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5 Refreshing & Nutrient-Dense Recipes for Summertime

Summer is a time to explore vibrant flavors, refreshing ingredients, and light, satisfying meals. It’s the ideal season for embracing the healing power of whole foods because there is so much gorgeous and delicious produce available. With the abundance of seasonal fruits and veggies, it’s the perfect opportunity to explore new recipes that showcase the best flavors of the season. My team and I have been cooking up a storm, recipe testing some ideal dishes for the upcoming summer months and I’ve collected five of my favorites to share with you so that you can enjoy them too. From zesty citrus salads to hearty quinoa bowls, and from refreshing soups to delectable salmon burgers, these nourishing recipes will surely become staples in your summer cooking repertoire. Let’s dig in!

1. Citrus Salad 

No summer recipe list would be complete without a citrus-forward salad. This colorful citrus salad is a celebration of refreshing flavors and beautiful ingredients. With a unique combination of bitter arugula, juicy navel oranges, tangy grapefruit, sweet pomegranate seeds, crisp radicchio, crunchy radishes, toasted pumpkin seeds, and aromatic mint, this salad is a true feast for the senses. Each bite is bursting with citrusy goodness, complemented by the earthy notes of the greens and the satisfying crunch of the seeds. Whether you’re looking for a light and refreshing appetizer or a vibrant side dish, this citrus salad is sure to impress. Get ready to indulge in a medley of citrusy sweetness, tang, and summer freshness in every mouthwatering forkful.

Serves 4

Ingredients

3-4 cups of baby arugula
1 navel orange, sliced
1 grapefruit, sliced
1 cup of pomegranate seeds
1 cup of shredded radicchio
1/2 cup of sliced radishes
1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds
1 handful of fresh mint

Citrus Dressing

1/4 cup citrus juice (lemon or orange)
2 T organic olive oil
1 T organic honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Directions

Assemble the salad starting with the arugula base and then the radicchio. Add the citrus slices, radishes, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

Squeeze the juice from the citrus membranes into a large measuring cup or jar; you’ll need ¼ cup, and additional juice can be discarded or used for another purpose. Add the extra virgin olive oil, honey, vanilla extract, and salt, then whisk to combine. Drizzle half the dressing over the citrus salad, then toss to combine.

Top with mint leaves, serve, and enjoy!

2. Colorful Quinoa Salad 

One of my all-time favorite summer recipes, this satiating and nutritious Colorful Quinoa Salad is as beautiful for the taste buds as it is for the eyes. Quinoa, the star ingredient, not only adds a delightful texture but also provides numerous health benefits. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies need. This makes it an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans looking to incorporate more protein into their diet. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a suitable option for individuals with gluten sensitivities or digestive issues. Quinoa is also rich in dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, promotes a feeling of fullness, and helps maintain stable blood sugar levels. Its low glycemic index can be beneficial for individuals managing diabetes or those seeking to control their blood sugar levels. By incorporating quinoa into this colorful salad you not only add a satisfying and nutty flavor but also boost its nutritional profile. I love using a combination of flavors and textures in this quinoa salad by incorporating bold ingredients like turmeric, red cabbage, lime juice, spring onion, mint, walnuts, and more.

Serves 2

Salad Ingredients

1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1/2 lime juiced
dash of salt
2 cups of defrosted edamam
10 mint leaves sliced
2 walnuts crushed
1 spring onion sliced
1/2 avocado diced

Dressing Ingredients

2 T organic almond butter
1/2 lime juiced
1 T fresh ginger
1 T tamari
1/2 T organic maple syrup
1 T rice vinegar

Directions

Rinse the quinoa well. Combine with the turmeric and black pepper and cook according to the packaging instructions. Allow the quinoa to cool.

Using a vegetable peeler, shred the cabbage. Combine with the lime juice and a dash of salt.

Blend the dressing ingredients in a blender or a food processor or whisk the ingredients together.

In a large salad bowl, combine the quinoa, edamame, cabbage, mint, spring onions walnuts, avocado, and dressing.

Enjoy!

3. Creamy Watercress, Pea, and Mint Soup

This Creamy Watercress, Pea, and Mint Soup recipe combines the freshness of watercress and peas with the invigorating essence of mint. The soup starts with sautéed yellow onion and garlic in olive oil, creating a flavorful base. Creamy white beans are added for texture and protein. Vegetable stock enriches the soup, while mint leaves bring a burst of summertime freshness. A squeeze of lemon juice adds tanginess, and black pepper provides a subtle hint of heat. Once blended until smooth, the result is a luxuriously creamy yet somehow still light green soup that is perfect for any summer meal. 

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 T olive oil
1 small yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 400 g can of organic white beans
600 mL vegetable stock or bone broth (+ more for consistency if needed at the end)
300 g frozen peas
200 g watercress (leaves and stalks) + extra for serving
1 handful of fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 T lemon juice
1-2 tsp of sea salt to taste
A pinch of black pepper + more to taste
1 T of organic olive oil to serve

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, and fry over a medium heat for 6 minutes to soften. Add the garlic at the end and cook for the last 30 seconds.

Add the beans and the stock. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook for 2 minutes. Add the frozen peas to cook for another minute.

Drop in the watercress and mint leaves, stir, and remove from the heat – the greens will wilt in the hot liquid.

Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Transfer into a blender (or use a hand-held blender) and whizz into a smooth, creamy soup.

Taste for seasoning, and serve with a drizzle of olive oil, some extra mint and watercress leaves.

4. Golden Summer Soup 

Contrary to popular belief, soups are wonderful meals for the summer months. This Golden Summer Soup is a colorful and comforting dish that captures the essence of the sun-kissed season. Made with a medley of fresh vegetables, including white onion, garlic, red bell peppers, carrots, and sweet potato, it offers a harmonious blend of flavors. The soup derives its golden hue from the infusion of antioxidant-rich carotenoids. The dish gains a subtle sweetness from the carrots and red bell peppers. The addition of cashews brings a delightful creaminess and nutty undertones to each spoonful. With a base of flavorful organic veggie broth and aromatic onions and garlic, this soup is a perfect menu item for warm summer days or evenings, offering a nourishing and satisfying meal that embodies the best of the season.

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

2 T. coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil 
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
2 cloves garlic, chopped 
2 red bell peppers, chopped 
5 carrots, peeled and chopped 
1 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced 
32 oz. organic vegetable broth  
½ tsp. Herbamare or sea salt 
Cashews to make it creamy 

Directions: 

Heat olive or coconut oil in soup pot over medium heat, add chopped onions and garlic with sea salt.  Sweat onions until translucent, stir often to prevent garlic from burning.  Add bell peppers and sauté for 5 minutes, add carrots and sauté for additional 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add Herbamare or seat salt seasonings and vegetable broth stir and bring to a simmer until carrots and potatoes are fork tender.  Add to blender with hemp seeds and blend until very smooth and creamy texture.  

5. Salmon Burgers 

If you’re looking for a flavorful and healthier alternative to traditional beef burgers, then you’re in for a treat. These Salmon Burgers are one of my favorite summertime dishes. They combine the rich taste of wild-caught salmon with a variety of seasonal ingredients to create a mouthwatering meal. With the addition of gluten-free bread crumbs, jalapeno, red onion, spinach, vegan feta, dijon mustard, and garlic, these burgers are bursting with both texture and taste. Get ready to savor the perfect blend of umami, tangy, and fresh flavors in every bite. Whether you’re following a gluten-free or pescatarian diet, these Salmon Burgers are a fantastic option that will impress both your taste buds and your guests. I love serving them on their own or on a bed of greens. These delightful burgers are sure to become a summertime favorite in your household!

Serves 4

Ingredients

1-1.5 lb wild-caught salmon, skin removed
1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
1 jalapeño, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 cup spinach, chopped
1/3 cup crumbled vegan feta (I use the Violife brand)
1 T olive oil
1 T Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt1 tsp pepper

Directions

Blend your salmon in a food processor to grind it up. Place it in a bowl, and set aside.

Heat a large pan with 1 T of olive oil. Sauté the onion and jalapeño in the oil until soft (about 5-7 minutes)

Pour the onions and jalapeños into the bowl and mix with the ground salmon. Add in the chopped spinach, bread crumbs, feta cheese, mustard, and spices. Mix well until fully incorporated.

Shape the mixture into palm sized patties.

Heat the pan again, and grill each side for about 5 minutes, or until both sides are as brown as you’d like.

Serve, and enjoy!

***

These mouth-watering summer recipes offer a delectable array of flavors and refreshing options that are perfect for warm weather gatherings or simply enjoying a taste of the season at home. Interested in even more nutrient-dense recipes that you can make all summer long? Check out my new downloadable 7-Day RESET!

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