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Light and Fresh Ingredients for Hot Summer Days

By Margaret Furtado, MS RD LDN CYT and Joseph Ewing, RD LDN


Here are two great summer recipes that are both quick and easy to make. Both recipes use light and fresh ingredients to keep you going on those hot summer days, and they won’t weigh you down.


Our chicken recipe combines the nutritious yet tasty ingredients of tomatoes and cucumbers to make a refreshing summer salsa, and thyme adds just the punch to enliven your taste buds. If you want to kick it up a notch, add a small fresh jalapeno pepper, diced.


Lemon Thyme Marinated Chicken Breasts with Cucumber and Tomato Salsa


Chicken & Marinade Ingredients

4 skinless chicken breasts (3 ounces raw, each)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
3 tablespoons lemon zest, grated
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper



Salsa Ingredients

1 medium cucumber, deeded and diced small
1 small red onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 Roma tomatoes, diced small
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper


Method of Preparation

1. Combine all ingredients for marinade, along with chicken, in a large zip top container.  Allow to sit in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.

2. While chicken is marinating, combine all ingredients for salsa in a bowl, and stir together.  Allow to sit covered in the refrigerator.

3. Preheat grill to medium heat, about 1 ½ hours into the marinating process.

4. Grill chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees; approximately 6 minutes on each side.

5. Serve topped with salsa and an appropriate starch.


Yield and Serving

Yield: 4

Serving: 3 ounce and 1/4 cup salsa


Nutritional Analysis

Calories 180, Protein 22 g, Carbohydrates 6 g, Total fat 7.6 g, Cholesterol 2 mg, Sodium 354 mg, Sugars 4.5 g, Fiber 1.2 g