Hot Summer Night Meals

Here in Texas, we are in the “dog days” of summer, hot and humid!  Heating up the kitchen is what I try to avoid so I focus on minimal cooking.  Here are some great dinner ideas that are fast, easy and will keep your house cool while nourishing your body.

Celery, Artichoke, Hearts of Palm Shrimp Salad

I always look for “wild” or “sustainably raised” shrimp.  Shrimp is high in iodine, a mineral that has been shown to be low in cancer patients. Serves four generously!


  • 2lbs of shrimp, deveined, shelled and cooked, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 14oz. can of artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
  • 2 cups organic celery, sliced
  • 14 oz. can of hearts of palm, drained and sliced
  • 1 cup of green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Parsley


  • 2 Tablespoons chopped, fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 whole lemon)
  • 1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pink salt or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (optional)

Mix all salad ingredients together and “plate” on four large plates.  Mix dressing ingredients together and drizzle over salads.  Top with parsley.

Orange Chicken Pita

If you work, thaw the chicken out the night before and make the marinade in the morning. The dressing is loaded with anti-cancer nutrients!


2 whole, organic chicken breasts

Marinade for Chicken

  • 1 cup fresh juiced orange juice (or frozen concentrate)
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • Marinate for 8 hours or over-night
  • Grill for 8-10 minutes each side (or broil), cool

Tahini Dressing

While chicken is grilling (or the night before) you can make this dressing.

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (or 1/4 cup frozen concentrate) 
  • 1 Tablespoon Tamari sauce (or low sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 whole shallot, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced (or use garlic press)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh green onion tops
  • 1 Tablespoon Mirin, (optional) sweet rice wine

Pita Filling

  • 2 whole tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup organic, shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup organic, shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup, pitted and sliced Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup, sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced red/yellow or green peppers
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup, shredded cheddar cheese (or feta cheese) 
  • 6 whole Pita breads

Slice the cooked chicken into thin slices.  Cut pita bread in half and open each half.  Fill with chicken, vegetables and drizzle with dressing.  This  mixture stays good for days, so a great lunch idea too! 

Optional: to make a vegetarian dish, replace chicken with garbanzo beans.


You can mix and match many ingredients for tostadas.  You can add cooked, organic grass-fed beef if you want more protein. Serves 4 generously!


You can make your own beans or buy organic pinto beans.  You will need four cups of beans.

Add to beans:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped,
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (or canned)
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (or more if you like hot!)



  • 1 cup grated jack cheese
  • 1 head of organic romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup organic cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Guacamole 
  • Salsa


8 corn or flour tortillas heated up in cast iron fry pan.

Top with beans, toppings, guacamole and salsa!

Salmon with Marmalade Sauce

Look for wild salmon, either frozen or fresh.


  • 1 lb wild salmon filets
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh, chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup, thinly sliced red onion

Grill or broil salmon.  In a saucepan combine all sauce ingredients and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup.  Pour over salmon.

An easy side dish for this would be “Seeds of Change” organic rice (found in the rice section of your store), and sliced fresh tomatoes topped with feta cheese!

Trail Mix Cookies

Sometimes you just need a “sweet treat!”  These are loaded with healthy seeds and can be made gluten free. This makes a big batch of cookies, but they can be frozen too.


  • 4 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
  • 4 Tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
  • 4 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour (or a gluten free flour mix)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup oat flour (just grind oats in blender or food processor) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
healthy trail mix cookies

Mix pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds together.  Toast until lightly brown (watch closely!)  Cool.  Mix all dry ingredients together in large bowl.  Mix wet ingredients together in separate bowl. Add wet to dry ingredients and mix well and add in chocolate chips.

Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for approximately 13 minutes.  Check cookies by gently pushing down on them.  They should have a little “give”, do not over-cook, they will get dry.

About the Author: Chris McKee

Chris McKee Certified Nutritionist and Certified Diet Counselo

Chris McKee is a Certified Nutritionist and Certified Diet Counselor with over 30 years of experience in whole-food cooking, healthy lifestyle coaching, individual nutritional counseling and speaking to 1,000’s of people about the role of good nutrition in preventing disease.

Chris is also a Certified Nutragenomix practitioner and this allows her to look deep into your genetic profile and personalize your nutrition program based on your unique genetic fingerprint.

She runs on-line courses including her 10 Day Clean Eating Challenge, 21 Days Prepping for the Keto Diet as well as her Hope 4 Cancer Recovery program.

Chris and her husband Ed love to travel, hence the name “The Nomadic Nutritionist”.  She is a grandmother of four and a great-grandma of two!  She loves to cook, explore new food finds, hike and fish.

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