So many of my favorite summer memories revolve around a great meal. Hanging on our back patio and talking late into the night with refreshing cocktails in hand after grilling out, picking berries in Wisconsin to turn into a cobbler for my family, throwing together a crisp salad for lunch while the boys run back and forth through the sprinklers in our yard. I just love the flavors and foods of summer and all the traditions that come along with them.
Lots of you seemed to like my cozy recipe roundup this past fall, so I thought it would be fun to put together a similar roundup for summer! Whether you’re planning the menu for a Fourth of July celebration or just looking for weeknight dinner inspiration, all of these recipes are perfect for warm weather and summer hangs!
Citrus Ginger Mojito Recipe
Your favorite white rum (we love this one from Havana Club)
Fresh squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
Fresh squeezed orange juice (1/2 an orange)
Fresh grated ginger
Sugar cubes or agave
1. In a cocktail shaker, start by muddling mint, grated ginger (about an inch cube), and a sugar cube together until combined.
2. Add 2-3oz of rum, fresh lime juice, and fresh orange juice and shake well.
3. Pour into two separate glasses with ice and finish with a topper of club soda.
4. Garnish with extra mint. Sip and enjoy!!
The Famous HAF Skinny Margarita Recipe
Good tequila (I love Casamigos Reposado)
Flavored soda water (we use grapefruit or lime LaCroix)
Fresh juice from 1 lime
Fresh juice from 1 lemon
Fresh juice from 1 orange
Trader Joe’s chili lime seasoning, or we also love Casamigos Salt Rimmer if you want to get extra festive!
Optional sliced jalapeño if you like a little extra spice
1. Pour some TJ’s chili lime seasoning or salt rimmer onto a plate.
2. Grab your favorite cocktail glass (love these ones, too!), take a lime wedge and wet the rim and then coat the rim in the seasoning/salt!
3. Add ice to your glass and fill with 1-2 oz of tequila.
4. Fill your glass 3/4 of the way with soda water.
5. Add equal parts lime juice and lemon juice* followed by a splash of fresh orange juice. *the more citrus you use the better! Enjoy!
It feels silly even giving you this recipe because it is so easy but trust me, it’s delish! I don’t have exact measurements of each item, just taste as you go and see what you’re missing. You can even add some sliced jalapeño for a little spice!
Aunt Pam’s Taco Dip Recipe
1 package cream cheese
1 (small) container of sour cream
1 packet of Lipton’s Onion Soup mix (it’s a dry mix)
head of lettuce
shredded cheddar cheese
*add chopped jalapeños if you want some heat!
1. Let the cream cheese and sour cream come to room temperature.
2. In a casserole dish, mix the cream cheese, sour cream, and onion soup mix together and smooth into an even layer with a spatula to make a base for the taco dip.
3. Slice cherry tomatoes and evenly place on top of onion dip. Add chopped shredded lettuce. Top with shredded cheese.
4. Serve immediately or keep in refrigerator until ready to serve! Pair with your favorite tortilla chips!
Also delish with carrots and celery for a low carb option. Enjoy!!
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
1. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees (this should only take a few minutes, these things heat up fast!).
2. Cut the cauliflower so you’re left with just the florets. Put the florets in a bowl and gently coat with olive oil spray (not a lot!) and a good dosing of hot sauce. You want to coat but it doesn’t need to be completely coated. The olive oil is to make sure that the cauliflower doesn’t dry out in the air fryer. 3. Pour the coated cauliflower florets into the air fryer basket and cook for 10-12 minutes. You can keep checking on the cauliflower to reach your preferred “brownness” but it never gets as brown as it would in a fryer – just FYI. I found that about 12 minutes was perfect!
4. Remove from fryer and put back into bowl. Coat with more hot sauce and pour onto serving platter.
5. Top with a drizzle of ranch dressing, blue cheese crumbles, and then whatever toppings of your choosing—celery, radishes, sliced carrots, cilantro – anything! Serve and watch it disappear.
*note: best if served along side a frosty beer in a cute cup to keep it cold!
The air fryer is the same one we have and it’s so fun! I love a good fried food and I love that this gives that taste/feeling but without the oil. A healthy alternative!
Massaged Kale, Brussel Sprout + Manchego Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
2 bunches of fresh green kale
12-15 fresh brussel sprouts
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 spoonful dijon mustard
Salt + pepper, to taste
1. Mix together the dressing ingredients and taste. If it tastes too bitter/sour from the vinegar and mustard, add a little bit more olive oil. If it tastes too heavy on the olive oil, add a couple dashes of vinegar and/or mustard. It should taste balanced! I don’t personally measure so this is a guess, just play around as you go! This will last in the fridge for a week, too! I make in mason jar with a lid to store.
2. Separate the kale leaves from the stems and rip apart into smaller pieces. Place in a bowl.
3. Add 1/3 – 1/2 of the dressing and massage kale until wilted. Set aside for 15 minutes until soft!
4. Chop the brussel sprouts and sprinkle on top of kale.
5. Shave manchego fresh off the rind on top (I use this thing). Top with the rest of the dressing and toss!
If you want to make this salad an entree, I love to add roasted salmon or rotisserie chicken with sliced cucumbers, pomegranate seeds and slivered almonds! Yummm.
My Favorite Chopped Salad
For the lemon vinaigrette:
Juice of 2 lemons
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (taste for preference!)
Salt + pepper
There is no real method to creating this salad, just throw it together and enjoy. The key to making this salad delicious is to chop everything the same size! I also like to top with fresh cracked pepper. We love eating this for lunch or a light dinner! If you want to eat some for leftovers, just make sure to dress the salads individually so it doesn’t get soggy. Enjoy!
Skinny Baked Crispy Chicken Tenders
1 package chicken tenders
Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning
Salt + pepper
Optional: cayenne pepper (we only use this for the adult version)
Optional: garlic powder (we add a little of this for the kids)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees! Place parchment paper on a baking tray.
2. In one bowl combine 1-1.5 cups of panko bread crumbs, 2 tbsp of TJ’s EBTB seasoning, a few grinds of ground pepper, and either a few dashes of cayenne pepper if you prefer heat or leave as is/add a few dashes of garlic powder for the kiddos! Set aside. In another bowl combine 2 eggs together. Set aside. Season your tenders in salt and pepper.
3. Create a station to coat tenders in egg wash and then coat in panko mix. Once completely coated, lay on parchment paper for baking. Once all tenders are coated, top with a little extra TJ’s EBTB seasoning!
4. Bake for 25 minutes until super crispy! If they don’t look browned enough you can broil them for 3-5 mins too!
Serve any way you like! We put on top of an Asian-inspired salad of mixed greens, chopped peppers, cucumbers, radishes and TJ’s carrot ginger miso dressing which if you haven’t tried GO GET IT NOW. It tastes just like Benihana’s ginger dressing which if you know, you know.
Grilled Flank Steak with Homemade Chimichurri Recipe
2 pounds flank steak
6 cloves garlic finely minced or grated
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
Chimichurri Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Place the meat in a resealable plastic bag and add the garlic, salt, oregano, vinegar, and olive oil. Seal the bag and mix well. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.
2. To make the chimichurri sauce: finely mince the parsley, oregano, green onions, and garlic. Combine them in a medium bowl with the red pepper flakes, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly and season with salt. This can made up to a day ahead of time.
3. Preheat the grill to high. Pull the steaks from the marinade and place them on the grill. Dump the remaining marinade over the steaks (a little flare-up is okay!). Grill the steaks for 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let the meat rest for 10 minutes.
4. Slice the steak across the grain and serve with a generous amount of chimichurri sauce (spoon on top before or serve in a bowl).
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest.
Homemade Healthy Turkey Burgers
Ingredients (makes 4)
1 large portobello mushroom cap
1/2 of a shallot, quartered
A handful of parsley
1 1/4 lb ground turkey (I like a mix of thigh and breast from the butcher)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt + pepper
White cheddar cheese
4 English muffins
1. Use a spoon to scrape out the gills of the portobello mushroom. Cut the cap into rough quarters and put in a food processor with the shallot and handful of parsley. Pulse until evenly chopped.
2. Transfer mixture to a bowl with your ground turkey, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Gently mix together with your hands and form into 4 even patties. Put on a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes (this will help keep them together!).
3. Preheat your grill to medium. Coat the grill with olive oil (I usually pour some on a paper towel and just wipe down grates) and cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. Then do a quarter turn and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes on same side. Flip and continue cooking for 5-7 minutes or until fully cooked through. Remember this is turkey so must be cooked through, nothing should be rare! Top with cheese and cook until melted.
4. Place English muffins on the grill to toast. Serve with spicy mustard and avocado. Enjoy!
Turkey + Feta Meatballs with Lemon Orzo Recipe
½ box orzo pasta
1/3 cup feta cheese
½ small red onion, chopped
1/3 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
½ container cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
½ pound ground turkey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 ½ teaspoons oregano
Juice of half a lemon
For the meatballs:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ground turkey, feta cheese, egg, garlic, breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper in bowl and mix with hands. Form into small meatballs, about an inch in diameter.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat and cook the meatballs on all sides until brown (turning about every 2-3 minutes).
3. Transfer meatballs to baking sheet or baking dish and finish in oven for about 20 minutes to cook through.
For the orzo:
1. While the meatballs are cooking in the oven, cook orzo according to directions on box.
2. In a bowl, mix sliced tomatoes, sliced olives, and chopped red onion.
3. In another bowl, whisk together remaining tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, remaining ½ tablespoon of oregano, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
4. Add the dressing to the orzo and stir to combine.
5. Serve in a bowl with feta meatballs on top. Optional garnish: fresh parsley.
Angel Food Cake with Blueberries and Lemon Cream
Pre-made angel food cake
Heavy whipping cream (1 pint, I use 3/4 of the bottle, you’ll have leftovers)
1 egg white
Blueberries (I use large)
1. Using a Kitchen Aid mixer (or a whisk but it will take a little longer!), whisk heavy whipping cream until almost fluffy.
2. Zest a lemon and set aside.
3. Add 2 tablespoons of cane sugar and the juice of one lemon. Continue mixing until light and fluffy.
4. Add the zest and mix with a spatula. Taste to see if more sugar needs to be added, depending on your preference.
5. Frost the angel food cake and fill in the hole with the whipped cream. I like to do this roughly because I like to see the cake peek through.
6. Cover the top with blueberries leaving a few spaces here and there. Set aside 10-12 blueberries, coat in egg whites, and then cover in cane sugar. Place these randomly throughout top of cake (as shown above).
7. Sprinkle with lemon zest and add a few small mint leaves, if you like.