8 Light and Simple Summer Side Dishes

Spice up your next barbecue with fresh produce that is in season! Here are some healthy suggestions of simple side dishes to share at you next summer celebration.

  1. Fruit Salad – mix the fresh fruits of the season like strawberries, peaches, blueberries, watermelon, pineapple and cantaloupe to make a tasty colorful treat
  2. Coleslaw/Potato Salad – cut half the calories and fat by substituting the mayo with apple cider or balsamic vinaigrette
  3. Veggies/Fruit for the grill – try picking up fresh vegetables at your local market and throw them on the grill for some fresh flavors to add to your main course
  4. Dips – try a black bean and corn salsa, hummus or guacamole to lighten up the appetizer course
  5. Potatoes – substitute sweet potatoes in your next potato recipe
  6. Chilled soups – research has proven that if you eat a cold veggie based soup like gazpacho before your meal you will decrease you appetite through the rest of the meal
  7. Salads – gather fresh greens of your choice, rinse and toss with other summer vegetable likes peas, carrots, corn, peppers – it’s that easy. Combine bean or whole grains to the mix for a heartier side dish
  8. Fresh Herbs – every side dish is elevated with the use of summer’s fresh hers with no added calories

Now try incorporating at least one of these “fresh” ideas into your next summer party. Below is one of my favorite side dishes to pass!

Tropical Fruit Salsa


1                      ripe Mango (peeled, seeded and diced)

1                      ripe Avocado (peeled, seeded and diced)

½ cup            Pineapple (diced) add as much as you want depending on taste

½cup             Red Onion (minced)

½ cup            Red Pepper (minced)

3 TB                Cilantro (chopped)

2 tsp              Jalapeno Pepper (minced)

1 tsp              Garlic (minced)

Pinch             Kosher salt

1 TB                fresh Lime Juice


Combine all of the salsa ingredients listed above together in a bowl and fold well to combine. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes so that all of the flavors can combine. Any of the ingredients can be increased or decreased depending on personal taste.

Tess Zasuwa | Health Solution Intern