Refreshing summer recipes

Summer is almost here! This is a great time to explore new and delicious recipes for you and your family to enjoy in the warmer months ahead.

We’ve rounded up some healthy and easy-to-make recipes to help you get started!

Avocado and tomato chickpea pasta salad with lemon basil vinaigrette

This refreshing pasta salad will be a go-to this summer. It’s quick and easy to make and is perfect for work lunches or to bring to your next picnic. Top with the zesty lemon basil vinaigrette and enjoy!

Yields: 6


For the pasta:

  • 8 oz. Orecchiette or bowtie pasta
  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 ripe but slightly firm avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Optional: 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

To garnish: Torn basil leaves


  • Make the dressing by adding all ingredients to a blender. You can also whisk them together in a medium bowl, but you’ll need to make sure the basil is finely diced. Set aside the dressing until the pasta is ready.
  • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Once the pasta is done, drain and toss in olive oil to avoid sticking and add to a large bowl.
  • Stir in chickpeas, tomatoes, feta, avocado, red onion and olives. Fold in dressing and gently stir until pasta is well combined. Season with freshly ground black pepper and top with torn basil leaves.

One skillet Greek chicken and orzo with tomatoes, feta, and tzatziki

This Mediterranean-inspired dish is flavourful, made with simple ingredients and the best part? Everything is cooked in one skillet – making cleanup a breeze! This skillet recipe is sure to become a weeknight staple for your and your family.

Yields: 6


  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into bit size pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch each kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup mixed Greek olives, pitted
  • 2 cups dry orzo pasta
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • tzatziki, for serving


  • 2 cups mixed heirloom tomatoes, chopped or halved
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, grated


  • In a large skillet, toss together the olive oil, chicken, oregano, paprika and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until the chicken is browned all over and cooked through for about 5 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and garlic, and cook another minute. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
  • To the skillet, add the bell peppers. Cook until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the orzo and 2 1/2 cups water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until almost all the water is absorbed for about 10 minutes. Stir the chicken and olives into the orzo. Allow the chicken to warm through for about 3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, toss all the ingredients for the tomatoes together in a bowl. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.
  • To serve, spoon the tomatoes over the chicken and gently toss. Serve each topped with feta cheese and tzatziki.

Veggie and bean burritos

These tasty burritos are the perfect summer recipe. Serve salad or tortilla chips and dip on the side to make it a full meal.

Yields: 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 4 burrito-size flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup cooked rice, warmed
  • 4 cup fresh spinach

Desired toppings: shredded cheese (cheddar or Monterey Jack), sour cream, cilantro, salsa, and guacamole, for layering and garnish


  • Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat
  • Add onion, garlic and season with salt
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes
  • Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have released their liquid and are soft, 4 to 6 minutes
  • Add chili powder and cook, stirring, until starting to darken, 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • Add beans and stock and cook, mashing a few of beans with the back of a wooden spoon, until liquid is thickened slightly and beans are warm, 1 to 2 minutes
  • Stir in lime juice and season with salt
  • Spoon rice, bean mixture, spinach and desired toppings down centers of tortillas, dividing evenly
  • Fold short ends of tortillas inward toward filling (this prevents the filling from spilling out of the sides)
  • Fold one long side over the filling. Place your fingers across fold, holding tortilla over filling and push edge against filling to make sure the fold is tight, then roll burrito closed.
  • Serve with extra shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack, sour cream, cilantro, salsa, guacamole and any other of your favourite toppings

Which summer recipe was your favourite? Take a picture of your meal and tag us on social media @UHNfoundation.

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