Summer is a fantastic season to get creative with local produce. Using refreshing fruits, veggies, and lean proteins for your recipes provides the kick you want without sacrificing your diet preferences.
Each of these featured meals are packed with nutrients to strengthen your body and have vegan or vegetarian alternatives. Whether you’re packing a picnic for the beach or entertaining in the backyard, here are 25 healthy recipes to top off your summer:
1. Corn Cakes with Summer Salsa
This nutritious twist on traditional pancakes is quick and simple to make. Many of the fresh ingredients needed can be found at a local farmer’s market. One serving contains 14 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and is under 400 calories.
2. Greek Yogurt with Warm Black & Blueberry Sauce
Summer is the best time to enjoy fresh berries. For a grab-and-go breakfast try this low-calorie substitute using yogurt and ringing in under 200 calories. You can substitute frozen berries if you don’t make it to the market and almond yogurt for a dairy-free option.
3. Omelet with Summer Veggies
Omelets are versatile and cook fairly quickly. For a total of 280 calories with 24 grams of protein, this lightweight meal with keep you fueled for the morning. Use fresh or frozen veggies. To make it dairy-free, leave out the gouda or swap for a vegan cheese alternative.
4. Peaches & Cream Doughnuts
If you’re looking for a fun, weekend breakfast to make with others, these doughnuts are healthy alternatives to traditional white-flour and sugar filled options. They can be made completely allergen-friendly with gluten-free flours and nixing the nut toppings if needed. Drizzle with honey and serve with fresh fruit for a little extra goodness!
5. Carrot Sunshine Smoothie
Creamy, plant-based, and perfect for a light breakfast to-go. Smoothies are great choices when you’re not particularly a morning person or you find yourself skipping breakfast often. This recipe is vegan friendly and provides plenty of vitamins and protein to fuel your day and boost your energy.
6. Open-Faced Prosciutto & Plum Sandwiches
These sandwiches are a little bit sweet and salty. At 318 calories, you can sneak this in as a “cheat meal” rich in healthy fats and 13 grams of protein. For a vegetarian or vegan option, nix the cheese and swap the prosciutto for grilled mushrooms or tofu bacon.
7. BBQ Chicken with Peach & Feta Slaw
Who doesn’t enjoy a Summer BBQ? This dish is sure to please at any gathering with sweet peaches and savory, smokey chicken. One serving is just under 410 calories and has 33 grams of protein. For a vegan-friendly option, you can leave out the Feta and bacon, and swap the chicken for tofu or grilled eggplant.
8. Salmon Burgers
Look no further for a fast, easy, and powerful meal that only takes about 15 minutes to make. Wild-caught Salmon is a very nutritious meat high in essential fatty acids, B Vitamins, and Potassium. This recipe weighs in at only 190 calories with 25 grams of protein.
9. Grilled Summer Squash Pizza
Yep, you read it right- Grilled pizza! The recipe makes 8 slices and one slice is 165 calories, with 5.5 grams of protein. If it’s a rainy day and you have to use the oven, simply heat at 375-degrees F., add your toppings, and bake until the crust is golden brown.
10. Crunchy Veggies Rolls with Sriracha and Peanut Sauce
A classic Asian-inspired dish that is easy to bring just about anywhere. You could also add brown rice or seared tuna for extra protein.
11. Chicken Kebabs with Creamy Pesto
Created with low-fat yogurt and sour cream, this dish is bursting with smooth flavors. One serving is 211 calories with over 27 grams of protein. Swap the creamy pesto for traditional basil and almond pesto for a dairy-free option. Tofu or mushrooms may be used in place of the chicken for a vegan and vegetarian choice.
12. Grilled Halibut with Fresh Mango Salsa
Homemade salsa can go with so many dishes and this one is under 300 calories, with 37 grams of protein. The fresh onions and cider vinegar both have detoxing properties that improve your immune system and energy. You can swap out the sugar for equal parts honey or stevia for a healthier kind of sweet.
13. BBQ Spiced Shrimp with Tomato Salad
Bursting with bold spices that boost the immune system, as well as essential fatty acids and protein, this lean meal works in your favor with a prep time under 30 minutes. The recipe makes 8 servings to share or save for leftovers.
14. Seared Tuna with Avocado Salsa
This dish is easy to make but looks very impressive, for under 400 calories. The Tuna is another excellent fish for protein and good fats, and the simple salsa is packed with Vitamin C.
15. Grilled Lime Chicken and Steak with Herb & Arugula Salad
This hearty yet low-calorie dinner is created with the family in mind! There’s directions to “reverse-marinate” the meats after grilling them so that you can make some ahead of time if you need to. It is naturally gluten and dairy free. Of course, tofu or veggies could be grilled in place of the meat.
16. Young Green Bean and Grape Tomato Salad with Crème Fraîche Dressing
Creme Fraiche is a creamy and flavorful way to spruce up a side of fresh veggies while remaining under 100 calories. Dairy-free needs can be met by using alternative almond or coconut milk, which will also lower the fat content.
17. Corn and Summer Veggie Sauté
Another easy side to accompany any meal at only 90 calories with a bit of protein, fiber, iron, and calcium to help you stay satisfied. You can top with fresh herbs like Parsley and or spices similar to Cumin for an extra boost of beneficial flavor.
18. Stone Fruit Salad with Toasted Almonds
This salad is a perfect summer appetizer or side for under 150 calories. Fresh lettuce aids in digestion and will help you stick to you weight goals if you’ve been giving in to too many sweet, summer cravings! You can always make a larger portion and add your favorite protein for a light lunch or dinner option.
19. English Pea Salad with Mint
This 2-step side is under 100 calories. Fresh mint is great for freshening your palate and soothing the body. You can use frozen peas if needed, and leave out cheese for a vegan and vegetarian-friendly recipe.
20. Two-Bite Loaded Baked Potatoes
For an adorable spin on the regular baked potato without the tedious cook-time, use creamer potatoes for bite-sized snacks or sides! The recipe below is vegan, so you can add cheese and sour cream as you like for traditional toppings.
Summer wouldn’t be as fun without indulging a bit! These desserts are made with alternative ingredients you can eat without feeling like you’re completely deprived of sweets while trying to stick to your routine.
21. Chocolate Brownie Sunday
Made with dairy-free ice cream and friendly alternatives. For a traditional style, you can swap for Breyer’s or your favorite brand of chocolate ice cream. Add fresh cherries for a chocolate-cherry twist!
22. Raspberry Crumble Bars
If you have some time to bake, these bars are great for delicious and guilt-free snacking. The total prep and cook time is about 1 hour and 15 minutes. This recipe calls for granola and the option to add additional seeds and dried fruits so you can mix and match ingredients as you like!
23. S’mores Cookies
No campfire? No problem! You can still get your s’mores fix with these amazing little cookies. You’d never guess they were made with all vegan ingredients, but you can always use more traditional ingredients if that’s what you’re most comfortable with.
24. Lemon and Raspberry Frozen Yogurt
This delicious frozen favorite isn’t at all difficult to make at home, and for only 100 calories! With only 5 ingredients blended together and placed in the freezer for an hour or so, there’s no reason not to love it! You can use dairy-free yogurt for a vegan option.
25. No-Bake Coconut Lime Fruit Tarts
These look really fancy but only take 15 minutes to create! You can pick and chose your fruit toppings for variety. Some favorites are kiwi, berries, and pineapple.
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