Most people can agree that cooking during the hot summer months can be not only annoying but also uncomfortable and undesirable. Due to the hot weather, people will often look for ways to nourish themselves without having to do much cooking. For some, this means an endless supply of barbequed foods like cheeseburgers, hotdogs, and ribs. Others will end up eating fast food and other take-out meals on a more regular basis. Too much take-out and barbeque can quickly undo all of the progress that is made during the winter months on achieving that perfect beach body.
To combat the annual “Great Summer Weight Gain“, here are two simple, tasty, healthy, and quick recipes for you to incorporate into your menu during the sweltering summer months. Each recipe ensures that you’ll consume foods that deliver key nutrients that you need for your health and weight loss goals, but also those that help to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Try some of our other healthy lean and green recipes to help keep you on track with your weight loss journey.
Tropical Quinoa Salad
The great thing about Tropical Quinoa Salad is that it can be a cool, refreshing break from traditional meat-based dishes on a hot summer day. This recipe takes only 30 minutes to prep and cook. However, it needs at least 2 hours in a freezer or 4 hours in your fridge before eating in order for it to be cool and refreshing. Many find that preparing it early in the morning before the day gets too hot is the perfect time to assemble this dish. Additionally, at only 240 calories per serving, it is great for your diet and weight loss goals.
Note: if you want to make this recipe extra simple you can purchase a pre-cut bell pepper and onion mix from your local supermarket. You can find them in either the frozen vegetable section or the vegetable section near the salads.
Step 1: Bring chicken stock (or water) to a boil in a pot; add the quinoa. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Set quinoa aside to cool.
Step 2: Combine the red onions, bell peppers (yellow and red), sea salt, and black pepper together in a bowl. Stir in the quinoa.
Step 3: Whisk together olive oil and lime juice in a separate bowl; pour over the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle the cilantro and then stir it all together. Cover the salad and refrigerate for best flavor – at least 4 hours.
Cabo Rojo Chicken
For a companion dish to the quinoa salad or with other side dishes, Cabo Rojo Chicken is a great addition to your meal. Named after the coastal town of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, this chicken dish has just the right spices to give you the tropical flavors that you’ll crave on a hot summer day. Pair this with an ice-cold margarita or lemonade and take your taste buds on a Puerto Rican vacation. At approximately 150 calories per serving, this is one of the healthiest chicken recipes for your diet.
Note: If you want to add flavor you can add shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream to taste before serving.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Step 2: Place chicken breast halves into a plastic bag or bowl and coat them with taco seasoning and Sazon.
Step 3: Place chicken breast halves in lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Pour salsa over the chicken.
Step 4: Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 25 minutes or until chicken is tender and juicy and the juices run clear.