Summer: Time to eat light

The summer heat signals everyone to eat lighter meals to satisfy nutritional requirements.

by Stan Kalson — 

Summertime is the season to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables that are available. We are fortunate to have many farmers’ markets and natural grocers around the Valley that charge reasonable prices for ingredients to make healthy summer salads. Stop by and tell them you support their markets and stores.

The summer heat signals everyone to eat lighter meals to satisfy nutritional requirements. People often overcook their meals and neglect the raw vegetables and greens that provide valuable natural enzymes important to support strong bodies. Consuming mostly overcooked, processed food provides the breeding ground for illness to manifest.

The “fresh from the garden” concept is not new, as many cultures that grow their food on fertile, mineral-rich soil often have a better quality of life. Their simple diet of truly fresh foods makes a significant difference. When I stand in the grocery store checkout line, I often notice the large amounts of frozen, canned and processed foods that people are purchasing. Modern American society has created less nutritious and more genetically altered foods that fill our stomachs but weaken our immune systems.

The latest government reports validate that we are increasing our consumption of fresh, organically raised fruits, vegetables, grains and meats. This demand is generating many more sources from which to choose healthy foods.

Here are some easy nutrition-filled recipes to try:

Chicken Tortilla Chip Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped salad greens
  • 1/2 cup cooked red beans
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • Small handful of shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 cup BBQ chicken, cut in small pieces
  • 10 to 15 tortilla chips
  • Salad dressing

Instructions:

Toss the above ingredients with dressing, to taste.

Chicken Wrap

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped, grilled chicken
  • 1/4 cup bleu cheese
  • Small handful of fried onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • Favorite dressing, to taste
  • Large, flavored wrap cover

Instructions:

In a bowl, toss the above ingredients with your favorite dressing and spread in the center of a large flour tortilla. Roll into a burrito.

Chicken Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • • 1/2 cup chopped spring greens of your choice
  • • 1 cup chopped, grilled chicken
  • • 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • • 1/2 cup favorite pasta
  • • Favorite dressing, to taste
  • • French bread

Instructions:

Toss the above ingredients and serve with favorite dressing and French bread.

Grilled Vegetable Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 small heads radicchio, halved
  • 2 large zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1 large red bell pepper, halved
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large tomato, halved, seeded
  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup, plus 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups sliced or torn red leaf lettuce
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Place first six ingredients, cut sides up, on baking sheet. Spray with water. Season with salt and pepper. Let vegetables stand approximately 1-1/2 hours. Preheat barbecue on medium-high heat. Mince three garlic cloves and blend with 1/4 cup vinegar. Place in spray bottle and shake well. Spray over vegetables. Grill vegetables until tender, turning once. Transfer to baking sheet, as each vegetable becomes tender. Let cool. Reserve all vegetable juices.

Mince remaining two garlic cloves and combine with 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, vegetable broth, basil and oil. Coarsely chop vegetables. Place in large bowl. Pour accumulated juices into vinegar mixture. Add lettuce and cheese to vegetables. Pour vinegar mixture over salad and toss well. If desired, season with additional salt and pepper; serve with grilled bread and olive oil.

 

Stan Kalson, founder and director of the International Holistic Center, Inc has been active in the Greater Phoenix holistic community for 31 years. www.holisticresources.org or 602-287-060.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 3, June/July 2008.

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