Easy Light Summer Meals

Easy Light Summer Meals   

Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

One of my favorite aspects of summer is the simplicity of summer meals. I tend to gravitate towards meals that are easy to prepare while incorporating the freshness of seasonal ingredients. When I’m cooking at home, I love to make use of the outdoor grill and yard as a way to stay out of a hot kitchen and keep cleanup to a minimum.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind…

  • Plan your menu around the grill. This is the one time of year you can really make use of outdoor cooking. From meats to veggies, the grill is an easy no-mess station for cooking all your summer fare, right down to fruits such as peaches and pineapple.
  • Keep your cool. Jazz up cold drinks with frozen grapes, berries & fruit juice ice cubes.
  • Think “less-mess”. Cover a grill tray in aluminum foil, cook fish, vegetables and potatoes right on the same surface. Food goes from grill to plate with super easy cleanup – you don’t even have to scrape the grill clean.
  • Make-ahead recipes. Crunched for time? Go for “make-ahead” items such as salads both lettuce based and grain based, baked potatoes, and chicken, which can be cooked in advanced and reheated when ready to eat.

 Ideas for Easy light summer suppers:

  • Quinoa salad: Combine 1 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup feta cheese, 2 tbsp pine nuts, 1 cup sliced plum tomatoes, 1/4 cup diced red onion and 2 handfuls wilted spinach. *Make-ahead friendly
  • Grilled Chicken and vegetables: Prepare chicken breast by seasoning with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil. Grill on high heat for about 6 minutes per side or internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Prepare sliced eggplant and zucchini by seasoning with your favorite herbs and spices, brush with olive oil. Grill on high eat for about 5-7 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached. *Make-ahead friendly
  • Portobello Mushroom burger w/ mango salsa: Brush Portobello mushroom cap with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, grill on high heat for about 5 minutes per side. Just before removing from grill top with one slice favorite cheese. Meanwhile, slice open a whole grain bun and top with sliced avocado and store bought mango salsa. Top with Portobello mushroom cap and serve.

Shakshuka with Fresh Herbs

Shakshuka with Fresh Herbs

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Makes: 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (28oz) can Muir Glen® Organic whole plum tomatoes
  • 4 Eggland’s Best Eggs
  • fresh herbs (dill, cilantro or parsley)
  • feta cheese (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Heat the olive oil in a large oven proof skillet .
  2. Add onion and pepper and cook until very soft (about 15 minutes), then add spices and garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  3. Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. With the back of a spoon, create 4 pockets or indents in the tomato sauce and crack an egg into each.
  5. Set skillet in the oven and bake just until eggs are set, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs and feta cheese as desired. Enjoy!

Source: Muir Glen® Organic