Posted July 6, 2013 by Jennifer Kane in Seasonal

Five tips for lighter, brighter summer eating

Straightforward, fresh and scrumptious &ndash that&rsquos summertime eating at its best. Much less time in the kitchen means more time to appreciate the vibrant scrumptious flavors of just-picked berries, peaches, greens and other vegetables.

&ldquoIt tends to make sense to consume lighter in the summer time,&rdquo says Chef William Tillinghast, culinary academic director at The Art Institute of Philadelphia. &ldquoHot climate slows down the digestion and heavy foods are tougher to digest.&rdquo

Chef Tillinghast got collectively with Chef Jeffrey Floyd, culinary academic director at The Art Institute of Virginia Beach, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta, to offer these five suggestions for enjoying summer season&rsquos gastronomic delights.

* Acquire nearby and seasonal &ndash or grow it oneself

Summer brings locally grown specialties &ndash berries of all sorts, melons, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, sweet onions and more. Check out farmers&rsquo markets and ask what&rsquos in season. Think about joining a CSA (Neighborhood Supported Agriculture) system to explore consuming seasonally. And absolutely nothing tastes greater than tomatoes from your own garden.

* Process make as small as attainable

The fresher the create, the less preparation needed. &ldquoThe longer the time between preparation and consumption, the more flavor is lost,&rdquo says Chef Tillinghast. Attempt cutting up peaches and a honeydew melon, add fresh blueberries and a squeeze of lemon or lime. Serve right away for an instant refreshing dessert.

Cook veggies rapidly by stir frying. Cut vegetables little. Cook briefly with olive oil in a wok or big saute pan more than medium-high heat (or place the wok on your grill). Add a tiny coarse salt and freshly ground pepper &ndash it&rsquos the ideal side dish for a easy roast chicken, grilled steak or swordfish.

* Hold flavors simple

Allow the flavor of fresh summer create to shine. Chef Floyd loves this summer season salad, adapted from &ldquoAmerican Regional Cuisine,&rdquo by The Art Institutes method of schools. Cut zucchini into matchstick strips. Combine with wedges of ripe tomato, finely sliced fresh basil, thin slices of sweet or green onion. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and serve on a bed of lettuce, spinach or other greens. Add feta or bleu cheese crumbles if you like.

* Use that grill

Grill eggplant, zucchini, onions and peppers. Brush with olive or walnut oil if you like. Put veggies straight on the grill, use a griddle or wrap in a single layer in foil. Grilled peach halves and pineapple rings are also delicious.

* Soup is for summer season, too

&ldquoCold soups like gazpacho, vichyssoise, avocado and cucumber, or different fruits, are refreshing,&rdquo says Chef Tillinghast. For a scrumptious cold soup, peel and chop pears and apricots (or hull and cut up strawberries). Add a sprinkling of sugar and probably a little cinnamon or cardamom. Mash lightly with a fork and add sour cream or yogurt, half and half or milk &ndash even champagne.

Beat the heat with lighter, simpler meals &ndash you&rsquoll really feel far better and have much more time for summertime exciting.

For much more info about The Art Institutes schools, check out www.artinstitutes.edu.

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Jennifer Kane