Summer is still in full session! This means many of you are likely having BBQs with your loved ones. Our health clinics at the Lake of the Ozarks hope you enjoy this time with your loved ones. That being said, we took the liberty to find you a few healthy side recipes online. Keep reading this week’s blog to hear them.
Healthy Side Dish Recipes for a Summer BBQ
Summertime Fruit Salad
1 pound strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
3 medium peaches, thinly sliced (I peeled mine, but if you don’t mind the skin, you can leave it on)
6 ounces (1 cup) blueberries
1 heaping tablespoon fresh, chopped basil or mint
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon)
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
In a medium serving bowl, combine the strawberries, peaches, blueberries and basil. Drizzle the lemon juice, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar on top. Gently toss to combine.
Serve immediately, or chill for later. This salad is best enjoyed promptly, but will keep well for about 2 days in the refrigerator (pour off excess juices if necessary).
Spicy Red Pepper & Feta Dip (Htipiti)
One 8-ounce block of feta cheese, patted dry and cut into 1″ chunks or large crumbles (about 1 ⅔ cups)
½ cup roasted red peppers, patted dry and roughly chopped (1 to 1 ½ peppers)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit if sensitive to spice)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnishing (optional)
In the bowl of your food processor, combine the feta, bell pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and about 10 twists of freshly ground black pepper.
Process until the mixture is orange, fairly smooth, and you no longer see any big chunks of feta. Don’t overdo it; small bits of feta are good and over-processing this dip will make it gritty. Taste, and add additional cayenne pepper (up to ¼ teaspoon more) if you want it to be extra spicy. Blend briefly to combine.
Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. Smooth the top and create a few swooshes with a spoon. Lightly drizzle some olive oil on top, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for later. This dip will keep well in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.
Caprese Pasta Salad
6 ounces (2 cups) whole grain fusilli or rotini pasta
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
8 ounces mozzarella “pearls”, or one mozzarella ball, torn into bite-sized pieces
Several sprigs of fresh basil (enough for 2+ tablespoons chopped)
2 to 3 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar or regular balsamic vinegar, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
While the pasta is cooking, combine the olive oil, tomatoes and salt in a large, non-reactive skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cover the skillet (use a baking sheet if you don’t have a better lid). Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the tomatoes have started to burst out of their skins and the olive oil has a light red hue (about 6 to 12 minutes).
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cooked pasta. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes while you chop the basil. We don’t want the cheese to melt on contact, so wait to proceed to the next step until your pasta is lightly warm (not hot).
Stir the mozzarella balls and basil into the pasta. Add the vinegar, then taste and add additional vinegar and/or salt, if it doesn’t quite taste spectacular yet. For best flavor, let the mixture rest for about 20 minutes, so the pasta can absorb some of the sauce. Or, refrigerate it for future use.
This salad will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Leftovers are great chilled or at room temperature. You can also reheat the pasta if you don’t mind the mozzarella melting (yum).
All of us here at Central Ozarks Medical Center hope that you enjoyed seeing these healthy recipes. We also hope that you enjoy them with your loved ones. Be sure to follow us on our social media channels listed below to stay up to date on our latest announcements
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