Fresh and Quick Eats

By Lydia Zerby

Summer is the perfect time for quick meals with fresh ingredients. Whether you’re looking to prep food ahead of time or serve a delicious and wholesome dinner for your family, pairing high-quality proteins with flavorful fruits and vegetables is always a winning combination.

We’ve rounded up several easy-to-make recipes with fresh ingredients to add to your family’s summer meal rotation. Knowing that Iowa’s farmers likely had a hand in raising many of the nutritious ingredients in these recipes makes soaking up nature’s beautiful season even sweeter.

Please note, by clicking the following links, you’ll be leaving a partially funded checkoff site.

Waldorf Salad | Iowa Turkey Federation

Waldorf salad is named for the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, where it was first created for a charity ball given in honor of the St. Mary's Hospital for Children in 1896. Today, Waldorf salad is still enjoyed as a cool, fresh side or main dish. The green apples, celery, and grapes harmonize the color palette of the recipe. Adding turkey to this already flavorful salad makes it a perfect summer meal. And turkey offers 26 grams of protein in just 3 ounces, B vitamins and minerals. Find the recipe here.

Photo Credit: Iowa Turkey Federation


Glow Up Bowl | Iowa Pork Producers Association

Raise your pork chop game with this Glow Up Bowl, made with mouth-watering grilled pork chops, drizzled with honey mustard and loaded with flavor. Adding vegetables like red peppers, Brussels sprouts and red onions gives a splash of color and boost of vitamins A, D and E. One essential nutrient in pork is niacin, which is important for the normal enzyme function in the body and involved in the metabolism of sugars and fatty acids. Find the recipe here.

Photo Credit: Iowa Pork Producers Association


Corn and Avocado Salsa | Iowa Corn

This salsa is equal parts sweet, fresh and tangy, perfect for serving with corn tortilla chips, over a bed of rice or on top of tacos. Adding creamy avocado balances the crunch of diced red onion, and lime juice packs an extra punch. Did you know that just 1% of the corn grown in Iowa is sweet corn grown for human consumption? The other 99% is used for livestock feed, ethanol production and manufactured goods such as shampoo, chewing gum, crayons and paper. Find the recipe here.

Photo Credit: Iowa Corn



Fruit Salsa Yogurt Parfaits | Midwest Dairy

Mix delicious fruits with your favorite vanilla yogurt for a refreshing parfait. This recipe can serve as an excellent light breakfast, dessert, or snack. For an extra boost of protein, try using Greek vanilla yogurt. Both types support digestion, weight loss and heart health while promoting gut health. One cup of yogurt contains 49% of daily calcium needs, which is necessary for healthy teeth and bones. Find the recipe here.

Photo Credit: Midwest Dairy


Mediterranean Beef and Salad Pita | Iowa Beef Industry Council

Traditional ingredients like feta, olives and pita bread give this salad a Mediterranean twist. The addition of ground beef gives it a boost of power-packed protein. Among the powerful package of 10 essential nutrients beef is known for, protein may be among the most notable. One 3-ounce cooked serving of beef provides 50% of your daily value (25 grams) of protein – making it an excellent source. Find the recipe here.

Photo Credit: Iowa Beef Industry Council


Sun Dried Tomato Tofu Dip | The Soyfoods Council

This delicious, fresh, creamy dip recipe is ideal for a family outing. Pair it with bright summer vegetables like carrots, celery, broccoli or cucumbers. Crackers or fresh bread make a perfect canvas for dipping, too. Tofu is pressed soybean curd, a great source of protein, calcium, selenium, manganese, iron and magnesium. Find the recipe here.

Photo Credit: The Soyfoods Council


Spicy Sriracha Baked Avocado Eggs | Iowa Egg Council

Start your morning with a creamy and protein-filled dish with this Spicy Sriracha Baked Avocado Eggs. This simple recipe will elevate your morning routine and set you up for a perfect summer day. For less-spicy eggs, combine ketchup with sriracha to taste. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, try green onions instead. Eggs have six grams of protein in every oval, along with eight essential nutrients. They are known for their superstar nutrients of choline and lutein, which benefit eyesight and cognition.
Find the recipe here.

Photo Credit: Iowa Egg Council