12 Fresh Recipes for your Summer Vacation - Skillful Cook
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12 Fresh Recipes for your Summer Vacation

12 fresh recipe collage.

Greetings from beach-land!

I've been on family vacation this week, and this experience, first of all, has been amazing. North Carolina has just blown my mind with its Nicholas-Sparks-esque beachy beauty and I'm all wahhhh about going home tomorrow. I love me some Minnesota lakes, but the tall grass + ocean + white sand + dolphins jumping out in the water (NO I'M SERIOUS) is like something straight out of the best movie you ever saw.

Emerald Isle, NC.

Secondly, I haven't made many new recipes this week because I have been making some old favorites along with my family. Which might seem like a bummer, but no! It is so superfun for me because I really hardly ever get to repeat my favorite recipes at home. Usually I am so focused on trying new recipes for the blog that Bjork and I don't have time (or space in our fridge) (or space in our bellies) to make any old favorites. This week has been a blast as I've gotten to relive some of my favorite, freshest, summer-friendly blog recipes with a crowd of 10+ to eat through all that food.

So I thought it might be fun to highlight some of the things we've been cooking and eating this week at the beach as well as a few things that we would have been cooking and eating if we had more time here on our little vacay. Like, for example, if we were to stay here for another year. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

Alright, here we go! 12 fresh recipes for your summer vacation. Commence sun, sand, and really good food.

Rainbow Chicken Salad

Rainbow Chicken Salad with Almond Honey Mustard Dressing in a bowl.

We made this one per the request of my sister and it was yummy as ever! We ran out of grapes at one point so we tossed in some strawberries (it's rainbow, duh) and it was the bomb dot com. Some of us *points to self* even like crunchy onions tossed into the mix. I love this salad to the moon and back.

Flax and Blueberry Vanilla Overnight Oats

Flax and Blueberry Vanilla Overnight Oats in a blue bowl with spoons.

There's nothing as awesome as a filling breakfast at the beach that's also refreshingly cold. Especially when it's hot and humid and you have all the doors and windows open to experience the joys of the waves crashing on the beach and just wow, North Carolina, I love you. One night I had the forethought to throw a massive batch of these in the fridge and in the morning - voila! Overnight oats for ten. It was delicious and customizable and ours had chia seeds in it because: fun.

Fruit Pizza

Fruit Pizza.

Per my brother-in-law's request, this fruit pizza was made for his birthday dinner celebration shindig. It was gorgeous and delicious, as are most things with colorful pieces of fruit arranged over a creamy cheesy frosting layer and spread on an underbaked sugar cookie crust.

Crockpot Pork Adobo with Black Beans

Crockpot Pork Adobo with Black Beans on a white plate.

Half of my family is Filipino, so it's only appropriate (and delicious) that one night was Filipino food night. I made the adobo with rice and beans meaning I played at the beach while dinner cooked all day up in the kitchen and made the house smell amazing. My sister Roselyn made a heavenly mango float for dessert. <- look that one up because I don't have a recipe yet but you need it for your summer vacay eating. SO GOOD.

Garlic Butter Mushroom Provolone Melts

Simple Garlic Butter Mushroom & Provolone Melts.

I get really really really superperson hungry after a few cool surfer girl wave-catches on the boogie board. So when it's lunchtime: hello major eating. Sandwiches and chips and fruit and crackers and leftovers from last night and give me it all. I even sometimes wanted a glass of milk with my meal, which is like wha?! I never do that except apparently when I'm starving after ocean play. But this sandwich? Ohhhk yes please. Filling and cheesy and perfect for the post-swim-lunch.

The 4 Ingredient Green Smoothie

Two green smoothies in jars with straws.

I was definitely made fun of as I blended this thing up for breakfast at the beginning of the week. But then something weird happened which was everyone gathering around me and asking for a taste. Joke's on you, family. Green smoothies for life.

Spicy Peanut Chicken Soba Noodle Salad

Spicy Peanut Chicken Soba Noodle Salad - colorful bell peppers with chewy soba noodles, shredded chicken, and a life changingly simple Spicy Peanut Sauce. Hot or cold, yumyumyum. 320 calories. | skillfulcook.us

Hot cold anytime every time all the time with anything. This salad is THE BEST of summer eating. And I am such a sucker for saucy noodles.

Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing

Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing drizzle.

One word: fresh. Avocado, spicy shrimp, cucumber, and then that cool creamy miso dressing. I scream, you scream, we all scream for Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing!

20 Minute Lemon Pesto Penne

20 Minute Lemon Pesto Penne in a pan.

Twenty minutes. If that isn't enough to sell you, how about all those yummy veggies and the amazing leftover pasta that you'll get for beach lunching tomorrow? This is efficient and delicious summer vacation food.

My Sister's Citrus Scones

Citrus Scones on colorful plates.

I really wish my sister would have made these for us on our vacation this week, but alas, she had other things to do like caring for her 3-month-old son. PS. Why do infants get to eat like every hour? Not fair. But really, these are the best scones I've ever had. They are light, but also extremely moist and the citrus flavor is like a sweet spray of freshness in your mouth.

Chopped Thai Chicken Salad

Chopped Thai Chicken Salad on a white plate.

This blog favorite will never get old. It's fresh, it's filling, it's adaptable, and it's covered with a finger-licking yummy dressing. Now that's a perfect vacation meal.

5 Ingredient Lemon Chicken and Asparagus

5 Ingredient Lemon Chicken and Asparagus in a black pan.

My sister, her boyfriend, and my brother made this one and wowed us with their 5-ingredient magic. This beauty is quick, healthy, and light. Just what a beachy person needs.

So now you're going to tell me what you make on your summer vacation, right? Pleasey please?

Hope you all had a great week in your corner of the world, and it's Friday so yay, and I'll be back next week with vacation pictures and new recipes from Minnesooooota-home!

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow, North Carolina looks GORG! I am so glad you are having a good time, you deserve a vacay!!
    I saw that Rainbow Chicken Salad on IG, and almost ate my screen. So, ya, that one is definitely happening! This list is great Lindsay- Thanks!
    Oh, and I’m pretty sure that I haven’t made the same recipe more than once (unless I’m testing it) EVER, so it would be SO nice to have some time to create old favs – glad you get to!
    Pinned for future use! 🙂 Enjoy the last day!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Seeing your pictures on FB and IG, looked like you had an awesome time and even better weather!!!

    Also, congratulations again to you and Bjork on the big decision to go full time with you websites. You guys are helping lots of people trying to accomplish their dreams and I for one and very appreciative of your efforts!

    Have a great weekend!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh! So many fantastic sounding recipes, and that fruit pizza looks absolutely heavenly! North Carolina looks like a beautiful place to vacation – I’m glad you took a little time to relax, that must have been really nice! Thanks for the delicious looking post, I’m going to have to get on with making that peanut sauce sometime soon, yum!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Well my I just got a bad report card from my doctor. High Cholesterol! The bad kind, LDL? So my wife is putting me on a new diet so I don’t have to start popping pills. That lemon chicken asparagus fits the bill, healthy and looks delicious.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    That rainbow salad is so beautiful! I just made a spicy peanut dressing the other day and am SO obsessed with it now.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Sounds like you are having a wonderful time in NC – would love to make it there sometime soon!

    All of these look incredible. Bookmarking so I can try every one this summer!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Some beautiful looking recipes, thanks for posting 🙂

    Can’t wait to try out the chopped thai chicken salad – it’s right up my street.

    Enjoy the rest of your holiday!!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow, North Carolina looks so beautiful! I am so glad you are having fun with your family.
    You made me hungry! These recipes are DELICIOUS and great for summer vacation.
    Thank you for sharing one of your vacation pictures with us 😉

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow Lyndsay,

    These recipes look so summery and refreshing I can almost feel the ocean breeze as I read your post. Hope you have the best time and look forward to more of your vaca pics! Happy Weekend 🙂


  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    So many scrumptious looking recipes!! I’m especially fond of the beautiful fruit pizza, I’m sure it was delicious. Considered them pinned…can’t wait to try them. I am such a Nicholas Sparks enthusiast. Enjoy your the remainder of your vacation 😉

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    So much fresh perspective on summer cooking! Yumm-o!

    We always make ceviche with the freshest catch! My husband loves to go out deep sea fishing so we always have SUPER fresh fish! Served up with some yummy guac and tortillas and I’m licking my lips right now!

    We also love a good shrimp/crawfish/lobster boil depending on what region of the country we’re in! Nothing better than the freshest local seafood. Other nights we enjoy getting the grill going with a selection of meats and veggies! Grilled corn-on-the-cob is my favorite summer treat!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    If I might ask, where did you beach vacation in North Carolina? My hubby and I recently relocated from Iowa to South Carolina and we’re wanting to know where to hit up the greatest beaches! Any suggestion would be amazing!!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow! All of your recipes look so amazing it’s hard to choose, but I’m drooling over the Garlic Mushroom Provolone Melts and the Shrimp & Avocado Salad w/ Miso Dressing. YUM! Thanks for sharing these recipes. Your vacation looks beautiful – so sorry it is almost over.

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yes these are all perfect summer recipes! I want to make all of these ASAP! Simple and fresh!

    Also I LOVE those cups the green smoothies are in. And the straws. Target?

    Hope you have a great last day on vacation!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      The cups are goodwill (eeee! love it) and the straws are some kind of ultra pretentious fancy paper store that’s the opposite of goodwill. 🙂 How’s that for a good combo?

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    Um, I’m sure there was food in this post, but I totally skipped it as I realized that you are in my town! We were already planning on going to the beach tomorrow…if you see some random fangirl you should start running:)

    I hope you had a wonderful time with your family. I was going to say that the ocean is still a bit chilly, but then I remembered that you crazy northerners probably find it hot. Congrats on your big decision. I hope your new life journey affords you more family bonding opportunities.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      That’s so funny Andrea, every morning when I would go for a run on the beach I thought of all the commenters who had said they lived in the area and wondered if I would see any of them. 🙂 WE LOVED IT! NC is so gorgeous.

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    UGH, I have GOT to get myself to those shores – the photos I see are always just gorgeous! And I totally know what you mean about making stuff twice; it’s kind of a big deal when we either have a totally normal dinner or one that we’ve already had before! YUM!

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love this post!! These are some of the recipes I’ve been meaning to try so great reminder 🙂 MUST make that Thai salad NOW!

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thanks for the recipes today. My family and I are headed to North Carolina in a couple of weeks, isn’t it just an amazing place to vacation? I am a huge Nicholas Sparks fan so staying near Rodanthe is perfect. May I ask what area you visited?

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    How fun that you got to go to one of my favorite places. It’s so relaxing for a mini family reunion and just about any other event in life. Congrats on your big announcement! I am glad to hear that you will be sticking to only one extra job and, a little selfishly, I am glad you chose this one. Will be trying several of your summer vacation recipes soon. They do look scrumptious!