Summertime for us is all about simplicity. And while I don’t ALWAYS achieve this goal and sometimes mommy frustration or sibling squabbling takes over, I often do. It’s SO important to me that my girls see ME experiencing summer with them! I long for them to look back when they are older and envision memories of the three of us savoring simple, summer moments.
From the schedule we keep to the field trips we take, from moments we read, pray and play to the meals I make, summertime oozes simplicity!
Did I mention that the meals I make most certainly reflect this summer simplicity theme of mine? Well, it’s true! I refuse to spend hours on end in the kitchen when the beautiful breeze beckons me from the open sliding door. That’s why I thought I’d continue giving you more ideas of how to nutritionally balance your summer eating routine in a super simple way.
Even though I don't want to spend tons of time in the kitchen, I won't sacrifice clean eating. And since I'm feeding little mouths, I must keep pleasing their palates in mind. It's not as tough as you may think--but consistency is the KEY. And better to convert your crowd now before the school year starts. One of my most important practices is enlisting the kid's help in the kitchen. In fact, I wrote a post on that here.
Anyways, back to the matter at hand: Simple Summer Meals. In case you missed it, here’s the first post I put together for you explaining my secret to simple meals and an overview of what nutrition I include in a day. Be sure to check it out!
Now I’m showing a few more options appropriate for breakfasts and dinners. But, I have another secret…. During the summer most anything goes! I love the flexibility: Breakfasts for dinner, lunches for breakfasts and dinners outdoors as a lunchtime picnic. As long as our day offers a nutritional balance of macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and all those other real-food-phytonutrients), I am happy whenever the broccoli is served!
So, below, even if I’ve labeled something as a ‘breakfast’, I say you eat it when you want!
Lastly, I want to mention that the photos are kid sized portions. I take photos of my girls’ plates. Mine, most often hold slightly larger portions or a side sweet potato (since I adore them and can’t live more than a couple days without one!). But, other times my portions resemble theirs for two reasons:
- I eat frequently throughout the day. When my body feels a little hungry, I eat…yes, even if dinner is in an hour. I might choose fruit or a few nuts. But, I’m not often ravaging when a meal arrives.
- I prefer small portions. Especially at the end of the day, I’m not planning to be very active and so I don’t need much food to get me through the evening. And if I do get hungry again, I just have an evening snack! I don’t enjoy the feeling of being stuffed at any time of day. So, I typically err on the side of small portions.
Now, let’s dive in to some simple summer meals! (Note: these are all meals from one week, so you’ll see certain ingredients reused in multiple meals since I try to eat leftovers and avoid waste.)
- Steel cut oats: prepared by cooking 1 cup oats in 2 cups water and 1 cup almond milk. When soft (after cooking about 30 minutes), I stir in some natural peanut butter and a bit of raw honey. We love it this way!
- Fruit bowl: organic strawberries and peaches. By the way, I ALWAYS buy strawberries and peaches organic since conventionally they are on the dirty dozen list!
- Green Smoothie: Spinach, banana, the leftover mango, chia seeds and water
- Strawberry, gluten free muffin (delish!)
- Fruit bowl: Organic strawberries and mango. This is a HUGE hit of vitamin C.
- Banana ‘sandwich’ with natural peanut butter.
- Celery: I know, it’s random. I was making my green smoothie and my daughter wanted a couple pieces!
- Zucchini bread muffins (the zucchini bread recipe from the site only I left out the chocolate chips this time).
- Organic frozen strawberries (we were out of fresh)
- Organic whole milk yogurt with a bit of pure maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla stirred in.
- Corn tortilla ‘tostado’. Our version, of course. An Ezekiel sprouted grain corn tortilla spread with refried beans, avocado pieces, chopped tomato and raw cheddar goat’s cheese. Baked through. We use plain yogurt for the ‘dip’.
- Roasted broccoli. Just clean, cut and toss the broccoli with olive oil, salt and pepper. Stick it on a cookie sheet and roast…I like a slow roast at about 300 degrees so nutrients are not destroyed in the broccoli or olive oil.
- Plum slices
- ‘Greek Salad’: chopped, slightly massaged kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, some chickpeas and olive oil/feta dressing.
- Tuna melt on an Ezekiel sprouted grain English muffin.
- Apple slices
- A Medjool date, sliced and seed removed only to replace the seed with delicious almond butter! Here's another version of this Decadent Date Treat that takes it one step further.
- Soba noodles. Stir in some ranch dressing (we use organic, dairy free ranch)…and yes, I said to stir in ranch dressing! Just until the noodles are moist. Add in just a little raw, white goat’s cheddar cheese and mercury-free canned tuna. The girls call this a noodle tuna melt!
- Brussels Sprouts. Recipe Here.
Dinner 4 (on our fabulous plastic plates since we were eating outside)
- Quinoa noodles with organic (BPA free) canned tomato sauce, sprinkled with white raw cheddar cheese. I'd prefer homemade tomato sauce, of course. But, hey, we're keeping it simple here! Plus, my garden's tomoatoes are not ready yet.
- Sweet potato with a little grassfed real butter (I love Kerrygold butter best!)
- Brussels sprouts. Recipe Here.
- Wild caught salmon spread with pesto and baked at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes (baking time depends on thickness of cut).
- Salad: lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, dairy free ranch
- Kale chips. Recipe coming soon!
- Organic peaches
- Wild caught salmon spread with pesto and baked at 350 for about 20 minutes
- Salad: they wanted NO dressing this time so I squeezed some fresh lemon on the salad and they loved it!
- Kale chips. Recipe coming soon!
- Cremini mushrooms tossed with olive oil, oregano and salt baked at the same time as the salmon
- Ezekiel corn tortilla cheese quesadilla, baked at the same time as the mushrooms and salmon