Healthy Summer Recipes

 In Dr. Ray's Blog

Summertime and the cooking is easy.

Fourth of July is around the corner, and we’ve got the perfect summer recipes that are both delicious and healthy alternatives to those usual hot dogs and pizza. Check them out!
<strong>FOR THE GRILL:</strong>

*All burger recipes can be made using ground beef, chicken or turkey.

<strong>BBQ Chicken burguer with Sweet Potato Fries</strong> (1)


For the chicken burgers:

1-1.5 lbs Organic Ground Chicken
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup BBQ sauce
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil, for cooking the burgers (unless you grill them)

For the BBQ sauce:
1 (6oz) can organic tomato paste
1 small yellow onion, minced
½ cup apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup water or broth
2 tablespoons apple butter (optional)
1 tablespoon ground mustard (the kind in the jar, not powder)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
a pinch or two of ground cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
splash of hot sauce, to taste

For the fries:
1-2 sweet potatoes, thinly sliced to french fry thickness–let’s go with McD’s thickness, not Wendy’s (don’t act like you’ve never tried their fries you paleo purist freak)
2-3 tablespoons avocado oil, ghee, or duck fat
salt, to taste


1. Start with the fries
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. First, slice up your sweet potato (keeping the skin ON). Slice them to desired thickness but remember that the thinner they are, the more likely the are to be crisp!
4. Put sweet potato fries into a large bowl and add your avocado oil and salt. Stir them up a bit until they are completely covered and glistening happy as can be.
5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (always have better results AND better clean up with parchment paper) and add fries on the sheet. Space out the fries so they are not overlapping–you may have to use 2 cookie sheets depending on the size of your sweet potato!
6. Add to the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes of until desired crispiness occurs!
7. While the fries cook, whip up your BBQ sauce! In a pot, add some olive oil (or other fat) and brown the onion–about 5 minutes.
8. Add the garlic and stir together to cook a bit more.
9. Add all other ingredients and mix together, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes (or longer if you have time-I usually want to eat as quick as possible).
10. Once the BBQ sauce is simmering, finish the meal off with preparing your burgers!
11. Grab the same bowl you used to coat your fries, and add your chicken, ¼ cup BBQ sauce (right off of the stove!), spices, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
12. Heat up a large skillet over medium-high heat and add your olive oil.
13. Form your burgers into 4-5 patties and add to hot skillet. Cook for about 8 minutes/side.
14. While the burgers begin to brown up, grab a small skillet out and add a bit more olive oil to it and add your sliced onions and some salt to saute up and caramelize a bit. This will take about 10 minutes, just be sure to push the onions around a bit and cover them if you want them to cook a bit faster.

<strong>Grilled Pineapple Burgers with Avocado Cream</strong> (2)

Prep Time: 20 min | Cook Time: 15 min | Total Time: 35 min | Servings: 4


1lb Grass Fed Ground Beef
1 pineapple, cored and sliced (see my fantastic pics below)
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

For the cream:
2 avocados
juice of 1 lime
juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon hot sauce (your favorite will do)
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon olive oil
pinch of salt


1. Light your grill!
2. Now you should first slice your pineapple. I have no idea how to cut a pineapple very well but I try, so you can look at my pictures if that actually helps.
3. Use a big knife to cut off both ends of the pineapple, then stand the pineapple up and slice the sides off. Then cut the pineapple in hamburger slices (remember hamburger vs hotdog in elementary school? good). And finish the pineapple slices off by using a smaller knife to cut out the middle and press it out. Like a donut hole. Cute.
4. Then slice your onions.
5. Place meat in a bowl, add seasonings and mix thoroughly. Like hard core. Get in there.
6. Make 4 burger patties and flatten them out a bit.
7. Place onions, burgers, and pineapple on the grill at the same time. Try not to place pineapple over direct flame because it can burn pretty easily, being sugar and all.
8. Flip when grill marks become present, after about 5 minutes and cook about the same amount of time on the other side of until burgers are cooked to preference and pineapple is a bit charred and soft.

While the ingredients are on the grill, make your avocado cream!

1. Cut avocados in half, remove the seed, then scoop out the insides and place in your food processor.
2. Turn food processor on and let the avocado begin to break down. After about a minute, while your food processor is still running, add the rest of the ingredients for the avocado cream and keep pureeing until smooth: about 1-2 minutes.
3. Place a burger down, top it with pineapple, then a grilled onion, and then a dollop of avocado cream on top!

<strong>SoCal Guacamole Burgers on Portobello Mushroom “Buns”</strong> (3)

Prep Time: 15-20 min | Cook Time: 20 min | Total Time: 35-40 min | Serves 4


8 large Portobello mushrooms (2 mushrooms per patty), stems removed and wiped clean with a damp cloth or paper towel
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb / 453 gr grass-fed organic ground beef
1 ripe avocado, peeled
2 tbps of coconut cream (place canned coconut milk in the refrigerator and the next day scoop the creamy top part)
Juice of half lime
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, divided
½ teaspoon ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and place a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
2. Brush the mushroom caps (top and bottom) with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place them onto the lined baking sheet.
3. Bake in the oven gills side up first, for 10 minutes. Then flip them over and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
4. If you have it, use the convection mode on your oven, so that the circulating hot air takes out even more of the moisture from the mushrooms.
5. When the mushrooms are ready remove them from the trays (and the juices they released) and place them on a plate to dry off a bit.
6. In the meantime, place half avocado in a medium bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Add lime juice, coconut cream and cumin and stir to combine.
7. Dice remaining half avocado and add it to avocado mixture along with diced tomatoes, jalapeno (if using) and ⅛ teaspoon of salt. Stir gently to combine. Take a taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Set aside.
8. In another bowl, season ground beef with remaining ⅜ teaspoon of salt and ground black pepper. Mix well using your hands.
9. Divide beef mixture into 4 equal parts and shape into patties.
10. Heat a grill (or a grill pan) and grill patties 3 minutes on each side (or until desired degree of doneness).
11. To assemble burgers, place about ¼ cup of alfalfa sprouts on 4 mushroom caps, top each with 1 patty, 3 tablespoon of guacamole and top with remaining 4 caps.
12. Enjoy!

<strong>Mexican Inspired Burgers</strong> (4)

Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 10 min | Total Time: 25 min | Servings: 4


For the Mexi burgers:
1 lb buffalo (or grass fed ground beef)
1 (6oz) can of green chiles
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon chipotle red pepper (or chili powder)

For the toppings:
1 package mushrooms
1 red onion, thinly sliced
½ 14oz jar of roasted peppers, sliced
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
¼ teaspoon chipotle red pepper or chili powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste

For the Avocado Roasted Red Pepper sauce:
2 avocados
½ 14oz jar of roasted peppers, sliced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
½ lemon, juiced


1. Ok, so grab a sauce pan or skillet and add a bit of coconut oil to it, along with your sliced onions. Let those guys caramelize, stirring them randomly so they don’t burn.
2. Now grab another skillet, add your coconut oil, mushrooms, roasted peppers and spices and let those cook down for a while.
3. NOW make your burger patties. Grab a large bowl, add the meat, spices, and green chiles to it and mix thoroughly. Once the burgers are formed, add them to a large greased skillet. If you don’t want to skillet them, cook them on the grill . I covered them with a lid to help them cook a bit quicker. Cook for about 5-6 minutes/side depending how thick they are.
4. Last thing, while the burgers are cooking, make your avocado sauce. It’s insanity. Pull out your food processor, add all ingredients for the sauce to it and puree until smooth. This sauce is almost like a cheese sauce. But without the bloat and gas. How great is that?
5. Once your toppings are cooked, your burgers are cooked to perfection, and your sauce is silky smooth stack it all up. Burger, sauce, toppings, then some sliced avocado on top.
<strong>Gluten-free Hamburguer Buns</strong>

<strong>AIP Plantain Hamburguer Buns</strong> (5)

Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 25 min | Total Time: 40 min | Servings: 4-6

1 medium green plantain
1 and 1/4 of tapioca flour
2 tbps of coconut flour
2 tbps of lard
1/2 coconut milk (or substitute with 1/4 cup of water)
salt to taste
1/8 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar powder
optional: 1/2 to 1 tbps pressed or minced garlic


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Peel the plantain using a sharp knife. Cut off both tips then cut a slit down the length of the plantain peel (trying to only cut the peel and not the fruit). Lift and remove peel using fingers. Cut multiple slits on 2-3 sides to make it easier. Using a hand grater or the grater attachment to your food processor, grate the peeled plantain. You should yield around 3/4 cup shreds.
3. In a large bowl combine tapioca starch, coconut flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt and stir to combine well. Then, add coconut milk and garlic (if using) and stir well to combine. Finally, add in the shredded plantain and use your hands to work it into a dough.
4. If dough is too wet, add 1-2 Tbsp tapioca starch. If it is too dry, add in coconut milk 1 Tbsp at a time.
5. Divide dough into 4 smaller buns or 6 bigger ones. Place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 min, until outsides are slightly golden.
6. Allow to cool several minutes before serving, and enjoy!

<strong>Paleo Hamburguer Bun</strong>

Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 20 min | Total time: 30 min | Serves 3-4


1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of almond flour
3 eggs
2 tbps of water
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp of garlic powder
a pinch of dried thyme
a pinch of dried oregano


1. Preheat oven to 400 degress Fahrenheit.
2. In a lawge bowl, combine the tapioca and almond flours, garlic powder and salt. Stir until mixed.
3. Add the eggs and water and continue mixing until a soft dough is formed.
4. Add in the thyme and oregano and mix it in.
5. If you have a Burguer bakeware use that by filling 3 or 4. Otherwise, on a baking sheet, scoop batter with a spoon util you form 3 large or 4 medium sized buns on the baking sheet.
6. Cook for 20 min.
7. Remove, let is cool for 5 min, then cut it in the middle.
8. Enjoy your burguer!

<strong>Nut free Burguer Bun</strong> (6)

Prep Time: 20-30 min | Cook Time: 20 min | Total Time: 40 – 50 min | Servings: 4


125g (1 cup) taro or sweet potato (steamed and tender, easily poked through with a fork)
50g (1/3 cup) coconut oil
15ml (2 tbsp) coconut milk
22g (1/2 cup) coconut flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon raw honey
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (fine)


1. Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees.
2. Remove the taro/ sweet potato skin ad steam or boil until soft
3. I the meantime, warm together the coconut oil, coconut milk and raw honey on low heat just until everything melts together.
4. Place the baby taro and coconut oil mixture into a high-speed blender and combine until smooth. Add in the sifted coconut flour mixture and blend until combined. The coconut flour will soak up a significant amount of moisture, making the batter a lot thicker.
5. Transfer the taro batter from the blender into a large bowl. Beat the eggs in one at a time, scraping down after each addition, until a smooth and creamy batter is achieved.
6. To make each bun exactly 4″ inches in width, I traced a 4″ inch pan-bottom I had with a pencil directly onto my parchment paper. When you’re done tracing all four, make sure to flip the parchment paper to the other side (you don’t want your batter to be touching your pencil markings!) Parchment paper should be translucent enough for you to see your markings clearly on the other side.
7. Scoop the batter into 4″ buns outlined in the the parchment paper.
8. Using a small offset spatula, flatten out each mound to the end of my pencil markings on the parchment paper, making four even circles.
9. Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely before assembling.
10. Enjoy with your favorite burguer!

<strong>Grilled Chili-Lime Sweet Potato Wedges</strong> (7)

Prep time: 20 min | Cook Time: 20 min | Total Time: 40 min | Servings: 1-2


1 sweet potato or yam
2 tablespoons choice of fat (I used olive oil but you could use coconut or whatever else)
juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste


1. Place your sweet potato or yam in a large pot with water that completely covers it.
2. Put your pot over medium heat and let the sweet potato cook until you can poke it with a fork and it’s nice and soft. This took about 15-18 for my large sweet potato to cook through.
3. Once your pull your softened sweet potato out of the water to cool, heat up your grill.
4. When your sweet potato has cooled, cut it into wedges. The size or shape doesn’t matter, just that you love how they look.
5. Toss the sweet potatoes in a bowl with the remaining ingredients.
6. Place on the top rack of your grill to cook for 15-18 minutes, depending on the thickness of the sweet potatoes. Turn them over half way through cooking.
7. When the sweet potatoes have a bit of char to them and nice grill marks, place them on a plate and sprinkle with a bit more salt and chili powder while still hot.

<strong>Yam Baked Fries</strong>

Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 15-20 min | Total Time: 25-40 min | Servings: 2-3


1 large yam
2 tbsp of ghee or coconut oil
salt to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Peel the yam and cut it into thicker or thinner slices resembling (depending on your preference). You’ll do this by cutting it in half, then continue cutting each half in half until desired size is achieved.
3. Place the yam on a big bowl and mix in the ghee or coconut oil and salt.
4. Place it on a baking sheet. Spread them evenly so they don’t stick together.
5. Bake for 15-20 min. Remove from oven and let it cool for 5 min. Enjoy!

<strong>Tostones</strong> (8)

Prep Time: 5 min | Cook Time: 10 min | Total Time: 15 min | Serves: 4


2 green plantains
1/2 cup duck fat
salt, to taste


1. Peel green plantains by slicing just through the peel (not the fruit) lengthwise, from tip to tip, then prying off the peel with your thumbs. Sometimes it’s easier to peel if you make more than one slice down the length of the plantain.
2. Slice the peeled plantain at an angle into 1″ thick slices.
3. Meanwhile, preheat a large stainless steel skillet on the stovetop over medium heat (skip this step if using a gas stove).
4. Add a big dollop of duck fat to the hot skillet, then arrange the plantain slices in the skillet in one layer (if your skillet is too small to fit all of them at once, cook in batches).
5. Fry the plantain for two to three minutes on each side until they are golden in color. I prefer to flip three times as opposed to once to make sure they don’t get too brown. If they’re browning too quickly, reduce the heat. Maintain at least an eighth of an inch of fat in the bottom of the pan to prevent the plantain from sticking; add more fat as needed.
6. Remove the plantain slices from the skillet with tongs or a slotted spoon. Traditionally, they are pounded flat with a hinged utensil made for the task, called a tostonera, but any kitchen utensil (bowl, cup, plate etc.) that has a large enough flat surface will do the trick. I flatten mine on a cutting board with my 4-cup measuring cup then peel the mashed plantain off the bottom of the measuring cup with a spatula directly into the hot skillet again. Be inventive: there’s probably a dozen different things in your kitchen that will flatten the fried plantain slices!
7. Fry the plantain slices a second time, this time about one minute per side until crisp and golden brown, adding additional duck fat as needed to maintain about an eighth of an inch of fat in the bottom of the pan. You’ll almost certainly have to do this in two or even three batches, unless you own the world’s biggest skillet.
8. Remove tostones from the skillet and place on a serving plate or cutting board lined with paper towel to drain any excess fat. Sprinkle liberally with salt while still warm.

<strong>Watermelon and Cucumber Mynt Salad</strong> (9)

Prep Time: 8 min | Servings: 3-4


2 cup watermelon, diced
1 cucumber, diced
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
4-5 tablespoons mint, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Enjoy!

<strong>Cilantro Guacamole</strong>

Prep Time: 10-15 min | Servings: 4-6


3 haas avocados
3 tbsp of coconut cream
1 small onion
1 small clove of garlic (adapt it to your taste)
juice of 1 lime
1 handful of cilantro to garnish it


1. Remove pit from avocados and use a spon to scoop avocado out of its skin.
2. Place all ingredients, except cilantro on a food processor. Pulse until a smooth creamy consistency is achieved. If too thick, add tbsp of water until desired consistency is achieved.
3. Place is in a medium bowl, sprinkle the cilantro and enjoy!

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