Now that summer is pretty much here, it’s going to get hot. And not just regular hot. I mean “Midwest, humid, I just started sweating by looking outside” hot. Cool off with these light, refreshing meal ideas that will keep you satisfied while not weighing your stomach down for the rest of the day.

  • 1

    Fresh Pasta Salad

    My long, stumbling fingers are a nightmare for performing magic tricks, but one trick I can do is taking a simple side dish and making it into a meal. Cool pasta salad is delicious, light, and very easy to make, but this summer put the boxed stuff back on the shelf and create your own masterpiece. Pasta, olive oil, cubed cheese, and an assortment of fresh Italian deli meats create a flavor that can’t be beat this summer.

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  • 2

    Summer Tacos

    If you weren’t aware, tacos are actually one of the main food groups. But now that it’s hot outside, I don’t want a starchy, salty meal to weigh me down. Luckily, since tacos are so amazing, there are other options that are crisp and refreshing. Fresh tortillas, a little grilled meat, some avocado, and a sprinkling of onions or other fresh veggies make a great summer meal that’s easy to put together and awesome to eat.

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  • 3

    Creative Salads

    Everything is a little bit greener during the summer, and that goes for fresh food as well. Start with some lettuce, spinach, or kale, and throw on whatever fruits and vegetables you want. Spinach, fresh strawberries, a sprinkle of cranberries, some sesame seeds, and a light dressing come together to make one of my favorite salads. Cut up some of last night’s grilled chicken to top off the salad and to add a little protein. And speaking of grilled chicken…

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  • 4

    Grilled Anything

    Mankind’s greatest achievements have been in the way we use fire, and the creation of grilled foods is no different. Red meat, fish, vegetables, toasted herbs, and even desserts come off the grill so much better than they were when they went on. More plus sides to grilled food are that it’s easy to prepare, always tastes clean and fresh, and the leftovers go great in many more summer dishes.

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