3 Ways to Use Your Summer Vegetables
There’s nothing quite like the summer harvest. Local vegetables fill the produce section in the grocery store, farmer’s markets are a weekly activity and your garden is flourishing. But what happens when you’ve indulged just a little too much, have those fresh veggies stockpiled, and you’re worried they’ll go bad before you have a chance to use them? Well here are three delicious end of summer recipes (it’s a harsh reality… the end of summer is almost here) that will allow you to utilize your glorious goods!
Fresh Summer Gazpacho
This treat is the perfect balance between fresh and filing. The cool temperature matched with the chunky texture make for a wholesome appetizer or a light and delicious entree. Garnish with a few slices of avocado and a handful of basil to give it an extra POP of flavor!
- 1/2 avocado
- handful of fresh basil
Chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onion into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it’s coarsely chopped. Be careful not to over-process! After the vegetables are processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more time it has to develop flavor. Top with sliced avocado and basil for garnish.
Summer Tomato & Zucchini Pie
A new way to use your summer squash and fresh tomatoes! Wrapped in sheets of light phyllo dough this warm pie is topped with salty feta cheese and is a perfect way to skip the meat, but still get a filling flavorful meal.
- 6 pieces of Phyllo dough-thawed
- 1 large zucchini sliced thin
- 1 cup cherry or heirloom tomatoes-sliced in half
- 3/4 cup feta cheese
- 3 large eggs-whisked
- salt, pepper, parsley, oregano and basil to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Start by coating a large oven-proof skillet with olive oil to prevent vegetables from sticking to the pan. Be sure to have the phyllo dough thawed before use in order to prevent the thin sheets from breaking. Next, heat your skillet to medium-high heat and saute zucchini for 5 minutes to soften, remove from pan. Carefully layer the phyllo dough on the bottom of the skillet. Be sure to handle the sheets with care as they tend to rip easily. Overlap each piece of dough and leave half hanging over the side of the skillet. Add the zucchini to the skillet, covering the phyllo completely. Add the tomatoes and feta cheese on top of the zucchini. Season to your liking. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and pour on top of the vegetables. Bake the pie for 20-minutes until the eggs are set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil and more feta cheese before serving.
Tomato, Cucumber, Mozzarella Salad
Bright tomatoes mixed with fresh cucumbers, creamy mozzarella, hearty chickpeas and a hint of pesto make for a perfectly refreshing salad.
- 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 can of chickpeas
- 1/4 diced red onion
- 1 English cucumber (seedless), skinned and cubed
- 6 small mozzarella balls, halved
- 1/4 cup balsamic glaze or balsamic vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 teaspoons good basil pesto
- salt, pepper and fresh basil to taste
First, rinse and drain the chickpeas. Next, add the tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, chickpeas and mozzarella to a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle balsamic glaze or vinaigrette over the combined ingredients. A little goes a long way, so be sure not to over dress the salad! After the ingredients are incorporated, garnish with a few dollops of pesto, a rough chop of fresh basil and serve room temperature or cold.
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