Quick Healthy Summer Desserts

It seems like in the summer dinner parties crop up at the last minute.  Maybe it is the longer days that inspire people to linger over dinner with friends.  I’ve learned to always volunteer to bring desserts because it’s the easiest thing to make! The following recipe can be pulled together in just a few minutes. Plus it’s light and healthy, which everyone seems to appreciate during swimsuit season.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small fresh melon (cantaloupe is my favorite)
  • 2 Cups mixed fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, chopped strawberries)
  • ½ oz sweet liquor (I like liquor 43)

Directions:

  1. Wash the melon, slice it in half and hollow out the seeds in the center
  2. Wash and dry the berries
  3. Put the melon halves on a serving platter and fill the centers with the assorted berries
  4. Drizzle the liquor over the top of the fruits.
  5. Slice the melons into wedges and serve with whipped cream!
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Healthy Dressing of Summer Love

Have I told you that I love summer?!  I was able to sneak away today to our “big” grocery store.  I spent 30 minutes wandering around the produce section.  The smell of the fresh Texas peaches hung heavy right in the entrance.  Who could resist picking them up and giving them a little squeeze before dropping 2 or 3 into their basket?  (look for a fruit salsa recipe soon!)  Then came the assortment of melons and fresh berries, followed by ears of fresh, sweet corn, and tomatoes still on the vine.  Everything looked “extra.”  Extra green, extra plump, extra juicy… you get the picture!  All of this produce fanfare inspired me to create another salad.  It is so much easier to eat healthier and lighter when veggies actually look tempting!

I am creating a salad dressing that will hold up to a beautiful, grilled tuna steak.  The first time I had a grilled tuna steak I was in middle school.  It is a vivid memory because it was served to me and my sister by my grandma.  This was highly unusual.  My grandma was a good Southern woman.  Her idea of healthy was a veggie dinner… creamed corn, fried green tomatoes, fried okra and of course biscuits.  This particular summer, my sister and I were visiting her and granddaddy at a condo they rented on Lake Tahoe in the beautiful mountains.  Picture crystal clear streams and an ice cold lake, lots of tall green trees, and quaint little farmers’ market stands scattered across the town.  I’m guessing that the serene scene inspired even her to experiment with fresh, new foods.  She grilled it on a little hibachi on the tiny balcony outside of her condo.  It was delicious!

For this tuna salad, I knew the dressing flavors needed to be bold enough and bright enough to balance that delicious fish.  I am going to use bright and juicy lemons for acidity, feta cheese for richness, a medley of olives for saltiness, and a good white wine vinegar for balance.

Ingredients:

  • Lemon-olive vinaigrette
  • ½ Cup white wine
  • ¼ Cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • 5-6 pitted calamata olives
  • ¼ Cup olive juice or brine
  • 1 oz feta cheese
  • Fresh pepper, Pinch of salt (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Toss in some dark red campari tomatoes, quartered artichoke hearts and, of course, olives and feta over a bed of baby spinach and you have a perfect background for a beautiful, healthy, grilled tuna steak.
  2. Place all ingredients into a blender and process until it is blended.  (One serving of this dressing has approximately 40 calories!)