Recipe Redo: Memorial Day Edition

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone! What are your plans? I wish we were in Baltimore today celebrating our friends Bridgette and Dave’s wedding. Happy wedding day, Bridge! Can’t wait to hear all about it and for you to get your butt back to California! This weekend we have lots of projects to tackle around the house and are heading to the Farmer’s Market this morning. And of course, I have to fit in yoga both days for my Yoga Challenge.

I haven’t done any recipe redos in awhile. Today will be a quick version with tips and tricks to make your typical Memorial Day BBQ fare a little healthier (and I think tastier, too).

Potato Salad
I can’t give you a full recipe, because it is Aaron’s secret weapon on the Dude Food menu, but I can give you a tip for a really yummy potato salad. I am not a fan of mayo, and thus not a fan of your usual potato salad that I think tastes more like mayo than potato. The trick? Substitute plain, nonfat Greek yogurt for the mayo. All you need is Greek yogurt, some herbs, salt and pepper and lemon juice and you are in business!

You really can’t beat a burger fresh off the grill. There are some tasty substitutes out there. I love Trident Salmon Burgers, and lean ground turkey burgers are a favorite in our house, too. One thing to remember is to be sure to buy the ground turkey breast, not just ground turkey. If it doesn’t specify breast, that means it can have all sorts of things mixed in, including fat and skin. Unless you use the turkey breast, their is not much caloric difference between a turkey and a beef burger.

You can also go the veggie route and grill up some portabello mushrooms and thick slices of eggplant. A burger really comes down to the toppings, so if you add some fun toppings, you won’t miss the beef. For the buns, we like to use whole wheat sandwich thins. Not only do you save calories, you don’t have to worry about filling up on bread. And toasted sandwich thins hold up really well and don’t fall apart.

Or you can skip the burger idea all together and grill up kebabs. This is a good way to please vegetarian and meat lovers alike. Shrimp, chicken, beef, and veggies all work great for kebabs.

Side dishes are where the calories can really add up. Besides the slimmed-down potato salad, there are a lot of other tasty side dishes that are also good for you.

Grilled Veggies: Tossed with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, grilled zucchini, eggplant, potatoes, asparagus and red bell peppers are addicting.
Pasta Salad: A great way to sneak in extra veggies, toss whole wheat noodles (I like penne) with chopped tomatoes, spinach, fresh basil, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. This dish seriously screams Summer! Pesto is also great tossed with whole wheat pasta and tastes great cold or at room temperature.
Panzanella: Take a day old loaf of crusty, multi-grain bread and cut into one-inch cubes. Chop up some tomato, basil, red onion and fresh mozzarella. Dress with olive oil, balsamic and salt and pepper. Right before the party, toss the bread with the tomato mixture.
Grilled Corn on the Cob: Great on its own, or remove the kernels from the cob and toss into a salad.

I am not a fan of heavy dessert in the summer. Here are some light options for backyard summer celebrations.
Sliced strawberries with angel food cake and whipped cream. This is one of my favorite summer desserts and it could not be easier.
Grilled fruit with frozen yogurt Peaches and pineapple are great on the grill. Just make sure to scrub it good after you cook any savory foods!
Popsicles: Buy them from the store, or make them yourself. If you buy them, read labels and choose the option with the most natural ingredient list.


2 thoughts on “Recipe Redo: Memorial Day Edition

  1. My brother Gabe made potato salad from scratch for the first time on Memorial Day. While we were driving to my mom’s house for the family bbq, he said, “the recipe called for 2 CUPS of mayonnaise! I only used one.” I said “yeah, it’s one thing when you’re just eating the potato salad, but when you make it and realize how much mayo is in it, kind of gross.” I recommended the greek yogurt thing to him for next time.”

    • modernation says:

      Yeah, kind of gross. Obviously it is for a bunch of people, but still. The Greek yogurt gives it a nice tangy flavor. We also use it when we make mashed potatoes in place of sour cream, milk or butter.

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