A red grill sitting in the grass next to a white fence.

Neighborhood Cookout — Two Menus

Two 20-minute summer menus that will impress

Got 20 minutes? Then you have what it takes to pull off these healthy summer menus that are sure to impress and delight your family, your coworkers, your neighbors – whoever is coming to dinner.

Pro tip: Set aside a small amount of prep time before your company arrives and you’ll be able to sip wine with everyone and chat instead of being tied to the kitchen chopping and mixing.

Summer Night Menu #1

  • Grilled white fish
  • Grilled cauliflower garbanzo dish
  • Asian chopped salad
  • Bowl of berries for dessert

Meal Preparation
We love a good throw-together delicious meal. This one is easy enough to make on a weeknight, but tasty enough to serve to friends on the patio for a weekend barbecue.

Grilled White Fish
Marinate the fish (a white flaky fish works well here: cod, halibut, etc.) For time’s sake, I used Soy Vay’s gluten-free Veri Veri Teriyaki (purchased at Safeway). After the cauliflower comes off the grill, add the fish on a grill plate. Grill until opaque and no longer see-through.

Grilled Cauliflower and Garbanzos
Modified from It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow

1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and dried
1 head of cauliflower, outer leaves removed and discarded, cut into bite-sized florets
3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
Coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

Since I’m not turning on the oven these days, I made this on the grill. Grill veggies on high (350-400 degrees). Toss chickpeas and cauliflower together in a large roasting pan with three tablespoons olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Grill, stirring now and then, until everything is dark brown and the cauliflower is quite soft, about 20 minutes.

While veggies are cooking, chop parsley and combine stone ground mustard, olive oil and wine vinegar. When veggies are done, combine.

Asian Chopped Salad
1 large cucumber, chopped
1 medium avocado, chopped
2 cups snap peas, chopped
4 large radishes, chopped
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Quick Asian vinaigrette: (2 tbsp mirin rice vinegar, 3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari and 3 tbsp neutral oil like avocado or grapeseed oil). Chop cucumber, radishes, snap peas and avocado into small pieces (about ½ inch). Toss with sesame seeds and Asian vinaigrette.

It’s BERRY season! Toss strawberries, blackberries and blueberries in a bowl. That’s it. They are delicious as is. If you are feeling more, you can add coconut whipped cream (bought, or made with coconut cream whipped with cinnamon, vanilla and 1 tbsp of maple syrup).

Summer Night Menu #2

  • Grilled chicken breast
  • Blistered green beans with almonds and lemon zest
  • Mediterranean chopped salad (for vegetarian or vegan, add sunflower seeds and garbanzo beans for a complete protein, skip the chicken)
  • Cut up melon for dessert

Meal Preparation
Classic, fresh summer flavors come together for this simple crowd-pleasing dinner.

Grilled Chicken
Spice blend:
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Cut chicken breast into pieces to your liking. Spread spice mixture onto both sides. Let sit for a few minutes and then grill.

Blistered Green Beans
In a sauté pan, add 2 tbsp olive oil and heat lightly. Add 1 clove minced garlic and washed green beans. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the beans are cooked to al dente and slightly browned. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with ¼ cup of pan-toasted slivered almonds. Finish with a spritz of lemon and a tsp of lemon zest.

Mediterranean Chopped Salad
Modified from Jennifer Segal

1 cup grape tomatoes
1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced
1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Fresh herbs: a handful of mint, oregano and/or basil

Lemon Vinaigrette:
6 tbsp fresh lemon juice (approximately 2-3 lemons)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine all salad ingredients and then all dressing ingredients. Toss salad with dressing.

Cut up melon (watermelon and honeydew or cantaloupe). It’s sweet enough as is and is cold and refreshing after dinner.

Use these recipes and other Healthy Nest favorites to keep energy levels up this summer. For more info on feeling your best through smarter food choices,contact our holistic nutritionists. It’s a personal puzzle, but we can assist in figuring out what’s best for your body.

Book a free 20-minute consultation with Healthy Nest Nutrition owner Robin Hutchinson to see if our programs are right for you.