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Stay cool in Houston heat with healthy mom-approved recipes from foodie CEO that taste good, too!

Nicole Hickl, Green Plate Foods, Lisa Pounds
Nicole Hickl learning from Green Plate Foods CEO and founder Lisa Pounds on cooking foods suitable for Houston's summer heat. Photo by Joel Luks
Nicole Hickl, Green Plate Foods, Lisa Pounds
Watermelon-cantaloupe basil agua fresca. Photo by Joel Luks
Nicole Hickl, Green Plate Foods, Lisa Pounds
Melon salad with mint vinaigrette. Photo by Joel Luks
Nicole Hickl, Green Plate Foods, Lisa Pounds
Green Plate Foods blueberry pistachio trifle. Photo by Joel Luks

While on a quest to feed her children healthy eats, Lisa Pounds took an extra step: She founded Green Plate Foods as a company that exemplified that nutritious and delicious aren't mutually exclusive. Today, this energetic CEO's creations can be found in major grocery stores around Houston, including at H-E-B and Whole Foods Market.

Concerned with keeping properly hydrated during Houston's intense summer heat, Pounds shares three easy breezy recipes that beat cravings for fat-laden, sugar-filled snacks that otherwise plague the kitchens of most busy parents.

Can "Up To Speed" video host Hicole Hickl cook? Her culinary skills are put to the test in this segment that takes place at Green Plate Foods's commercial kitchen located in Bellaire.

Watermelon-cantaloupe basil agua fresca

  • 15 cups chopped cantaloupe
  • 7 cups chopped watermelon
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

Blend the cantaloupe and watermelon in a blender, working in batches if needed, until smooth. Set a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth over a bowl and strain cantaloupe. Repeat this process and then pour into a pitcher. Add lemon juice, basil and two cups cold water. Let steep at room temperature with ice.

Melon salad with mint vinaigrette

  • 1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup, recipe follows
  • 2 cups watermelon balls
  • 2 cups cantaloupe balls
  • 2 cups honeydew balls
  • Simple syrup made with 1/2 cup water and 1 cup sugar

In a blender, combine mint, lemon juice and simple syrup. Blend until smooth. Combine the melon balls with the vinaigrette and toss. Transfer to a serving bowl.

To make the simple syrup, combine the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Take the pan off the heat and let the syrup cool.

Green Plate Foods blueberry pistachio trifle

  • 24-36 Green Plate Foods Super Brownies
  • 32 ounces no-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup raw pistachios
  • 12 each Green Plate Foods Blueberry Nubblers

Toast the pistachios in a small saute pan over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Chop the toasted pistachios and Nubblers and cut the brownies in half horizontally. Stir the yogurt together and place in a piping bag with a small tip.

Compose the trifle by making a layer of cut brownies in the bottom of a trifle bowl and then topping with the Greek yogurt, chopped pistachios and blueberries. Continue layering until you reach the top. Garnish the top layer with yogurt and chopped Blueberry Pistachio Nubblers.

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