Diet Detective Summer Healthy Recipes

by Charles Platkin, PhD



Cold Oatmeal with Yogurt and Fresh Berries

Healthy Recipe by Dr. Janet Brill, author of Prevent a Second Heart Attack: 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

Makes 6 servings


1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

3/4 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt, such as Dannon Light and Fit®

1/2 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon honey

3/4 cup fresh raspberries

3/4 cup diced strawberries

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 medium apple, peeled, cored and coarsely grated

3 tablespoons ground flax seed

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


–     In a large bowl, combine the oats, yogurt, orange juice and honey.
–     Let stand 5 minutes.
–     Gently fold in the raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, apple, flax seed and walnuts.
–     Sprinkle with cinnamon.
–     Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve cold.

Nutritional information (per ½-cup serving): 202 calories; 7 g fat; 31 g carbs; 7 g protein; 6 g fiber

Almost Ceviche

Healthy Recipe by Cheryl Forberg, R.D., author of Flavor First: Cut Calories and Boost Flavor with 75 Delicious, All-Natural Recipes (Rodale, 2011)

Makes 4 servings


For the Roasted Tomatillo Salsa:

1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed
1 cup canned no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and coarsely chopped
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chipotle purée, optional (see recipe below)
½ teaspoon salt


– Preheat the broiler or grill. Broil or grill the tomatillos until their skins blister and just begin to char, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
– Combine the tomatillos, tomatoes, roasted pepper, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, chipotle purée (if desired) and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped but not puréed. Season to taste with additional salt.

For the Chipotle Purée:


1 (7-ouce) can chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce
¼ cup water


–     Purée the contents of the can and the water in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a glass jar and store in the refrigerator. The purée keeps refrigerated for 1 month or more.

For the Ceviche:


8 ounces canned whole shrimp, drained
1 ripe Hass avocado, diced
1 cup diced cucumber (unpeeled)
½ medium red bell pepper, diced
1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/3 cup roasted tomatillo salsa (recipe above) or your favorite salsa
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon chipotle purée (recipe above)
½ teaspoon salt, optional


–     Combine the shrimp, avocado, cucumber, bell pepper and cilantro in a bowl and gently toss.
–     Combine the salsa, lime juice and chipotle purée in a small bowl. Stir well and add to the shrimp mixture. Season with salt, if desired. Toss gently. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Nutritional information (per 3 1/2 ounces): 120 calories; 9 g fat; 5 g carbs; 13 g protein; 2 g fiber; 300 mg sodium

Summer Corn Salad with Asparagus

Healthy recipe by Jocelyn, a contributor to

Makes 6 servings


6 ears corn, husks and silk removed

1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 (7-ounce) jar roasted sweet red peppers, drained and chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 basil leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and black pepper to taste


– Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-low heat and lightly oil grate.
– Place the ears of corn on the grill and cook until the kernels are tender, about 10 minutes, turning frequently. Remove the ears from the grill and cool. Cut the kernels off the cobs.
-Fill a large saucepan with lightly salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook until just tender, about 1 minute. Drain in a colander and rinse immediately under cold running water until well chilled. Set aside.
-Combine the corn, asparagus, roasted peppers, garlic, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Nutritional information (per serving): 174 calories; 4 g fat; 34.5 g carbs; 5.4 g fiber; 6.4 g protein

Summertime Succotash with Creamy Rosemary-Garlic Sauce

Healthy Recipe by Brendan Brazier, Ironman athlete and author of Thrive Foods: 200 Plant Based Recipes for Peak Health (Da Capo, 2011)

Makes 4 servings


For the Succotash:
1 cup shelled fresh or frozen lima beans
2 medium summer squash
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil or hemp oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon miso paste
1 garlic clove, mashed
6 sprigs rosemary, for garnish
Black pepper, for garnish

For the Creamy Rosemary-Garlic Sauce:
¾ cup cashews
½ cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
¾ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 large garlic clove

¼ teaspoon sea salt

-Blanch the lima beans for 2 minutes.
– Using a sharp knife, slice the summer squash lengthwise as thinly as possible to form long, flat, noodle-like strips. Discard the core area with the seeds as it contains too much moisture.                    Cut each prepared squash strip into two pieces so that when folded in half, the squash resembles a small ravioli in size.
-Toss the strips with the sea salt. Place in a colander set in the sink or in a large bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes, rinse, then pat dry.
-To make the filling, place the blanched lima beans, oil, lemon juice, miso paste and garlic in a food processor and purée until smooth. Set aside until needed.
– To make the sauce, place the cashews and water in a blender and process until a thick, smooth cream has formed. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and blend until incorporated.
-To assemble the ravioli, place a small spoonful of the filling mixture on one side of a squash strip, then fold over the other side. Pat lightly to seal. Repeat to make the remaining ravioli.
On each serving plate, pour a small bed of Creamy Rosemary-Garlic Sauce, then place a few ravioli on top. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and black pepper and serve.

Nutritional information (per 7-ounce serving): 92 calories; 1 g fat; 17 g carbs; 6 g protein; 5 g fiber
Watermelon Gazpacho

Recipe by EatingWell Test Kitchen for EatingWell Magazine/ Eating Well Inc.

Makes 6 servings


8 cups finely diced seedless watermelon (about 6 pounds with the rind)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt


–     Mix the watermelon, cucumber, bell pepper, basil, parsley, vinegar, shallot, oil and salt in a large bowl.
–     Purée 3 cups of the mixture in a blender or food processor to the desired smoothness; transfer to another large bowl.
–     Purée another 3 cups and add to the bowl.
–     Stir in the remaining diced mixture.
–     Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Nutritional information (per 1-cup serving): 116 calories; 5 g fat; 18 g carbs; 2 g protein; 2 g fiber

Notes: Active time: 20 minutes. To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Nutrition bonus: vitamin C (110 percent daily value), vitamin A (45 percent dv).

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