Editor's note: Columnist Holly Clegg, who has been battling stomach cancer, has entered hospice care. However, she has no plans to discontinue her column at this time. "My wish is to keep sharing my recipes. It's my passion."

If your summer plans don’t include a sunny location, these recipes will bring the tropics to you.

My trip-to-the-tropics menu features fresh and satisfying food with the flavor of the islands, made easy and healthy in the comfort of your own home.

Start your meal with this sweet and creamy Pina Colada Brie appetizer. This is one of my most requested appetizers and definitely a go-to for summer entertaining. By the way, did you know one of the easiest ways to slice brie is with dental floss? I like to buy the round brie from the big box stores to get the best bang for your buck.

Holly Clegg's Well Done: Recipes for Pina Colada Brie, Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa, Tropical Fruit Pizza

Coconut and shrimp are two of my all-time favorite ingredients so, of course, I think the combination is a knock-out flavor explosion. My Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa recipe is simple and healthy. Baked in the oven, the shrimp develop a delectable crispy coconut coating without all the calories and fat that come from frying. Jalapeños in the pineapple salsa add the perfect sweet-heat kick.

Beef Brisket with Mango Barbecue Sauce, from my thehealthycookingblog.com, is another hearty entree option with just a few ingredients, some of which may even surprise you. And it's not just an entree. It's also delicious turned into sandwiches and quesadillas. A great time-saving option is to use your slow cooker and set it on low 8 hours. This meal almost cooks itself.

End your meal with this impressive (yet super easy) Tropical Fruit Pizza. Every time I make this sweet and decadent dessert, everyone wants the recipe. Be creative and substitute your favorites as this dish is a great way to enjoy seasonal fruit.

Summer days are long and hot. Make sure your taste buds take a vacation with these tropical trim and terrific recipes.

Terrific tips:

  • Serve the Pina Colada Brie with gingersnaps for a spicy crunch.
  • Try the Coconut Shrimp as an appetizer or use it to top your favorite salad.
  • To save time, buy pre-cut fresh pineapple or use canned pineapple.
  • If you don't like pineapple salsa, pick up a fruity salsa. Any citrus salsa goes well with the crunchy shrimp.
  • Grate more orange rind than you’ll need for the Tropical Fruit Pizza; you can freeze any leftovers. You also can buy dried orange rind.

 


Holly Clegg, best-selling national cookbook author of the trim&TERRIFIC & Eating Well cookbook series, specializes in easy, healthy, everyday recipes. Visit her website, The Healthy Cooking Blog. Follow her on facebook.com/HollyClegginstagram.com/holly_clegg and twitter.com/hollyclegg. Email her at holly@hollyclegg.com.