These dishes are like summer on a plate

The recipes in this post were developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at

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Fattoush Salad with Zesty Herb Dressing

Dicing all the vegetables means you get a good combination of flavors in each bite.

Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

¼ cup very thinly sliced red or white onion
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
2 cups diced tomato
1 cup diced cucumber
½ cup diced bell pepper (any color)
¼ cup diced radishes
1 6-inch toasted whole-wheat pita, broken into bite-size pieces
½ cup Zesty Herb Dressing (recipe below)

  1. In a small bowl, combine the onion and vinegar. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the tomato, cucumber, pepper, radishes, and pita with the Zesty Herb Dressing.
  3. Drain the onion and add to the salad.

Zesty Herb Dressing

Makes about 1 cup (16 Tbs.)

1 tsp. lemon zest
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, finely minced or grated
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup soft fresh herbs (parsley, basil, cilantro, and/or dill)
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbs. water

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Per serving (1 cup salad with 2 Tbs. dressing):

  • Calories: 170
  • Total fat: 11 g
  • Sat fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbs: 15 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Total sugar: 4 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g*
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 190 mg

* Some brands of pita contain added sugar.

Falafel with Tzatziki

Falafel are best made with a mix of herbs. To make it easier to form the chickpea mixture into patties, I oil my hands first.

Time: 20 minutes
Makes 12 falafel

½ white onion, chopped
1 cup soft fresh herbs, leaves and tender stems (parsley, mint, cilantro, and/or dill)
1 15 oz. can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained
1 large egg
½ cup whole wheat panko or breadcrumbs
1 tsp. ground coriander or cumin
¼ tsp. sweet or smoked paprika
¼ tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
½ lemon, cut into wedges
½ cup Tzatziki (recipe below)

  1. In a food processor, pulse the onion and herbs until uniformly minced, about 10 pulses. Remove to a large bowl.
  2. Add the chickpeas, egg, breadcrumbs, spices, and salt to the food processor. Pulse into a rough paste, about 12 pulses. Add to the bowl with the onion and herbs, then mix everything together.
  3. Form the mixture into 12 falafel patties. In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Sauté the falafel until browned, 3–4 minutes. Gently flip and cook through, 2–3 minutes. Serve with the lemon wedges and tzatziki.


Makes 1 cup (16 Tbs.)

½ cup plain Greek yogurt (0% or 2%)
¼ cup minced cucumber
2 Tbs. minced fresh dill or mint
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, grated
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. kosher salt

In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together.

Per falafel (1 falafel with 2 tsp. tzatziki):

  • Calories: 90
  • Total fat: 4 g
  • Sat fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbs: 9 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Total sugar: 1 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 80 mg

White Fish Veracruz

White Fish Veracruz starts with a tasty combination of Spanish- and Mexican-inspired ingredients. The dish would typically be baked, but simmering gently on the stovetop works perfectly without heating up your kitchen.

Though it’s optional, I prefer to peel the tomatoes if they’re plum tomatoes or larger. Cut a shallow X in the bottom of each tomato, blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, then cool under running water. The skins will easily peel off. Or use a serrated peeler.

Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 white onion, diced
1 bay leaf
a pinch dried oregano or thyme
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
¼ tsp. kosher salt
4 tilapia or other white fish fillets (about 1½ lbs.)
8 pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced
a few fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves

  1. In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Sauté the onion until soft, 2–3 minutes.
  2. Add the bay leaf and oregano and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Nestle the fish into the sauce, spoon some sauce over each fillet, and cook gently until the fish easily flakes apart, 3­–5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  3. Top with the olives and parsley.

Per serving (1 fillet with sauce):

  • Calories: 260
  • Total fat: 11 g
  • Sat fat: 2 g
  • Carbs: 6 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Total sugar: 4 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 35 g
  • Sodium: 380 mg
Photos: Kate Sherwood/CSPI.

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