Every year when I find Labor Day behind me, I reluctantly put my white jeans back in storage and hold on so, so tightly to every last second of summer. No matter how much I crave chunky sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes, letting go of the warm nights, the beach days and the fresh ingredients straight from the farmer’s market is very hard. So while the trees still have their leaves, I take every weekend to celebrate all that summer has to offer.
In typical warm weather fashion, I grab one of my best girlfriends, a bottle of rosé and the freshest ingredients I can find to cook up a dinner for 2 that sends our taste buds straight back to Memorial Day. More often than not, I turn to the dishes with ingredients that just don’t taste the same with snow on the ground. Here are a few of my go-to-recipes – from an appetizer to dessert – for those of you who aren’t ready to let the last few moments of summer slip away just yet.
Farmer’s Market Salad with Yogurt Pesto Vinaigrette
There is no better appetizer to highlight summer ingredients than a salad full of bright vegetables and snappy mixed greens. This is one of my favorites because of it’s refreshing pesto dressing. It uses Chobani yogurt to add a creamy decadence that makes this feel like a treat, even though it’s so, so good for you.
3 tbsp. basil pesto
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
6 cups of mixed greens
2 medium carrots, peeled
Shave the carrots into thin ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Put them aside for now.
2. In a large bowl, use a whisk to combine the Chobani yogurt, pesto, lemon juice, vinegar, water and olive oil to create a creamy dressing.
3. Add the mixed greens and carrot ribbons to the large bowl. Gently toss the greens until all of them are evenly covered with the dressing.
4. Divide the salad between plates and savor every creamy, refreshing bite.
Fantastically Fresh Fish Tacos Made with Chobani
My favorite type of food to eat in the summertime is Mexican food. Nothing screams warm weather better than margaritas, chips and guac, and of course, tacos! These tacos are even better because they use healthy Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream – you’ll feel great eating them every single night, no matter if it’s June or January.
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 mango, peeled, pitted, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tbsp. sweet Thai chili sauce
1 tsp. kosher salt
12 oz. grouper or snapper fish filets
1 lime, halved
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 7-inch corn tortillas
4 romaine lettuce leaves, thinly sliced crosswise
1. In a medium bowl, stir together the tomatoes, mango, Chobani Greek Yogurt, cilantro, chile sauce, and ½ tsp. of salt. Set it aside for now.
2. Place the fish filets on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Squeeze the ½ lime on top, sprinkle with ½ tsp. of salt, and drizzle with olive oil. Adjust your oven rack to it’s highest position. Set your oven temperature to broil and broil the fish until it is semi-firm and charred around the edges (this should be around 2 to 3 minutes). Set the fish aside for now.
3. Warm your tortillas in a nonstick skillet over medium to high heat.
4. Remove the skin from the fish and equally divide it among your 4 tortillas. For the finishing touch, squeeze it with the remaining half lime and top with the Chobani-mango salsa and lettuce.
5 Sweet Peaches with Honey, Yogurt and Mint
Fruit in the summertime is absolutely incredible – it’s juicy, vibrant and sweet (while still being great for my waistline, which is the biggest win-win of all!). That’s why when it comes time to celebrate summer, there is truly no celebration without a dessert made using my favorite fruit – peaches.
6 peaches, halved and pitted
2 tbsp. honey for drizzling
A handful of fresh mint leaves
1. Grill the halved peaches for 5 minutes or until they are a little soft. (If you don’t have a grill, you can use a grill pan on the stove.)
2. Remove the peaches from the grill and let them cool down for a few minutes.
3. Bring the peaches to life by adding a small scoop of the Chobani Greek Yogurt and a mint leaf.
4. Drizzle with honey and enjoy this yummy treat, guilt free!
What healthy summer dinner recipes help you celebrate the season?