June is here with its long days and warm nights. Some of the best things about June is all the fresh produce and sunshine – oh, the wonderful sunshine! I am looking forward to using all the fresh local produce from my Farmers Market this summer to make some amazing dishes and enjoy some laid-back summer meals outside. Do you know what is in season this month? I have a few favorites I’ll share with you.
Avocado! I’ve talked about how much I love avocado and that it is number one on EWG’s Clean Fifteen list, so you know you are getting some quality nutrition when using this ingredient. In the grocery store you can get avocados from Mexico where they are in season year-round, but in California they are in season right now! You can add avocado to just about anything: add slices to toast, tacos, sandwiches, or even your breakfast omelet.
This is a perfect meal for the beginning of summer. This recipe includes avocado and mango, which are both in season for June! Fire up the grill and try these fajitas that are super simple yet full of flavor and perfect for entertaining guests.
Grilled Chicken Fajitas with Mango Salsa
From my book “Skinny Chicks Don’t Eat Salads”
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- 14 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 3/4” wide strips)
- 2 cups sliced red bell peppers (cut into 1/2” strips)
- 2 cups sliced onions (cut into 1/2“ strips)
- 1 cup fresh salsa
- 1/2 medium mango, chopped
- 1/2 medium avocado, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- High-heat nonstick cooking spray
- 8 corn tortillas
- 2 limes, sliced
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Preheat a grill pan or outdoor grill
- Whisk the first 6 ingredients together in a small bowl. Divide into 2 large plastic bags.
- Add the chicken to one bag and the peppers and onions to the other. Shake the bags to coat thoroughly. Let marinade for at least ½ hour.
- In a medium bowl, combine the salsa, mango, and avocado and set aside.
- Season the chicken and vegetables with the salt and black pepper. Spray the grill with the cooking spray.
- Grill the chicken until cooked through, approximately 4 minutes on each side.
- Grill the vegetables until brown, 10 to 15 minutes, turning frequently.
- Wrap the tortillas in foil and place on the grill until warmed, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stuff the tortillas with the chicken, peppers, and onion, and top with the mango salsa.
- Garnish with the lime slices and serve with the sour cream.
Nutrition facts per serving: 417 calories, 30 grams protein, 56 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fat. Serves 4
From my book: “Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food”
- 2 Hass avocados, diced
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a salad bowl and toss gently to coat.
Nutrition facts per ½ cup serving: 170 calories, 3 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fat (all good fats!)
Beets are also in season this month. Beets are deliciously earthy and can be eaten fresh, cooked, or roasted. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and low in calories and fat. They also contain inorganic nitrates and pigments, both of which have a number of health benefits.
I this recipe, the sweetness of the beets with the peppery arugula is a wonderful palate pleaser. Sometimes I add goat cheese to this salad, and it’s amazing! If you don’t have time to roast the beets, you can often find vacuum-packed roasted beets in the produce sections of better supermarkets. Arugula is also in season this month, so make sure you look for this in your local Farmer’s Market!
Arugula and Beet Salad
From my Book “Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food”
- 2 medium beets
- 4 cups arugula
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Fine sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Trim the stems off the beets and lightly scrub with a vegetable brush. Wrap in foil and roast until tender, about 45 minutes.
- When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and cut into ½-inch (you can do this up to 2 days ahead of time.)
- Toss the arugula and beets in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the oil and vinegar in a small bowl until emulsified.
- Add a pinch of salt and cracked pepper to the dressing.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.
Nutrition facts per serving: 90 calories, 1-gram protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fat
Baked Rosemary Beet Chips
30-minute baked beet chips infused with rosemary and speckled with sea salt. Perfectly crispy, simple to make, and a healthy snack on the go. From the Minimalist Baker
- 3 medium-large beets (rinsed and scrubbed)
- Olive or avocado oil
- 1 pinch each sea salt + black pepper
- 2-3 sprigs rosemary (roughly chopped)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven.
- Thinly slice beets with a mandolin (or a sharp knife), getting them as consistently thin as possible. They should curl a little when cut. This will ensure even baking and crispiness.
- Divide between two baking sheets and spray or very lightly drizzle with olive oil. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, and the rosemary. Toss to coat. Then arrange in a single layer, making sure the slices aren’t touching.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy and slightly brown. Be sure to watch closely past the 15-minute mark as they can burn quickly.
- Remove from oven. Let cool. Then serve.
Nutrition per serving: 70 Calories, 4.7 grams Fat, 0.6 grams Saturated Fat, 95 mg Sodium, 293 mg Potassium, 8.6 grams Carbohydrates, 2.5 grams Fiber, 6.1 grams Sugar, 1.5 grams Protein, 1% Vitamin A, 7% Vitamin C, 1% Calcium, 4% Iron Serves 3
There are so many other fruits and vegetables in season this month! Blueberries, cherries, cucumbers, green beans, kale, leeks, peas, radishes, rhubarb, strawberries, and more! You can check what is in season by your region by clicking here.
With the weather being warm and the days getting longer, it’s the perfect time to plan for more outdoor activities. More children are home during the day in the summer and playing outside; it is a great time to make sure you are aware of safety issues that may arise.
June is National Safety Month. It’s an opportune time to take inventory of safety protocols and first aid procedures:
Do you know what to do in an emergency?
- Know when to call 911 – teach your children when and how to call 911 (Here are some FAQs about 911)
- Learn how to help someone who is choking or hurt (watch this video from the American Red Cross)
- Take a class to learn first aid and CPR. Find a class in your area by clicking here.
- Keep a first aid kit at home and in your car. Here is a checklist on what you should keep in your kits.
Protect your children from injury by being prepared. The leading causes of injury and death for children include car crashes, drowning, accidental poisoning, fires, suffocation, and falls.
Here is what you can do to be prepared and reduce the risk of injury:
- Use a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt that’s right for your child’s size and age – on every trip.
- Teach your child to swim and closely watch your child in or near water. Click here to see more or water safety.
- Keep medicines, vitamins, and cleaning products where your child can’t see or reach them. Click here for more tips to prevent poisonings.
- Use smoke alarms. Make and practice a fire escape plan for your home.
- Make sure your child wears the right safety gear (like a helmet or pads) when playing sports or doing other physical activity. Is your playground safe for play?
- Protect your baby during sleep. Keep soft objects (like pillows, blankets, crib bumpers, or toys) out of the crib. Always put babies to sleep on their back.
- Click here for more tips on preventing child injuries.
There are many other ways we can educate ourselves to be prepared during National Safety Month. Here are some other helpful resources:
- Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,166 lives in 2017 alone. Get the facts, get involved, and help us keep America’s roads safe. Click here for more information.
- If there is a fire, you may have less than 3 minutes to get out of your home. Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do if there is a fire. Click here for a fire safety checklist for homeowners and renters.
- All Americans should have some basic supplies on hand in order to survive for at least three days if an emergency occurs. Click here for Fema’s Emergency Supply Checklist.
- Wildfires can ruin homes and cause injuries or death to people and animals. A wildfire is an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. Click here for more information on how to be prepared for the upcoming wildfire season.
Studies are confirming that community parks and recreation, green space, and time outdoors is critical for creating healthy, active, and sustainable communities. You can experience the benefits by visiting your community parks and recreation any time of the year, and especially on Family Health and Fitness Day. Family Health and Fitness Day is this Saturday, June 8th! Participate in the 2019 Family Health and Fitness Day Challenge at noon ET (9 am PT) on June 8th. The National Recreation and Park Association challenges everyone to “Get Fit” With Parks and Recreation by doing a minute of jumping jacks (regular or modified) with family and/or friends at a local park or recreation center. Families are encouraged to share photos and videos of the challenge online using #NRPAFamilyFitDay.
You can also participate in the Family Health & Fitness Day by:
- Taking a Walk
- Going for a Swim
- Enrolling in a Fitness Program
- Creating Your Own Exercise Routine
- Playing Outside
I’d love to see what you and your family do for Family Health & Fitness Day! Share your pictures with me on social media; you can find links to my social pages at the top of this newsletter!
“Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.” – Al Bernstein