Recipes for a Healthier Summer Season

Celebrate summer with one of these nutritious, easy, and tasty recipes.

With Memorial Day Weekend just around the corner, it’s starting to feel like summer. However, summer in Philadelphia will look a bit different this year. With the Stay at Home Order still in place, residents must stay home as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While we can’t celebrate with gatherings like picnics, cookouts, or block parties, we can still enjoy the summer season with healthy and delicious food. Here are some cooking tips and recipes to try this summer season.


When you make recipes at home, you are better able to control the salt, sugar, and fat that goes into them. A homemade black bean and corn salsa is as easy as opening three cans! When using canned goods, look for “low sodium” or “no salt added” on the label or drain and rinse to cut the salt. This recipe gets better as it sits and the flavors come together. Make it a day beforehand and enjoy your holiday stress free.

You can’t mess with tradition, but you can make it healthier. A slight twist on spinach-artichoke dip makes it equally creamy, with more protein and fewer calories. Serve it with veggies or easy 10-minute homemade pita chips.


Kebabs are a festive way to celebrate any outdoor holiday. They are a great way to load up on veggies, and can be made with different types of meat, or vegetarian using tofu. These spicy buttermilk chicken and vegetable kebabs are sure to be a hit. Skewers aren’t just for meat, either. Try fruit skewers for dessert!

Build a healthier burger. Use lean meat like ground turkey or chicken, and be mindful of adding sugar and sodium-filled condiments. If available, choose a whole grain bun, too!

Try an alternative to the traditional hot dog. Here are some tasty vegetarian options to mix things up!


Tomatoes and nectarines are some of the best fruits that summer has to offer. When tossed together with a bit of mozzarella and some fresh basil, it makes for the perfect summer salad. The flavors are so rich and fresh, it barely needs any dressing at all (if you don’t have balsamic, swap it out for apple cider vinegar).

Try a homemade crunchy, creamy coleslaw. Pre-made coleslaw can have extra fat and calories. It’s easy to make coleslaw at home and control the ingredients that go in it. For a simple, no-mayo version try this colorful recipe, and for a creamy version use Greek yogurt or plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise or whipped topping.


Try an oat-crust fruit pizza. This dessert feeds a crowd, has fiber-rich oatmeal, and a variety of fruit. Use bananas, strawberries, and blueberries for a flag-themed pizza or use raspberries, green grapes, oranges, pineapple, and blackberries for a rainbow version.

There is nothing like a popsicle on a hot summer day. Try homemade popsicles using molds or two-ounce paper cups. Use frozen, fresh fruit, or canned fruit and blend with plain or Greek yogurt for maximum nutrients without any added sugar. The flavor combinations are endless!

Free produce is available in Philadelphia

During COVID-19, our access to fresh food and groceries may be different from what we’re used to. There are free food distribution sites all over Philadelphia, and any resident is eligible. No ID or proof of income is required.

Want a free downloadable cookbook? Check out Leanne Brown’s Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day

Visit our resources page for more healthy living tips, and the City of Philadelphia’s COVID-19 site for the latest information.

  1. Wow! These recipes are amazing! I’ll definitely try all of these someday. Thanks a lot for sharing and posting!