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10 Patio Perfect Memorial Day Recipes That are Actually Good for You

It’s that time of year when people start getting extra friendly with a neighbor or pal with a swimming pool. Memorial Day is here, and the only way to spend a sunny day-off in May is outside, by the water, with a ton of good food and drink. But remember, these aren’t the cookouts of your youth; don’t allow your buddies to grill packaged weenies and frozen burger patties. And tell your in-laws to leave the boxed wine and light beer at home; as a matter of fact, just tell them you’re out of town that day.

This is a new era; your golden age of Memorial Day cookouts. We’ve compiled nine healthy, simple, and delicious summer recipes to make the first holiday of the season an unforgettable one.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Roasted Tomatillo and Pineapple Salsa

Are you tired of bland, store-bought salsa, but intimidated about making your own homemade chip-dip? This roasted tomatillo and pineapple salsa is sweet and refreshing, with a perfect amount of spicy bite. It’s full of complex flavor notes and a breeze to make. The tomatillo is tangy, the pineapple saccharine, and salsa staples like cilantro, lime juice, garlic, onion, and salt strike a harmonious balance. Throw this salsa down with some blue corn tortilla chips and watch your guests lick the bowl clean.

frozen talenti sangria

Talenti Frozen Sangria 

With great entertaining comes great responsibility, so make sure your Memorial Day guests have a tasty bev to wash down your delicious food. The only thing better than a cool summer cocktail is a frozen summer cocktail. The Talenti Sorbetto in this recipe is brilliant in color and light in calories. All you need is your favorite bottle of cheap cab sauv, a little lime juice, mixed berries, and a blender. With only 222 calories per 8 oz serving, it’s the perfect summer cocktail.

Sriracha oven fries rack

Sriracha Oven Fries

One of our recent favorites, these delightful fries pack all the fiery punch of Sriracha with half the calories of Lays’ limited run of the hot pepper sauce flavored chips. Excluding salt and pepper, these exceptionally crispy fries require only three ingredients to make. Have you tried your hand at homemade fries or chips before only to end up with mushy potato clumps? We tell you how to avoid that so your fries come out with perfect crisp and unbelievable flavor. These fries are hot, so make sure you serve them with a fresh pitcher of Talenti frozen sangria.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Typical dessert fare can be dense and ill suited for holiday cookouts. This strawberry lemonade cake recipe has the decadence of a conventional bakery cake, but contains no butter, little sugar, and is clean, light, and perfectly sweet. Topped with a gooey lemon cream cheese frosting and adorned with fresh strawberries, will leave your guests feeling refreshed and ready for a dip in the pool.

turkey burger sliders

Red, White, & Blueberry Turkey Burger Sliders

At DIR, we’re all about turkey burgers. They’re more flavorful and less fattening than traditional beef burgers. Ben Franklin wanted to make the turkey America’s national bird, so you won’t be sacrificing any patriotism when you throw these on the grill. The slider format is automatic portion control, leaving you plenty of room for corn on the cob, potato salad, cake, and frozen sangria. The blueberry balsalmic reduction and feta cheese topping is a unique, accessible, and patriotic flavor pairing.

barbecue chicken tacos

BBQ Chicken Tacos 

A simple yet inventive take on classic barbecue, these BBQ chicken tacos are simple (less than 30 minutes to make), super healthy, and delicious. Ditching classic taco condiments like tomatoes, black beans, and peppers, our tacos have a light avocado coleslaw to complement a classic barbecue taste. A little prep for the slaw and a quick dry rub of familiar spices on the chicken and you’re ready to grill. Not coincidentally, these babies pair perfectly with a glass of frozen sangria.


Red and Sweet Potato Salad

Just like we needed to rethink the go-to beef burgers of yore, we also the traditional side of mayo-mustard slathered potato salad needed a reboot too. Containing classic ingredients like red skin potatoes, rosemary, and red bell pepper, we added sweet potatoes—one of the healthiest foods on the planet—so this recipe doesn’t lack in the flavor department. Replacing the fatty mayo with the versatile non-fat Greek yogurt was the kiss of greatness, and this dish continues to win over people who are obsessed with traditional potato salad.


Chunky Guacamole with Serrano Peppers

No patio party is complete without a beautiful and verdant dish of guacamole. We take the traditional guacamole recipe to the next level with a serrano chili pepper, which maximizes the flavor of the onion, cilantro, and lemon. This dish will look amazing when placed next to your roasted tomatillo and pineapple salsa. Make sure you get a dip before your guests do, ’cause this guac won’t last long.

banh mi slider

Banh Mi Sliders

This savory sandwich recipe is perfect for health conscious eaters. The Banh Mi is a traditional Vietnamese sandwich that is winning over foodies across the county. We’ve taken the trendy recipe and shaved off a couple hundred calories without sacrificing any deliciousness. Using lean pork, bold spices, and substituting apple cider for the traditional mayonnaise, this sandwich immediately won over party guests.

beef meatball kabobs

Jalapeno Cheddar Burger Bite Kabobs

Our newest recipe creation comes just in time for the kick-off to summer! We used organic Suzy Sirloin beef to craft these kabob-ready meatballs. Stuffed with jalapeno and sharp cheddar cheese, we grill the flavor right in. Skip the bun and mess of toppings, two of these little guys are all you need, especially when grilled up with some mushrooms.

photos by Dana Shultz, Kacy Meinecke

May 24th, 2013

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