Fresh Healthy Summer Recipes

By Cindy Adams

FLAVOR—it’s what takes eating from something we must do, to something we want to do.

I’m keeping these summer recipes using fresh as much as I could find, simple and flavorful. Here’s a selection of recipes with seasonal herbs, summer fruits and veggies, and tons of flavor!

Fresh Spring Rolls

Bursting with veggies, these colorful fresh spring rolls are much easier to make at home than you might think! Just don’t forget the peanut sauce!

Not to be confused with egg rolls (which are deep-fried) fresh spring rolls are so, well, fresh! You’ll need to boil some water, but beyond that there’s really no cooking involved in making them.

Fresh spring rolls are made of rice noodles, lots of fresh, crunchy veggies and (often) shrimp or tofu. I opted to use shrimp because it’s what I usually order and because it’s so colorful and beautiful. You can use tofu if you’d like.

If you haven’t worked with spring roll wrappers before, you might be a little nervous about it, but it’s pretty easy! And remember, it’s just food! You’ll still be able to eat it, even if your first attempt at rolling a fresh roll isn’t quite restaurant-level pretty. And you’ll get better and better at it as you go along.


Vermicelli rice noodles
Spring roll wrappers
Butter lettuce
Persian or English cucumbers

Fresh herbs: cilantro, mint, basil, or green onions.


Use warm water to soften the wrappers, but not boiling hot! It doesn’t take much to soften them and get them ready to use.

Ten seconds in that warm water is plenty— don’t over-soak them! It may sound strange, but they tend to break if they get too soft.

Prep all your fillings before you begin to think about wrapping and rolling the spring rolls.

Make one fresh roll at a time, and work on a damp surface. At the edge closest to you, layer on a bit of lettuce, noodles, carrot, cucumber, some herbs and a few pieces of shrimp. Roll about half way, and then fold up the shorter sides.

PEANUT AND SWEET CHILI SAUCE are a must. They only take a few minutes to whisk together. All you’ll do for each sauce is basically combine the ingredients with a fork or whisk, so they really are simple. Here’s what you’ll need to make a sweet chili sauce & a homemade peanut sauce for dipping:


Brown sugar
Peanut butter.
Rice vinegar

Low-sodium soy sauce

Toasted sesame oil

Chili garlic sauce

Ground ginger

Granulated sugar

Fish sauce

Lime juice