Easy, Healthy Summer Meal Ideas to Stress Less and Feel Great
Many of us look forward to summertime with its vacations, sun-filled days, and time by the pool or beach. But that doesn’t mean life stops! We still have responsibilities that make it hard to find balance, and those with young ‘uns might have an extra busy schedule juggling kids’ summer activities. And on top of it all, there’s trying to eat healthily and stay in shape for summer.
Thankfully, eating well doesn’t have to be complicated. We’ve rounded up some easy, healthy summer meal ideas you can turn to when you’re not sure what to make for lunch or dinner. Try these ideas to take one less worry off of your plate (pun intended).
1. Healthier Burgers with Oven-Baked Fries
Just about everyone loves burgers, but they’re not always the healthiest. Upgrade your burgers and fries with simple, healthy, homemade versions.
There are many ways to make a burger healthier:
- Make turkey burgers (instead of beef).
- Use grilled portobello caps for the patty.
- Make a bean or lentil burger patty.
- Top the patty with grilled veggies, such as onions, tomatoes, and leafy greens.
- Use whole grain or sprouted buns.
Make simple baked fries or sweet potato fries for a healthy, delicious side.
2. Zucchini Noodle (Zoodle) Dishes
Zucchini noodles are a fantastic substitution for regular pasta because you get more veggies, fewer calories, and more fiber.
Take a simple spaghetti dish with noodles and pasta sauce. Use zoodles instead of pasta, and add cooked veggies and a meat or plant-based protein. Here’s how to make zoodles. Or you can save time by picking up a container of zoodles at your favorite grocery store.
3. Pressure Cooker Summer Meals
Pressure cooker meals work great for busy summers because you add everything and set it to cook. Try pressure cooker fajitas, Instant Pot summer chili, or Instant Pot white bean stew.
4. Salmon and Veggies
Salmon provides a terrific dose of omega-3s and can be some of the healthiest fish to eat, and everyone knows veggies are healthy. Combine the two with a one-pan meal that’s ready in little time.
5. Protein and Veggie Stir-fries
Stir-fries are super quick and easy ways to get in a good meal that includes several veggies.
Stir-fry meat or plant-based protein and your desired veggies. Good examples include onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, or broccoli. Then, add a simple stir-fry sauce and allow to boil and thicken for one minute. You can eat as-is or serve over brown rice.
6. Healthy Summer Casseroles
Like slow cooker recipes and one-pan salmon, casseroles make things easy by cooking everything in one dish. This asparagus tuna casserole is a perfect example. Prepare, pop it in the oven, and enjoy many servings throughout the week.
7. Healthy Burritos
You can cook up some nutrient-rich veggies, choose your favorite protein and sauces, and roll it all up into a burrito. Use whole-grain tortillas and choose healthy cooking methods, such as baking or stir-frying, to make the recipe as nutritious as possible.
Burritos are also an excellent way to eat vegetarian and add more beans into your diet. This black bean and vegetable burrito recipe requires minimal prep and cook time.
Have a Healthy, Happy Summer
Quick meals help you stick to a healthy routine throughout the summer months. Try these recipe ideas for new inspiration in the kitchen. Also, don’t forget to move your body daily, drink plenty of water, and take time for yourself when you can. All of these steps equal the perfect “recipe” for a well-balanced summer.
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