A Healthy Memorial Day Feast

Happy Memorial Day!

One of my favorite ways to celebrate Memorial Day is with a fantastic, family-filled potluck, but I always end up feeling guilty for the “food baby” I’ve adopted by the end of the night. We wear our stretchy pants and over-sized tee shirts to hide our ever expanding waistlines in order to devour the delicious sides that Aunt Marge created. BUT, FEAR NOT! This year, you can have your cake and eat it too!

Below is a list of delicious dishes that are made with whole, healthy ingredients. They go great with all barbecue concoctions!  And as a bonus, your stretched-out yoga pants will politely thank you!

garden salad on a stick1) Salad on a Stick–Everything tastes better when it is served on a stick!  Food Network has a few ideas for this, but my favorite simple salad is this one. You can make it more interesting by adding a variety of vegetables and switching up the dressings/dips!  Turn it into a Cobb Salad by chopping up egg slices, cheese cubes, avocado and chicken breast. Go Greek with kalamata olives, red onion and bell peppers. Dive into summer with strawberries, sliced apples and a poppy seed dressing.  The possibilities are endless!

 

 

Nutella Apples

2) Nutella Apple Slices–The Nutella train has arrived and it has brought several scrumptious desserts! This one is suuuuper easy and extremely delicious. All you have to do is chop up an apple, throw it in a bag with a TINY bit of lemon juice (to prevent browning) and dab dry with a paper towel (very important step!! The Nutella won’t stick otherwise!!).  Next, grab your spatula and glob the tops with that hazelnut gold.  Finally, sprinkle them with some homemade granola and VOILA! Your little slices of heaven are complete.

 

 

greek mac n cheese

3) Greek Mac ‘n Cheese–Macaroni and Cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods, but this dish punches my daily caloric intake in the face. Fortunately, Oikos has created a dish that leaves my tummy happy and my arteries clean.  They substitute heavy cream with Greek yogurt for a deliciously healthy twist!  Greek yogurt is packed with protein. You won’t be disappointed.

 

 


Pasta Salad

4) Rotini, Summer Squash and Prosciutto Salad with Rosemary Dressing–Skip the traditional pasta salad for Cooking Light’s healthy pasta side dish. This salad with have you drooling in no time! Make sure to use  whole wheat rotini and you won’t go wrong. The smokey flavor of the prosciutto melds wonderfully with the rosemary vinaigrette, which will surely keep you full and satisfied.

 



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA5) Blueberry Pie with a Banana Graham Cracker Crust
–Every potluck needs a fantastic pie, and what is better than our “super-food” friend, the blueberry!  Blueberries are filled with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids (a berry a day keeps the doc away!), as well as vitamin C and potassium.  Not only can they lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, they are also anti-inflammatory. Doesn’t get much better than that! Check out Undressed Skeleton’s link for this amazing recipe and other healthy food options!  She uses canned blueberry filling for this pie, but you could always use fresh berries instead.

 

vanilla mint lemonade6) Vanilla Mint Lemonade–Nothing is more refreshing than a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade. Bobby Flay has an excellent recipe, to which I add a teaspoon of vanilla extract when simmering the simple syrup–making it simply divine.  If you would like a bubbly treat, you can substitute regular water for sparkling instead! For added health benefits, I always replace refined white sugar with organic cane sugar. This lemonade will fulfill your sweet cravings and can easily be tweaked into an “adult” version with a cup of a little sumthin’ sumthin’…

 

Want more healthy living ideas?  Check out my Pinterest page to see my pinning genius-ness.
You can also get some great ideas from here too! Have a wonderful Memorial Day! And don’t be afraid to go back for seconds with these wholesome babies!