Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Healthy Summer Side Dishes

Today I'm excited to share some special summer recipe ideas from guest blogger Meredith Kimelblatt. This post is just in time for the warmer weather, and all of her ideas are especially great accompaniments to any main dish cooked on the grill. Cooking is a constant challenge for me; I must have a recipe to follow... and I think the spicy coleslaw below is calling my name :)

Make Your Summer Sides Go Further!

Summer is one of the best times of year for cooking, and summer side dishes are some of the most delicious. Fresh, seasonal produce always tastes great alongside a juicy burger, but this summer try making your favorite sides the stars of your meals! The following are easy ways to get a little more creative with your cooking this summer and to make your ingredients go further:

There’s nothing more delicious than buttery grilled corn on the cob, but corn is way too versatile to only use as a side dish! Feature corn in green, potato or pasta salads, use it in homemade veggie burgers or whip up a refreshing chilled corn soup to make the most of this yummy grain. Or, pile barbecue sauce, onion rings and corn salsa on top of burgers for a southwest twist.

Fruit salads are great, but incorporating fruit into other fun dishes is even better! Top a burger with pineapple slices for a Hawaiian kick, mix juicy watermelon with feta and tomato for a main course salad or blend up a refreshing fruit smoothie for a healthy start to your morning. You can even grill fruit for a good-for-you and very summery dessert—grilled peaches topped with ice cream are delicious!

Cole Slaw
Think you can only eat cole slaw alongside sandwiches? Think again! Coleslaw makes a crunchy, refreshing addition to so many summer recipes; add it to tacos for a zippy twist on lettuce, pile it on top of pulled pork sandwiches or use it to liven up a boring hot dog. You can even make it the base of main course salads for a lighter meal. Eating coleslaw on top of sandwiches instead of alongside of it also allows you to try out fun sides like roasted veggies or sweet potato fries instead!

This spicy coleslaw is sure to become a go-to recipe this summer; make a big batch and dish it out on everything from tacos to burgers!

Spicy Coleslaw
Serves: 6-8 servings

  •        1 head Napa or savoy cabbage, shredded
  •     4 carrots, shredded
  •     2 granny smith apples, cored but not peeled, and thinly sliced
  •     1 medium onion, thinly sliced

For the dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  •  ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Leaves from 1 bunch of fresh mint, for garnish (optional)

Use your hands to combine cabbage, carrots, apples and onion in a large mixing bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, sugar, cayenne, cumin, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Taste again for seasoning, then spoon onto a platter and garnish with mint leaves.

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Meredith K. on behalf of Alexia. For more summer meals and easy dipping sauces, visit 

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