for its size. Avoid any that have bruises, soft spots, or cracks. Smell the blossom end (opposite the stem end): it should smell as you would want it to taste. Choose a melon with a dull-looking rind, as a shiny rind indicates an underripe melon.
This dip can be whipped up in a flash and goes perfectly with any array of garden-fresh veggies available this time of year. Try experimenting by replacing some or all the basil with different herbs for a different, but equally delicious, flavour profile. Mint, oregano, or cilantro would all be delicious Switch up Think outside the bowl and utilize this dip as a base for different recipe preparations. For example, use whipped feta as a base for grilled vegetables or potatoes before dolloping with pea and basil sauce. Or simply toss hot pasta with some of the dip for a creamy and herbaceous summer pasta dish.
Salad for breakfast should be in everyone’s repertoire. I would suggest using this recipe more as a template and be inspired by what is in your garden and at the farmers’ market to customize this salad to what is fresh that day. Summertime tomatoes need little adornment, but I find this preparation makes them brunch worthy. Spice it up Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend that is all at once bright, earthy, herby, and toasty. While the blend can vary greatly, it almost always contains dried oregano, thyme, sumac, and toasted sesame seeds. Don’t be surprised if you reach for this spice blend often, as it pairs equally well with meats, fish, and all types of vegetables.
This simple dessert celebrates the glory that is the summer strawberry. Don’t feel you have to stick to strawberries here; swapping them for ripe peaches would also make for a stunning ending to any meal. What to gild the lily with? Add a dollop of whipped coconut cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Flower power Orange blossom water (also known as orange flower water) is produced by water distillation of the blossoms of a bitter orange tree. Just like rose water, a little goes a long way. So, take care and use just a drop or two, tasting as you go so as not to overwhelm but rather to complement the other flavours in a dish.
Ever thought about making burgers as an appetizer or as a potluck meal for friends and family? Try making your favourite burger into bite-sized portions. They might be small in size, but they won’t be small in flavour. These burgers also pair well with a Greek salad for a delicious mid-week lunch or dinner. Fresh is best Squeeze fresh lemon on patties while cooking to give them the fresh zing of citrus.
What worldwide vacation is complete without a stop in Italy? Dad won’t miss the meat in this flavourful mushroom alternative complete with Italian spices and a zesty vegetable tapenade. Portobellos have a uniquely “meaty” texture and act as a sponge to lock in loads of flavour. This meaty plant-based burger is sure to become a favourite—even with any meat-lovers in your life. Custom-made! Don’t be afraid to customize your burger buns to fit your patties. If your bun’s too big, trim off excess and save the trimmed bits of bread, but don’t discard. Instead, cut into small cubes; drizzle with some olive oil, sea salt, and seasonings of choice; bake at 350 F (180 C) for 10 to 15 minutes, and you’ll have delicious homemade croutons for use in soups and salads throughout the week.
Next stop, Asia! This shrimp burger combines classic Asian flavours with unique toppings for rich umami flavour with the saltiness of the ocean. Whether served on a bun or over rice in a more traditional Asian-style meal, try some unique miso yogurt or wasabi mayo dressing for a fabulous flavour bomb. Keep those burgers juicy Place raw patties on a plate or tray, and cover and freeze or refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes to keep them together and to lock in moisture.
While on your burger journey, visit Jamaica, where you’ll find the spicy jerk flavours native to this beautiful island. Maple syrup adds a unique, sticky sweetness, while fresh lime juice highlights the fresh, tangy flavours of the Caribbean. Try making your own jerk seasoning or purchase store-bought for an easy shortcut.
This versatile vegan option tastes so good, it might just become Dad’s new favourite. By roasting black beans in advance, your burgers will be infused with a ton of extra flavour and a firmness that plant-based burgers often lack. High in fibre and protein, this burger packs a nutrient-dense punch without compromising on flavour. Switch it up Use this black bean patty to make a traditional-style burger, or break it up and use it as a topping for tasty nachos. You can also serve it with a soft poached egg nestled on top for a delicious (non-vegan) savoury breakfast with a kick.