Eat Light, Stay Light:
Healthy Recipes for Hot Summer Days

It is now early August, and as I awoke this morning the first thought that floated across my mind was that winter is long gone, the delicate spring flowers have been replaced by bursting vegetable gardens, and the hot, lazy days of summer are in full swing. So, what’s to eat that keeps me on the light side, both in terms of foods and my waistline? For many of you, this blog post may be a keeper for the same reasons.

During the summer months, we seem to want lighter meals that minimize the time we spend in a hot kitchen. As some of you may know from my previous blog posts, I love, love old herbal and food magazines and have quite a collection to draw from. Looking through some of them for light and easy recipes, I happened on the one issue I have of New Health, from November 1981.

As I turned the pages, I was greeted with a great assortment of recipes that focused on eating light and staying light. What a gift! Most of my blog posts are generally wordy and sometimes complex. This one will be shorter, but it is deep and hardy with plenty of these wonderful oldie recipes. I hope you make it a point to get them from my post to your inbox! Oh, and please feel free to comment below on those you like best and why.

What Does an “Eat Light, Stay Light” Menu Look Like?

The menus I’ve included are simply suggestions and include only breakfast and dinner.  The recipes below are a great way to modify the menu, and of course you can substitute whatever light meals that are already on your favorites list.

Calories aren’t an issue in my meals, and therefore I usually eat whatever sounds good to me, so long as it’s organic and follows the Weston A. Price food philosophy advocated by Sally Fallon Morrell and the wondrous food principles promoted by Dr. Royal Lee.

My reasoning for excluding the luncheon menu is that we all eat at different times of the day. Some of us sleep later, and our breakfast is really a brunch. However, most of us eat two full meals a day. I suggest eating a small snack or smoothie in between or simply going without.

Note: For a heartier breakfast that will carry you longer into the day, try reversing these menus and eating the dinner for breakfast.

Breakfast

Monday: Uncooked applesauce, whole grain sourdough bread, raw butter, kefir.
Tuesday: Yogurt over frozen blueberries, raw cheese slices, herb tea.
Wednesday: Fruit salad topped with sunflower or pumpkin seeds, drink of choice.
Thursday: Apple slices with almond butter, bacon, and raw milk.
Friday: Papaya topped with granola, herb tea.
Saturday: Scrambled eggs, bacon, sourdough bread, raw butter, fresh orange juice.
Sunday: Optional fast day or eat breakfast out.

Dinner

Monday: Minced fresh greens and tomato salad topped with canned salmon.
Tuesday: Turkey slices and steamed cauliflower with melted cheese, raw apple slices.
Wednesday: Broiled steak topped with raw butter, small potato with sour cream, cucumber salad.
Thursday: Baked chicken breast, steamed asparagus, shredded carrots with yogurt.
Friday: Chilled cucumber soup, filet of sole, steamed mixed vegetables.
Saturday: Box lunch picnic at park: chicken wings, raw veggie slices, sourdough buns.
Sunday: Dinner in a fancy restaurant.

Recommended Resources to Help You Start Eating Well

Before I go on to the recipes, let me recommend a few products for achieving a healthy lifestyle. These may be especially helpful if you’re a newbie to eating well!

An important point to remember about eating light is that it does not by any stretch of the imagination mean eating whatever looks good regardless of its nutritional value. We still need to be conscious that whether our meals are light, heavy, or somewhere inbetween, they must first and foremost contain nutrient dense ingredients. For that reason, a little education is always a great way to understand what “nutrient dense” means. I am therefore recommending that you treat yourself to the following enjoyable books and a DVD/booklet combo that will go a long way to setting you on the right path.

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. “Sally Fallon—founder and president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, nutrition researcher, lecturer, and mother of four—takes readers through the ages, breaking down how our present food supply has been corrupted and what each of us can do to start eating healthfully again. Based on the brilliant research of Dr. Weston Price, this bestselling cookbook delivers hundreds of facts and recipes, written in clear, concise terms, that reveal the wisdom of traditional human diets and put to rest the dietary myths of modern nutrition. Whether you’re a nutrition beginner or a longtime practitioner, this book delivers the goods!”

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is! by Stephanie Selene Anderson. “Ditch the fads and get to the fundamentals. Start your journey to better health through superior nutrition in the pages of this revised and expanded edition of Stephanie Selene Anderson’s deceptively slim guide to healthy food shopping. You’ll learn why Dr. Michael Gaeta calls it ‘the real deal for real food.’” (Available in print and ebook editions.)

Cook Your Way to Wellness DVD.Cook Your Way to Wellness features 90 minutes of careful, detailed instruction for making kefir, whey, beet kvass, fermented veggies, kombucha, bone broth, butter, and beef jerky. The accompanying Tell Me More booklet supplements the many questions that inevitably come up for beginners (and sometimes even experts). Together, this DVD-and-booklet or e-learning-and-PDF set will boost your nutritional levels overnight.”

Yummy Recipes from Way Back in 1981

Now read on for some of those yummy recipes I discovered in my New Health magazine from November 1981.

Uncooked Applesauce

Ingredients

Ripe apples of your choice (mixed varieties), washed.
Apple juice (organic) unsweetened
Powdered cinnamon or allspice

Instructions

Cut and core washed apples. Peel apples if they are waxed. Place a few pieces at a time in blender with a small amount of apple juice to start the blender working smoothly. Add cinnamon to taste. Refrigerate or serve at room temperature.

Alfa Dressing

Ingredients

1 cup homemade mayonnaise (recipe in Nourishing Traditions)
1 minced garlic clove
1–2 minced parsley stalks
1–2 minced green onions (scallions)
1 teaspoon tamari (Red Boat Fermented Soy Sauce)
½ cup fresh alfalfa sprouts

Instructions

Place all ingredients in a blender and buzz for a few seconds. For thicker dressing, mix in two extra tablespoons mayonnaise by hand after removing mixture from blender. Shake well before using. Variation: substitute the mayonnaise with 1 cup plain whole-fat yogurt plus 1 teaspoon raw honey. For greener dressings add more parsley.

Chilled Cucumber Soup

Ingredients

1 cucumber, chopped (peel if waxed)
½–1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 celery stalk, chopped
½ ripe avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
Dash of cloves

Instructions

Place all ingredients in blender with about a ¼ cup of water or more, depending on the size of the cucumber. Puree until smooth. Serve in bowls and top with grated carrots, pecans, or fresh green sprouts. Substitute tomato juice or yogurt for all or some of the water.

Minced Vegetable Salad

Ingredients

Tomatoes
Yellow squash
Scallions
Celery
Bell peppers
Black olives (optional)
Sesame seeds
Lemon juice (optional)

Instructions

Mince vegetables finely to make a moist dish. Toss gently with sesame seeds. Sprinkle with lemon juice or your favorite dressing, although this is a wet salad and really requires no extra dressing.

Nut Milk

Ingredients

⅔ cup almonds, cashews, or sesame seeds

Instructions

Soak the almonds, cashews, or sesame seeds overnight with 1 teaspoon of salt. Rinse well the next day and place the soaked nuts in blender or Vitamix with 1 quart of water. Refrigerate immediately and use same day. Personal note: Nut milks are not a good substitute for real, whole, raw milk but can be used on occasion and/or to complement some dish requiring a liquid nondairy substitute.

Basic Tossed Root Salad with Sprouts

If you like, you may slightly steam and cool the grated carrots and beets before adding them to the salad. Additionally, if crunch is essential to your taste, dehydrate the sunflower seeds for a few hours or overnight.

Ingredients

Alfalfa or sandwich sprouts
Grated carrots
Grated beets
Lettuce bits (leaf and romaine)
Sunflower seeds (previously soaked, as indicated in the Nut Milk recipe above)
Natural organic or homemade dressing of your choice

Instructions

Prepare vegetables listed above. Toss in a bowl. Add the dressing of your choice. If you chose not to slightly steam the vegetables, serve immediately to prevent the raw veggies from oxidizing.

Whole Meal Salad

Ingredients

Washed lettuce leaves (darker leaves best)
Young spinach leaves
Sliced cucumber or zucchini
Sliced green onion with green tips
Tomato chunks
Sliced yellow squash
Cubes of natural raw cheese or baked chicken chunks
Natural organic or homemade dressing of your choice

Instructions

Prepare vegetables listed above. Toss in a bowl. Add dressing and serve at once. If serving to a large gathering, use two bowls and place salad in the larger bowl that has chipped ice in it. That will keep a larger salad fresh.

Mixed Sprout Salad

Ingredients

Alfalfa sprouts
Lentil sprouts
Sprouted wheat berries, steamed
Mung sprouts
Grated carrots
Slices of red onion, very thin

Ingredients

Toss all vegetables with sprouts, adding other vegetables of your choice or whatever might be in season or from your garden. Adding a creamy dressing with crispy nuts sprinkled over the top will make a very satisfying meatless dinner meal.

Stir-Fried Vegetables with Tamari Almonds

Ingredients

Coconut oil, lard, or tallow
1 garlic clove, minced
Lightly steamed broccoli pieces
Chopped zucchini or yellow squash
Chopped scallions
Sliced mushrooms
Chopped tomatoes, ripe but firm
Mung bean sprouts
Tamari almonds (recipe below)

Instructions

Preheat wok or frying pan, add fat and heat for a few minutes. Add broccoli and squash, then stir fry 3–4 minutes, adding a little water if necessary to prevent burning. Next, add scallions and mushrooms. Stir fry for 1–2 minutes. Finally, gently stir in tomatoes and bean sprouts. Remove from heat. Toss gently with tamari almonds.

For the tamari almonds: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 1–2 cups of crispy almonds on a cookie sheet and heat slightly or until slightly browned, not more than 5–10 minutes. Spread over your stir fry and enjoy!

And last but not least, permit me to add my own emery-packed smoothie…

Calcifood-Protefood Raw Milk Smoothie

—A Traditional Cook original recipe. (Note: no added sweeteners, please.)

Ingredients
1 cup raw milk (preferred) or organic non-homogenized milk
1 tablespoon Calcifood Powder
1 raw egg yolk from pastured hens eating organic, soy-free feed (optional)
Blueberries or ½ a banana (optional, but these are good additions)
1 Protefood capsule (provides all your amino acids)

Instructions

Mix all ingredients except Protefood and blend in a Vitamix or blender. Open Protefood capsule and mix with smoothie. Enjoy with raw butter on toast.

Afterthoughts from the Traditional Cook

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy’s inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.
—“Summer Sun” by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894)

Note on recipe permissions: No permissions for reprinting these recipes was requested due to the many years that this publication has been out of print. Only the ingredients were used. Uses of ingredients are permitted under the copyright laws without explicit permissions. In some cases the recipes are adapted to include Nourishing Traditions principles. Also, no personal comments were added to the recipes. See my blog post on recipe copyright guidelines if you have any questions.

Note from Maria: I am a Certified Natural Health Professional, CNHP, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat, or claim to prevent, mitigate, or cure any human diseases. Please see your medical doctor prior to following any recommendations I make in my blogs or on my website.

Images from iStock/fortyforks (main), happy_lark (picnic food), Julia_Sudnitskaya (smoothie), wiratgasem (vegetables). 

Maria Atwood, CNHP

Maria Atwood is a semi-retired Certified Natural Health Professional and Weston A. Price Chapter Leader in Colorado Springs, CO. Her website, Traditional Cook, offers the The Lee Household Flour Mill, originally invented by Royal Lee, inventor of Standard Process Supplements. She also carries the WonderMix mixer as well as the Wondermill grain mill. Also check out Maria’s “Cook Your Way to Wellness” DVD (also available on Vimeo). Be sure to join the Selene River Press newsletter to follow Maria’s Tips from The Traditional Cook blog.

Related Topics

healthy recipes | holistic nutrition

One thought on “Eat Light, Stay Light:
Healthy Recipes for Hot Summer Days

  1. drvic says:

    Hi, thanks for the excellent post, recipes, and poem. I wanted to speak to your disclaimer statement at the end: “Please see your medical doctor prior to following any recommendations I make…” Why specify “medical doctor”? Why not a more inclusive term like “Health Practitioner”? That language would include more wellness-oriented practitioners such as Doctor of Chiropractic, or Naturopathic Doctor, or Acupuncturist. Thanks for your consideration.

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