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Top Chefs' Healthy Summer Recipes

Carla Hall, Jamie Oliver and Ming Tsai cook up more tasty meals for you to prepare in your own kitchen

Penne Tossed With Macerated Heirloom Tomatoes, Zucchini Ribbons and Fresh Herbs

By Carla Hall

For this recipe, use the ripest and freshest tomatoes you can find. Also, make sure you find young, tender zucchini, as it is used raw in this recipe.


Serves 6

What you'll need

1 pound mixed heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled


1 pound penne pasta or a pasta of your choice (farfalle and linguine also work well)

2 small zucchini

2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (preferably a mix of thyme, parsley and basil)

1/4 cup olive oil

Pepper to taste

About 1/4 pound Parmesan cheese, in 1 piece

Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

1. In a large bowl toss the tomatoes with the chili flakes, garlic and salt to taste. Transfer everything to a colander and place it back over the bowl. Let drain at room temperature for at least 2 hours.

2. About 30 minutes before serving, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

3. While the pasta cooks, shave the zucchini into long strips using a vegetable peeler. When you get to the inside with the seeds, rotate the zucchini and shave until you hit seeds again. Keep shaving and rotating until you have nothing left but the seedy core.

4. Pour the collected tomato juices into a container, to save for later use - they're great for vinaigrettes. Dump the tomato mixture back into the bowl and add the zucchini strips.

5. When the pasta is done, drain thoroughly, then combine with the tomato-zucchini mixture. Sprinkle with the vinegar, sugar, chopped herbs and olive oil. Toss gently to mix. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

6. Portion everything into bowls. Using a vegetable peeler, shave Parmesan over each bowl. Garnish with fresh basil.

Nutrients per serving: 439 calories, 17g protein, 62g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 13g fat (4g saturated fat), 14mg cholesterol, 1,359mg sodium

Grilled Halibut With Ratatouille and Fried Okra

By Carla Hall

Keep the ingredients separate until you're ready to serve to ensure you get a dish with texture instead of one that tastes like mashed vegetables.


Serves 4

What you'll need

1 small eggplant, cut into small cubes

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 pound Roma tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

Freshly ground black pepper

3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

2 thyme sprigs

1 rosemary sprig

1 small zucchini, cut into small dice

1 small yellow squash, cut into small dice

Canola, peanut or vegetable oil, for frying

10 to 12 okra pods

All-purpose flour

4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets, rinsed and patted dry

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Sprinkle the eggplant lightly with salt and put it into a colander in the sink to drain.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat until it dimples. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 5 or 6 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, thyme and rosemary. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes cook down.

3. While the tomatoes are cooking, pat the eggplant dry with paper towels, then transfer to a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons olive oil and stir to combine. Roast in the oven until brown and slightly dry, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

4. Heat another large skillet over high heat until very hot. Toss the zucchini and yellow squash with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and cook quickly, stirring frequently, until lightly brown. Set aside. (Note: Do not crowd the pan, or the pieces will sweat instead of brown.)

5. Prepare the okra: Fill a deep fryer or deep, heavy pot with 2 to 3 inches of oil and heat to 360°F. Slice the stems and tips off the okra. Make a slit down the side of each pod and carefully cut out the seeds by placing the knife under the seeds while turning the okra. Cut the remaining part into thin strips. Toss the strips lightly with flour. Working in batches, fry the okra until lightly brown. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Keep warm.

6. Prepare the fish: Prepare the grill and heat to medium-high. Lightly brush the fish with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill the fish over direct heat until firm and opaque throughout, turning once, 4 to 6 minutes per side.

7. Five minutes before serving, remove the herb sprigs from the tomatoes. Stir in the eggplant and squashes and heat through. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

8. Serve the fish on the ratatouille, topped with the fried okra strips.

Nutrients per serving: 297 calories, 39g protein, 20g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 7g fat (1g saturated fat), 54mg cholesterol, 1,045mg sodium

Yemeni Pancakes

By Jamie Oliver

These pancakes are soft and delicious, and all the little holes that pop up on the top are perfect for a smear of butter, honey or any of the traditional treats you want to drizzle over a pancake.


Makes 12 pancakes

What you'll need

1/4 ounce sachet of dried yeast

1 teaspoon runny honey

2 large free-range eggs

14 ounces milk

3/4 cup self-rising flour

3/4 cup cornmeal or fine semolina flour

Sea salt

Olive oil

Fresh raspberries, a knob of butter and runny honey, to serve

1. Dissolve the yeast in a bowl with a couple of good splashes of warm water and the runny honey, then leave in a warm place for about 20 minutes.

2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and whisk in the milk. Gently whisk in the yeast mixture, then add the flour, cornmeal or semolina, and a pinch of salt. Whisk for a minute or so, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it feels too dense and isn't pourable, add a splash more of the milk. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside for about 1 hour.

3. When you're ready to start cooking, put a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat and rub a little olive oil on it with a paper towel. Once hot, pour a ladle of the pancake mixture into the pan and tilt the pan so the batter spreads out into a large circle. Loads of little holes should start bubbling and appear on top; cook for 2 minutes or until the pancake is golden on the bottom and cooked through. After you've cooked the first one, review the temperature and adjust so each pancake comes off the pan soft and floppy.

4. Serve with the holey side facing up, with raspberries, a pat of butter and honey.

Nutrients per pancake: 71 calories, 3g protein, 12g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 1g fat (0g saturated fat), 35mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium

From Jamie Oliver's Great Britain by Jamie Oliver. Copyright © Jamie Oliver, 2011, 2012. Published by Hyperion.

Pea and Mint Soup

By Jamie Oliver

A delicious soup that's lovely hot or cold, with a squeeze of lemon juice in the summer. My wife likes hers with a portion of fries on the side, to dip into the soup — naughty but nice.


Serves 8

What you'll need

2 medium carrots

2 celery stalks

2 medium onions

2 cloves garlic

1-3/4 quarts chicken or vegetable broth, preferably organic

2 tablespoons olive oil

5-1/2 cups frozen peas

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Small bunch of fresh mint

3/4 pound cooked ham, preferably free-range or organic (optional)

1. Peel and roughly slice the carrots. Slice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic.

2. Put the broth into a saucepan and heat until boiling.

3. Put a large saucepan on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add all chopped and sliced ingredients to the pan and mix together with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 10 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is lightly golden.

4. Add the boiling broth to the vegetables. Add the peas. Give the soup a good stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

5. When the peas have softened, remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and add the mint leaves.

6. Using an immersion blender or liquidizer, pulse the soup until smooth.

7. If using ham, chop it and stir it in. Heat through before dividing among your serving bowls.

Nutrients per serving: 182 calories, 15g protein, 17g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 35mg cholesterol, 1474mg sodium

From Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver. Copyright © Jamie Oliver, 2008, 2009. Published by Hyperion.

Super Berry Smoothie

By Ming Tsai

This smoothie is a meal in itself. You can use fresh spinach from your garden — or frozen, if fresh is not available.


Serves 2

What you'll need

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

1 large banana

1 cup ice cubes

2 cups rice, soy or almond nondairy beverage

2 scoops Spiru-Tein or other protein powder

1/4 cup frozen spinach

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Nutrients per serving: 216 calories, 9g protein, 40g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 247mg sodium

Eggplant Steak With Cucumber Raita and Quinoa

By Ming Tsai

This recipe creates layers of texture with the eggplant, cucumber and quinoa.


Serves 4

What you'll need

2 large Italian eggplants, cut into 1-inch-thick round slices

Kosher salt

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt

1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained well

2 cups homemade vegetable stock; low-sodium, store-bought stock; or water

1/4 cup mint, finely sliced

1. Sprinkle eggplant slices with kosher salt. Put into a large colander and allow to drain for 1 hour. Rinse lightly with water and pat dry.

2. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill. In a small bowl combine the olive oil and 1 tablespoon minced garlic. Generously brush the eggplant with garlic oil, and season with freshly ground black pepper.

3. In a medium bowl combine the yogurt, cucumber, remaining tablespoon of garlic and ginger. Stir to combine well. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

4. Place quinoa and stock in a medium saucepan. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 to 17 minutes (until all the liquid is absorbed). Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff quinoa with a fork. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and gently mix in mint.

5. Place eggplant slices on the grill over medium-high heat and cook until marked and tender, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

6. To serve, place a generous mound of quinoa on serving plates and top with eggplant slices. Spoon some raita over the eggplant and serve additional on the side.

Nutrients per serving: 422 calories, 15g protein, 60g carbohydrates, 12g fiber, 17g fat (2g saturated fat), 3mg cholesterol, 1495mg sodium

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