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There are some days during the hot summer months when turning on your oven is the last thing you want to do. Take advantage of this impulse to make a healthy option for dinner. Turn on the BBQ and cook skewer made with vegetables, pineapple and chicken. You can also add vegetables like: corn, potatoes, green peppers and onions to pork chops, steak, chicken, steak, salmon or turkey burgers (use 100% whole wheat bun). Cut up some fresh fruit from the season: peaches, watermelon, plums or mango to complete the meal. Also use the long days and the heat to make meals more fun. Sit outside to eat or pack up and go to a park or beach. Bring water to drink. Don't forget playing cards, baseball mitts and balls, volleyballs, or beach balls for after dinner play and family bonding. Here's to enjoying your summer nights with your family and possibly your neighbors. Caesar Salad By Jennifer Nelson, MS, RD, CDE Ingredients:  Large bowlful of lettuce (about 3 quarts of romaine, spinach or other dark leafy greens)  2 to 4 ounces parmesan cheese  2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning (thyme, oregano, basil)  1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil  Juice of ½ to 1 lemon (2 to 4 Tablespoons)  Salt and pepper to taste  2 to 4 fresh garlic cloves (try 2 at first), minced Directions: 1. Toss all ingredients together. Whole wheat croutons (optional): Toast whole wheat bread. Cut in cubes. Sautee in pan with olive oil – add seasonings such as garlic or garlic powder. For protein add in some leftover chicken, shrimp or fish! Serves 4-6 people. Fruit Smoothies Ingredients:  1 banana (frozen or room temperature)  ¼ cup Frozen Cantaloupe or Strawberries  ¼ cup Frozen Blackberries or Berry Mix  ½ cup nonfat milk  1 tablespoon plain nonfat yogurt Directions: 1. Put all ingredients in the blender. Blend for a minute. Make sure to check the blender for piece of fruit that might be stuck. 2. Pour in to glass and enjoy. Fruit Yogurt Pops Ingredients:  2 Cups Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt  ½ Cup Frozen berries (thawed)  ½ Frozen Mango (thawed)  10 Popsicle Sticks  10 Small Paper Cups Directions: 1. Place one cup of yogurt in a bowl and the other cup of yogurt in a separate bowl. 2. Puree berries and place in one cup of yogurt. Puree mango and place in the other bowl of yogurt. 3. Fill up paper cups half way with berry mixture and the other half with mango mixture. 4. Place the cups in freezer for 1 hour. Place popsicle sticks in yogurt at the end of the 1 hour and freeze for another hour until frozen. 5. Remove the popsicle from the cup by warming the outside of the cup with your hand or hot water. Great treat for a hot day! Serves 10 Guacamole Ingredients:  4 ripe avocados  2 limes  ½ cup chopped red onion  1 chopped tomato  ¼ cup chopped cilantro  Salt and Pepper to taste  Yellow corn tortilla chips Directions: 1. Place avocados in a large bowl. Smash avocados with the back of a fork. Squeeze lime juice over avocados. 2. Add onion, tomato and cilantro to avocado mixture and combine, season with salt and pepper to taste. 3. Serve with yellow corn tortilla chips Homemade Cilantro Hummus in a bag Ingredients:  1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)  2 tablespoons chopped cilantro  ½ lemon  Salt and pepper  1 tablespoon olive oil  Ziploc bag (sandwich size)  100% whole wheat pita chips Directions: 1. Mix garbanzo beans, cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a Ziploc baggie. 2. Smash beans with the palm of your hand or blend in a blender until beans are broken and it becomes semi-smooth. 3. Serve with 100% whole wheat pita chips or whole grain crackers (<a href="">Ak-Mak</a> or <a href="">Triscuits</a>) and carrot sticks, celery sticks, jicama or cucumber Serves 4-6 Corn and Bean Dip Ingredients:  1 Can corn  1 Can black beans  2 tomatoes  1 bunch cilantro  juice of 1 lime  Salt and pepper taste Directions: 1. Drain black beans and corn in a colander and rinse with water. 2. Dice tomato in small pieces and chop cilantro. 3. Combine the drained black beans and corn with the tomatoes and cilantro. 4. Juice lime and season with salt and pepper to taste. 5. Serve with 100% corn tortilla chips.


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