It's Time for a Summer Menu

My computer is in the hospital undergoing major surgery, allowing me some unexpected leisure time to tackle tasks like reviewing my new recipe files.

I uncovered a raft of summer meal suggestions I'd like to share with you.

Next, week we'll visit a charming local family. The following week we'll go to a jewelry making party. This week, we'll put on our aprons and cook.

Aug. 3 was National Watermelon Day. The watermelon originated in Africa. We Americans love the large oval red variety of melon that weighs up to 30 pounds. In other countries, the melons can be pink, white or yellow.

The darker the color of the melon's flesh, the higher the lycopene content. Lycopene lowers the risk of heart disease and cancer. We eat 14 pounds of watermelon per capita every year in America. Whew! That's a lot of watermelon, isn't it?

We never use watermelon in a recipe because we usually buy a wedge of cut melon and gobble it up as soon as we come home from the store. However, watermelon slices are the star ingredient of today's salad recipe - a cool, refreshing, summer supper side dish. The salad would pair nicely with a shrimp, corn and basil stir-fry.

Our family recipe for potato salad can't be beat. But I never take it on a picnic or to an outdoor potluck for fear that the combo of heat and mayo is too high-risk.

Here's a super two-potato salad that takes advantage of the health benefits of sweet potatoes and skips the mayo, allowing safe transport to outdoor events.

For our summer menu, I've also included a starter shitake roll and a strawberry dessert dip for grilled fruit.

This batch of summer suggestions was selected from my American Institute for Cancer Research files. I save and test the recipes developed by AICR because I like their innovative, well-balanced approach to recipe design. As much as I want to serve my family healthy meals, I insist on food that tastes good. AICR meets both standards.

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