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.
On picnics and at barbecues, it isn’t often the main dishes that contribute the most calories to the meal. Side dishes, picnic salads and desserts can all be heavy and high-calorie if you aren’t careful to limit the oil, dairy and other indulgent ingredients.
Make a few simple swaps next time you plan a picnic or outdoor dinner party to shave hundreds off calories off your summer meals.
Carrot Hummus: Baby carrots are often used as a dipping vehicle for this chickpea-packed Middle Eastern spread, but this recipe incorporates carrots within. Serve over whole grain crackers or whole wheat pita bread – or even with raw veggie sticks for even more nutrition.
Herbed Dip for Veggies: If you want to up your veggie intake at your next picnic, ditch the chips and whip up a dip for your favorite vegetables that uses light sour cream and silken tofu.
Passover, one of the most well-known of the Jewish holidays, is an eight-day festival celebrated in early spring. On Passover, Jewish families and friends gather together for dinners called Seders that involve, prayer, story-telling and some traditional foods.
During Passover, most Jewish people avoid eating anything leavened and opt for matzoh instead of bread or pastries. This year, if you’re planning a Seder or keeping kosher during Passover, get creative with your menu and whip up one of our favorite Passover-friendly recipes.
Russian Salad: The name of this hearty salad honors its ingredients, such as beets, dill, and pickles that are staples in a traditional Russian diet. Delightful with cold fish, poultry, or meat dishes, this is the perfect cold salad to keep in the fridge during Passover for fast lunches.
As if keeping your dinner entrees interesting wasn’t task enough, what about the side dishes? It’s easy to fall in to a culinary rut, no matter how much you do or don’t like cooking. Personally, I love cooking. I don’t think it’s stressful to make dinner, I actually enjoy it. And while a lot of people like taking short-cuts, like buying pre-chopped vegetables or pre-shredded cheese, I enjoy taking on each of those steps in the preparation. But like everyone else, I too seem to serve the same roasted veggies and salad all. the. time.
When I stumbled upon the Alexia food products in my grocer’s natural food section, I hemmed and hawed over whether to even buy them. I bypassed everything that I know I could easily make myself, and took home a bag of the Alexia Spicy Sweet Potato Fries. Why? Because 1) side dishes get monotonous at my house and we needed something new, and 2) I’ve yet to conquer the sweet potato fry. Mine come out limp, wilty and nothing more than a chunk of mushy sweet potato. (more…)