Summer Light: Cool Meals for Hot Nights

06.19.2013 / Blog Posts Health and Wellness

AP Photo

Jane Jakubczak MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN; Washington Redskins Team Dietitian

With the summer heat settling in and the air conditioning units kicking on, I decided instead of heating up the kitchen I would give my oven a vacation and look for some cold dinner ideas. 

Quick, easy, tasty and of course healthy was the criteria.

Since the dinner meal is when I get most of my daily requirement of vegetables, the recipes had to include an abundance of colorful produce.  I’ve had a goal of expanding the variety of grains and beans/legumes in my diet this year so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to meet this goal. 

Click on the following 4 nutrient-dense foods for the health benefits of each, how to purchase/prepare/store, and a sampling of delicious recipes:   

Wheat Berries – A nutty, chewy grain packed with iron. 

Quinoa – The “Pro-bowl” grain due to its high protein content and quick and easy preparation. 

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Barley – The “cholesterol-lowering” grain is a great source of soluble fiber. 

Beans/Legumes – A group that appears on every “super food” list due to its abundance of nutrients including potassium, magnesium and protein. 

To add more vegetables to these recipes, I scoop the grain/lentil salads over a bed of mixed greens or baby spinach.  Add a bowl of berries with a dollop of Cool Whip for a sweet dessert.  Enjoy!

Make it a healthy week!


I’d love to hear from WOW members about your favorite quick, easy, tasty and healthy summer dinners!  Please share in the comment section below.

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