Memorial Day is one holiday almost everyone looks forward to. What’s not to love? The last Monday of every May, we honor our fallen U.S. soldiers and their families on a weekend when the weather starts to heat up in most parts on the country. Barbecues, camping trips and outdoor parties are how most people celebrate Memorial Day, the sunshine, and show their patriotism.
Memorial Day is tons of fun, but barbecues are notorious for being full of calorie and fat packed foods, so plan ahead. If you are taking advantage of the long weekend and going camping, indulging in 3 days worth of this indulgent food can really do some damage. If you are hosting, you have full control of the menu, but if you are a guest, bring your own “safe” dish that you know is healthy, and you already know the calories and fat per serving.
Whether you’re planning to usher in summer at the beach or with a backyard cookout, there are a lot of tempting, warmer-weather treats that might appeal to you no matter how much you want to stick to a healthy diet. Fend off cravings by making slimmer versions of your favorite meals and treats.
Salads and Side Dishes:
All-American Potato Salad: Don’t let potatoes‘ carb count deter you from making this classic cookout favorite this year. Using reduced-fat mayonnaise shaves calories from this salad so that you’ll feel a little lighter after noshing on your favorite picnic foods. Just be sure to keep it chilled until it’s time to serve – this is one salad that will spoil quickly in the sun.
Asian Cole Slaw: Bring another party favorite to the table – a crunchy cole slaw recipe that will add a splash of Asian flavor to your barbecue. This side dish is full of flavor and pairs perfectly with simply grilled fish.
Black Bean Pasta Salad: Store-bought pasta salads are laden with creamy mayonnaise and hidden fat and calories. Opt for a lighter version that is peppered with protein and fiber-packed black beans – your swimsuit will thank you.
Green Bean Tomato Salad: Tomatoes are full of lycopene, which offers a myriad of health benefits when you add this robust red fruit to your diet. Combine them with farm fresh green beans for a snappy salad that will steal the show.
Barbecued Chicken Salad: If you want to enjoy delicious barbecue flavor without having to skip a serving of healthy greens, serve delicious grilled chicken atop a pile of veggies for a picnic-perfect salad at any cookout.
Grilled Moroccan Pork Tenderloin Kabobs: Pork is often overshadowed by chicken as a lean meat that’s high in protein but low in fat. Pork is flavorful and versatile and easy to prepare in this recipe for Moroccan kabob.
Grilled Halibut with Pineapple: Fresh fish is always a great catch in the summertime. Opt for a simple fillet like halibut and pair it with freshly grilled pineapple for a fruit-forward flavor.
Grilled Steak: If you’re looking for a recipe low in carbohydrates, steak is a great way to go. While not low calorie, this recipe is full of iron and protein. To cut saturated fat, skip the butter and season with your favorite herbs and spices.
Cool Six-Fruit Salad: Picnic food can be healthy if you opt for delicious sweets that are naturally low in calories. Look for refreshing flavors like watermelon and strawberries for a satisfying dessert or snack with under 100 calories per serving.
Biggest Loser Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt: If you crave cold, creamy sweets after a day at the beach you won’t have to worry about piling on the pounds with Chef Rocco Dispirito‘s recipe from the Biggest Loser 5.
Blackberry Sour Cream Crumble: Fresh fruits are in abundance in the spring and summertime so make the most out of the powerful health benefits that they offer. You can still indulge in what feels like a decadant dessert – no guilt needed.