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Lighten up your summer solstice

June 21 2019
Sarah Davison
By Sarah Davison

Healthy, filling, and refreshing: Serve up our all-star slimming salads and celebrate with a weight loss on the longest day.

Lighten up your summer solstice

Summer pasta salad with grilled chicken
Fire up the grill and enjoy this hearty salad that’s full of summer flavors.

4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients
4 (5-6-oz. each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp. fat-free Italian dressing
8 oz. dry penne pasta
4 plum tomatoes (1 lb.), seeded and chopped
4 cups baby spinach
2 red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 large ear)
½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
⅓ cup finely chopped red onion
4 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Method

  1. Combine the chicken and 1 Tbsp. Italian dressing in a medium bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water, and transfer to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, spinach, bell peppers, corn, basil, onion, remaining 2 Tbsp. dressing, and vinegar to the bowl with the pasta and toss well to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium. Season the chicken with ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Grill, turning once, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F, 10-12 minutes total.
  4. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Divide pasta salad among four plates and top with grilled chicken.

Hero herbs: healthy cooking just got even tastier! 1

Vegetable quinoa salad with feta
With freshness in every mouthful, this stunning salad makes a perfect warm-weather meal.

4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients
2½ cups vegetable broth
1¼ cups quinoa
2 cups green beans, trimmed and halved
1 large hothouse cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise
Bunch of scallions, sliced diagonally
1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
Few sprigs fresh mint and cilantro, chopped
4 oz. reduced-fat feta, crumbled

For the dressing:
⅓ cup fat-free vinaigrette
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. ground cumin
⅛ tsp. ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Put the broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover and cook about 15 minutes, until all liquid has been absorbed and the grains are tender and translucent. Fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a large serving dish.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a medium skillet of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook about 5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again.
  3. Add the green beans, cucumber, scallions, cherry tomatoes and herbs to the quinoa.
  4. Mix together the dressing ingredients, drizzle over the salad and toss to mix well.
  5. Evenly sprinkle with the feta cheese and serve.

  

3 ways to build a better fruit salad

Watermelon, blueberry and cucumber salad
Colorful fruit is dressed with citrus juice and basil for maximum summertime flavor. It’s sunshine in a bowl!

4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
½ watermelon, rind removed and thickly sliced
2 English cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pint fresh blueberries
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup fresh basil leaves

Method

  1. Lay out the watermelon slices and use a medium star cookie cutter (about 2”) to cut out star shapes. Chop the pieces that remain after cutting out the stars, and transfer all of the watermelon to a large bowl.
  2. Lay out the cucumber slices and use a small star cookie cutter (about 1”) to cut out star shapes. Chop the pieces that remain after cutting out the stars, and transfer all of the cucumber to the bowl with the watermelon.
  3. Add the blueberries, lemon juice, and lime juice to the bowl and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with salt.
  4. Garnish with basil just before serving.

Inspired? You’ll find lots more information and recipe ideas  on our website. Or try our exclusive 7-day Food Optimizing menu plan  and start your own weight loss success story today.