Quality Summer Meals Made Easy

Quality Summer Meals Made Easy

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.
  • 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.
  • Keep your cool. Choose meals that require little to no cooking time. My Tuna-Pineapple poke bowls are perfect for hot summer nights.

Poke bowls are traditionally prepared by marinating sushi-grade fish tossed with vegetables, nuts, fruit and rice – think of it like a sushi roll in a bowl!

But, like most recipe you can make it your own by using a variety of ingredients.

With lots of fresh, seasonal ingredients, it’s a perfect summer night meal.


Tuna-Pineapple Poke Bowl

Prep: 15 minutes

Makes: 2 Servings


For the Tuna

  • 1/2-pound Yellow Fin Tuna Steaks
  • 1 Tablespoon lower sodium Soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon sriracha

Pineapple Bowl:

  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • ½ seedless cucumber, sliced
  • 1 avocado, cut into cubes
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked brown or jasmine rice (warm)
  • 2 tablespoons slivered or sliced almonds
  • Additional soy sauce and sriracha for serving


  1. Combine soy sauce, sesame oil and sriracha in a small bowl. Pour over tuna steaks.
  2. Heat an outdoor gas grill or stove-top cast iron grill over high heat. Grill tuna 2 to 2 ½ minutes per side for rare. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  3. Meanwhile prepare pineapple bowls. Have all ingredients sliced and prepped before beginning.

Split all ingredients between two bowls. Start by adding in rice, followed by pineapple, cucumber, avocado and sliced tuna steak. Top with scallions and almonds.

  1. Serve with soy sauce and sriracha if desired.

Nutrition Information for one bowl: 502 calories; 42g carbohydrate; 19g fat; 41g protein; 318mg sodium; 9g fiber

Recipe by Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA