Summer Eats in a Snap
Simple yet satisfying meal ideas for those lazy hazy summer days
The thermostat is hitting high temperatures, you’re enjoying a beautiful day outdoors, and – suddenly you realize you’re hungry.
It’s too hot to turn the oven on, and you have no interest in spending time in the kitchen after working all day (or having fun outdoors, or on holiday). If you’ve found yourself in such a dilemma, know you’re not alone.
Here are some helpful building blocks to get you started on some delicious, balanced summer eats:
Step 1: Pick your protein
Protein is required for the growth and repair of body cells and tissue, and it helps to fight off infections. It also helps slow the absorption of glucose in the blood. By starting your summer eats with protein, you’ll know you’re eating something that’s going to help fill you up and provide you with long lasting energy.
Quick Heat Free Protein Ideas:
- Canned fish
- Peanut Butter, Almond Butter
- Cheese, Cottage cheese
- Canned beans
- Greek yogurt
- Milk/Soy Milk
- Roasted Lentils
- Hummus (some brands contain more protein than others)
Quick cook proteins
Make ahead freezer proteins to pull out in a pinch
- Protein pancakes
- Salmon cakes
- Bean burgers
- Pre-cut and marinated chicken
Step 2: Pick a satisfying side for your Summer Eats
A little fibre goes a long way to help keep your blood sugars stable and provide you with some satisfying flavours and textures. By selecting a couple different options as sides, you’ll also be including a variety of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients.
Heat free side ideas
- Breads, buns, wraps
- Whole grain crackers
- Tortilla chips
- Raw veggies
Quick cook sides
- Quick cook rice or pasta
- Stir fried veggies
- Sautéed spinach
Putting your summer eats together
By taking a quick inventory of what you’re in the mood for, what you have the time and energy to prepare, and how hungry you are, you can put together a quick summer meal in a snap!
Ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Sandwich shop: Tuna or Salmon salad on whole grain buns with veggies and dip. Grilled tofu sandwich with shredded carrot and spinach. Baguette with tomato, cheese, basil & drizzled with balsamic glaze. Peanut butter and banana with sliced apple.
Breakfast for dinner: Veggie omelette with toast and fruit salad. Thawed pre-made pancakes with a Greek yogurt parfait, Tofu scrambled “eggs” with sauteed spinach and bagel.
Salad bar: Spring mix with cheese, almonds and avocado. Baby spinach with sliced red pepper, canned salmon salad and sunflower seeds. Crunchy veggie salad with marinated tofu and mandarins.
Power bowls: Quick-cook rice or rice noodles with pre-marinated frozen chicken, edamame beans or chickpeas. Top with favourite raw or sauteed veggies, salad dressing, and crunchy toppings like nuts, seeds, roasted lentils or tortilla strips.
Picnic style platter: Hummus, cheese, whole grain pita, fruit and veggies. Guacamole and tortilla chips, bean salad, fruit. Hard boiled eggs, chopped veggies, cheese, whole grain crackers.
More Summer Eats Ideas
Check out a few more ideas on these previous articles on our blog:
- Summer Meals Without Turning on the Stove
- Picnic Bento Box Meals
- Healthy BBQ Recipes: 3 Dinners for the Grill
Looking for some more recipes to try? Enjoy these!
Looking for more simple meal planning tips and healthy recipes for a healthier lifestyle? Sign up for our weekly newsletter for a healthy recipe of the week (and nutrition articles and videos with a balanced living philosophy to help encourage healthy habits but still save room for your favorites). Our nutrition newsletter is written by the Online / Calgary Nutritionists on our team who each hold a professional Registered Dietitian license to ensure you are getting credible advice.
Christine Devaney Towsley B.A.Sc., RD
Registered Dietitian & Online Nutritionist
Specialty: weight concerns, intuitive eating, heart
health, family nutrition, IBS (irritable bowel disease)
A nurturer at heart, Christine will always greet you with a smile and
attentive ear. Kind hearted, empathetic and sensitive to others,
Christine takes the time to connect, build trust and truly understand
each client and tailors her sessions to each person's specific needs.