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8 Healthy Memorial Day Recipes

8 Healthy Memorial Day Recipes

Memorial Day weekend is the official start of the summer of fun and social distancing doesn't have to stop you from properly celebrating.


While we don't know what will come of pools, beaches, and camps this summer, this doesn't mean we can't properly kick off the season of sun with a Memorial Day weekend barbecue. Whether you've got the backyard perfectly set up for grilling or you're planning to open up the apartment windows to breathe in the warm summer air as you whip up some delicious meals in your kitchen, gather some inspiration from these healthy memorial day recipes that will get you excited about summer no matter the circumstances. 

Healthy Memorial Day Appetizer Recipes

All Veggie Nachos

Catherine McCord of Weelicious.com has an ingenious recipe for All Veggie Nachos that are easy to make, healthy, and fun to snack on while you’re preparing the main elements of the Memorial Day barbecue. Stack these on a big platter and the colorful presentation is enough to entice little appetites!

Ingredients:

  • 3 bell peppers, seeded and cut into triangles
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 Persian cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 avocado, pitted
  • 3 tablespoons grated Mexican blend cheese

Directions:

  1. Place the bell pepper “chips” on a plate.
  2. Whisk the sour cream and lime juice in a small bowl.
  3.  Drizzle the bell pepper “chips” with sour cream sauce and the remaining ingredients to form veggie nachos.

Auntie Rose's Deviled Eggs (Divine Eggs)

Consider spending Sunday evening preparing a summertime classic with a slightly healthy twist. Auntie Rose’s Deviled Eggs (Divine Eggs) from blogger and cookbook writer Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes are best when made the night beforehand—and worth the wait!

Ingredients:

  • 6 Large eggs
  • 2 tsp Salt table salt is even fine for this but adjust for your personal tastes
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Miracle Whip
  • 1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Yellow mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp Sweet Relish
  • A dash of black pepper optional

Directions:

  1. Use a separate pan or bowl and add ice and water for an ice bath.  This will be use later to cool the eggs after they have cooked. Select a pot that is large enough for the eggs to move freely while cooking, then place the eggs into the pot.

  2. Place salt in the pan and enough water to cover the eggs (about 4-5 cups is what we used but it will depend on the size of your pot. 

  3. Turn on heat and bring water to a boil.

  4. Once the water starts boiling, lower the heat until the water is no longer boiling. 

  5. Use an open tea strainer to lower the eggs into the hot water. Once the eggs have been placed into the water, turn the heat back up to boiling and boil for about 14 minutes. 

  6. After the timer goes off, take the eggs out of the water and place in the cold water that was prepared earlier. 

  7. Leave the eggs in the cold water until the eggs are completely cooled. Give it 10 to 15 minutes and check to make sure the eggs are completely cooled. 

  8. Carefully peel each of the eggs insuring no shells are left. 

  9. Place them on a plate, take a sharp knife and cup the eggs length wise (the long way) and remove the yolk from the center. 

  10. Next take the yolk and mash very well then add your Miracle Whip, vinegar, mustard and sugar and blend until smooth. Add the relish and pepper.

  11. Next using a piping bag with a large star tip, add egg mixture and pipe into egg white. (OR you can use a small spoon to place the yolk mixture into the egg white). 

  12. Garnish with the paprika and chives and place them in the refrigerator in a covered dish.

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Healthy Memorial Day Entree Recipes

Southern Style Pork Tenderloin

Now’s the time to fire up the grill (or stovetop pan) and throw a nice piece of meat on it to feed the entire family. This Southern Style Pork Tenderloin from Catherine McCord of Weelicious.com is sure to put everyone in a summery mood with its amazing combination of sweet brown sugar and spicy mustard.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 whole pork tenderloins, approximately 2 pounds total, trimmed

Directions: 

Place the first six ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour into a large zipper bag or glass container large enough to hold the pork tenderloins and marinate overnight or up to 2 days. Preheat a grill to high heat, and oil the grates. Remove tenderloins from the bag, reserving the marinade, and grill for 14-15 minutes, turning halfway through or until the internal temperature is 140°F. Remove from heat and set meat aside to rest for 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to rest and redistribute. While the meat is resting, place the marinade in a small pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Slice the tenderloin on a bias and serve with the sauce if desired.

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Red, White, and Blue Cheese Sliders

Slices of watermelon add a cool juiciness to these turkey burger sliders, while adding a hefty dose of antioxidants like vitamin C and Lycopene. Add blue cheese and you've got a triple threat on a bun!

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2-4 drops Tabasco
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 celery stalks, diced (approximately ½ cup)
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced (approximately ½ cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 2 Tablespoons bread crumbs
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 whole-wheat slider buns
  • 8 leaves bibb lettuce
  • 8 slices watermelon (cut into 4-inch squares, each ½-inch thick)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, blend blue cheese, mayo, and Tabasco. Cover and refrigerate to let flavors blend.
  2. Spray a medium, nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high. Add celery and onion and cook until onion is almost transparent, approximately 10 minutes. Add thyme and parsley. Toss and continue to cook for 4 minutes, or until parsley begins to wilt. Cool slightly.
  3. In a medium bowl, blend turkey, bread crumbs, and celery mixture, as well as salt and pepper to taste, until thoroughly mixed. Divide into 8 small, flat patties.
  4. Spray a nonstick skillet or griddle and heat on medium-high. Add patties and cook, turning once, until burger is cooked through, approximately 5 minutes per side (internal temperature should be at least 165° F).
  5. While patties are cooking, toast the buns on a griddle or pan.
  6. Assemble sliders: Place ½ Tablespoon blue cheese mayo on the bottom of each bun. (Note: Pictured is a slice of blue cheese instead of blue cheese mayo). Top with burger, a slice of watermelon, bibb lettuce leaf, and other half of bun.

Mediterranean Style Portobello Burgers

For a vegetarian burger with unbeatable meaty taste, we turned to grilled portobello mushrooms excerpted from Master of the Grill from America's Test Kitchen. Scraping out the gills avoided any muddy off-flavors, and marinating the mushrooms in a simple vinaigrette boosted their complexity.

Ingredients:

  • 4 portobello mushroom caps (4 to 5 inches in diameter), gills removed
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
  • ½ cup jarred roasted red peppers, patted dry and chopped
  • ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, patted dry and chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 4 (½-inch-thick) slices red onion
  • 4 Kaiser rolls, split
  • 1 ounce (1 cup) baby arugula


Directions:

  1. Using tip of paring knife, cut ½-inch crosshatch pattern on tops of mushroom caps, 1/16 inch deep. Combine oil, vinegar, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in 1-gallon zipper-lock bag. Add mushrooms, seal bag, turn to coat, and let sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
  2. Combine feta, red peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes in bowl. Whisk mayonnaise and basil together in separate bowl. Push 1 toothpick horizontally through each onion slice to keep rings intact while grilling.
  3. For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, approximately 5 minutes. For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, approximately 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-high.
  4. Clean and oil cooking grate. Remove mushrooms from marinade, reserving excess. Brush onions all over with reserved mushroom marinade. Place onions and mushrooms, gill side up, on grill. Cook (covered if using gas) until mushrooms have released their liquid and are charred on first side, 4-6 minutes. Flip mushrooms and onions and continue to cook (covered if using gas) until mushrooms are charred on second side, 3-5 minutes.
  5. Transfer onions to platter; remove toothpicks. Transfer mushrooms to platter, gill side up, and divide feta mixture evenly among caps, packing down with your hand. Return mushrooms to grill, feta side up, and cook, covered, until heated through, approximately 3 minutes.
  6. Return mushrooms to platter and tent with aluminum foil. Grill rolls cut sides down until lightly charred, approximately 1 minute. Spread basil-mayonnaise on roll bottoms and top each with 1 mushroom and 1 onion slice. Divide arugula evenly among burgers, then cap with bun tops. Serve.

 

Healthy Memorial Day Sides Recipes

Grilled Watermelon and Feta Stacked Salad

Recruit the kids to assemble these Grilled Watermelon and Feta Stacked Salad from Nicole Leggio of Cooking For Keeps. And you can get creative with the cheese and melon shapes with cookie cutters if you’re feeling festive.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole feta cheese, cut into four smaller squares (length wise, they should be about 3”x3”)
  • ½ large watermelon cut into 8 squares the same size as feta
  • 2 cups arugula
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  1. Prepare a grill or grill pan to a very high heat.
  2. Place balsamic in a small saucepan. Turn the heat on medium, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until thickened and similar in texture to syrup, about five minutes. Let cool.
  3. Drizzle watermelon with a little bit of olive oil, season with a bit of salt and pepper. Grill very quickly, just getting a slight char, about ten seconds per side.
  4. Toss arugula with about a teaspoon or two of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place watermelon squares on platter, top with feta, and another watermelon. Place about ½ cup of arugula on top of watermelon and drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar.

Healthy Memorial Day Dessert Recipes

Healthy Berries and Coconut Chia Seed Pudding 

The best part of any Memorial Day BBQ? The red, white, and blue desserts! Sherry Brubaker of Backyard-Bohemian.com has a healthy and delicious recipe for Healthy Berries and Coconut Chia Seed Pudding that could also serve as the next morning’s breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 5 TBS chia seeds
  • 1 13.5 oz can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • Blueberry Sauce
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 TBS honey
  • Raspberry Sauce
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 TBS honey

Instructions:

  1. Shake and open can of coconut milk, and pour it into a large mason jar. Add chia seeds, honey and cinnamon to the milk. Put a lid on the jar.
  2. Shake the jar to combine all ingredients, then place in the fridge for 2 hours to allow chia seeds to absorb the liquid. Give the jar a shake once and a while to prevent clumping.
  3. In a small pot, place blueberries and honey over medium heat. Allow to cook for 15 minutes while it boils down to a syrup. Remove the blueberry syrup and place in a glass jar in the fridge.
  4. In a small pot, place raspberries and honey over medium heat. Allow to cook for 15 minutes while it boils down to a syrup. Remove the raspberries syrup and place in a glass jar in the fridge.
  5. When chia seeds are ready, layer the sauces and chia seed pudding in a cup, sprinkle your favorite toppings over it, serve!

Strawberry Souffle

Another one of Sherry’s fresh and nutritious creations is this Strawberry Souffle.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries tops removed
  • 3 large eggs yolks and whites separated
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice (1 1/2 lemons)
  • 6 tbsp honey divided 
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven. Set the oven to 350 degrees and place the baking rack to the middle of the oven. Place the ramekins on the baking sheet and set to the side.

  2. Blend the strawberries. Using a sharp knife, remove the tops off the strawberries and discard. Place the strawberries in the blender and blend for 1 minute, or until pureed. 

  3. Combine the ingredients and mix. Crack the eggs in a bowl, placing the yolks in the bowl and the whites in the standing mixer. In a standing mixer, combine the egg whites, strawberry puree, almond extract, lemon juice and 3 tbsp of honey. Mix the ingredients for 15-18 minutes, until stiff peaks form. The more stiff the peaks are, the fluffier the soufflé, so be patient!

  4. Fold in the yolks. Whisk together the yolks, and remaining 3 tbsp of honey. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the yolks with the egg white mixture. The mixture will deflate a little, which is normal. Fold until the mixture is well combined and you cannot see yellow yolk stripes. 

  5. Fill the ramekins. Gently fill the ramekins up to the top with the strawberry mixture. Smooth the tops with the spatula.

  6. Bake the soufflés. Place the soufflés in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. The tops will become golden brown and the soufflés will jiggle a little. 

  7. Serve. Allow the soufflés to cool for 3 minutes, dust with sugar, and serve with more strawberry slices!

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Main image courtesy Catherine McCord

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Whitney C. Harris

Author: Whitney C. Harris is a freelance writer and NYMetroParents' Manhattan and Westchester calendar editor. She lives in Sleepy Hollow, NY, with her husband, a toddler, and a dog. See More

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