Summer Meal Ideas

Summer is just around the corner, and it can be a challenge to find meals that are easy to make with such little time spent in the kitchen. Not only do we want easy-to-make meals but meals that can fuel you and support every activity you have planned this upcoming season. Summer is a time to spend as much time outdoors as possible which is great for our vitamin D levels but oftentimes, we forget how to fuel ourselves when we have so many other fun things going on! It’s a great time to kick back and relax so meal prepping and getting creative in the kitchen may be the last thing on your mind.

Meals can be challenging to come up with especially when traveling, focusing on your summer classes, or running around to all your fun summer activities. A great tip to keep on hand for meals is the protein, carbohydrate, fats, and fiber “rule”. This tip allows us to incorporate each major food group into our meals as much as possible. Combining these food groups not only can make meal planning easier but also leads to a more satiating meal. The combination of protein, fats, and carbohydrates keeps our stomachs full, and our bodies fueled for the long days at the beach or the long nights of studying. An example meal using this tip may look like chicken marinated/cooked in oil, rice, and a vegetable like broccoli or a Chick-fil-a meal of a chicken sandwich and a side salad. There are more great recipes included at the bottom of this blog that provide some easy ideas using this tip!

The best thing about summer is all the fruits, vegetables, and fun flavor combinations that are in season. Another easy meal tip to tack onto the first tip is getting creative with the addition of fiber. There are many fruits and vegetables in season during the summer months and incorporating them into different meals not only keeps you fuller for longer but can add some fun colors and creativity to your meals. Fruits that are in season during the hot summer months include watermelon, kiwi, berries, and tomatoes. Vegetables in season include broccoli, cucumber, carrots, and peppers. These summer fruits and vegetables have something in common and that is their water content, it’s important to stay hydrated during the hot summer months (especially in the Georgia HEAT!). Incorporating these fruits and vegetables into your meals may help you stay more hydrated during the summer, especially because remembering that water bottle everywhere you go may be a challenge!

Here are some summer meal ideas that can be made with five ingredients or less:

Pasta With Tomatoes, Basil, and Garlic
This pasta is a great simple meal to throw together in a pinch. Add your favorite protein here such as grilled chicken, chicken sausage, or ground beef!

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers
These stuffed peppers only take five ingredients to make but can be dressed up or down based on what you garnish them with. You can keep them simple and stick to melted cheese or get fancy and top them with fresh cilantro or diced avocado.

Mexican Brown Rice
This is a perfect vegetarian dinner, but you can add ground beef if you want to bulk it up. To do so, add it to the skillet in step one along with the corn and beans.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
This recipe calls for using white sweet potatoes, but you can use regular orange varieties instead.

Watermelon Salsa
Watermelon salsa is a simple summer salsa using fresh watermelon, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice to create the perfect snack with chips or addition to grilled chicken or fish.

written by Aakifah Shaikh and Tatum Nolan