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Five Healthy Labor Day Recipes Beyond the Barbecue

If you feel like your diet is stuck in a summer rut, don’t wait until after Labor Day to detox. Similar to Memorial Day parties and the Fourth of July cookouts, Labor Day often means an indulgent outdoor gathering featuring rich grilled meats and high-fat side dishes.

This year, to keep things on the lighter side, think beyond the barbecue when you’re planning your menu. Since Labor Day typically marks the unofficial end to summer and the beginning of the school year, it’s a great time to celebrate the season with some of your favorite fresh summer fruits and vegetables.

If you’re tired of turning on the grill to entertain, spend this Labor Day with five delicious healthy recipes for your Labor Day party from food bloggers across the country who plan to get in touch with their patriotic side using plenty of seasonal produce.

Asparagus Basil Salad from Elana’s Pantry: According to gluten-free chef and author Elana Amsterdam, her delicious salad that features fresh summer basil is “not just nutritious, it’s a treat for the palate.”  Serve it as a main dish with your favorite protein or as a side salad for a perfect picnic.

Reduced-Fat Creamy Coleslaw from Not Rachel Ray: Instead of the store-bought coleslaw that you might have served at your last picnic, opt for a lighter version from one of our favorite food blogs.

Tomato, Roasted Garlic & Parmesan Crostini from Bakeaholic Mama + 3: Enjoy the best of the end of summer bounty – tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes are often so juicy they don’t need much added flavor, so opt for roasted garlic and Parmesan cheese to complement them on a beautiful crostini.

Zucchini Pappardelle with Pine Nuts: There’s no rule that says you have to cook out on a patriotic holiday. Invite a bunch of friends over this year and whip up a delicious pasta dish from our friend Kate at Savour-Fare. You’ll love using up the last of your fresh garden zucchini and a hearty pasta dish will leave you feeling energized and ready to tackle a new school (or work) year.

Summertime Tomato Sandwich: Sometimes there is nothing better than keeping it simple. Look to fresh tomatoes for the perfect lazy, last-day-of-summer lunch from our friends at Nutmeg Nanny. Bonus: it tastes even better from a hammock.

August 20th, 2011

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