I love summer’s long days, fireflies, colorful flowers and local produce. It’s a great time to relax outside and dine alfresco! These past several weeks I have shared some lunch ideas that could work well for a picnic. Today I am sharing a tasty menu plan for your next summer barbeque! Many of us feel that an outdoor gathering would not be complete with a lot of high calorie foods but when you use the bounty of summer as your guide, there are many gorgeous, delicious options that are good for you and low in calories! One of my favorite meals on the grill are tacos. There are so many interesting flavorful combinations for the taco fillings and the toppings. Making pico de gallo tastes so good with a locally grown tomato and when it is picked fresh from the vine, it has a lot of additional health benefits!
These plant based tacos and fixings along with some homemade frozen sherbet is simple, elegant and mouthwatering. Make for your next summer gathering or while you are chilling in the backyard with just a few! If you have children or have them come for a visit, let them add their own toppings.
Sweet Potato, Summer Squash, Corn and Bean Tacos
This recipe is a farm to table feast! You can change up this recipe depending on what is in season. It would be great to substitute tomato or eggplant! These vegetables were prepared on the grill but on a rainy or cold day, you can saute or roast them!
Makes 4 servings
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 small onion, peeled and cubed
1 zucchini, peeled and cubed
1 yellow squash peeled and cubed
1 corn on cob, husked but left on cob
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
Enough olive oil to coat vegetables to grill
1 clove of garlic minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Lime juice if desired
1 pack of corn tortillas
Heat the barbeque grill. Get vegetables ready along with pico de gallo and taco fixins. Place vegetables in separate bowls and toss them lightly in oil. Begin grilling with sweet potatoes, add them to the wok and let them get slightly soft and then add onions. Place corn on the grill, turning every few minutes. Toss onions and the sweet potatoes around gently until onions begin to caramelize. Add squash, seasonings and garlic. Cook until the squash is slightly soft. Take off grill and place in a large bowl. Take cooled corn off the cob and add it to the bowl along with the drained beans. Heat tortillas lightly in microwave or on grill. Add warm tortillas to plates then add grilled vegetables, fixins and pico de gallo.
Pico de Gallo
1 medium to large tomato, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic minced
1/2-1 chopped jalapeno depending on heat tolerance
1 lime, squeezed
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients in bowl and mix well. Best in able to sit at least 30 minutes or an hour.
Toppings that went well with these tacos included cilantro, cabbage, cheese and avocado.
To top off a tasty summer meal, have some of this tasty sherbet recipe made ahead of time. You can also use blueberries, blackberries or raspberries instead!
This sherbet should be one of your delicious recipes for desserts. No ice cream maker is needed to make this tasty recipe! Just blend, freeze, serve! It tastes especially delicious in my grandmother’s dessert dishes. Try making with other berries and peaches depending on the seasons! I made from local strawberries in my freezer!
2 cups strawberries (The recipe works best with slightly frozen or thawed berries. I used the last of my frozen berries from last year)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup low fat milk
2 cups Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch of salt, optional
Add strawberries to the blender and puree.
Add sugar, vanilla, pinch of salt and Greek yogurt and mix well.
Place in a shallow bowl and let freeze until firm.
Take an ice cream scoop and scoop it up into your favorite dessert bowl. Top with a local, fresh berry! This same recipe would make some great popsicles too. Makes 8 servings, 1/2 cup each.
You might also like to make berry or peach shortcake, tartlets or crisp with your summer menu. My book Farm Fresh Nutrition which has all of these recipes! Celebrate these long days and warm nights!