Isn’t summer funny? My memories of summer as a kid are of endless days playing in the yard, swimming in backyard pools, riding waves at the beach and catching fireflies. It was the ultimate season of slack and it felt like it went on forever. But as an adult, summer flies by and is packed with planned events and activities. Most everything is fun, but there’s no slacking anymore….

Summer ‘s bounty also provides us with all of the ingredients we need to eat right and get healthy. Almost every fresh vegetable and fruit are ready for harvest and many of them can be enjoyed raw or with minimal preparation. Everything tastes great. Is there anything better than eating a peach so ripe that you have to stand over the sink or risk ruining your shirt? Summer even makes exercising seem like a great idea. I like to run, and my favorite time  to run is on a summer morning when the sun is up early and the temperature is still a bit cool. At the same time there are so many excuses and temptations in the summer. There’s ice cream, fruit crisps and crumbles, hamburgers, beer, rose and gin and tonics. How can you resist? You can’t….

So, the best you can do is embrace the season. Eat as well as you can during the week and indulge on the weekends and during vacation. Hopefully, these summer recipes are just the right amount of healthy, while still being delicious and fast enough to prepare that you have time to go out and catch some fireflies…

Luscious peaches you can indulge in guiltlessly

Luscious peaches you can indulge in guilt-free

Meal #1: Striped Bass with Green Beans and Tomatoes + Corn on the Cob
Meal #2: Citrus Asian Marinated Chicken Thighs + Sesame Broccoli
Meal #3: Salmon with Peach and Tomato Salsa + Corn on the Cob
Meal #4: Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage and Tomato + Kale Caesar Salad

Your grocery list, excluding the usual pantry items:

cilantro – 1 bunch
basil – 1 bunch
thyme – 1 bunch
limes – 2-3
lemons – 2
orange – 1
green beans – 1/2 lb.
scallions – 1 bunch
shallot – 1
red onion – 1
heirloom tomatoes – 3 large
cherry or grape tomatoes – 1 pint
peach (or nectarine) – 1
corn – 1 per person for 2 meals
Tuscan kale – 1 bunch
broccoli – 1 lb.
gnocchi – 1 to 2 packages, depending on size
sesame seeds (if you don’t already have them)
Parmesan cheese (if you don’t already have it)
reduced sodium soy sauce (if you don’t already have it)
skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs – 2 lb.
chicken sausage – 9 oz. (about 3 links)
striped bass fillets – 4 5-ounces each
salmon – 1 1/2 lb.