In May and June, our local farmers markets and produce stands are bursting with fresh produce… everything from asparagus to zucchini. We all have our favorite family recipes for summer’s bounty, but with so much variety available, why not branch out and try some new takes on some Mississippi favorites.
Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC® cookbooks feature easy-to-prepare and healthy family-tested recipes that offer even the busiest cooks taste-tempting dishes that give summer fruits and veggies a mealtime makeover. Here are some of Holly’s recommendations for summer favorites with a new twist.
Summer sensation! Nothing beats fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and Kalamatas for this top-notch refreshing pick-up. Makes 16 servings (bread with about 2 tablespoons topping)
1 loaf French bread
Garlic cloves or minced garlic
1 1/2 cups finely chopped tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds, seeded)
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
5-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Slice French bread into thin slices and bake about 10 minutes or until crispy. Remove from oven and rub garlic clove across top. 2. In bowl, combine all remaining ingredients. When ready to serve, top toasted bread.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories 97; Calories from fat 16%; Fat 2g; Saturated Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 221mg; Carbohydrate 17g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sugars 1g; Protein 4g; Dietary Exchanges: 1 starch Spicy Advice: To seed tomatoes: cut tomato in half from side to side and gently squeeze tomato to watch seeds easily pop out.
A super summer dish highlighting garden ingredients. Give couscous a try – easy to make and just think of it as a rice replacement. Makes 8 servings
1 3/4 cups boiling water or broth
1 1/2 cups couscous
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 1/2 cups finely chopped cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, (flat leaf preferred)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2/3 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Dash cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In medium pot, bring water to boil. Stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat; let stand 5-7 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and fluff with fork. 2. Add to couscous, green onions, tomatoes, green peppers, cucumber, carrot, parsley, mint and feta. 3. In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper. Toss with salad. Refrigerate.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories 215; Calories from fat 28%; Fat 7g; Saturated Fat 2g; Cholesterol 4mg; Sodium 187mg; Carbohydrate 31g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 3g; Protein 7g; Dietary Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat
Watermelon and Tomato Salad
This combination of cool crisp watermelon, juicy tomatoes, and fresh basil with balsamic vinegar creates an extraordinary and invigorating light salad. Perfect way to use leftover watermelon. Makes 10 (1/2-cup) servings
4 cups scooped out watermelon balls or chunks
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
1. In bowl, combine watermelon, onion, tomatoes and basil. Whisk together oil and vinegar, toss with salad. Season to taste. Serve immediately or that day .
Nutrition Nugget: Although water accounts for over 90% of watermelon’s weight, it is also a rich source of potassium, and Vitamins A and C.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories 46; Calories from fat 29%; Fat 2g; Saturated Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 6mg; Carbohydrate 8g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sugars 6g; Protein 1g; Dietary Exchanges: 1/2 fruit, 1/2 fat
Asparagus with Zucchini Rings
Simple ingredients, eye-catching and unbelievably delicious – they add flair and flavor to any plate. Make ahead, refrigerate, and cook when ready to serve. Makes 10 bundles
1 medium zucchini
1 pound asparagus, trimmed discarding ends
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat foil lined baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. 2. Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch diagonal slices and hollow out hole in center of each slice, leaving an edge (like napkin ring). Place about 3 asparagus, depending on size through hole, and lay on baking sheet. 3. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste. Roast 25-30 minutes or until tender and browned.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories 50; Calories from fat 45%; Fat 3g; Saturated Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 4mg; Carbohydrate 5g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Sugars 3g; Protein 2g; Dietary Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat