No summer cookout is complete without tasty appetizers, side dishes, and desserts. So we asked our amazing Pietra Fitness instructors to share with us their favorite summer recipes.

Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, heading out for a picnic, or in need of a dish to pass, these nine easy and delicious dishes from their kitchens will appeal to everyone’s taste buds.

1. Crisp Cucumber Salsa

from Elizabeth Deutsch

Crisp Cucumber Salsa
 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups finely chopped, seeded, and peeled cucumber
  • ½ cup finely chopped, seeded tomato
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 ½ tsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tsp lime juice
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp seasoned salt
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions

  • Step 1: In a small bowl, combine cucumber, tomato, red onion, parsley, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, and garlic.
  • Step 2: In another bowl, combine sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin, and seasoned salt.
  • Step 3: Pour sour cream mixture over cucumber mixture and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.

2. Guacamole

from Jill Alt

 

Ingredients

  • 5 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ large red onion, chopped
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • 1-2 lemons squeezed
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • Tortilla chips, for serving
  • Veggies (carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, celery, chopped bell peppers), for serving

Directions

  • Step 1: In a medium bowl, mash avocados with a fork or spoon until they reach desired consistency. (This guacamole tastes great chunky or smooth.)
  • Step 2: Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Serve with chips or veggies. 
 

Nutritional Information (per 110g serving): Calories 127; Fat 10.6g; Net Carbohydrates 3.7g; Protein 1.9g

3. Broccoli Salad Supreme

from Tekla Bedwell

Broccoli Salad Supreme

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Chill Time: 2–4 hours

Serves: 4–6

 

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch fresh broccoli
  • ½ pound bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
  • ½ medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sunflower kernels
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions

  • Step 1: Cut broccoli florets and tender stalks into bite-size pieces. Discard woody stems. 
  • Step 2: In a large bowl, combine broccoli, bacon, red onion, sunflower kernels, raisins, and mushrooms.
  • Step 3: In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. 
  • Step 4: Pour mayonnaise mixture over broccoli mixture and toss gently. Chill 2–4 hours before serving.
  • 4. Corn-tastic Salad

    from Fran Kendall

    Corn-tastic Salad

    Total Time: 20 minutes

    Serves: 4

     

    Ingredients

    Salad

    • 1 tbsp butter, melted
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • 2–3 ears of corn
    • 8 cups loosely packed (5 ounces) arugula
    • 4 ounces pecans, coarsely chopped
    • 4 ounces feta, crumbled
    • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped, seeds and veins removed 

    Dressing

    • Juice from 1 lime
    • 3 tbsp EVOO
    • Salt and pepper, to taste

    Directions

    • Step 1: In a small bowl, combine melted butter, EVOO, salt, and pepper. Whisk until blended.
    • Step 2: Shuck corn. and brush with butter mixture. Grill until corn has a little bit of color, about 8–10 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then cut corn off the cob.
    • Step 3: In a large bowl, combine arugula, ⅔ of pecans, feta, jalapeño, and corn. 
    • Step 4: In a small bowl, combine lime juice, 3 tbsp EVOO, salt, and pepper. Drizzle over the salad and toss. Adjust dressing to taste. Top with remaining pecans, and serve.
    • 5. Mandarin Orange and Spinach Pasta Salad

      from Mary Beth McClain

      Mandarin Orange and Spinach Pasta
       

      Ingredients

      Salad

      • 8 ounces farfalle pasta
      • 10 ounce bag baby spinach (or any leafy green), stems removed
      • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
      • ⅓ cup walnuts or sliced almonds
      • 4 ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained
      • Optional Add-ins:
      • Grilled chicken
      • Chopped cilantro
      • Chopped basil
      • Chopped green onions

      Dressing

      • ½ cup teriyaki sauce and marinade
      • ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
      • ½ cup vegetable oil

      Directions

      • Step 1: Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, and set aside.
      • Step 2: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for dressing and whisk until blended. 
      • Step 3: In a large bowl, combine pasta, spinach, dried cranberries, walnuts (or almonds), oranges, and any option add-ins.Drizzle dressing over top, and toss to coat. 
       

      Adapted from motherthyme.com

      6. Cold Bean Salad

      from Betsy Hoyt

       

      Ingredients

      • ¼ cup raw sugar (or coconut sugar)
      • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
      • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or vegetable oil
      • 1 tsp kosher salt
      • 1 tsp paprika
      • 2 14.5 ounce cans of French style green beans, rinsed and drained
      • 2 15.5 ounce cans of black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
      • 2 15.5 ounce cans of petit green peas, rinsed and drained
      • 1 4 ounce jars of pimentos, drained
      • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced (about 1 cup)
      • 16 ounce package of frozen shoepeg corn, thawed
      • 1 green bell pepper, diced
      • 1 cup diced celery

      Directions

      • Step 1: In a small saucepan, combine sugar, apple cider vinegar, oil, salt, and paprika. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves (about 5 minutes). 
      • Step 2: Remove saucepan from heat, and let stand for at least 30 minutes to cool.
      • Step 3: In a large bowl, stir together green beans, black-eyed peas, green peas, pimentos, onions, corn, bell pepper, and celery. Gently stir in dressing. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours.
      • Step 4: Serve chilled with a slotted spoon.

      7. Thai Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs and Lime Vinaigrette

      from Jocelyne Furtado

      Thai Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs and Lime Vinaigrette

      Total Time: 30 minutes

      Serves: 2 as main course, 4 as side salad

       

      Ingredients

      Salad

      • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed or pre-washed
      • ½ tsp salt
      • 1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size strips
      • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
      • 1 English cucumber seeded and diced
      • 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
      • ¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
      • 2 tbsp freshly chopped mint or basil (optional)

      Dressing

      • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice from 3–4 limes
      • 2 ½ tsp Asian fish sauce
      • 1 ½ tbsp vegetable oil
      • 2 tbsp sugar
      • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (use less for less heat)

      Directions

      • Step 1: In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa, salt, and 1 ⅔ cups water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked. (The quinoa is done when the little “tails” sprout from the grains. If necessary, add 1-2 tbsp more of water if the quinoa isn’t cooked by the time the liquid is absorbed.) Transfer quinoa to a serving bowl and let cool in the refrigerator.
      • Step 2: In the meantime, make the dressing. In a medium bowl, combine lime juice, fish sauce, vegetable oil, sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes. Whisk until sugar is dissolved.
      • Step 3: Once the quinoa is cool, add the red bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, scallions, fresh herbs, and dressing. Toss well and taste, adjusting the seasoning by adding more salt, sugar, or lime juice if necessary. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Store in the refrigerator for up to six days. 

      Nutritional Information (per serving, 4 servings): Calories 263; Fat 8g; Saturated fat 1g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 603mg; Carbohydrates 42g; Fiber 5g; Sugar 10g; Protein 7g

      Adapted fromonceuponachef.com

      8. Grab ‘n’ Go Healthy Energy Bites

      from Jill Alt

      Healthy Energy Bites

      Total Time: 20 minutes

      Makes: 15 bites

       

      Ingredients

      • 1 cup gluten free oats, ground into a flour
      • ½ cup almond butter or peanut butter
      • ½ cup ground flaxseed
      • ½ cup mini chocolate chips or raw cacoa nibs
      • ⅓ cup honey
      • 1 tbsp chia seeds
      • 1 tsp vanilla

      Directions

      • Step 1: In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and stir.
      • Step 2: Using your hands, roll the dough into 15 balls. Refrigerate for 15–20 minutes, or until ready to eat. Store in the refrigerator or freezer for up to a week. 

      Nutritional Information (per bite): Calories 177; Fat 9.8g; Net Carbohydrates 18.2g; Protein 4g

      9. Mama’s Cold Press Iced Mocha

      from Elizabeth Deutsch

      Iced Mocha

      Serves: 16

       

      Ingredients

      • 1 quart coffee concentrate, such as SToK
      • 1 quart whole milk
      • 1 cup whipping cream
      • 1 cup Hershey’s syrup
      • Whipped cream (optional)
      • Cocoa powder (optional)

      Directions

      • Step 1: In a large pitcher, combine coffee concentrate, milk, whipping cream, and Hershey’s syrup. Stir well. 
      • Step 2: To serve, fill each large glass to the top with ice. Add mocha and top with whipped cream and cocoa powder.
       
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      Photo Credits: Crisp Cucumber Salsa: homemadefoodjunkie.com; Guacamole: delish.com; Broccoli Salad Supreme: allrecipes.com; Corn-tastic Salad: maplemacaroni.blogspot.com; Mandarin Orange and Spinach Pasta Salad: motherthyme.com; Thai Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs and Lime Vinaigrette: onceuponachef.com; Grab ‘n’ Go Healthy Energy Bites: chefsavvy.com; Mama’s Cold Press Iced Mocha: foodiebaker.com

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