When it’s time for “Hot Fun in the Summertime” we’re all ready for some simple summer recipes. The “Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer” tantalize us with fresh juicy berries, ripe avocados, spectacular vegetables from the Farmer’s Market and mouth-watering smells from neighborhood BBQ’s. The “Summer Breeze” lures us into the sunshine to dip our feet into a stream, or entices us to sit in the cool shade with some ice tea or pulls us from in front of the TV to a stroll in the moonlight.
Yes…it’s “Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy,” so here are some simple summer recipes to free up time to sit “Under the Boardwalk” and calorie-friendly enough to help you fit into that “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini!”
Chicken Caprese – YUM!
- Chicken Breasts – choose thick or thin – you’ll just have to change how long you bake them according to their thickness. Choose however many you want.
- Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes – the Farmer’s Markets have gorgeous ones this time of year. The yellow ones are so sweet!
- Sliced mozzarella cheese – I get the “ball” and cut thin slices
- Basil leaves – fresh
- Thick balsamic vinegar
For easy clean up, line the bottom of a pan with foil and spray with oil. Place the chicken pieces on the foil. Pat the chicken pieces with a tiny bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and pour some of the thickened balsamic vinegar on the pieces. Bake at 375 degrees; about 20 minutes for thin pieces and 25 or 30 minutes for thicker.
Take out of the oven. Top with a slice of cheese and tomato, pour some more balsamic vinegar over each piece and top with a pretty basil leaf. Put on a colorful plate if you’d like! Did I say YUM?
This next recipe I named after my own state – California – where summer sings of a “Surfin’ Safari,” “Wipeout,” “Surfer Girl” and the anthem, “California Girls.” But you can enjoy it wherever you are and if you want to rename it after your OWN state, you have my permission.
California Kale Salad
- 1 or 2 bunches black kale (depending on how much you want to make), ribs removed, leaves very thinly sliced
- Fruit (One seasonal type: Blueberries; Strawberries; Mango; Blackberries; Orange slices; or Honeycrisp Apple in thin slices)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
- ¼ – ½ cup toasted slivered almonds or chopped cashews
Whisk together juice from one lemon, 2 Tbsp olive oil, ¼ tsp pepper and ¼ tsp salt in a large bowl. Add the kale, stir to coat and allow to sit for ½ hour. Add nuts, fruit and cheese. Add more seasoning if needed.
The Chicken Caprese and the California Kale salad – perfect for a warm summer night!
So let’s sing along to one of my favorites by Chicago – probably one of your faves too:
Saturday in the park I think it was the fourth of July
People dancing, people laughing, a man selling ice cream….
Try these simple summer recipes while you sing a summer song. And share yours in our comment section.
My oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine heading my way….
Plenty of Sunshine Salad
Simply slice a mango (or two), a papaya and an avocado and arrange alternately on a pretty plate.
Whisk together juice from a lime or lemon, 1 tsp. pure maple syrup, a dash of pepper, salt and cayenne. Spoon over the slices and serve!
Share your simple summer recipes and your favorite summer song!