Three Simple Summer Recipes

By Chanel Dror

When it comes to eating al fresco during the dog days of summer, you have to be careful — the dishes have to be refreshing enough to not weigh you down, served cold or at room temperature to offset the blazing heat, and casual enough to match the laid-back, barefoot vibe. So when we heard that the poolside bar at Travaasa Resort & Spa was open for the summer, we had to go check out what they were serving up. Continuing their mission of nutrition and wellness, the culinary team invited us over for a lesson in whipping up three simple dishes that require nothing more than a 20-minute break from the pool. Click through for the recipes, and be sure to keep these on file for your next backyard gathering!

Photography by Sweet Louise Photography

The poolside bar at Travaasa is the epitome of a Hill Country haven. Overlooking a canopy of ancient live oaks, there’s no better place in Austin to kick back, relax and work on your base tan.


First on the menu is a flatbread pinwheel that’s a breeze to make, and even easier to serve and eat poolside…

Pita Pinwheel


  • 1 large flat pita flatbread
  • 1/2 cup herbed cream cheese (recipe below)
  • sliced ham
  • sliced turkey
  • greens
  • shredded carrots


  1. Spread herbed cream cheese evenly over the flatbread.
  2. Place sliced turkey and sliced ham evenly across in layers.
  3. Top with greens and carrots.
  4. Roll flatbread and seal edge with cream cheese.
  5. Slice into thin rounds and shingle onto a platter.

Herbed Cream Cheese:


  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped oregano
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill


  1. Fold all ingredients together.

Nothing is more refreshing than crisp, raw veggies. In this tasty recipe, thinly sliced cucumbers, bell peppers and carrots are paired with the ever-nutritious quinoa, then rolled up in nori paper to create a healthy “sushi” roll…

Quinoa Rolls, yields 4 rolls

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 carrot cut into thin matchstick strips
  • 1/2 cucumber sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 red bell pepper sliced into thin strips
  • 4 sheets of nori paper

Cooking Quinoa:

  1. Take 1/2 cup of dried quinoa and heat in a dry sauce pot. Stir constantly.
  2. Allow the dry quinoa to slightly toast and release the aroma of toasted nuts.
  3. Add 1 cup of water and cover sauce pot. Reduce to a simmer.
  4. When all water is absorbed, the quinoa has expanded and it appears slightly transparent, remove from heat. Yields 1 cup of cooked quinoa.
  5. Allow to cool thoroughly before using.

cont. on slide 6…

…cont. from slide 5

Preparing Rolls:

  1. Slice all vegetables into thin, four-inch strips. Feel free to add any crispy vegetable of your choice. The sky is the limit!
  2. Press 1/4 of the cooked quinoa onto the nori sheet, leaving about an inch of space on the side closest to you.
  3. Place the vegetable strips into the center of the quinoa, and roll gently. Repeat three more times.
  4. Slice into 8 pieces. Enjoy with chopsticks or as finger food.
  5. Serve with wasabi and pickled ginger or a dressing of your choice.

Bring the sea to you with this perfectly zesty summer wrap…

Shrimp Wrap, yields 4 wraps


  • 3 cups of poaching liquid (recipe on slide 8)
  • 4 12″ whole wheat tortillas
  • 12 jumbo (U-12) Gulf shrimp
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage (mixture of red & green)
  • 1 grated carrot
  • spicy tartar sauce to taste (recipe on slide 8)


  1. Combine all ingredients. Divide into four equal portions to spread on tortillas.
  2. Poach shrimp in poaching liquid and allow to cool to 39 degrees before using.
  3. Spread 1/4 of the tartar sauce, 4 shrimp, and a 1/4 of the slaw onto the lower half of the tortilla.
  4. Fold in the sides and wrap like a burrito. Slice in half and present facing outward.
  5. Repeat three more times.

cont. on slide 8…

…cont. from slide 7

Poaching Liquid:

  • 3 cup wine
  • 2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup lime juice

Reduce by half.

Spicy Tartar Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp. whole grain dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • pinch cayenne
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tbsp. pickle juice

Combine all ingredients

The poolside bar at Travaasa Austin is open Monday thru Sunday, all summer long. Be sure to head over for more mouth-watering dishes like these, plus irresistible specialty cocktails.

Click here to see more of Carrie’s photography

Comments (9)

  1. heidi rieck says:

    That is right by my house!
    PS: The lightening bugs on the 2679 (in front of this property) were amazing tonight.

  2. Desiree {CHIC COASTAL LIVING} says:

    Love this post, too! My husband tried to make homemade sushi the other day and although they were yummy the rice fell apart, so he’s working on perfecting that. These recipes look so refreshing! Definitely, will be bookmarking this post! Xo

  3. Corinna says:

    Those pita pinwheels look absolutely delicious and easy enough for a non-chef like me to make. You had me at herbed cream cheese!

  4. Tess O'Brien says:

    Camille, please add the option to pin images below each post! Helpful for readers + will drive traffic to your blog!

    1. Camille Styles says:

      Hi Tess – thanks for the suggestion! We’ll definitely keep in mind for our upcoming redesign. In the meantime, for the posts that aren’t slideshows, you can hover over each image and see the “Pin It” button pop up! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *