Best of Shanthi’s Summer Recipes 

Shandra Martinez

| 3 min read

If you are looking for some menu inspiration, Shanthi Appelö, a registered dietitian and health and wellness spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, has you covered. We have curated some of her favorite recipes — featuring many fruits and vegetables — that are easy to find at your local farmers market or grocery store. Here are some plant-forward options for appetizers, salads, entrees, desserts, and even mocktails that are not only delicious but are packed with nutrients.


For appetizers, Shanthi’s recipes for Eggplant Parmesan Bites and Sizzling Garlic and Spring Herb Yogurt Dip are two delicious and nutritious options to start off a meal.
eggplant bites
Shanthi’s version of eggplant parmesan bites is a healthier take on an Italian classic. Bite-sized and colorful, these eggplant parmesan bites make for an excellent appetizer or side dish.
This recipe for sizzling garlic and spring herb yogurt dip is a protein- and nutrient-packed dish that pairs well with fresh-cut veggies, crackers and toasted bread. The bonus is this dip comes together in less than 10 minutes.


Summer is also salad season, thanks to an abundance of freshly harvested produce at local farmers markets and grocery stores. Shanthi offers up three recipes that combine fruits and greens in unexpected ways that are big on taste.
This salad may have only a few simple ingredients, but it’s balanced and complex in its flavor profile. The peppery nature of the arugula pairs excellently with the natural sweetness of the pears, while parmesan adds depth and a nice contrast to the zesty fresh lemon.
cabbage salad
This chilled crunchy salad, featuring cabbage, is a treat for the taste buds. Greek yogurt is combined with honey, garlic and lime for a creamy and zesty dressing.
salmon salad
This balanced salad packs in omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C and K, along with plenty of phytonutrients and fiber to support overall health. Fresh ingredients are tossed with a classic vinaigrette and topped with grilled salmon and baby bell peppers.


A light summer entree doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor. In fact, this is the time to experiment with incorporating more fresh ingredients into your favorite dishes.
This recipe tastes like summertime, combining the freshness of parsley and shrimp with the flame of the grill. The avocado’s creaminess contrasting with the zing of the chimichurri is bound to be a crowd-pleaser.
This complete meal is perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Featuring lean meatballs made with ground chicken and feta whipped with Greek yogurt, it offers fullness without guilt.


If you are craving a sweet treat, Shanthi has you covered with these two dessert recipes. One is a take on an American classic, and the other tastes like a frozen candy bar but is packed with antioxidants.
Apples make for delicious desserts when combined with cinnamon, nutmeg and other classic baking spices. In this recipe, some of the fat and sugar found in traditional apple desserts is cut down while leaving an impressive display of apple slices in a rose.
This frozen combination of minimally processed ingredients mimics the flavor and texture of popular candy bars. Hazelnuts and cashew butter provide healthy fats, while dark chocolate brings a slew of antioxidants to the table.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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