Do you love finger foods? Just picking something up with your hands and eating it? Who doesn’t right? This summer we have some super-fun, tasty and new ideas for enjoying some of your summer favorites. Whether you are looking to cut back on bread, add in more veggies or just want to try new things, these recipes are just for you!

Lettuce Wrap: take a bed of lettuce and top it with all your favorite fixings! Wrap it up and it’s good to go! From taco meat to chicken salad, a lettuce wrap is light and refreshing! We suggest larger leaves if possible, like iceberg, romaine or bib!

Tomato time! Nothing is better than summer ripe tomatoes! Take two large slices and let them replace the bun for a burger or a BLT. Heirloom and beefsteak tomatoes are great for larger patties and Roma or even cherry tomatoes can be perfect for slider or mini BLTs.  You may want to use a toothpick to keep it all together. It’s a little messy, but a lot good!

Cold cuts also make great vehicles for finger foods. Sure, we’ve probably all had them at a party or two, but they are great for everyday life as well. Try rolling some sliced turkey around swiss and a pickle, or sliced chicken around the lettuce and whatever other topping you like! Dip into your favorite mustard or BBQ sauce.

Bell pepper boats are all over the internet and that’s for a good reason! Filling bell peppers with all your favorite fixings is just delicious. Add in hummus and other veggies for something super light. Fill with some cream cheese and sprinkle on everything but the bagel seasoning for a crowd-winning appetizer. Bell peppers do not disappoint.

Pickle piles are great for pickle lovers! The larger the pickle, the better, scoop it out and add in whatever you like! Maybe some turkey, swiss and thousand island dressing or left-over grilled chicken and honey mustard.

Cucumbers are very versatile! Cut them into chips and top like you would crackers. You can cut them the long way, scoop them out and make them into boats and fill with salad or sandwich fixings. Or lastly, you can use a peeling and make long thin strips! Take these strips and roll up with your favorite meats and cheese for another take on the cold cut roll-ups.

Adding in these extra veggie options also add in the much-needed fiber, vitamins, and minerals our bodies need. These extra veggies also pack a lot of water into each meal, making it easier to stay hydrated as well. Lettuce has tons of vitamin k which is great for your blood. Cucumbers have magnesium which is great for muscles, and peppers have a ton of vitamin c which helps support the immune system. Fiber helps keep everything moving, if you know what we mean and helps to make you feel fuller and stabilize blood sugar levels. Make these meals even healthier with low-fat dairy and lower sodium meats. In addition, all these options keep well in a container, unlike bread that can get soggy or hard.

Don’t sleep on all these fresh options. Many of us grew up with everything literally sandwiched between two pieces of bread, but there are so many other great options out there. From veggie boats to wraps and rolls there are ample options to keep you well-fed and feeling great this summer and all year long. Take advantage of local produce if you can and make it a meal. Summer cooking shouldn’t take up all your free time – cut up everything in advance so you can throw it together for a beach picnic, work break snacks or whatever you please!  When in doubt take what’s on hand, throw it on a big piece of lettuce and that’s a wrap!


Mary Hoadley

Director of The Wellness Center