Enjoy the final days of summer – celebrate, relax, and spend time with your family and friends. Just make sure you also make smart choices to keep you healthy enough to enjoy many more in the future! Use my personal recipes below for a healthful meal you can enjoy with your family in these final days of summer. Now is the time to get the very best out of the final days of summer. This meal uses the most flavorful seasonal ingredients, like peaches, arugula, and raspberries. The best seasonal meals are made of the tastiest ingredients and prepared in simple ways. It’s delicious and nutritious. The following recipes serve four.
Grilled Pork & Peaches on Rocket
4 thick-cut (1-inch) bone-in pork chops (8 oz each)
4 firm peaches, halved & pitted
2 T extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 t salt, ½ t pepper
4 cups arugula (aka rocket)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup pine nuts
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
2 T balsamic vinegar + 2 T EVOO
Preheat a grill on high. Brush pork chops & peach halves with EVOO. Season pork with S&P. Grill pork for 4-5 minutes on each side. The outside should be slightly charred while still pink on the inside. Grill peaches flesh side down for about 5 minutes or until charred & softened. Note: if peaches are too ripe, they will turn to mush.
While pork & peaches grill, prepare rocket salad by tossing remaining ingredients in a bowl. Serve salad on a plate & top with a pork chop & sliced grilled peaches.
Pork compares favorably for fat, calories & cholesterol with many other meats & poultry. In fact, cuts from the loin, like pork chops, are leaner than skinless chicken thighs. Plus, pork rivals milk as a source of riboflavin. Riboflavin plays an essential role in the release of energy from food, promotes the growth & repair of tissues, & maintains healthy skin & eyes. Pick pork that is mostly pink (the white spots are fat). So many times chops are fried, but pork can be a good pick!
Arugula, also known as rocket, is slightly spicy & pairs perfectly with the sweet peaches. It is a leafy green that stands out as a rich source of many vitamins & minerals. Compared with iceberg lettuce, arugula contains about eight times the calcium, five times the vitamin A, vitamin C & vitamin K, and four times the iron. Plus it also contains the antioxidants beta carotene & lutein which are known for the prevention of diseases like cancer & macular degeneration.
Pine nuts are nature's only source of pinoleic acid, which stimulates hormones & helps diminish appetite. Pine nuts also contain oleic acid which aids the liver in eliminating harmful triglycerides which helps protect the heart.
1 quart fresh brewed Black or Green Tea – chilled
1 T agave syrup
¾ cup fresh raspberries, plus a few for garnish
In individual glass or large pitcher, muddle (crush with end of wooden spoon) agave, raspberries, & ice. Pour chilled tea over mixture & serve with a few fresh raspberries on top! This tea is perfect any time of day. For a refreshing adult beverage, add a shot of whiskey or dark rum!
Tea contains healthful doses of antioxidants, or poylphenols that may ward off a range of diseases. Make sure to always brew your own – commercial bottled tea contains such small amounts of these antioxidants that you’d have to drink 20 bottles to get the polyphenols present in one cup of home-brewed tea. The fresh raspberries not only add sweetness, but even more nutrients & eye-appeal. Now that’s invigorating!
Peach Melba Parfait
Fresh raspberries for garnish