The dog days of summer are upon us and large, heavy meals just won’t do. When the heat becomes unbearable and the last thing you want to do is spend time over a hot stove there are some great ways to put together a healthy, summertime-friendly meal that won’t leave you feeling sluggish.
Simplicity is key when making a nutritious and light meal; the less complicated the ingredients, the better. The Farm-to-Table movement is an ideal way to eat food that is ‘clean’ (unprocessed and unrefined), seasonal and easy on the stomach. The movement focuses on eating locally-produced food that is usually organic.
A great way to find local ingredients in the summer is through a farmers market. A farmers market is an outdoor area where farmers sell their products directly to consumers. The types of items you’ll see there are produce, pastured meat and eggs, artisan cheeses and small-batch items such as kettle corn or baked goods. Going to a farmers market gives you the benefit of having ultra-fresh, locally grown or produced items. Ingredients like these are perfect to put in a cold salad or serve as a crudité–all you have to do is wash, chop, and serve!
If you’re really interested in committing to preparing locally-grown food you can also join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Becoming a CSA member allows you to purchase a ‘share’ of produce from a regional farmer, usually from June through to October.
Here is a salad recipe that is perfect as an easy, light meal–most of the ingredients can be found at your local farmers market:
Smoky Ham and Corn Salad
Courtesy of Eating Well
Makes: 4 servings, about 2 cups each
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
- 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 cups trimmed frisée, (about 1 large head) or 8 cups mixed salad greens
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels, (from 1 large ear)
- 1 cup croutons, preferably whole-grain
- 3/4 cup diced ham, (about 4 ounces)
Whisk sour cream, vinegar, paprika and salt in a large bowl. Add frisée (or salad greens), tomato, corn, croutons and ham; toss to coat.