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.
-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!
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.