Easy, Refreshing, Produce-Filled Summertime Dinners

I'm sure loving the cool, refreshing summer dinners
 I'm making with our organic, non-GMO, local produce from Harvest2U!

If you're local to Southern California, hopefully you've taken 
advantage of their generous offer I posted about a few weeks ago?  
You can almost get a FREE produce box!  The link is also below.

Here are some of my favorite and easy dishes we've been enjoying, 
because no one wants to be in a hot kitchen in the summer!

By the way, you'll notice I rarely list recipes in "proper" form, with 

quantities and detailed instructions, because I find that tends to make folks think a 
recipe won't work without each specific thing, which is so far from the truth!   
I apologize to A-types :)  My approach may be too loosey-goosey for you...
but I encourage you to experiment and supplement items...
the on-the-fly-with-whatever-is-in-the-fridge meals usually 
create delicious new things!

Mozzarella + Basil + Tomato

Easiest. Dish. Ever.  

Place all on a plate, drizzle with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar (we are loving our Temecula Olive Oil Company's Fresh Basil Olive Oil and Fresh Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar!), and a dash of sea salt, and enjoy!

Tuna or Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Make your tuna or chicken salad, adding whatever produce you may have:  diced onion, carrot, celery, fennel leaf or root, dill, parsley, pickles, cucumber, salt and pepper.  Plop a big scoop on a plate along with a pile of big lettuce leaves and voila!  Tuna / chicken salad wraps!

Spinach + Apple + Cheese + Walnut Salad 

Whole spinach leaves, chunks of apple and walnuts, and any cheese makes a quick, easy delicious dish!  I love goat cheese on it, or any hard cheese like pecorino or manchego.  Toss on some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper.  Deconstruct it and put each item in its own little dish for the kiddos to pick at!  

Kale + Caramelized Onion + Walnut + Sunflower Seed + Dried Cranberries + Pomegranate Seed Salad

Wash that kale well, hopefully tossing the water in your yard / garden, and then toss it all by hand with some olive oil, vinegar, sea salt and pepper, or your fave dressing, so that your fingers soften up the stiff kale.  

Spinach Salad

Chopped spinach, hard-boiled egg, crumbled cooked bacon, and caramelized red onion tossed with a basic oil and vinegar dressing to which we like to add a spoonful of bacon grease...yum!

Kale Chip + Quinoa Bowl 

Prepare your quinoa in rice cooker or stovetop (I like to use my homemade chicken broth instead of water).  Toss your washed, torn kale in a big bowl with a couple tablespoons of melted coconut oil, some sea salt and whatever other spices you like (paprika, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt).  Spread in one layer on a baking sheet (I like to cover with parchment paper for easy clean-up) and put in oven on Lo Broil.  

Watch it CLOSELY as it can quickly burn!  

It only needs about 4 minutes or so to get nice and crispy.  My kids gobble the kale chips up right off the pan but I like to put some in a bowl with a scoop of quinoa smothered in grass-fed butter (or Kerrygold butter is wonderful!).  

Easy Naan + Veggie Pizza 

I recently bought a 12-pack of La Brea Bakery's Naan Bread at Costco, and threw it in the freezer.  When the mood strikes for a quick, easy pizza / flatbread, I take out a few pieces, and invite the kids to a pizza-making party!  Super handy for those nights when we have extra friends and neighbors over swimming!  We coat them with any sauce we have available (pizza sauce, marinara sauce, plain tomato sauce, pesto, even plain olive oil with sea salt!), sprinkle on any cheese we have, and let each person go to town topping their personal pizzas with whatever veggies we have on hand:  spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, caramelized fennel or onion, thin summer squash slices, artichoke hearts, the sky is not even the limit!   

Bake at 400 until the cheese is bubbly and edges getting crispy.

What are some of your favorite, easy, summertime dishes?  I'd love some new ideas, so please share!

Want to take some time off from cooking this summer?   Check out EAT@Home, Harvest2U and EAT Marketplace's farm-to-plate meal delivery program (with free delivery!) showcasing their organic, non-GMO local produce and meats.  

And be sure to check out my post on Harvest2U to grab their coupon code for a very-generous $25 off a produce box...that will almost get you a FREE box!   

Happy lazy, popsicle-filled summer days to you!  

Love + light ~



  1. Such amazing ideas for summertime dinners! Thanks a lot for sharing photos here. Well, we have been looking for some outdoor venues in Los Angeles for hosting a summer family party. I would like to host DIY party in this year. Please dear, help me regarding this.

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