Healthy Memorial Day Dishes

May 24, 2018

Editor's Note: This post is authored by Brittany Brockner, RYT, a Dietetic intern at College of Saint Elizabeth.

May means Memorial Day and outdoor cooking season are right around the corner. This beautiful time of year is perfect for using the grill to share some healthy recipes with family and friends. Grilling is a healthy cooking method because it’s an easy way to cook with little added fat. It also happens to be a common cooking method this time of year. Of course, it can be used to make hot dogs and hamburgers (not the best choices), but there are also several healthy and delicious options you can use when cooking with the outdoor grill. Take advantage of the unique flavor that the grill provides by cooking up vegetables and healthy proteins!

Grilled vegetables have a unique flavor when compared to other cooking methods as the grill will cause the natural sugars in the vegetables to caramelize. Yum!

When choosing your protein, aim for nutrient rich options like chicken, fish, or tofu. Chicken or turkey are low fat alternatives to red meats without sacrificing flavor as the grill will cause delicious browning. Grilling will allow the fat to drip drown, making it a tasty and healthy cooking method.

Fish can also be a great protein for the grill. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Specifically, they are great sources of EPA and DHA, which play an integral role in reducing inflammation and proper function of the cardiovascular, immune, and endocrine systems.

Tofu can be an easy vegetarian protein option. For the best grilling results, aim for firm or extra firm tofu. This will allow for the tofu to hold its shape and won’t fall apart as easily after cooking. No matter what your dietary restrictions are, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this Memorial Day. I’ve provided some recipe ideas below to help you stay happy and healthy through the holiday weekend.

Healthy-Memorial-Day-Recipe-Grilled-Asparagus-Salmon

unsplash-logoChristine Siracusa

Grilled Asparagus in Parsley Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • Asparagus
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions for vinaigrette

  • Finely chop parsley leaves and garlic
  • Place parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper, and oil into a food processor until smooth

Directions

  • Trim asparagus
  • Coat asparagus with vinaigrette  
  • Grill asparagus over high heat for 5 minutes; Place on grill directly or use aluminum foil for a quick clean up
Healthy-Memorial-Day-Recipe-Avocado-Dip

Veggies and Avocado Dip

Recipe from Rachel Paul, The College Nutritionist

Ingredients

  • 1 single serve plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions

  • Mix ingredients for the dip
  • Enjoy with sliced bell peppers, cauliflower, or carrots

 

Grilled Salmon in Parsley Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • Salmon filets
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder

Directions

  • Season salmon in garlic powder and pepper
  • Use parsley vinaigrette from previous recipe
  • Marinate salmon in parsley vinaigrette
  • Grill marinated salmon on medium heat for 6-8 minutes each side; Place on grill directly or use aluminum foil for a quick clean up

Now that we’ve put some thought into making nutritious meals, don’t forget to enjoy your food! If you want that hot dog or hamburger, eat it! Allow yourself permission to enjoy the foods you love, and stop when full. Eating should be about enjoyment, so don’t worry about how much you eat compared to someone else. Instead, listen to your own internal cues of satiety. This way you are eating in amounts that are satisfying for your body. Being less concerned with how much you eat allows you more time to enjoy the company of your family and friends!

Of course, don't forget to honor our fallen heroes.

Have a happy and healthy Memorial Day!

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