Cooking with summer jewels

June is national frozen yogurt month. It is also national fruit and vegetables month, and berries are in season. Now is the time to play with new healthy recipes, our food experts say.



    Freshen Up Your Diet With Summer Produce Revising your daily menu is easier in summer, because fresh produce tastes so good.  “One could be saying I really would rather have berries than a cupcake,” says Robyn Webb, a nutritionist, culinary instructor and the author of several cookbooks.


    MangoLassi Click here for the mango lassi recipe. Made from yogurt, water and mango pulp, mango lassi originated in India and Pakistan, and became a world favorite.  It is served in a tall glass with a straw, often with ground pistachio nuts sprinkled on top. "A delicious and refreshing breakfast drink," says Chris Follari, director of culinary services at Sodexo. "And it only takes minutes to make."  


    Evening Mango Lassi  Mixed with ice cream, mango lassi also makes an indulging non-alcoholic evening cocktail.  It's widely popular in Canada, Great Britain, Malaysia, Singapore and other parts of the world. 


    Strawberry Fields Forever Salad  Click here for the Strawberry Fields Forever recipe. A great spring and summer salad served when strawberries are at the peak of ripeness. Crispy greens combined with sweet berries, crunch walnuts and sharp blue cheese lightly finished with a special dressing of creamy yogurt and poppy seeds. "Berkshire blue cheese from Western Massachusetts is really good," says Follari, "but any blue cheese would do, like Gorgonzola and Maytag Blue."  


    Tomato Cucumber Relish A relish is a cooked, pickled, or chopped vegetable or fruit food item used as a condiment, especially to enhance a staple. Locally grown tomatoes and cucumbers taste great in salads, but they can also serve as fresh tasty condiments to other dishes.


    Tomato Cucumber Relish as a side dish A bit of the yellow lemon zest, mint and basil helps sharpen the taste. "Don't toss it, just mix it," Follari suggests. "Otherwise you'll lose all the centers out of the tomatoes and they starts to fall apart.”   


    Seared Salmon with Tomato Cucumber Relish Click here for the seared salmon recipe Easy to make, this cucumber, tomato and herb relish makes a healthy and tasty topping for steamed salmon, adding flavor and charm to the everyday dish. “Always build your meals around vegetables,” Webb suggests.  


    Balsamic Marinated Strawberries with Vanilla Black pepper Frozen Yogurt Click here for the balsamic strawberries and black pepper recipe Strawberries and black pepper is not something you think of in a typical dessert. “Works well!” says Follari who suggests to try this special rare recipe. “Give it a shot.”  
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