A Berry Delicious Taste of Summer

background-2277_960_720

This past Easter weekend has been the best weather I have experience in a long time. It has gotten me 100% ready for summer! We still have about two months left before summer officially starts, but I am ready to eat summer foods. I can’t wait for the BBQs and bonfires that accompany my summer season.

The other day, I was at the grocery store thinking about what I should eat as a side dish for dinner that night. Usually I go with a veggie, but the burgers I was about raspberry-2023403_960_720to grill seemed more fitting with something that screamed “summer.” I walked by the case filled with precut fruit and saw a beautiful container filled with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. That was exactly what I needed. It was a taste of summer!

Not only do berries taste like summer, they’re also healthy! You’re supposed to eat between five and thirteen servings of fruits and veggies a day, depending on a few things such as age and weight. There are easy ways to use fruit in everyday meals.

One of my favorite ways to incorporate berries into meals is through salads. They add an extra sweetness that mixes amazingly with a vinaigrette. This is a great way to get in some servings of fruit and veggies! One of my favorites is Berry Pistachio Spinach Salad With Berry Vinaigrette. This recipe even includes steps to make your own vinaigrette, or you could buy a tasty one at the store! This Berry, Bulgur, and Spinach Salad with Spicy Maple Sunflower Seeds includes a directions for a vinaigrette as well, and is super tasty! These salads can be a side dish or be turned into a meal by adding a little more protein. They’re perfect with grilled chicken!

Similarly, this California Giant Strawberry and Jalapeño Salsa is full of summer flavor. It’s perfect for entertaining, or just to have on hand. It’s incredibly fresh, and healthy too!

California Giant Strawberry and Jalapeno Salsa

California Giant Strawberry and Jalapeno Salsa

On another note, sometimes sometimes berry recipes can go in a less healthy direction. My motto has been everything in moderation, so some berry-filled

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

desserts are more than okay! In my opinion, one of the best summer desserts is Strawberry Shortcake. This particular recipe uses biscuits as opposed to cake, which I love! Of course there are probably hundreds of variations on this classic dessert, but this recipe is easy and delicious.

Next, pretty much any recipe that has blueberries is tasty. Blueberry pancakes, blueberry muffins, blueberry scones… the list could go on forever! In my opinion, one of the best is Lemon Blueberry Cake. You can eat it for dessert, indulge in a slice for breakfast, or eat some with fresh cup of coffee.

Last but not least, the healthiest option is this Summer Berry Frozen Yogurt. This option calls for an ice-cream maker, but it is so worth it! It is very easy to

Summer Berry Frozen Yogurt

Summer Berry Frozen Yogurt

make, has minimal ingredients, and is super yummy! The batch calls for a cup of sugar, but I have tried with less and it’s still delicious. My next try will be with a sugar substitute like agave or honey.

These are just a few out of the many berry recipes on the Forq app. If you have any favorite berry recipes, share them for all your foodie friends (like me) to see! I’m always in search for a taste of summer.

Let’s Taco ‘Bout It

tacos-1613795_960_720

I’m just going to come right out and say it- I love tacos and everything taco-related. That includes the most popular drink to accompany tacos… margaritas!! But alas, we have already talked about how to make the perfect margarita in this blog post.

I love tacos so much because there are so many options. First, there’s the shell. Hard shell or soft shell? Or do you go a healthier route, and have a taco salad? Speaking of healthy, you also get to

Fresh cilantro

Fresh cilantro

decide what you add to your tacos. You get to choose how healthy you make them. I suggest trying to stay away from adding deep-fried items into your tacos and take a fresher route. Some of my favorite tacos include freshly grilled chicken, fresh guacamole, corn (for sweetness), salsaand sautéed peppers and onions. I squeeze some fresh lime juice on top and sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Cilantro is my secret ingredient– it makes everything taste super fresh!

Tacos can also be super easy to make. Like I said before, you get to decide what goes in them! You have the options to make everything from scratch, or you can buy a ton of ingredients pre-made.

Taco seasoning

Taco seasoning

For example, you could buy taco shells, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, and shredded lettuce all pre-done. All you would have to worry about would be cooking the meat! Ground beef is a classic, but if you are going for something healthier, ground turkey is also a great option. In order to get that taco taste, you need some taco seasoning. You can buy this at the store, but I suggest making your own with a recipe like this so you can critique it, know exactly what you like, and know exactly what kind of ingredients are going into your seasoning! For instance, I personally don’t like my tacos super spicy so I always hold back a little on things like chile powder, cayenne, and red pepper flakes.

If you’re looking to jazz up your tacos a bit, you can always make a specific kind. For example, this Teriyaki Chicken Taco recipe can bring in some asian-style flavor into your meal! One of my absolute favorite tacos to order when I am at a restaurant are fish tacos. Mahi mahi is my favorite! I just found this recipe for Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos with Kiwi Nectarine Salsa— I can’t wait to try to make them!

If you don’t want to make classic tacos but you’re craving that taco taste, there are tons of options! One of my all-time favorites is taco salad. It’s easy to make without a recipe by just putting your usual taco ingredients on top of a bed of lettuce and adding a lime-based dressing, or you could use this Loaded Chicken Taco Salad recipe! This recipe even includes the ingredients and steps to make your own taco salad dressing. What is great about a taco salad is that again, you get to decide what goes on it so you get to decide how healthy you want to make it.

Another healthy taco-inspired option are these Taco-Stuffed PeppersThey’re similar to

Taco soup

Taco soup

traditional stuffed peppers, except that have that sought-after taco flavor. Yum! The recipe even gives you the ingredients you need to make your own taco seasoning at home. Last but not least, we have this delicious taco soup. It is very similar to chili, but has all those delicious taco seasonings. I highly recommend topping it with some tortilla chips for an added crunch!

Of course, there are tons of variations and endless toppings to tacos! Don’t forget to share them with us on the Forq app!

April- the month of Garlic

food-652448_960_720Garlic makes my world go round. It gives amazing flavor to any dish it’s added to. I recently came across the fact that April is National Garlic Month, so I couldn’t resist writing about it! There’s so many options; garlic powder, garlic salt, jarred garlic, fresh garlic… I use them all!

However, my all time favorite is fresh garlic. Garlic cloves last a long time, so don’t be scared to buy fresh. Full bulbs will last 3-5 months in your pantry and even longer if frozen. Once the bulb is broken, it will last for a week to ten days before going bad.

Garlic press

Garlic press

One of the best kitchen buys I have ever made was getting a garlic press. I used to use a tiny grater, but that would leave me with wasted garlic and a fear I was going to grate my fingers! My garlic press has definitely changed my cooking experience for the better, and they are not even expensive! If you cook with garlic as much as I do, it is an investment you should definitely make.

Garlic is such a simple seasoning to use. I’m guilty of putting it on pretty much everything. One of my go-to lunches has been melting butter and adding fresh garlic and shrimp until the shrimp is cooked fully through, then putting it on top of brown rice and whatever veggies I have in my fridge. Healthy, simple, easy to make… yet full of flavor!

pasta-2054656_960_720

Garlic shrimp scampi

Of course, we think of using garlic in foods we associate with Italian cuisine, like pasta. One of the simplest garlic sauces I like to make is found in this Creamy Garlic Penne Pasta recipe. I like to jazz it up a bit by adding veggies like broccoli and some grilled chicken for protein. Another garlic pasta dish that everybody loves is Garlic Shrimp Scampi. If you’re making pasta, why not keep the carbs coming with some tasty Grilled Garlic Bread! 

Cheddar garlic biscuits

Cheddar garlic biscuits

Garlic chicken, zucchini, and corn

Garlic chicken, zucchini, and corn

Another variation of garlic bread I love are these Cheddar Garlic Biscuits. In my opinion, these are just as good as garlic bread but have a lot more use. If you serve garlic bread with anything besides Italian food, it seems a little off. But these biscuits are a great side for a picnic, BBQ, or pretty much any other dinner you can think of! For example, they would go absolutely perfect with this Garlic Chicken, Zucchini and Corn skillet dish.

Garlic also goes great with combinations like honey. For example, these Honey Garlic Pork Chops are absolutely delicious! I bet the Cheddar Garlic Biscuits would go great with those, too. Or, you could always go with a more traditional garlic side, such as these Garlic Herb Skillet Potatoes. This particular recipe calls for quite a few ingredients, mostly herbs. I have also had great luck just making them simply, almost more as home fries, by cubing potatoes and putting them in hot oil with garlic, salt, and pepper!

Of course, there are thousands of recipes that call for garlic that we haven’t covered today. If you have a favorite, you should definitely share it on the Forq app!

Creative design from the South

Get in touch with us!

×