Best Summer Meals FeatImage: shuterstock.com

What better way to ring in the beginning of summer with some of the top season food dishes. Many of us are still busy with jobs and parenting but that doesn't mean our dinners have to suffer. So take these top 10 easy meals from allrecipes.ca that will allow you time to spend with your family in the backyard while soaking up the rays and a little relaxation.

 

Grilled Steak Salad with Asian Dressing

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Season steak with soy sauce and steak seasoning and refrigerate for about one hour or overnight for the best taste. Grill them for about six minutes per side and then transfer them to a platter and sprinkle with lemon juice. Cut them into strips and cover with aluminum foil. For the dressing whisk rice vinegar (2 tablespoons) , olive oil (2 tablespoons) , sugar (2 tablespoons), sesame oil (1/2 teaspoon), garlic powder (1/4 teaspoon) and two pinches of red pepper flakes together. Combine the steak with some lettuce, cucumber, avocado, tomato, carrot, red onion and then pour over dressing.

 

Peach Trifle

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This is a delicious dessert that will leave your family asking for more. Simply cut up 6 large ripe peaches and toss them with 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Place 1 cup of peaches in a blender and set aside remaining slices and blend until smooth. Put 2 (8 ounce) containers of vanilla yogurt in a bowl and stir in the peach puree and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Now just cut up an angel food cake into squares and place half in the bottom of a glass dish. Spoon half of the peach slices over the cake and cover with half of the yogurt mixture. Put the remaining cake squares over the yogurt and top with peaches. Cover with remaining yogurt mixture. Garnish with peach slices and put it in the fridge until you're ready to serve.

 

Grilled Zucchini

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Preheat the grill for medium heat, drizzle zucchini slices on both sides with olive oil and grill seasoning. Then simply grill zucchinis until tender – about 3 to 4 minutes. This is a great summer vegetable to go along any side dish, especially hamburgers.

 

Jersey Fresh Tomato Soup

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Who says you can't have soup in the summer? This dish is perfect for the summer tastebuds. Simply chop and seed 7 cups of tomatoes and add in 1 cup of chopped carrots and 3/4 chopped onion. Boil the ingredients in a stockpot and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes and then stir in 1 can (13.75 ounce) chicken broth, 1 tablespoon white sugar and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat in a small saucepan and whisk in 3 tablespoons flour, stirring until thick. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of milk until smooth. Cook and stir, whisking constantly until thickened and then stir in the milk mixture to the stockpot. Season with 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon celery salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Simmer soup on low to reduce and thicken – about an hour. Bon appetite!

 

Watermelon and Feta Salad with Arugula and Spinach

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Nothing says summertime more than watermelon. For this salad simply whisk together 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a small bowl and set aside. Combine 2 cups arugula, two cups baby spinach leaves, 1 cup sliced red onion and 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved) in a bowl. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad, add 1/2 cup feta cheese and 2 cups bite sized watermelon and serve.

 

Bacon and Macaroni Salad

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Place 1 pound of sliced bacon in a deep skillet and cook over medium high heat until brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add 1 package of elbow macaroni pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Whisk 1 cup of mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper in a large bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Add the bacon and pasta together along with 3 chopped tomatoes, 1 large chopped cucumber, 4 hard-cooked eggs (chopped) and 1/2 cup celery. Sprinkle with dressing and 1/2 cup sliced green olives.

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue

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This is a quick and delicious meal for summer. Simply place about 6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves in a slow cooker. Then in a bowl mix 1 (12 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce with 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing, 1/4 brown sugar and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce together. Pour over the chicken, cover and cook 3 to 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low. Serve on hamburger buns and serve with baked potatoes for a tasty summer meal.

 

Pasta with Scallops, Zucchini and Tomatoes

Pasta with Scallops, Zucchini and TomatoesImage: shuterstock.com

In a large pot of boiling salted water cook 1 pound dry fettuccine pasta. While that is cooking add 3 cloves of minced garlic to a large skillet and cook until tender. Add in 2 zucchinis (diced), 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and saute for 10 minutes. Add in 4 roam (plum) chopped tomatoes, 1 pound of bay scallops and 1 cup chopped fresh basil and simmer for 5 minutes until scallops are opaque. Pour sauce over the cooked pasta and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Caprese Salad with Grilled Flank Steak

Caprese Salad with Grilled Flank SteakImage: shuterstock.com

For this recipe simply mix two diced tomatoes, 1 (4 ounce) ball of fresh mozzarella (cut into 1-inch cubes), 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, 1 clove minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a bowl. Cover bowl and refrigerate. Meanwhile, place 1 pound of flank steak in a resealable bag and add 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place the oil mixture over the steak and grill it. When it's finished cooking thinly slice the steak across the grain. Divide lettuce onto serving plates, drizzle about 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar and 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil onto each lettuce portion. Top the salad with the steak and tomato mixture.

 

Grilled Pork Chops with Fresh Nectarine Salsa

Grilled Pork Chops with Fresh Nectarine SalsaImage: shuterstock.com

This is a sweet and spicy nectarine salsa that goes well with pork. To make the salsa, combine 2 nectarines (pitted and diced) with 1 ripe tomato (seeded and diced), 1/4 cup diced onion, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Toss them together and season with salt. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Stir together 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl and brush your pork chops with oil, seasoning both sides evenly with the cumin mixture. Place pork chops on a grill and cook lightly – about 4 minutes per side. Then place the chops on serving plates and top with a spoonful of salsa.