I don’t know about you, but Memorial Day always signifies the start of summer for me. It means I’ll have more opportunities to spend time outdoors soaking up in the sunshine, more social events packing my calendar and of course, a few extra holidays to take some time off work to enjoy some delicious healthy grilling recipes.
Most of the foods that find their way to the grill are easily some of the unhealthiest foods out there – but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Since you get an extra day off this weekend, you’ll have a little time to spare in the kitchen, right?
Today I’m sharing a TON of awesome recipes that I’ve found all over the web that are not only delicious - but are nourishing and healthy too. This is a huge list – so pick a few and get cooking! Maybe even send this list to a few of your friends to ask them to bring a few dishes of their own to your summer barbecue gathering. Or pack a few of these along with some frisbees and a picnic blanket and make a day of it at the park. Whatever plans you have this weekend and all summer long – just remember that there are always healthy options.
While you’re gearing up for the main event, here are a few healthier choices to serve yourself and your guests. The trick to keeping it healthy is keeping it light. Choose one or a few dip options and instead of chips and crackers, have veggie sticks for dipping instead.
For your main entree, choose a dish that will give you a good source of protein and flavor. Many of the recipes I’ve added to this list have utilized a lot of spices and fresh herbs for a light but dramatic flavor punch.
When eating meatless, you don’t have to feel like you’re going without. For a good boost in protein, choose one of the meatless burger recipes or tofu kebabs. Or go full veggie with some of the grilled veggie options like the portobello burgers or the veggie sandwich.
Salads are a great way to get your veggies in at your summer barbecue. Many of the recipes I’ve chosen are loaded with fruits and veggies which will keep you cool from the warm weather. The traditionally heavy salads like potato salad or macaroni salad have been lightened up without mayo and the pasta has been traded out for a fruity quinoa salad instead.
The sides are usually the main attraction of any barbecue get-together. These sides are healthy, because they’re simply prepared and mostly all fruits and veggies.
I love a good drink to sip on while grilling away – the ones I’ve chosen are mainly fruit based. The ones I’m sharing are flavored waters, no or low-sugar cocktails and healthier takes on old classics like the whole fruit margarita or the hibiscus Arnold Palmer. The sugar in the recipes here can be replaced with about half the amount of any natural sweetener (like honey or agave).
What’s a summer gathering without dessert? Many of these desserts are frozen, which requires that you have a freezer nearby. But if you’re out and about at a park, you can opt for another fruity dessert like the grilled mango or pineapple instead.
I hope you’ve found some inspiration in keeping your barbecue and grilling season healthy. If you have some other healthy recipes to share, please put them in the comments below – there’s always room to add more to the list!