The moment the last school bell rings for the year, I always breathe a sigh of relief. For two months, our mornings will be filled with leisurely breakfasts, and I can finally turn off the recurring alarm set for 6:30 am. Our time in the car driving from soccer to the grocery store will be replaced with playdates at our local splash pad and weekend trips to our favorite amusement parks.
With a relaxed summer schedule, I admittedly gravitate towards less elaborate meals. Our desert-like temperatures and carefree schedule make it more compelling to resort to no-cook meals and dishes that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Fresh salads, grilled fish and lean meats, and refreshing desserts top my list of go-to summer menus.
Over the weekend, Smart & Final hosted its very first Good & Well Expo for the community. This expo featured cooking demonstrations by Chef Jamie Gwen (in partnership with Melissa’s Produce), free samples from 10+ natural and organic vendors featured at Smart & Final, and coupons for products sold at Smart & Final Laguna Niguel.
As someone who is passionate about healthy eating, I enjoyed sampling new foods from Noosa Finest Yoghurt, Annie’s Homegrown, Horizon and CLIF.
During the expo, I learned that Mission now offers Organic Flour, Corn, and Whole Wheat Tortillas and tried Kombucha for the very first time.
Each of the vendors shared information about their brand and their efforts to offer consumers natural, organic products.
As a foodie, I do enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, and was excited to watch Chef Jamie Gwen prepare 3 exclusive new recipes in partnership with Melissa’s Produce. She prepared a fruit and yogurt parfait that would be perfect for summer mornings, a colorful summer salad packed with healthy veggies, and a better-for-you dessert that my kids will love. If you are looking for easy recipes you can prepare when the kids are out of school, here are 3 Healthy Summer Recipes that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.
This lightened-up recipe is splurge-worthy and wonderfully decadent
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp Frist Street ground cinnamon
- 4 Mission Organic tortillas
- 3 tbsp Sun Harvest unsalted butter, melted can also use Sun Harvest Coconut Oil Cooking Spray
- First Street Light Vanilla Ice Cream
- Melissa's Dessert Sauces - chocolate, caramel, raspberry
- 2 cups mixed fresh berries
- Fresh mint leaves
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a mixing bowl
Brush one side of each tortilla with melted butter or spray with Coconut Oil Cooking Spray and sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture
Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges and place the wedges on a baking sheet
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crisp
Arrange the baked tortilla chips on a large platter and top with scoops of ice cream
Drizzle the nachos with your dessert sauces of choice and finish with fresh berries and minut
An easy, make-ahead breakfast packed with plenty of protein and heart-healthy nuts and seeds to give you all-day energy.
- 2 cups Noosa Yogurt
- 1 cup Melissa's Clean Snax, crumbled
- 2 cups mixed fresh berries
- Melissa's Organic Blue Weber Agave Syrup
- Chia seeds, cocoa nibs, or toasted sliced almonds
Spoon 1/4 cup yogurt into each of the 4 glasses or 1/2-pint mason jars
Top with 2 tablespoons crumbled Clean Snax and 1/4 cup berries
Repeat to create two layers of ingredients
Drizzle each parfait with 1/2 teaspoon agave syrup and top with chia seeds, cocoa nibs or toasted almonds
- 4 cups Sun Harvest Spring Mix
- 1 cup Melissa's Steamed Lentils
- 1 cup Melissa's Shelled Edamame
- 1 cup Melissa's Steamed Garbanzo Beans
- 1 cup Melissa's Steamed Artichoke Hearts
- 4 Melissa's Steamed Baby Beets, quartered
- 8 Melissa's Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes, cooked and quartered
- 1 cup Baby Heirloom tomatoes, halved
- 2 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 6 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 Foster Farms Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, seasoned and grilled
- 4 Melissa's Pixie Tangerines
- 1 tsp Sun Harvest apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp Melissa's Organic Blue Agave Syrup
- 1/2 cup La Romanella Olive Oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Fill the bottom of a large, shallow salad bowl with arugula leaves
Compose piles of ingredients on top of the arugula to showcase the lentils, edamame, garbanzos, artichoke hearts, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber and radishes
Slice the grilled chicken breast and lay it atop the salad
Squeeze the juice from the tangerines and place it in a mason jar
Add the vinegar, Dijon, agave and olive oil and season with salt and pepper
Screw the top on the jar and shake to combine
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve
Even as a young girl, I remember shopping at our family’s local Smart & Final. Their new Smart & Final Extra! stores are larger than typical warehouse stores and feature extras such as an expanded selection of produce, fresh meat, frozen foods, dairy, deli and grocery basics (i.e. cereal, bread, snacks, and yogurt). The quality of their fresh produce like that from Melissa’s Produce, reminds me of a local farmer’s market. While you will still enjoy the bulk items you love from Smart & Final, you can also purchase smaller, convenient size products at the same low prices.
Smart & Final Gives Back
If you have ever shopped at Smart & Final, you likely know about the private label First Street Brand. There are more than 2000 products from First Street in a variety of categories including grocery, dairy, frozen, packaged goods and cleaning products. These products are competitively priced and offer the quality you would expect from a national brand.
Through Smart & Final’s First Percent Program, the company contributes the first percent of the net profit from sale of First Street items to Smart & Final Charitable Foundation, which supports local community non profit organizations. Through this foundation, the company supports health and wellness, education, hunger relief and team sports/youth development. Learn more about how Smart & Final gives back by visiting their website.