Summer Food Ideas

Are you trying to eat better / healthier / lighter?  Diet-related goals are popular New Year’s Resolutions, and we in Australia are lucky to have an abundance of summer produce to help us kickstart these goals.  If you’re after ideas for flavourful meals with minimal prep, that are satisfying without feeling heavy, then look no further – we’ve got just the right recipes for you!

Salad Feasts: How to Assemble the Perfect Meal by Jessica Elliott Dennison

Big, filling salads are my current summer favourites – they are easy to scale up to feed a crowd, and perfect for those too-hot-to-cook days.  Salad Feasts is a treasure-trove of ideas on how to layer flavours and textures, so that you achieve a balance of freshness, heartiness and nutrients.  Jessica Elliott Dennison also provides lots of suggestions on how to substitute and customise your salads.  Serve these beautiful salads as complete, plant-based meals in themselves, or as vibrant accompaniments to meat.

Well+Good Cookbook: 100 Healthy Recipes + Expert Advice for Better Living by Alexia Brue

The team at Well+Good represent some of the most trusted, influential and trend-setting experts in wellness.  In its first cookbook. Well+Good is showcasing how diverse healthy eating can be, just as “wellness” can mean different things to different people – nutrition, fitness, beauty, spirituality and more.  There are dishes that suit a range of eating styles including vegan, Paleo, Keto, low FODMAP and gluten-free.  With recipe contributions by celebrity wellness devotees including Venus Williams, Marie Kondo, Bobbi Brown and others, the Well+Good cookbook shows that, no matter how busy you are, there are healthy eating options that are achievable and can make you feel great.

Nothing Fancy: the Art of Having People Over by Alison Roman

Alison Roman prefers to talk about “having people over” rather than “ entertaining” – the idea of “entertaining” is more performative and about impressing people, which creates unnecessary expectations and stress for the host.  Instead, she reminds us to be kind to ourselves, and champions unfussy food with big flavours – low stress, high-impact dishes that are great even if they’re not perfectly made.   With recipes that have gone viral and been tried successfully by thousands of fans, Nothing Fancy is a delicious manifesto about cooking for people you love.

The Little Swedish Kitchen by Rachel Khoo

A few years ago, Rachel Khoo relocated her little kitchen from France to Sweden after marrying and starting a family. The Little Swedish Kitchen is a celebration of her new home, reflecting her understanding of Swedish cuisine.  The cool climate and short growing season means Swedish cooking focusses on a small range of core ingredients, livened up with seasonal treats.  Think potato salads tossed with foraged greens, wild mushrooms in a cheese tart, and cakes made with colourful summer fruit.

Planted: a Chef’s Show-stopping Vegan Recipes by Chantelle Nicholson

Plant-based eating (as well as veganism) is a huge trend right now, appealing to people who want to develop more sustainable, ethical and healthy eating habits.  In Planted, Chantelle Nicholson brings a chef’s finesse to vegan recipes – something you don’t usually find in this category.  This New Zealand-born, London-based chef has created seasonal, flavourful recipes that are refined enough for special occasions, yet perfectly achievable for weeknight dinners.  Planted will open your mind to the possibilities of plant-based eating.

Healthier Together: Recipes for Two – Nourish your Body, Nourish your Relationships by Liz Moody

Have you ever given up on health goals because you struggled with motivation?  Try finding a partner – setting and sticking to goals can be much easier when paired with someone else. Healthier Together builds on this idea by offering you delicious, healthful recipes for two.  The act of cooking and eating together will help you strengthen your relationship, as well as get healthy together! These 100+ recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free and plant-centered, including sweet treats and healthier versions of takeaway dishes such as fried chicken, banana bread and brownies.

About Karen Seligman

Karen Seligman is a newly-qualified librarian working in a public library. As a book- and library-lover from way back, she finds nothing better than being surrounded by books and other library-lovers! Karen’s past lives as a law graduate, corporate warrior and research scientist continue to inform her wide-ranging tastes in reading material, with her favourite genres including historical fiction, fantasy, food writing and popular science.