Nitika Chopra is a certified life coach, wellness entrepreneur, go-to resource for young women around the globe, and a motivational lifestyle guru.
6 Super Healthy (and Delish!) Summer Recipes
Summer is in full swing which means the backyard potlucks and beach front picnics are all anyone can think about right now. Whether you’ve been invited to a special gathering or you’re hosting your own, I wanted to curate some delicious recipes that are not only healthy, but taste amazing.
As you probably know by now, I’m not the best in the kitchen. So I’ve called on three of my favorite healthy chefs to inspire us all. See below for the dishes that will have people thinking about what you brought for the rest of the year.
Amie Valpone, author of Eating Clean: Detox, Fight Inflammation, Reset Your Body, and Get to the Root Cause of Illness
I met Amie years ago and trust me when I say her enthusiasm and passion for living a healthy lifestyle is palpable from the moment she says “OMG hi!” It oozes from every recipe in her book, these are two of my faves.
Sunrise Nori Wraps with Spicy Tahini Drizzle
If you like California rolls, you’ll love these nori wraps (though personally, I think they’re so much better!).The tahini dressing is truly addictive—you’re going to want to dress everything in it—and the cabbage provides a nice crunch. If possible, use a food processor to slice the cabbage so you can get it super thin. Also, make sure the vegetable strips are all the same width and length so that they don’t hang over the edges of the nori sheets; this will make rolling up the wraps easier. Use leftover tahini drizzle as a dressing for salads or as a dip for crudités.
4 nori seaweed sheets¼ small head red cabbage, very thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
1 small yellow summer squash, julienned
1 small cucumber, julienned
1 large ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
Spicy Tahini Drizzle
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ¼ tablespoons chickpea miso paste
1 tablespoon raw tahini
2 medjool dates, pitted
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Water, as needed to thin the drizzle
Place the nori sheets on a flat surface. Divide the cabbage, carrot, squash, cucumber, and avocado among the sheets. Top each pile of vegetables with a heaping tablespoon of the Spicy Tahini Drizzle, and then roll up the nori sheets into a tube shape.Make the tahini: Combine all of the ingredients except the water in a blender. Blend, adding water 1 teaspoon at a time as you go, until the mixture becomes a thin sauce.
Golden Bell Pepper Soup
Serves 6 to 8
Dipping your spoon into this bell pepper–sweet potato combo is like dipping into a bowl of sunshine. It’s stunning—and the perfect antidote to a gloomy winter’s day. This soup also freezes well, so if you’re not serving a crowd, store the leftovers for a later date (or make a double batch).
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ small onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 yellow, red and/or orange bell peppers, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3 teaspoon finely chopped fresh marjoram
1 recipe Gluten-Free Herbed Croutons, for garnish
Sliced avocado, for garnish; optional
Finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish; optional
Drizzle Seriously Sensational Sriracha Sauce, for garnish; optional
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and a pinch of salt and blackpepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook until soft,about 6 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and broth. Season with salt and black pepper, cover the pot,and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and add the marjoram. Simmer until the vegetables are tender,about 20 minutes.Let the soup cool slightly, and then, in batches, transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. If needed,thin the soup with water. Adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper if necessary. Return the soup to the pot to keep warm until serving. Serve garnished with the Herbed Croutons and, if desired, the avocado and cilantro on top.
Robyn Youkilis, author of Go with Your Gut
You’ve heard me talk about my girl Robyn from time to time. And I just couldn’t have a recipe roundup without including her gut friendly dishes. Here are two of my favorites from her cookbook.
Perfect Detox Salad
1 cups uncooked quinoa (or 2 cups salad greens)
1 daikon radish, grated
2 carrots, grated
½ to 1 cup mix of micro greens and/or sprouts of any kind
1/2 bunch fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped or torn
1 avocado, diced
Handful of raw sunflower seeds
Juice of 1 lemon, preferably Meyer
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Drain and use it warm or refrigerate it until cold depending on your preference.
- To make the salad, combine all the ingredients and serve immediately!
Good Gut Gummies
Servings depends on size and shape cut
1 cup frozen blueberries or raspberries (or a mix of the two)
¾ cup fresh lemon or lime juice (or a mix of the two)
2 to 3 teaspoons honey (generally 2 for adults, 3 for kids)
¼ cup unflavored[?] Great Lakes Gelatin
- Add the berries to a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir the berries, and allow them to cook until the liquid is steaming and the berries are plump, about 6-10 minutes.
- Place the lemon juice, honey and berries into a high-speed blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Remove the lid, and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- Add the gelatin to the blender, and blend again until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into candy molds, or a 9 x 9-inch baking dish, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Once the gummies have set remove them from the molds or slice them into desired shapes and store in refrigerator.
McKel Hill, founder of Nutrition Stripped
As soon as you hop on over to McKel’s uber popular site, Nutrition Stripped, you’ll understand why I am so obsessed with everything she does. She’s got a knack
for making healthy living look not only effortless, but oh-so chic. So excited that she has a new book coming out this fall. Here’s a sneak peek.
Raw Cheesecake Parfait from the NS Society
Think yogurt parfait mixed with a cheesecake…only healthy, dairy-free so everyone can enjoy, and loaded with healthy fats that help curb your appetite.
Makes 4 servings
For the filling:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
1 cup canned full fat organic coconut milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 pitted dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of sea salt
For the crust:
½ cup rolled oats, coarsely ground
1 cup sunflower seeds, coarsely ground
½ cup maple syrup
Topping: fresh sliced strawberries, bananas, or any other fresh fruit you enjoy
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor coarsely grind oats and sunflower seeds- you don’t want to create fine flour, just roughly processed to create a crumb texture. Mix this with the maple syrup and transfer to a lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Take out of the oven and let cool completely.
- In a clean food processor or blender (I use the Vitamix), blend all ingredients for the “filling” until smooth. You’ll be left with a creamy filling and adjust sweetness to taste by adding more maple syrup if desired.
- You can easily make this into a traditional parfait using a tall glass or “martini-style” glass or simply do this layering in a bowl. Start by adding the “crust” at the bottom, followed by the filling and repeat. Top with fresh sliced strawberries or any fruit you enjoy.
- Store leftover “crust” in an airtight container at room temperature and the filling in an airtight container in the fridge.
Green Matcha Smoothie Bowl from the Nutrition Stripped Cookbook
Recipe type: smoothie
Prep time: 10 min
Total time : 10 min
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups fresh organic spinach
1 cup chopped frozen zucchini
1 cup frozen mango
2-4 pitted Medjool dates, adjust to sweetness
2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder
Juice of ½ a lemon
Pinch of sea salt
GARNISH: shredded coconut, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, goji berries, fresh sliced banana or other fruits, raw pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, etc.
In a high-speed blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. The smoothie should be thick and creamy, if it’s too thin to eat with a spoon add ice or add additional frozen mango or frozen zucchini. Adjust dates to desired sweetness or using stevia extract as desired for a lower sugar option.
To serve: Garnish top of the bowl with your favorite toppings and serve immediately.
To make this smoothie lower in sugar, use stevia to sweeten instead of dates. Adjust to taste. Keep frozen chopped zucchini in your freezer at all times for an easy smoothie to make in under 10 minutes.
Is your mouth watering yet? I’d love to hear which recipes were a “hell yes” for you. And if you have any favorites of your own, please share them too!