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Easy Summer Recipes

The bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables available during the summer months helps make healthy eating that much easier. Enjoy these summer recipes and download a free copy of Hungry Heart Cookbook from BIDMC’s Cardiovascular Institute here.

1.) Broccoli Salad

Nutrition Highlight:

Broccoli is a nutrient powerhouse! Most think of fiber first when considering the nutritional benefits of broccoli, but it is also a great source of folate, a nutrient that is key for the production of red blood cells and vital for child development during pregnancy.


3 cups broccoli florets

1 cup shredded carrots

½ cup red onion

½ cup walnuts, chopped

½ cup dried cranberries or raisins

2 TBS apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise

½ cup plain, non-fat yogurt

¼ cup Splenda


Combine broccoli, carrots, onion, walnuts and cranberries or raisins together. In a separate bowl, mix the vinegar, mayonnaise, yogurt and Splenda. Pour over the salad. Refrigerate until cool. (Note: ½ cup regular sugar can be used in place of Splenda if desired. However, nutritional information will be altered if regular sugar is used.)

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 190; Total fat: 9g; Saturated fat: 1g; Total cholesterol: 1mg; Sodium: 150mg; Total carbohydrate: 19g; Total fiber: 3g; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 5g


2.) Colorful Corn Salad

Nutrition Highlight:

Black beans are a great source of fiber. Fiber is important to include in every meal to keep you feeling full!


5 ears corn, husks and silks removed

1 small red onion, diced

1 small red or green pepper, diced

1 ½ cups black beans (if using canned, rinse well)

3 TBSP fresh lemon juice

3 TBSP olive oil

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Pepper to taste


Boil corn for about 3 minutes, drain and immerse in ice water. Cut kernels off the cob and plane into a bowl. Add the onion, pepper and beans. In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice and olive oil. Pour over salad, add cilantro and pepper to taste.  Mix and serve cold.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 190; Total fat: 8g; Saturated fat: 1g; Total cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 25mg; Total carbohydrate: 27g; Total fiber: 6g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 6g


3.) Swiss & Avocado Pita Sandwich

Nutrition Highlight:

Avocados contain vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects body tissues from damaging free-radicles as well as keeping skin and hair healthy.


1 TBSP hummus

3 slices Avocado (about ¼ of a whole)

1 slice low-fat Swiss cheese

½ cup Arugula

½ whole wheat pita


Spread hummus inside pita and add the rest of the ingredients.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 230; Total fat: 10g; Saturated fat: 2.1g; Total cholesterol: 15.9mg; Sodium: 342.2mg; Total carbohydrate: 22g; Total fiber: 6.1g; Sugar: .9g; Protein: 17.4g

4.) Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

Serves 4

Nutrition Highlight:

Red peppers are a great source of vitamin A. Eating peppers can help your eyes healthy!


2 tomatoes, chopped

½ cup roasted red peppers, chopped (if canned, rinse thoroughly)

2 TBSP Fresh Basil, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

½ red onion diced

2 tsp olive oil

Whole-wheat baguette, cut into 8 ½-inch thick slices

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients except for the bread. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toast bread under broiler and top with mixture.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 125; Total fat: 3g; Saturated fat: .5g; Total cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 150mg; Total carbohydrate: 20g; Total fiber: 3g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 4g

5.) Pineapple Zucchini Salsa

Serves 6

Nutrition Highlight:

Zucchini is a low calorie vegetable that can help with weight reduction and cholesterol control.  It’s also a good source of heart friendly potassium and folate, which important for pregnant women.


2 cups zucchini, diced

2 cups fresh or canned pineapple, drained and diced

1 cup white beans (drained if canned)

2 TBSP fresh cilantro

1 TBSP lime juice


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Add pepper to taste. Serve with vegetables or tortilla chips.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 140; Total fat: 0g; Saturated fat: .0g; Total cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 10mg; Total carbohydrate: 28g; Total fiber: 5g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 9g

6.) Walnut Pesto with Roasted Vegetables

Serves 10

Nutrition Highlight:

Eggplant contains beneficial phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are antioxidants that protect your body’s tissue from damage. Plus, walnuts may reduce your risk of colon cancer.


(Roasted Vegetables)

2 zucchini, sliced

2 eggplant, cubed

2 red peppers, chopped

3 onions, chopped

2 TBSP olive oil


4 cups fresh basil

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup water

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

2 cloves garlic, diced

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese


Set oven to 425° F. Place chopped vegetables in large rectangular baking pan and toss with olive oil. Roast for about 40 minutes or until tender. Set aside. Make pesto by combining basil, olive oil, water, nuts, and garlic. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down basil. If the mixture is not coming together, add an additional tablespoon of water. Add the cheese and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.  Toss roasted vegetables with pesto and serve warm.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 150; Total fat: 12g; Saturated fat:  1g; Total cholesterol: 2mg; Sodium: 40mg; Total carbohydrate: 9g; Total fiber: 5g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 3g

7.) Ginger and Lemon Salmon Skewers

Serves 8

Nutrition Highlight:

Salmon is a great source of protein and essential fatty acids, specifically Omega-3’s. Omega-3’s have many benefits relating to heart health.


1 ½ lbs salmon without the skin

2 tsp olive oil

2 TBSP lemon juice

1 tsp honey

2 tsp fresh ginger root, minced


Cut salmon into about two-inch chucks and thread on skewers. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and ginger in a bowl. Place salmon skewers in a dish and pour mixture over. Let marinate up to 1 hour.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat and place skewers on it. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 125; Total fat: 5g; Saturated fat: 1g; Total cholesterol: 70mg; Sodium: 250mg; Total carbohydrate: 1g; Total fiber: 0g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 20g


8.) Glazed and Grilled Peaches

Serves 6

Nutrition Highlight:

Peaches are a good source of vitamin C. While Vitamin C makes most think of preventing the flu, it also plays a role in wound healing


6 peaches, cut in half without pits

2 TBSP brown sugar

1 TBSP canola oil


Brush cut sides of the peaches with canola oil

Cook over medium heat on cut side for about 4-5 minutes or until grill marks appear. Turn peaches over, sprinkle cut side with brown sugar and reduce heat (or move to indirect heat) for an additional 10 minutes. Serve with vanilla yogurt for a healthy treat or vanilla ice cream for a decadent dessert!

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 110; Total fat: 3.5g; Saturated fat: 0g; Total cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 10mg; Total carbohydrate: 20g; Total fiber: 2.5g; Sugar: 18g; Protein: 1g

9.) Lettuce Leaf Wraps

Serves 8

Nutrition Highlight:

Chicken breast is a fantastic source of iron. To help your body absorb iron, drink a glass of vitamin C-rich orange juice!


1 small onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

2 TBSP olive oil, divided

1 5 oz. chicken breast, cut into small cubes

¼ tsp cumin

Sprinkle of chili powder

½ cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1 tomato, diced

½ cup shredded, low-fat cheddar cheese

8 Boston Bibb lettuce leaves


Sauté onion and pepper in 1 tablespoon olive oil, until tender but crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add chicken to the pan with cumin and sprinkle of chili powder and sauté with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add corn kernels for the last minute to heat through. Take each leaf of lettuce, and layer the chicken mixture, onion-pepper mixture and tomato on top. Add a sprinkle of cheese and roll up.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 80; Total fat: 4g; Saturated fat: .5g; Total cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 70mg; Total carbohydrate: 5g; Total fiber: 1g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 6g


10.) Strawberry Salsa

Serves 4

Nutrition Highlight

Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are all powerful inflammation fighters. They can help strengthen your immune system and help your body fight disease.


2 cups strawberries, diced
2 small tomatoes, diced and seeded
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp chopped basil


Whisk lemon and olive oil together and pour over strawberries, tomatoes and cranberries. Top with chopped basil and serve on fish, chicken or as an appetizer.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 95; Total fat: 3.5g; Saturated fat: 0.5g; Total cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 21mg; Total carbohydrate: 16g; Total fiber: 2.5g; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 1g