Summertime Entertaining Recipes that will Delight Your Guests

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What should you serve when it’s close to 100 degrees outside and you have guests coming over? Though it may be tempting to run to the store and buy prepared dips and potato salad, I have a few fresh ideas that will impress your guests.

Cool down with seasonal beverages

Individual sun teas with fruit come in beautiful colors and flavors to quench your guest’s thirst for something unique. Tea (black, green and oolong) is calorie free yet packed with health benefits. Regular tea drinkers have a low risk of developing heart disease. Adding fruit – orange slices, blueberries, and sliced peaches lends flavor and a healthy touch.

POM Princess is one of my new all time favorite drinks. Find the recipe here. The color pops and it’s refreshing + pure pomegranate juice also boasts polyphenol antioxidants, which are plant compounds being studied in the areas of athletic performance, memory and cognition, gut health, and more.

Pack Plant Foods into Mini Dishes

Plant-based mini dishes add eye appeal, flavor and great nutrition. Cucumber egg salad mini sandwiches are a good source of protein thanks to the eggs. Plus, using cucumbers as the bread helps you get more vegetables in your diet and lends a crunchy and pleasing texture on the outside of the creamy egg salad.

Who doesn’t love cheese Tortellini? Well this version, tortellini with pistachio basil pesto, is even better thanks to pistachio basil pesto. This pesto is easy to make and packed with good nutrition. Pistachios contain good for you fats. In fact, nearly 90% of the fats found in pistachios are the better-for-you mono and polyunsaturated type. Plus, they provide a good source of protein and fiber, for a trio that can help keep you fuller longer.

Baked cauliflower bites are super easy to make and so tasty even those who claim they don’t love vegetables will fall for this dish.

Give them a Sweet Treat

No party is complete without dessert and I love summertime desserts because they’re typically lighter and refreshing. Plus you can provide small portions that are inviting and satisfying. For mini portions – I love individual key lime cheesecakes.

 

Four Fast Breakfast Ideas

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Fruit and yogurt by Celeste Lindell

Breakfast may be one of the most important meals of the day because it provides energy for your morning and spikes muscle protein synthesis (when you wake up after an overnight fast your body is breaking down muscle tissue until you eat a protein-rich meal).

Include at Each Breakfast Meal:

High Quality Protein. Choose a breakfast that contains at least 30 grams of protein if you are over about 25 years of age or want to lose weight. Research shows that consuming protein at breakfast is especially important for keeping us satiated (full) for a longer period of time.

Carbohydrate. After an overnight fast your body craves carbohydrate, your primary source of energy to fuel brain and body. Choose slower digesting, nutrient-rich, high fiber carbohydrates. Fruits, vegetables and old fashioned oatmeal are all great options. If you plan on working out right away, eat a small lower fiber (fiber makes food take longer to digest so it will sit in your stomach) snack or breakfast. Toast, a banana or a few pancakes are light and easy to digest options.

Water. Your body hasn’t had anything to drink in hours. Drink a full glass of water before you eat or with your meal.

Quick Breakfast Ideas

Looking for a little morning inspiration? Check out these four fast breakfast ideas from Rachel Rosenthal:

Tastes like Homemade Cinnamon Oatmeal: This meal is ready in about 3 minutes. Mix plain instant oatmeal with water, milk, or your favorite milk substitute. Once cooked, stir in walnuts and blueberries. Finish it off with a dash of cinnamon, which may help support healthy blood sugar levels. Now pop it in the microwave. All natural, no sugar added. If you can’t think of a protein-rich food that goes alongside this dish, cook your oatmeal in egg whites!

Not so Plain Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt and by adding a few ingredients you can have a super fast protein packed meal on the go. Add ground flaxseed for it’s omega-3 alpha linoleum acid (ALA) content and nutty flavor; mix in ½ cup of all bran cereal for texture and to satisfy your hunger for hours (fiber slows down digestion). If you like a little sweet taste without the calories, add stevia and raspberries.

On the go Smoothie: Smoothies make great, go-to meals. Mix unsweetened almond milk, unflavored protein powder of your choice, crushed ice, a banana, and a tablespoon of natural peanut butter in a blender. If you are feeling adventurous you can add some chia seeds for some extra omega-3 ALA and for a little staying power (chia seeds are loaded with fiber). Blend, pour and go!

California Toast To Go: Toast your favorite kind of whole wheat bread, then add a few slices of avocado, fresh sliced mozzarella and grape tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. If you want more protein, add scrambled eggs and make it a sandwich for the road.

There are tons of options out there for breakfast that do not take much time, but are packed with protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals to start your day off on the right foot. All of these recipes can be tailored to your liking by switching out different fruits or nuts to make them your own. I hope these recipes inspire you to have more fun with breakfast and enjoy it even on the go.

 

Whey More Recipes

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For those of you who like whey protein (or for those who just need more protein in your diet), the National Dairy Council has a booklet out with recipes and more explanations about whey.

You can find this at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/17433068/The-whey-to-a-higher-protein-diet-Using-whey-protein-to-help-fuel-your-active-lifestyle-