- STUFFED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES Filling fruits and vegetables with protein-packed ingredients can enhance their nutritional value. Try loading half a cantaloupe with your favorite yogurt and topping it with slivered almonds and raisins. Or blend lowfat cottage cheese or part-skim ricotta with minced scallions and other vegetables and spoon into a hollowed out bell pepper or tomato. You can also make a low-carb wrap: Take round lettuce leaves (like butter lettuce) and top them with a crunchy mix of diced celery, water chestnuts, scallions, baked savory tofu, peas (fresh or frozen), cilantro, and chopped peanuts. Roll up and top with a splash of rice vinegar to add a little zing.
- VEGETABLE ANTIPASTO It's easy to get your five a day with this dish: Layer thin slices of avocado, cooked beets, and ripe summer fruit (try honeydew and/or strawberries) on a bed of arugula. Drizzle with roasted walnut oil and garnish with a light sprinkling of toasted walnuts and minced fresh mint.
- GRILLED VEGETABLES If you do feel like cooking, head outside. One of my go-to summer meal solutions is barbecuing a big batch of vegetables, then storing them, covered, in the refrigerator to eat all week long (they taste good cold too!). Zucchini, onions, red peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, and tomatoes are just a few you can try. Serve them as part of an antipasto plate with a good roast turkey from the deli, hummus, and a few slices of fresh mozzarella, or try them on a baguette with a drizzle of olive oil.