Does your cooking change with the seasons? For me, definitely. As the weather gets warmer, I love eating lighter meals with more fresh fruit and herbs and color. And quicker meals that don’t heat up the whole kitchen. Meals we can grill too, so I’m not missing out on outdoor time because I’m in the kitchen. 🙂
If you’re looking for some lighter spring and summertime recipes to try, here are some of our favorite spring and summer recipes! And I’m always looking for new recipes to try, so please comment below with some of your favorite spring- and summer-time recipes!
Plain Greek yogurt with a drizzle of raw honey or pure maple syrup topped with granola and fresh berries. I love Purely Elizabeth granola, and in-season berries like blueberries, strawberries and blackberries. You can also sprinkle a little chia seeds on top and add in a spoonful of peanut butter. So delicious.
Smoothies. Some of my favorite combos are:
- Raspberry Chocolate: Blend together 1 cup unsweetened almond milk with 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (I love Tone It Up or Arbonne’s Chocolate Protein Shake Mix), 1/2 a banana, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, a large handful of spinach and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.
- Peanut Butter Mocha: Blend together 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 cup coffee, 1 scoop of chocolate protein (I love Tone It Up or Arbonne’s Chocolate Protein Shake Mix), 1/2 banana, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1/2 to 1 cup frozen riced cauliflower. (Optional few cubes of ice).
- Tropical Fruit: Blend together 1 cup coconut water, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I love Arbonne’s Vanilla Protein Shake Mix), 1/2 banana, a large handful of spinach and 1/2 cup frozen tropical fruit like pineapple or mango (or 1/4 cup each).
Lunch & Dinner Recipes
Some of my favorite spring- and summer-time dinners are ones I can make ahead of time and keep in the fridge until it’s ready, or grill, or put together super quickly. I love adding fruit to summer dinners and eating more salads.
Pesto Shrimp Kebabs. These are so simple I don’t typically follow a recipe for this these, but here’s one from Kitchen Swagger you can use. I mix together shrimp and pesto and then put about 4-5 shrimp on a skewer. Grill until they’re done and enjoy! I love serving this with a fruit salad, a green salad or grilled veggies.
Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad from Gimme Some Oven. I love the flavors and textures of this salad. And adding mango is a little different and delicious! Plus, it’s easy to throw together. If you’re making it ahead of time, I recommend adding avocado, ramen noodles and the dressing just before serving.
Southwestern Grilled Sweet Potato Salad from Two Peas in Their Pod. This is such a colorful and delicious salad. I love it as a summer-time dinner because it can be made ahead and served cold or at room temperature.
Blackened Salmon + Pineapple Salsa. I loosely follow this recipe from Tone It Up, and add avocado, tomatoes and corn to the salsa. I serve it with quinoa with cilantro and lime. It’s so good!
Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto from Cook Like a Champion. This dinner takes a little time, but is so worth it! All of the flavors work SO well together, this is one of my favorite dinners to make at least once during corn season. The sweetness from the corn, the saltiness from the bacon, the freshness of basil, nuttiness of parmesan … YUM. It’s worth it to use fresh (from the refrigerated section) or homemade pasta for this.
Grilled Chicken with Avocado Corn Salsa. This chicken recipe is one my mom used to make all the time and it just tastes like summer. It’s simple and super flavorful. Find the recipe HERE.
Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa from The Cookie Rookie. I love the combo of the creamy avocado with this. I like to serve it with grilled corn on the cob or a salad.
Arugula, Watermelon and Feta Salad from Ina Garten. The mint with this, and the citrus-y dressing … all of the flavors together are really delicious. This is such a good salad to serve with any grilled protein, like shrimp, steak, chicken, chicken sausage, fish. Anything. 🙂
Like dinners, I love fruity and lighter desserts during the spring and summer. (I try to make desserts that use real ingredients as much as possible, but it doesn’t always happen. I’m a big believer in eating desserts, especially the ones you truly enjoy!) These are a few of my spring and summer favorites:
Strawberry Shortcake. My mom used to make the biscuits from Bisquick for Strawberry Shortcake and I’ve been making them that way ever since. I like to make homemade whipped cream by whipping heavy cream or heavy whipping cream and add a little powdered sugar or maple syrup for sweetness). So summery and good!
Angelfood cake with fresh berries and whipped cream. Store-bought, boxed or homemade angelfood cake, topped with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream.
Vanilla bean ice cream and fresh fruit. So simple and delicious. Great with any fresh fruit.
Homemade chocolate chip cookies with vanilla bean ice cream. Classic, and so so good! I tried so so SO many chocolate chip recipes and have yet to find one I love as much as the classic Nestle Toll House recipe. (If you have a favorite, I’d love to know!) (Also, have you seen the Friends episode with these cookies?!)