Breakfast has been called the most important meal of the day. It can set the tone for your mood and energy, so feed yourself healthy items that meet your protein needs and tantalize your taste buds. For example:
- Smoothie: The beauty of smoothies is that you can alter them to suit your taste. First, combine fruits such as frozen berries and sliced bananas to create your smoothie base. Next add a protein source, such as nut butter, nuts, or protein powder. You can also toss in some coconut or chia seeds, too, and then blend and drink.
- Smoothie bowl: You can also create a smoothie bowl by keeping some of the ingredients whole and topping them with a smoothie-base dressing. Yum!
For lunch, use the bounty of the season to create delectable salads and wraps. Try this meatless midday meal:
- Greek Salad Wrap: Make a salad with romaine, spinach, cucumber slices, and crumbled feta. Heat either tempeh or chikn strips in oil until browned, and then mix up a dressing of plain yogurt, Italian seasoning, and lemon juice. Layer in flour tortillas, and there you have it: a cool and satisfying summer lunch.
- Hearty Salad: Combine quinoa, black beans, avocado, and corn. Layer over lettuce and add citrus slices. Top with orange lime vinaigrette.
You can create filling meat-free dinners without heating up the kitchen by stir-frying, grilling, and cooking up pasta dishes. Some favorites for dinner are:
- Spaghetti with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes: Buy multicolored tomatoes from your local farmers’ market, or grow your own. Sauté them in olive oil, basil leaves, salt, and pepper. Boil four quarts of water, toss in eight ounces of uncooked spaghetti, and cook until soft. Drain the pasta, mix with the tomato mixture, and add some crumbled goat cheese. This is a beautiful, colorful dish!
- Stir-fry veggies and tofu: Pick up the freshest looking veggies at your grocery store or farmers’ market. Some great vegetables to stir-fry are mushrooms, broccoli, onions, carrots, zucchini, and bell peppers. Buy the items that attract your eye with their bright hues and freshness, like orange/red bell peppers, golden zucchini, and deep green broccoli. Chop, slice, and dice the veggies, sauté in olive oil with chunks of tofu, and serve with steamed brown rice. Sprinkle nuts on top for additional grams of protein.
- Veggie burgers: Grill veggie burgers on your BBQ, just like you would barbecue hamburgers. Serve on whole grain buns with an assortment of fixings, and you’ve got a classic summer meal.
Summer is the time to relax, slow down, and enjoy the season’s bounty of fresh produce. You can make meatless dishes that will satisfy your taste buds and nutritional requirements. Take advantage of all the fruits and vegetables that are ripe and ready to be cooked into recipes for your dining pleasure.