Quick Energy

The sun is shining, the kids are anxious to get on their bikes and hit the trail, and the last thing the household chef wants to do is spend an hour or two creating complex meals in a sizzling hot kitchen. These simple dishes are real people-pleasers, but they’re also packed with energy-giving nutrients — just what everyone needs to get fired up and back to the fun and games of summer.


Fruity Yogurt 

Nutritionists say we should pack in the protein at the morning meal to give us energy that lasts all day, and that’s easy to do with a helping of plain or vanilla yogurt, topped with your favorite fresh fruit. One 8-ounce container of plain yogurt contains 13 grams of protein. We’ve topped our yogurt with blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and almonds, but there’s no limit to the combinations you can try. Although this yogurt treat makes an excellent breakfast, there’s nothing to stop you from enjoying it at lunch, dinner … or even as a delicious stand-in for a sugary dessert.




Caprese Salad

Thanks, Italy, for giving us this easy yet delectable salad. It originated in a restaurant on the Isle of Capri in the 1950s. There are only four ingredients — fresh mozzarella cheese, basil, sliced tomatoes and your choice of balsamic reduction (readily available already prepared from your favorite grocery store) or olive oil, or both, if you’d like. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella (or use the small mozzarella balls), and arrange on a plate with the basil leaves. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction or olive oil and enjoy. Both tomatoes and basil are easy to grow in containers, so people with small outdoor spaces can still have two of the key ingredients for this salad on hand for whenever the Caprese mood strikes.



Green Smoothie 

Yes, it’s green and a little on the thick side and you may need to muster some courage to take that first sip, but after that you’ll be hooked. The basic green smoothie recipe calls for blending leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, celery or broccoli with fruit (at about a 40 percent greens to 60 percent fruit ratio) and ice or water. Popular fruit additives include oranges, bananas, apples, pears and mangoes.