One perfect hamburger recipe. Check. One versatile salad dish. Check. One crowd-pleasing dessert. Check. Believe it or not, these dishes are all you need to create a memorable backyard cookout or summer picnic. To round out your meal, simply add a few other barbecue staples, such as beverages and snacks of your choice, a raw veggie tray, corn on the cob, and potato salad.
A foolproof way to create great- tasting summer meals is to focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. "Foods that are in season have the most flavor, most nutrition, and are the least expensive-win-win-win!" says Chef Nathan Lyon, the host of Good Food America (on Veria Living) and co-host of Growing a Greener World (on PBS). "The best part about cooking in the warm summer months is that all of the great produce on offer, namely fruit, is best prepared in salads, cold soups, juices, smoothies, etc., so there's no need to sweat in the kitchen."
Here, Lyon shares two crowd-pleasing recipes that capture the essence and flavors of summer, not to mention feature local, seasonal ingredients. Both are excerpted from his book Great Food Starts Fresh.
- Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
- Grilled Hamburger with Tomato Mostarda, Arugula, and Blue Cheese
- Tomato Mostarda
- Pistachio Crusted Orange and Dark Chocolate Cookies
More About Chef Nathan Lyon
Learn more about Chef Nathan Lyon at chefnathanlyon.com. There, you'll find new recipes and other cooking tips, and you can also order a copy of Great Food Starts Fresh, which was named one of the top 10 cookbooks of 2012 by The Washington Post. The beautifully photographed recipes in Lyon's book are organized into five seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter ... and chocolate!
Join the Gluten-Free Revolution
"My way of healthy living stems from the idea that there is not a one-size-fits-all prescription for achieving total wellness," says Caroline Shannon-Karasik, author of The Gluten-Free Revolution and creator of the popular blog, The G-Spot Revolution. Her book reflects this core philosophy-that simple, whole foods are the foundation of a healthy, flexible diet. "I approach gluten-free living as an entire lifestyle and not simply a dietary change," she adds. Her recipes, many of which are not just gluten-free but also vegan, nut-free, and/or soy-free, are designed to help people find delicious meals that work for them. Visit carolineshannon.com to learn more.
Want a gluten-free burger? Simply swap out regular hamburger buns for Udi's Gluten Free Classic Hamburger Buns (or another brand).