When the weather is nearly 100 degrees, the last thing you want to do is spend hours slaving over a hot stove cooking up a meal for you and your family. Thankfully summer calls for light and quick meals that don’t require a lot of time.
If you’re short on ideas, but looking to pack in the flavor, we’ve got you covered. Celebrate summer with these easy meals that require minimal effort and time, but still shine with seasonal fresh produce.
Crunchy Ranch Corn on the Cob
Ingredients: 4 ears of corn, cooked (grilled or boiled); 1/3 cup Healthy Choice Power Dressings Creamy Ranch; 1 cup crushed Ranch-flavored corn chips.
Instructions: Brush each ear of corn with a generous amount of Ranch dressing. Spread the ground corn chips onto a plate and roll each ear of corn in the chips to completely coat each ear. Serve.
Creamy Gnocchi with Butternut Squash and Kale
Ingredients: 1 package Cappello's Gnocchi; 2 cups cubed butternut squash; 1/2 medium onion, diced; 1 tsp salt; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 1/4 tsp cinnamon; 1/2 tsp cumin; 3 large kale stalks, leaves removed and roughly chopped; 1/2 cup half-and-half; 1/4 cup parmesan; salt and pepper to taste; sage leaves; extra parmesan.
Instructions: Add the 4 tablespoons butter to a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the squash and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the salt, garlic, cinnamon and cumin; continue to cook for about 1 min. Add the half-and-half to the pan and stir to coat, then add the gnocchi and kale; cover and let cook for 2-3 minutes or until the gnocchi is soft and the kale is wilted. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan being careful not to smash the gnocchi as you mix; season with salt and pepper to taste. Plate immediately and top with more parmesan and/or sage.
Crispy Chickpea and Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
Ingredients: For the chickpeas: 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 2 tablespoons; Healthy Choice Power Dressings Creamy Italian; Salt and pepper. For the tabbouleh: 2 cups quinoa, rinsed; 1 English cucumber, peeled and diced; 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved; 1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1⁄4 cup minced fresh mint (or substitute any soft herbs, like cilantro, chives, tarragon, etc.); 1⁄4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (or substitute any soft herbs, like cilantro, chives, tarragon, etc.); 1⁄2 teaspoon salt; 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup Healthy Choice Italian dressing; 4 cups mixed greens, for serving; 4 lemon wedges, for serving.
Instructions: Preheat oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a paper towel or a clean dish towel to pat dry the chickpeas. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with Italian dressing and season with salt and pepper. Bake until crispy, about 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water and the quinoa to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and let cool completely. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, scallions, mint, and parsley to the quinoa and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in Italian dressing and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature on a bed of greens and top with crispy chickpeas and a lemon wedge.
Shrimp and Bacon Pizza
Ingredients: 1 Cappello's Naked Pizza Crust; 1/4 cup olive oil; 10 garlic cloves; 3 pieces of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces; 1/4 cup pizza sauce (store-bought or homemade); 1 cup pizza cheese; 7-10 frozen cooked shrimps, thawed with tails removed.
Instructions: Preheat oven to 425. In a very small saucepan over low heat, add the garlic and oil and simmer for 20 minutes; then remove from the heat and separate the garlic from the oil and set aside. While the garlic cooks, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy; remove and set on a paper towel to drain. Spread the crust with pizza sauce, sprinkle the cheese in an even layer then top with the bacon, shrimp and roasted garlic (sliced or whole). Bake for 11-13 minutes then remove from the oven and drizzle with garlic oil.
Sticky Apricot Chicken
Ingredients: 12 chicken drumsticks (about 2 1/4 pounds); Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper; 1/2 cup apricot jam (or substitute honey, orange marmalade, or BBQ sauce); 1/2 cup Healthy Choice Power Dressings Garden French; 1/4 cup red wine vinegar; 6 cloves garlic, minced; 1/4 cup brown sugar.
Instructions: Use a paper towel to pat the chicken dry. Generously season on all sides with salt and pepper. In a large dish, whisk together the jam, dressing, vinegar and garlic and toss with the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on a baking sheet; reserve the extra marinade. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove the baking sheet from the oven and increase the temperature to 425 degrees F. Spoon the reserved marinade over the chicken and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Bake until the glaze on the skin is caramelized, about 15 minutes more. Serve the chicken on a platter and pour any additional cooked glaze from the baking sheet over it.