summer bites

Here are a few of my favorite summer recipes that I come to every summer. Quick, healthy (most of them) and tasty.


Taco Salad

Ground beef/turkey
Romain (or other) lettuce
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sliced olives
Diced tomatoes
Crushed taco chips
Sour Cream
Thousand Island dressing
1 taco seasoning packet
Scallops & cilantro


Cook ground meat in skillet; add taco seasoning packet (I do not like my meat to be wet, therefore I do not add the water called for in taco seasoning, I only use the dry mixture).

You can have people add their own toppings if need be – or, this is how I do it:

In a large bowl, add lettuce and top with meat. Top the meat with cheese and let sit for a few minutes to somewhat melt cheese. Add tomatoes, olives, scallops and cilantro. Mix together.

After serving salad onto a personal plate, add sour cream, Thousand Island and crushed taco chips. (I do this because I LOVE leftover taco salad, but do not like it when it is soggy. Thus, the next day you can add your dressing and chips and it tastes fresh).



Apple Harvest Chicken Salad

(Red Robin)

Grilled chicken breast, sliced
Diced apples
Candied walnuts
Dried cranberries
Blue cheese
Poppy seed dressing

Mix together. Serve with your favorite bread.

Yumm! Bowls

(Cafe Yumm!)

Previous Posts: Yumm! Bowl Recipe & homemade Yumm! Sauce and Baby Yumm! Bowls

Savory Green Beans

This is the only way green beans should be cooked. Yum! It will make you finish your veggies before anything else on your plate without your mother telling you to do so.

Fresh green beans, washed and ends cut
Diced bacon
Minced garlic (to liking – I use one to two cloves per 3-4 cups beans) Opt: garlic salt if you must.
Thinly sliced onion
Olive Oil
Johnny’s Seasoning Salt

In skillet, cook bacon pieces about half-way done. Add garlic.

Leaving bacon drippings in pan, add green beans. Coat green beans in olive oil. Saute at medium-high, flipping and stirring often.

Once green beans begin to char and soften, add onion and seasonings.

Cook until onions and green beans are soft, dripping in goodness and charred.

Gerry Burgers

This recipe came from my grandmother and has been a favorite in my family. The original recipe (dating way back) was from some publication unknown and created by Geraldine Trenam from Casper, WY. I think that is where the “Gerry” comes from. =)
 These are great to pre-make and bring camping to roast over the fire.

4-5 chopped hard-boiled eggs
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped cooked ham
1/2 bottle chili sauce
1 cup mayo
2 cups diced/cubed cheddar cheese
Hot dog buns

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients, except buns; toss lightly. Put generous amounts of mixture into hot dog buns; wrap individually in foil. Place on cookie sheet and bake 15-20 minutes. (Or cook on campfire!)


Vegetable Ziti Bake

2 servings; adapted from LA Lite Cookbook  – Perfect recipe for those garden veggies! 

1/4 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup fresh spinach
2/3 cup cooked ziti
1/4 cup lite tomato sauce
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 tomato, diced
2 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper

(I typically omit the carrots and mushrooms and instead add sliced summer squash. I also have used penne pasta, as well as added sausage).

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat skillet with non-fat cooking spray and heat medium. Add onion, garlic and carrots and saute for 1-2 minutes or until onions begin to soften.

Add the rest of the vegetables (except tomatoes), garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spinach should be wilted.

In a large mixing bowl, combine ziti, ricotta cheese, tomato sauce and vegetable mixture.

Coat a casserole dish with non-fat cooking spray. Pour ziti mixture into casserole dish and top with diced tomatoes.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with mozzarella. Bake uncovered for another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.


Brown-Sugar Salmon

6 tbsp Teriyaki sauce

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

4 salmon steaks

Mix sauce, sugar and oil in sauce pan. Bring to boil for 3 minutes until it thickens. Place the salmon in individual foil boats, making sure there are edges to capture the juice.

Coat with 1/4 of sauce.

Barbeque or bake (at 350), coating it with the remaining sauce every few minutes. Cooks about 6-8 minutes on medium BBQ or 15-20 minutes in oven.


Orange Chicken

(about 2-3 servings)

2 diced chicken breasts

2 cups flour

2 eggs

1 tbsp milk

Canola shortening (or oil – but shortening works best of course)

Panda Express Orange Chicken sauce (Costco) or sweet and sour sauce

Mix together milk and beaten eggs in bowl. Put flour in separate bowl.

Coat chicken pieces in egg mixture and then flour. Repeat if necessary.

Heat and melt shortening in skillet on medium-high.

Add chicken pieces. After a few minutes (I like to let the chicken get really fried), carefully flip them over. Some of the batter may come off, but don’t worry- you can still eat it!

Cook chicken through.

(Now I take out chicken nuggets for my little one, minus the sauce)

Coat chicken with sauce.

Serve over rice with sauteed green beans.


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