With Memorial Day practically here and plans for us for to have a few friends over for a BBQ one night, I realized I need to start planning a little bit of what I’m going to be making. And while I personally enjoy a delicious cheeseburger, I do like to watch what I eat so I try to balance the burger with more healthy side options. Whatever your idea of a good meal is, just try to keep balance in mind as you’re either planning a menu for a BBQ or offering to bring an item to someone else’s BBQ.
For inspiration, I thought I would do a little round up of what some of those healthy recipe options are that I enjoy the most. The idea is just to provide some alternatives to the usual BBQ options. Personally, I will probably make 1 or 2 of the sides/salads below plus a regular potato salad option (i.e. with low fat mayonnaise), and then burgers and hot dogs.
- Spiralized Carrot Salad with Lemon and Dijon – I made this recently and plan to do a blog post about it. Big fan of it. Simple and easy. Keep in mind though – buy shredded carrot’s from the store unless you have an amazing spiralizer.
- Ultimate Greek Chopped Salad – Simple and always a crowd-pleaser
- Parmesan Orzo with Lemon and Thyme – So I’m not exactly sure how truly healthy this is because orzo is an Italian pasta but it is yummy and light and makes a really good side
- Black Bean Corn Salad – Just a delicious combination of flavors
- Kale Salad – No recipe here but if you’re really short on time, most grocery stores these days have the bag of chopped kale salad that comes with a poppy seed dressing, cranberries, almonds, etc. (there are a few variations of it). It’s good but the key is to prepare it ahead of time so that the kale softens from the dressing. It just tastes better in my opinion.
- Zucchini with Corn Salad – Again, perfectly yummy side
- Make Your Own Salad – So, when I’m tired and short on time, I basically gather whatever vegetables I have in my house that come together to make a good salad and either drizzle it with olive oil, salt, and pepper or just take a dressing from another salad I make and use that to go with it. It’s all about improvising. For ex., I usually have some combination of these on hand: cucumber, tomatoes and/or red pepper, red onion/shallot, avocado, corn (fresh or frozen), maybe shelled edamame (freezer), can of black beans or garbanzo beans.
- Grilled Asparagus – Most of the time, I just grill the asparagus and add some sliced red onion to the tray and don’t bother with the caramelizing the onions. So, this is just a good recipe for how to grill asparagus
- Grilled Corn – here’s a good recipe for “The Best Grilled Corn” – I’m going to try this soon!
- Grilled Vegetables – Seems pretty easy. And I love the little mozarella balls.
- Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers – A little bit of a different take on a yummy burger
- Grilled Chicken Breasts – I make this simple but flavorful recipe all the time during the summer
- Grilled Pesto Shrimp – I make a variation of this with store bought pesto. Much easier that way. I just buy the reduced fat version.
- Grilled Salmon – Good combination of spices to make an easy and delicious rub for salmon. I make this when I’m short on time since rubs are easy to mix together and don’t require time for marinating.
I don’t have recipes for any fun drinks here, I know. Last year I learned how to make margarita’s but I’m hoping I left the recipe somewhere with the amounts I found that worked the best. Ha! Any suggestions, feel free to leave in the comments or email me.
I realize this post may not be the most exciting since I don’t have pictures (sorry!) but I wanted to get it out before the holiday weekend.
With that being said, I know my family is excited to finally get to the pool but warm temps mean more golf for my husband so he’s excited about that (sigh…..). Otherwise, we don’t have many plans besides the BBQ so I’m just looking forward to relaxing. I heard the strawberry fields are open so we’ll see if I can convince my husband to come with me and the girls for a little outing. hehe.
Enjoy the long weekend!