Chicken with Dried Plums and Sage
Pounding the chicken breasts flat ensures juiciness and quick cooking so you can focus on the sweet-sour sauce. The plums and onions are sweet, but sage, the familiar herb that flavors Thanksgiving stuffing, gives the sauce a warm and hearty feel. Add brown rice, bulgur, or whole-grain couscous for a healthy fiber-rich meal.
Softened Plums with Vanilla Yogurt
The ideal summer dessert is fresh, juicy, not overly sweet, and not overly complicated, which is why this end-of-season treat features only six ingredients. Skip turning on the oven by cooking the plums just on the stove. The plums cook just long enough to often slightly and release their juices; use a knife and fork to dive in. Butter, honey, and orange juice mixed with juice from the peaches creates a light syrup that is simply divine. Sub any toasted nut or seed for the granola. This recipe serves four people, and each portion of three peach halves topped with yogurt and the peach syrup contains just 25g of added sugar, 184 calories, and 6.6g of fat.
Melon and Prosciutto Salad with Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salty and unctuous, prosciutto is a classic match for fresh melon, and a topping of Parmigiano-Reggiano (the real stuff is worth it here) adds another layer of savory flavor. Make this salad the centerpiece of an easy antipasto meal. Serve with a platter of olives, roasted peppers, sliced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and, if you're feeling ambitious, add your favorite grilled or roasted veggies, too.
Browned Butter Bananas with Orange-Brandy Sauce
Browning gives butter a rich and complex flavor that keeps this dessert from feeling overly sweet, as do the acidity and alcohol in the sauce. The result is an elegant dish that cooks in about four minutes. Try chocolate or mint-chip ice cream to give the recipe a whole new taste.
Snapper with Grilled Mango Salsa
Fire up the grill and keep the stove off: This entire dish cooks over the flames. The chunky fruit salsa with mint, avocado, and lemon brings out the subtle flavors of the fish. The whole dish cooks in under 15 minutes and has only 246 calories per serving.
Apple, Goat Cheese, and Pecan Pizza
Crumbled feta can be substituted for the goat cheese in this recipe.
Skillet Pork Chop Sauté with Peaches
The bright, bold flavors in this dish mean you don't need a side with a lot of high-impact flavors. Serve over quick-cooking couscous.
Pineapple Chicken Satay
Round out this meal that is full of fresh and bright flavors with rice and sugar snap peas.
Peanut Butter, Banana, and Flax Smoothies
Peanut butter and banana smoothies are usually a splurge item. Luckily, we have a healthy version that doesn't skimp on flavor. If the smoothies seem too thick, add another tablespoon or two of milk.
Rum-Spiked Grilled Pineapple with Toasted Coconut
This tropical dessert couldn't be easier, and it cooks on a grill pan, so you can make it any time of year. For a twist, use a mango-, coconut-, or other-flavored rum in the glaze mixture.
Pork Chops with Ginger-Cherry Sauce
Using bottled preserves creates a nice thick sauce extra quickly, and it makes this recipe versatile; you can use apricot, plum, or whatever fruit preserves you have on hand. The ginger gives a slight spicy tinge to the sauce that works nicely with the pork. You can also use this recipe with chicken breasts or steak.
Peach Salad with Cumin Dressing
Cumin and black pepper add a unique spice element to what would otherwise be a standard fruit salad. We cheat with frozen peaches, but use fresh berries to make the whole salad feel fresher. Pair this with a Southwestern or Mexican main like tacos or tostadas.
Brennan's Bananas Foster
Any dish you set on fire (on purpose) is guaranteed to impress guests, but this New Orleans classic is so quick and easy you can make it for the family any night. Crème de banane adds a deeper banana flavor, but it's not a part of most home bars―you can leave it out if you want. Ice cream is an absolute must―there's enough caramelly sauce to coat both it and the bananas.
Summer Cherries Jubilee
A cherry pitter makes short work of this recipe, but if you don't have one, just place two or three fruits at a time under the flat side of a knife and hit the knife lightly (not as hard as you would to crush garlic). The pits will pull right out with the stems, bringing this surprisingly sophisticated dessert together in a flash.
Lamb Chops with Sautéed Apples
The mint jelly that often accompanies lamb is made with apples, so this dish makes perfect sense. The warmth of the cinnamon and clove with the tenderness of the lamb makes this a comforting fall or winter dish. Serve with rice pilaf or wild rice.
Stone Fruit Salad with Toasted Almonds
This isn't a fruit salad; it's a dinner salad with fruit on top. A white-wine vinaigrette made with nutty almond oil, crunchy almonds, and creamy goat cheese make for a remarkable dish on their own, but sweet and fresh plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, and cherries bring it to another level. Add some chopped cooked chicken or canned tuna for a more substantial meal.
New-Fashioned Apple and Raisin Slaw
Crunchy and creamy are the two most important characteristics of a good slaw, but this recipe turns the traditional on its head. Sweet apples form the base of the salad, along with a generous helping of raisins, while balsamic vinegar in the dressing keeps things from getting too sweet. This is a great last-minute potluck or picnic recipe, or you could toss in some almonds to make it a healthy lunch.
Avocado Soup with Citrus-Shrimp Relish
Botanically, avocados are in fact a fruit, and if you have any doubt of their sweet flavor, try squeezing a lime over an avocado half and eating with a spoon―makes a great breakfast. This soup is thick and creamy, and a meal in itself with its topping of lemony shrimp, but it weighs in at less than 300 calories a bowl.
Picante Three-Melon Salad
Spicy and sweet go great together―witness the popularity of flavors like Mexican chocolate, cayenne candied almonds, and pepper jelly―and this fresh salad is no exception. Eat as-is for a side, or chop the melon smaller and use atop grilled chicken or fish or as a salsa.
Fresh Peaches with Sabayon
Sabayon is an elegant wine-and-egg custard whose creaminess is a great match for any kind of stone fruit―peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries, or a combination. This simple recipe is perfect for a summer dessert any time. Make it part of your regular rotation.
Moroccan Chicken with Fruit and Olive Topping
Opposites attract in this recipe: The concentrated sweetness of dried fruit and the briny sharpness of olives combine seamlessly to give plain chicken breasts huge flavor. Regular or Israeli couscous are great, authentically Moroccan sides, but any grain would be tasty―bulgur, barley, rice pilaf, even grits or polenta.
Fruit Medley with Mint and Lime
A bowl of fresh fruit is great on its own, but the little bit of dressing up this recipe provides elevates it incomparably. A five-minute mint-lime syrup coats the fruit, turning it into a dish fit for company, either as appetizer or dessert.
Grilled Stone Fruit Antipasto Plate
With its deeply flavored dressing and deliciously fresh fruit, this dish can serve as appetizer, salad, or dessert. It's a great introduction to pluots―a cross between a plum and an apricot with the firm texture of the former and the sweet juiciness of the latter. They're pretty commonly available, but you might overlook them if you haven't heard of them.
Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Dried Fruit
Four ingredients (not counting salt, pepper, and cooking spray) are all this dish takes and it cooks in less than 10 minutes. It has a unique combination of sweet, savory, and meaty flavors. A salad containing pungent blue or tangy goat cheese would make an excellent counterpart to the sweet pork.
Majiggy Fruit Salad
Seven-year-old aspiring chef Cyrus Johnson created this no-cook salad and submitted it to our Reader Recipes column in 2007. We love it because it's so fast and so versatile: Swap in your favorite jam or jelly in the creamy yogurt dressing, and use whatever fruit's on hand. No matter what you create, you'll have a great healthy workday snack or side.
Black Forest Parfaits
Strawberries would be a good substitute for the cherries in this quick dessert. For a less sweet parfait, try using plain Greek yogurt in place of the vanilla frozen yogurt.
Easy Individual Apple Crisps
You can also peel and coarsely chop the apples, if you prefer. For more tender apples, decrease the heat to 400° and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer.
Poached Fruit over Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
Any unsweetened juice (such as apple or cherry) will work. We love a mix of dried plum, pear, and apple. Dried figs, apricots, and cherries would also be delicious.
Broiled Grapefruit with Ginger and Maple Cream
Not overly sweet, this elegant, seasonal dessert is a grapefruit-lover's delight. To whip the maple-infused cream into fluffy peaks with ease, start with a frozen metal bowl and whisk. Using chilled tools helps the cream to develop and hold body quickly.
Serve as a special dessert, or divide this fruity shake into smaller portions for a cool and creamy afternoon treat.