Adventure in Normal Life / Culinary Creations and Recipes / Food

A Complete Cool + Healthy Lunch Menu for A Summer Cookout 


I served this menu last weekend to our out-of-town guests on 90F+ degree days when I knew it was going to be very hot and uncomfortable outside. Nothing here is very perishable, so it is perfect for a tasty summer BBQ or Father’s Day lunch. Included in this Complete Cool + Healthy Lunch Menu for a Summer Cookout : Citrus Dover Sole, Simple Cold Couscous Salad, Roasted Sweet Potato & Brussels Sprouts with a Sweet and Spicy Glaze, and Recommended Drink and Dessert Accompaniments.

Dover Sole

-Spread crushed garlic on 5 or so filets, depending on how many people you would like to serve. Salt and pepper them. Squeeze lemon juice on top and top each filet with a fresh lemon slice and dill

-Bake at 400F for 10 minutes on a foil-lined pan

Simple Cold Couscous Salad

Yields 10 portions


2 cups of Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Mix (Israeli couscous + baby garbanzo beans + red quinoa + orzo)

low sodium organic chicken broth

1 pound grape tomatoes, washed and halved

1 large garden cucumber, washed, peeled, and diced

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons Sweet Onion + Bacon Vinaigrette salad dressing


For a hands-free approach (although it takes about 40 minutes instead of 10 minutes, you don’t have to babysit a pot if you’ve got other things to do or want to set it up overnight) use a rice cooker on the mixed setting. For 2 cups of harvest grains mix, fill up to the 2 ¼ line (just a bit higher than the 2 cup line) with chicken broth and walk away.

When it is done cooking, empty into a large bowl and fluff with a fork gently. Add olive oil to loosen the grains. I chose a lovely yuzu (Japanese lemon) olive oil from spain, as I love yuzu’s bright and delicate flavor.

Cut and prep the tomato and cucumber and toss with the grains.

Finish by mixing the dressing in.

What does it taste like?

Light, filling in a good way, balanced by fresh juicy flavors from vegetables. The little hint of smoky from the dressing complements summer’s BBQs excellently. The bacon in the dressing has no nitrites or nitrates, and the flavors are subtle and on point.


Roasted Sweet Potato & Brussels Sprouts with a Sweet and Spicy Glaze


1 pound Brussels sprouts

3 sweet potatoes – peeled and cubed

generous sea salt – 1 tablespoon

2 tablespoons olive oil

Sweet + Spicy Roasted Veggie Glaze

2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Trader Joe’s peach bellini jam (stone fruit jam)

¼ cup pistachio nut meat


Heat the oven to 400F

Toss the vegetables with salt and olive oil, evenly

Roast on a foil-lined dish for 40 minutes. Check on it at 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and empty into a large mixing bowl

Toss with 2 tablespoons of the sauce

Also pictured: boiled corn halves with a tiny pat of butter and Tony Chachere’s Cajun spice blend. Delicious for corn – a fan favorite!



Easy summer feast – done!


Recommended With:

To Drink: Serve with a bubbly, citrus and summer fruit drink of your choice or agua fresca.

To Sweeten the End: wash and cut fresh strawberries, serve with homemade whipped cream – 1 cup heavy whipping cream + 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, whipped with a mixer for about 5-10 minutes on low to medium speed, increasing the speed.

cheers blueboots

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