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FOODWISE: Healthy Summer Entertaining

Mango Salsa.
Mango Salsa. - Contributed

By Terry Daley, RD 

Summer is all about outdoor entertaining with family and friends. To keep your lifestyle goals on track, discover creative and healthy dishes to try at your next backyard get-together. 

Aim to give your summertime salads a tasty and healthy twist. Sweeten up a salad by adding fresh fruit, or try a watermelon and tomato salad with a tangy vinaigrette. Add green beans, cucumbers or cauliflower (or all three) to traditional potato salad, and use greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise. Make a simple caprese salad with tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, balsamic vinegar and olive oil - or shake it up by substituting beets for the tomatoes or adding strawberries. For pasta salads, switch up your usual recipe – use whole grain pasta, and try an olive oil vinaigrette instead of a typical mayonnaise-based dressing.

For grilling, think outside of burgers and hot dogs – not that there’s anything wrong with the occasional burger, but there are so many other healthy and flavourful grilling options like fish, chicken and even tofu! Top any of these with a fresh tomato or fruit salsa, like the Mango Salsa recipe below, to take your meal to the next level. Peaches or nectarines would also work well in this recipe! Make your own marinades to increase flavour without the sodium content of many prepared barbeque sauces. Skewers are also a fun way to switch things up on the BBQ – they are a good way to help you keep your protein portions in check, as well as adding more veggies to your plate. 

We mustn’t forget summertime desserts! Grilling isn’t just for the main course. Simply grill fresh fruit such as peaches or pineapple slices and serve with a dollop of greek yogurt and drizzle of maple syrup. Fresh fruit salads can be a simple star of the show by adding a squeeze of lime juice, zest, and drizzle of honey to your favourite fruit combination. Berry crisps and shortcake are also delicious summertime staples using the fresh fruit in season. 

This summer try cooking more for your family and friends, and discover what’s in season in your area and in-store. Incorporating fresh, local ingredients in your dishes is a surefire way to shake things up, and the warmer weather is a perfect excuse to bring loved ones together for a meal. 

Mango Salsa 
Ingredients:
1  ripe mango, peeled and diced
1/3 cup (75 mL)  diced red onion
Half   sweet red pepper
2 tbsp (25 mL)  chopped fresh cilantro 
2 tbsp (25 mL)  PC Seasoned Rice Vinegar

Instructions:

1.    In bowl, stir together mango, red onions, red peppers, coriander and vinegar. Let stand for 30 minutes for flavours to develop.
2.    Makes about 2 cups (500 mL).

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 20 calories, fat 0.1 g, sodium 12 mg, carbohydrate 4 g, fibre 1 g, protein 0.2 g

Recipe source: pc.ca

Terry Daley is a Registered Dietitian with Atlantic Superstore in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. 

Do you have a nutrition health goal in mind? The Atlantic Superstore dietitian team can coach you to success! Set up a personalized appointment at bookadietitian.ca or email us for more information at dietitian@loblaw.ca. Dietitian services are also available for schools, business and community groups!

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