A Chic and Simple Summer Meal

It’s basically the goal of most students on break to look better when they return in the fall. During the school year, in between classes, extracurricular activities and social outings, we all get used to a pace of eating that keeps us balanced. Often, when we go on summer break, that pace is broken and leads to strange eating habits.

 As college students we’re all used to simple and cheap meals that don’t take too much fuss work. But a true Chicster is still able to have a gourmet-style meal with little cash or time.

Now I know there seems like a million diets out there to change this and lose that, but that’s not what the summer is about. The word “diet” in American culture is synonymous for a painstaking routine to lose weight, but in this case I mean the literal form of a normal eating plan. And relax–there’s so many things you can eat to keep healthy and maybe even turn heads in the fall, without binging on food later on.

Summer brings some of the freshest ingredients to life. Since the weather is warm, you want to back away from heavy foods to reduce stress on your body.

Conveniently, the summer offers an array of delicious foods that grow great during the season and pack the produce floors. Strawberries are one of those foods, and can be eaten in many unconventional ways. This member of the rose family is known to be regular summer treat, but did you know it makes for a great salad ingredient too?

Spinach Salad (see photo above):


Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


Tablespoon minced onion
10 ounces fresh spinach – rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
1 quart strawberries – cleaned, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and onion. Cover, and chill for one hour.

2. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds. Pour dressing over salad, and toss. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

So you have an internship or job and don’t have time to be Betty Crocker? Then be sure to make healthy choices when you order from restaurants. On impulse you may wanna go for a greasy burger and some fries, and every once in a while that’s okay, but to look and feel healthy you can’t always choose that.

Explore your options, and look at meals with lots of greens in them. Greens, especially dark ones, serve as a perfect source of iron and many other essential minerals. If you’re craving meat, grilled or baked chicken is also a light and tasty solution for your outings.

Honestly, in the end your health is about you and not what others think of you. Remember to eat healthy and pick a diet that feels right. Enjoy your summer!

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