Our favourite time of year brings with it a whole host of incredibly fresh and tasty dishes that just seem to fit right into our mealtimes without making us feel bloated or uncomfortable.
It can be difficult to find an easy diet if you suffer from food intolerances, but the beauty of summery recipes is that there are so many delicious foods to choose from when you need to swap out your trigger foods – this way, you can ensure that you can enjoy the summertime without missing out on essential vitamins and nutrients.
Here are our top picks for making your meals extra special in the summer sun:
Courgette, aubergine & chilli bruschetta
- 1 large aubergine
- 4 courgettes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lemons
- 1 bunch of chopped fresh parsley
- 1 fresh red chilli
- 2 cloves garlic (1 peeled and finely chopped, 1 halved)
- 1 ciabatta
- 1 bunch of chopped fresh mint
- Salt and pepper
- Cut the aubergines and courgettes in half lengthways and cook until golden brown on the barbecue. Coat in olive oil, some lemon juice and zest and parsley and wrap in foil before placing on the cool coals and covering with hot coals (be careful with the tongs here!). Cook for 20 minutes until soft.
- Gently prick the chilli but don’t slice it – cook on the barbecue until black all over and, after cooling in cling film, peel it, remove the seeds and chop it up.
- Now, remove the stalks and tops and tails of the aubergines and courgettes respectively and chuck into a bowl along with lemon juice, oil, chopped garlic, chilli, mint, salt and pepper.
- Toast the ciabatta to your liking, rub with garlic, drizzle with oil and then spread a good helping of the veg mix over each slice.
Fresh strawberry and avocado salad
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Half teaspoon fresh ginger
- Half teaspoon light raw honey
- Zest of one lime
- Salt and pepper
- 3 cups chopped fresh strawberries
- 2 large ripe avocados
- A sprig of chopped fresh mint
- Put the lime juice, olive oil, ginger, honey, lime zest and salt and pepper into a jar or container, place the lid on and give it a good shake around.
- Throw all the chopped strawberries and avocados into a bowl with the mint and stir up lightly before adding in the dressing mix and stirring again.
Sweet potato with feta and kale
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 210g can of chickpeas
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 30g feta cheese (cubed)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- A pinch of chilli flakes
- 100g kale
- 1 tablespoon toasted pumpkin seeds
- 80g bag of rocket
- Put the sweet potatoes into a roasting tin and roast for 40 minutes at 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Add the chickpeas into the tin and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Add the chopped onions to a mix of the vinegar, sugar and salt and set aside whilst you marinate the feta in the oil and chilli flakes.
- Wilt the kale in 50ml of water in a pan (approximately three minutes) and add seasoning before removing the potatoes and halving them to be split between two plates.
- Coat them with the chickpeas, kale, onion and feta and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds before serving with vinegar-tossed rocket.
Mackerel with quinoa salad
- 1 mug (300g) of quinoa
- Half a lemon
- 800g ripe tomatoes
- 1 fresh red chilli
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 4 x 200g whole mackerel, scaled and gutted
- Olive oil
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs of fresh basil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 heaped tablespoons fat-free natural yogurt
- 2 heaped teaspoons jarred grated horseradish
- Start the quinoa cooking in boiling water with salt and lemon.
- Score the mackerel down both sides and sprinkle with salt, pepper and coriander and put into a large frying pan with olive oil – turn it every four minutes or so to ensure an even finish.
- Slice your tomatoes up and lay out a bed on a platter for the mackerel when it is cooked – throw over as much chilli as you like.
- Put some rosemary and garlic over the fish before you take the quinoa out for draining and seasoning with lemon juice, salt and pepper – you can now scoop this over the tomatoes and drizzle the oil and balsamic on before laying the fish on top.
- Serve with a yogurt and horseradish mix and basil leaves.
Grilled chicken with pineapple salsa
- 4 limes
- 40g freshly chopped cilantro
- 50ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 500g boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 250g chopped pineapple
- 1 avocado, diced
- Quarter red onion, diced
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Get a bowl and stir up the juice of three limes, about 30g of the cilantro, honey, oil and salt to make the marinade – pour it into a resealable plastic bag containing the chicken and put in the fridge for at least two hours.
- Grill the chicken on high heat and make sure to turn midway through.
- Whilst the chicken is cooking, bring the avocado, red onion, pineapple, lime juice and the last 10g of the cilantro together into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with the salsa spread over the chicken.