Summer is the time of year to break out the swimsuits and enjoy some much needed vitamin D. While many people resort to dieting and cutting calories during this time of year, this usually doesn’t end up working and will only lead to hunger and frustration. Instead, eating balanced, nutritious meals is the key to getting in shape (along with some added exercise).
Two of my go-to summer recipes are Grilled Chicken Parmesan and Grilled Summer Squash Packets. These dishes are tried and true favorites that have been served to friends and family on multiple occasions, and they even go well together! Full of fresh, healthy ingredients, they are perfect for a warm summer night on the patio.
The Grilled Chicken Parmesan recipe is a much simpler and healthier version of traditional chicken parmesan that still tastes great. It can be paired with a side of zucchini and squash or whole wheat pasta.
Grilled Chicken Parmesan
Serves: 8 people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
10 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 jars of pasta sauce (preferably low-sodium versions)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1. Trim any fat off of chicken breasts. If chicken breasts are large, cut into 4-5 ounce pieces that are even throughout for even grilling.
2. Place chicken directly on a hot grill and sprinkle each chicken breast with garlic, onion and black pepper.
3. Cook chicken until cooked throughout and chicken is browned.
4. Take chicken off the grill and place on a nonstick baking sheet.
5. Top with about 1 tablespoon pasta sauce, cheddar and pepper jack cheese.
6. Turn the broiler on high and broil chicken for about 4 minutes or until cheese is melted.
This next recipe can be made with whichever vegetables you like the most. It can be made with many different sauces as well. The key is to keep the packet of vegetables sealed so that the flavors meld together and so cooking time is sped up. Vegetables are low in calories and rich in vitamins and fiber so serve yourself a big portion to accompany a lean protein for a healthy, filling meal. I like them with a grilled piece of salmon or grilled chicken.
Grilled Summer Squash Packets
2 small-medium summer squash sliced
1 small-medium zucchini sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
1/2 large onion, sliced
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Combine all ingredients on aluminum foil and create a "packet"- fold all sides up.
2. Place packet on hot grill.
3. Let packet of vegetables cook for about 5-8 minutes on each side (check a couple of times that it is not sticking or burning).
4. Vegetables are done once they are soft.
*Amanda Hernandez is a paid spokesperson for Balance Bar.Check out more blog posts from Amanda here.