Summer Recipes

Summer RecipesI have been asked for these kid-friendly recipes repeatedly over the last few weeks, so I thought to make them available here for handy reference.

These are great, easy and relatively light recipes for summer and early fall. Mix and match mains and sides for a few weeks worth of dinners.

These have also become the go-to’s for the kids when they prepare their weekly meals. The kids have also relied on Greg to grill, but I didn’t want to include the typical summer ‘grill everything’ recipes. At this point, even I am a little sick of grilled food.


Best Salmon Ever

1 ½ lbs salmon, cut into 2 pieces (skin on)

3 T Dijon mustard

3 T maple syrup

1 T balsamic vinegar

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a container and refrigerate for ½ hour to 3 hours.


  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Put salmon pieces into casserole dish.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until done to your preference. (Use a spatula and the salmon will flake off of the skin when removing from dish.)

Grill: (only recipe that involves grilling option)

  • Preheat grill to medium heat.
  • Lightly oil grill with olive oil.
  • Leaving skin side down, cook salmon for approximately 12-15 minutes (do not turn). Cooking time depends on your grill heat.

Note: In my experience, organic and wild salmon take longer to cook than farmed salmon.

This is Katy’s favorite – ever. She would eat it everyday. (We have it about once a week and I make extra for leftovers. She often has a bit as an after-school snack.)

(Cooking Light circa 1995)


Chicken with the Sauce

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Brianna’s French Vinaigrette

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Wash chicken breasts (I don’t know why. My mother told me to, so I just do it.)
  • Sprinkle bottom of roasting dish with salad dressing.
  • Place chicken breasts in dish.
  • Pour salad dressing over chicken to taste. (I use a lot of dressing to create a poaching scenario in the oven, as I tend to overcook chicken as undercooked chicken freaks me out.)
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until opaque all the way through or 165F on meat thermometer.

Note: organic chicken takes slightly longer to cook.

This is Nick’s favorite. He’s the one who named it ‘chicken with the sauce’. Everyday, in a hopeful voice, he will ask, “Are we having chicken with the sauce?”


Super Yummy Flounder

2 lbs flounder, approximately 4 filets

¾ C freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 T butter

2 T good extra virgin olive oil

½ C coarsely ground bread crumbs (I use gluten free ones)

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground Light Grey Celtic sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Melt butter on stovetop.
  • Wash, dry and season flounder in roasting dish with salt and pepper.
  • Mix Parmesan, bread crumbs, butter, and oil and place on top of flounder.
  • Bake for 15 minutes and let stand for 5 additional minutes.

(Nigel Slater’s recipe on Food and

I have been frying flounder in olive oil and GF flour with paprika for years and quite frankly, I am sick of doing it. It’s Greg’s favorite, so I have been making it a lot. One day, I looked for an easier way to cook flounder and voila. Both kids absolutely love this recipe. They will eat it –every time I serve it. Greg likes it too, but he prefers the other way. So now I alternate. Truthfully, it’s not 50/50. I make this baked flounder 75-80% of the time as it’s just too easy and yummy.



2 T Olive oil

2 T Butter (I use Kerry Gold)

Dozen eggs or mixture of eggs and egg whites

Count to 12 pour of milk (Again, because my mother told me to do it this way.)

Veggies and meats as desired – see below

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Heat skillet on medium heat. Melt butter and olive oil. Swirl to cover edges of skillet.
  • Prepare mix-in ingredients. Sauté, cook, shred, or dice as necessary.
  • Scramble eggs and milk lightly together in mixing bowl. (Scramble too much and your frittata will rise to a frightening height in the oven. It does go down once it cools though, so it’s not an epic fail.)
  • Pour egg mixture into skillet.
  • Add all ingredients except cheese.
  • Cook on the stovetop for approximately 7 – 10 minutes until you see the edges becoming slightly firm.

Gently stir in the cheese.

  • Put skillet into preheated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. (Always use an oven mitt or potholder. You may forget as this pan may not be typically used for baking. Of course, I am reminding you as I have burned my hand more than once when I first started baking frittatas.)
  • Serve with a salad of fruit anytime of day for a healthy meal or snack.

Our favorite frittatas:

  1. Sautéed spinach and mushrooms, Fontina cheese (drain spinach and mushroom mixture before adding to eggs.)
  2. Cooked bacon or ham, tomato, Monte-jack cheese
  3. Fresh herbs – parsley, thyme, chives, and goat cheese (put cheese onto top of warm frittata, not baked in oven.)
  4. Cooked sausage (we use Al Fresco chicken and apple), sautéed red pepper and sharp cheddar cheese

Note: Use a seasoned skillet such as cast iron. The frittata cooks more evenly and clean up is a snap. Also, I know a number of frittata recipes call for broiling, not baking. I find baking to be much more consistent.

Katy loves frittatas; admittedly she prefers them with meat versus just veggies. Nick won’t touch them. He likes his eggs ‘pure’. I like frittatas because I can make ahead of time, slice, and store with paper towels separating the layers to absorb moisture. I warm a few pieces in the oven and serve throughout the week.


Shrimp-Garlic Linguine

2 T Olive oil

½ lb shrimp, thawed if frozen

8 – 10 cloves garlic, diced

1 lb linguine or spaghetti (I use Bionaturae which is GF)

Jar of tomato sauce (I use whatever is on hand, but my favorite is Raos)

Oregano to taste

Basil to taste

Garlic powder to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fresh Parsley to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • Heat oil in skillet and cook shrimp (1 – 2 minutes until pink.) Remove from pan with slotted spoon.
  • Add diced garlic and sauté for 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Add tomato sauce and spices, except parsley if using fresh.
  • Simmer for 8 – 10 minutes to combine flavors.
  • Cook and drain linguine or spaghetti according to directions.
  • Add shrimp and linguine to tomato sauce mixture.
  • Add fresh parsley.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add Parmesan and serve.

Note: I have tried spiralized summer squash or zucchini, roasted green beans or spaghetti squash and in my opinion, this recipe needs pasta. Perhaps it’s the copious amount of garlic.

Katy loves this dinner. It is too much flavor for Nick. He has pasta with Parmesan and butter when I serve this meal.



We don’t have a microwave, so everything that is cooked below uses a standard oven.



Buy a salad from your preferred store or my favorites:

Blue Cheese & Tomato

3 or 4 beefsteak tomatoes

Blue cheese dressing (I use Henry’s.)

Crumbled blue cheese

Fresh ground pepper to taste

  • Slice tomatoes and place onto platter.
  • Sprinkle with blue cheese dressing.
  • Crumble blue cheese over dressed tomatoes.
  • Grind black pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately.


Sliced Beefsteak tomatoes

Sliced fresh Buffalo mozzarella

Fresh basil

Olive oil to taste

Balsamic vinegar to taste

Fresh ground pepper to taste

  • Place tomatoes onto a platter and top with cheese and basil.
  • Sprinkle with oil, vinegar and spices to taste.
  • Serve.



Cherry tomatoes

Sliced cucumber

Sliced Parmesan cheese

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground Light Grey Celtic sea salt

Brianna’s French Vinaigrette

  • Combine all ingredients in bowl.
  • Serve.

I know kale is all the rage, but I think it’s overrated. I am completely addicted to arugula.



Wash, slice or trim vegetables and add to oiled roasting pan. All veggies are roasted uncovered unless otherwise noted.

Broccoli – 25 minutes, turning once after 12-15 minutes

Green beans – 20 – 25 minutes, turning once after 12-15 minutes

Asparagus – 10 minutes

Peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms – 45 minutes: covered for 30, uncovered for 15, turning once during 30 minute covered time

Summer squash and zucchini – 15 minutes, turning once after 8 minutes

Cauliflower – 25 minutes, turning once after 12-15 minutes

Good extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Light Grey Celtic sea salt (unground) to taste

For variety, use herbs such as: thyme, oregano or add lemon or Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Spread veggies on bottom of roasting dish. (I use ceramic.)
  • Sprinkle oil, pepper, salt and stir to coat veggies.
  • Roast as directed above.

I stumbled upon roasted ‘summer type’ veggies a few years ago and now roast almost all of our veggies. They are super easy and so yummy. I think the magic is in the Light Grey Celtic sea salt. (You can get it on



Once water is boiling:

Carrots – 10 minutes

Frozen corn – 5 minutes (even when fresh corn is available, sometimes it’s just easier to use frozen)

Frozen peas – 2 -3 minutes

Butternut squash – 10 minutes

Butter (Kerry Gold)

Herbs – dill for carrots, oregano for corn, clove for squash

  • Bring 2 inches of water in pan to a boil.
  • Use steamer basket and add veggies to it.
  • Steam as directed above.
  • Put veggies into bowl and season to taste.

I was roasting everything and the kids put their feet down. They like carrots, corn, peas and butternut squash steamed. Period.



Not a huge fan of starches. I don’t eat them, but the kids like them. I reluctantly oblige. These are uninspired, but super quick and easy.

  • Heat favorite rolls and serve with lots of butter.
  • Prepare mac & cheese according to directions. (Nick likes Annie’s white & Katy likes Annie’s orange – ya, I make both. As long as the pasta is the same, it’s no problem.)
  • Prepare pasta according to directions, add butter and Parmesan or Brianna’s French Viniagrette and sliced cherry tomatoes.
  • Prepare Far East rice using chicken or vegetable broth and adding diced tomatoes after cooking according to directions.
  • Prepare Earthbound Farm roasted red potatoes according to directions.
  • Prepare Alexia French fries according to directions. The Rosemary or Waffle ones get the most raves.
  • Buy prepared garlic smashed potatoes. Heat according to directions.
  • Buy prepared risotto. Heat according to directions. (Henry’s with lemon and asparagus is actually yummy.)
  • Buy potato or pasta salad. Serve.

I warned you. These starch recipes are super lazy, but oh so quick and easy.

For dinner tonight, we are having chicken with the sauce, green beans, squash and buttered rolls. Nick will be VERY happy.


Bon Appetite!