I don’t know about you, but as the weather warms up, I’m not a fan of turning on the oven to cook. Also, my appetite is just not the same and I tend to want things like smoothies and fresh fruit as opposed to a steak and potatoes dinner. So here are a few recipes I like to use during those warm summer months:
- Overnight Peanut Butter Chocolate Oats
- Classic Oatmeal
- Fresh Mango with Basil
- Yogurt Parfait
- Peanut Butter Smoothie
- Flatbread Pizza
- Kale & Quinoa Salad
Keep reading for the recipes!
Overnight Peanut Butter Chocolate Oats
Into a mason jar I combine:
- 3/4 cup of almond milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
- 1/2 cup oats (I use old-fashioned oats)
- 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- t Tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tsp cocoa
- 1/2 banana cut into small pieces
I mix this all together in the mason jar, place the lid on top, and set it in the fridge overnight. I like the overnight oats because they make for a very easy breakfast. I eat the oats cold, but I know others like to warm the oats in the microwave – it just depends on your preference. (Side note: for picture purposes, I poured the oats out of the mason jar and into a little bowl, and I added a few slivered almonds on top- it just looked prettier.)
Into a pot I combine 1 and 1/2 cups of water and 3/4 cup of oats (I use the old-fashioned oats). Feel free to adjust the water/oats ratio- it just depends on how firm or soft you like your oats to be. I like the oats to be quite soft. Cook the oats on the stove for about 10-15 minutes. While the oats are cooking add in:
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1/4 cup berries
Make sure to stir frequently. Once the oats are cooked thru, remove the pot from the heat and allow the oatmeal to cool. Before I eat the oatmeal, I also like to add a few slivered almonds on top.
Fresh Mango with Basil
And this one is so simple, but so good. And this is all you need:
- 1 fresh mango
- fresh basil (I used about 5 fresh basil leaves- but you can use as little or as many leaves as you would like)
See, this is so simple. All you need to do is cut the mango and place it into a bowl. Then, take the fresh basil leaves and chop them into small pieces. Add the chopped basil to the cut mango and mix together. And that’s it. This makes for a good snack on a warm day.
- 3/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- frozen fruit (I used mangos and blackberries)
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp slivered almonds
This one is quite simple too. All you need to do is add the yogurt to a small bowl. Top with chia seeds and frozen fruit (really you can use as much or as little fruit as you like). Drizzle honey over fruit and yogurt. Top with slivered almonds. AND…your done!
Peanut Butter Smoothie
Sometimes I just want a smoothie- especially when it’s hot outside. So here’s a smoothie recipe that happens to be a favorite of mine.
In a blender combine:
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1/2 cup of vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/4 cup frozen fruit (I like to use frozen mangos)
- 4 ice cubes
- 1 tsp cocoa
Blend together and top with slivered almonds (of course, only if you like almonds or aren’t allergic to them). Side note: I used to be allergic to almonds, but I seem to have grown out of that particular allergy. So now I add almonds to almost everything.
And this one is a good lunch or light dinner option. Here’s what you need:
- 1 flatbread
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup spinach
- fresh basil (about 4 leaves)
- grape tomatoes
- Mozzarella or Monterey Jack Cheese
- 1 egg (cooked as desired -I like to fry the egg)
Preheat your oven to 350º F (okay, so I know I said I don’t like to turn on the oven when the weather is warm, but for this recipe, the oven does not say on for very long). Take the flatbread and place onto a baking sheet. Add the olive oil to the flatbread and spread it evenly. Add the spinach (occasionally I chop the spinach into smaller pieces), olives, grape tomatoes, and fresh basil. Side note: I also cut the olives and grape tomatoes in half. Take the cheese and cut it into thin slices. Add the slices sporadically to the flatbread (you can use as much or as little cheese as you like). Place the flatbread into the oven for 5-10 minutes (or until the cheese has melted). While the flatbread is in the oven, cook the egg. For this particular recipe, I like to fry the egg because it is easier to eat. I find that a scrambled egg ends up falling off the flatbread half of the time.
Once the cheese has melted, remove the flatbread from the oven. Allow it to cool for a bit, then transfer it (carefully) to a plate. Add the egg…AND it’s ready to eat.
Kale and Quinoa Salad
This is one of my favorites! Mainly because I LOVE kale and quinoa. So here’s the recipe:
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 cup quinoa (cooked in 2 cups of water and 1 cup of vegetable broth)
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp mustard (I like to use Dijon mustard)
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
- 1/2 cup grapes (sliced in half)
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 cup olives (sliced in half)
- 1/4 cup craisins
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
And here’s what you do:
In a pot, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and 1 cup of vegetable broth. Place the pot on the stove and cook until the quinoa is soft (about 20 minutes).
While the quinoa is cooking, make the dressing for the salad. In a small bowl combine the red wine vinegar, honey, olive oil, and mustard. Make sure to mix together well. If the dressing seems thick, add a bit more red wine vinegar or olive oil to thin it out. Set the dressing aside and prepare the kale.
Make sure you wash the kale thoroughly. Place the kale on a cutting board and carefully remove the leaves from the stem (the stem tends to run almost the entire length of the kale). Once the stems have been removed, carefully chop the leafy part of the kale into small pieces. Placed the chopped kale leaves into a bowl and add in grape tomatoes, grapes, olives, craisins, feta cheese, and slivered almonds. Mix together. Cut avocado into small pieces and add to salad.
Okay, now back to the quinoa.
Once the quinoa is cooked, allow it to cool for a bit. After it has sufficently cooled, add the quinoa to the kale mixture.
Last but not least, take the prepared dressing and pour over salad- make sure to mix well.
Optional: Sometimes I like to add grilled chicken to the salad too. Especially if I’m eating the salad as my dinner. The chicken makes it a bit more filling. And it adds some protein too.
Most of the time I find I don’t actually use exact measurements. I tend to go more by taste. So don’t be afraid to experiment and do the same! Happy summer eating!
**Note from Tiffany: Alyssa took these amazing photos herself!! — I’m so blown away & impressed!!**
Although Alyssa Kuiken lives in small town northern New Jersey, she likes to think she doesn’t have a typical New Jersey accent. (Just don’t ask her to say words like talk, walk, or dog!) She married her sweet husband, Rick, this past October and loves sharing life’s adventures with him. She works as a wound care nurse and feels it’s the best job ever, because it is an everyday reminder of how fearfully and wonderfully God created each one of us. When she’s not at work, she’s usually running or lifting weights at the gym with her husband Rick (aka coach), searching for new recipes for dinner, on the lookout for antiques to decorate their home, or watching Eli Manning and the Giants (go G-men!!!) play football. Follow her on Instagram at @alykuiks!
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