It's that time of year again - Memorial Day! Not only is it a time to commemorate the generations of Americans who have fought to defend our freedom, it's also a day to celebrate the beginning of summer with family and friends. All over the country, grills will be sizzling with burgers and hot dogs, as heaps of poato salad are passed around the table.
For those who want a healthier, but equally delicious twist on these classics, here's a list of some of our favorite low-calorie dishes for the festive weekend. Enjoy!
2 large eggs 1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, or other small waxy thin-skinned potatoes (about 10), scrubbed 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise, or soy mayonnaise 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon anchovy paste Freshly ground pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar, or rice vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced (1 1/2 cups) 1/2 cup finely diced red onion 1/2 cup chopped celery, (1-2 stalks) 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 2 tablespoons diced gherkin pickles 2 tablespoons drained capers, rinsed 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Peel and coarsely chop the hard boiled eggs. Meanwhile, place potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with lightly salted water, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and let cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, oil, anchovy paste, and pepper in a small bowl until smooth. Cut potatoes into cubes and place in a large bowl. Add vinegar and salt; toss gently to coat. Add bell pepper, onion, celery, parsley, gherkins, capers, chives, chopped eggs, and the mayonnaise mixture; toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
Per serving, this side dish only contains 119 calories - way less than the average of 300 plus calories per serving for many other store bought and homemade potato salad recipes. Swapping regular mayonnaise for a low-fat or soy option helps to decrease the calorie intake. Fingerling potatoes are also fat-free, cholesterol-free, sodium-free and a great source of vitamin C.
Recipe Courtesy of Eating Well
16 ounces extra lean ground chicken breast 1 egg white 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 4 green onions, chopped (greens and whites) 1/4 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs 2 teaspoons BBQ spice rub 2 tablespoons low-sodium BBQ sauce 2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt 2 cups arugula, chopped 4 whole-wheat sandwich thins or buns
Place the ground chicken, egg white, breadcrumbs, parsley, green onions, and spices in a mixing bowl. Gently knead to combine. Form into four burgers. Preheat a grill or a nonstick skillet. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Grill burgers 12-14 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, or until the internal temperature reaches 180°F. Combine yogurt with the barbecue sauce, then toss the greens in the sauce. Place a burger on a sandwich thin and top with the greens.
Chicken is not only a great medium for any barbeque idea, but also a great source of protein and can be transformed into so many dishes. According to the National Institute of Health, protein is a critical part of maintaining bone health, body composition, and glucose levels. In general, it's recommended that women get 46 grams of protein per day and men get 56 grams; protein intake is based on an individual basis of body composition and weight.
Recipe Courtesy of Spark Recipes
1 small eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch thick slices 2 small red bell peppers, seeded and cut into wide strips 3 zucchinis, sliced 6 fresh mushrooms, stems removed 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Place eggplant, red bell peppers, zucchinis, and fresh mushrooms in a medium bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, basil, and garlic. Pour the mixture over the vegetables, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Place vegetables directly on the grill or on skewers. Cook on the prepared grill 2 to 3 minutes per side, brushing frequently with the marinade, or to desired doneness.
Eggplants have numerous health benefits, as the skin contains high amounts of antioxidants and nasinun, which have been shown to decrease the risks of cancers, increase heart health, and help to fight aging. Capsicum or red peppers are high in vitamins such as A, C and K, and also link to suppressed growth of many cancer cells. An increase in resistance to infections from mushrooms, specifically shiitake mushrooms, is another great reason to start grilling up some vegetables for this Memorial Day!
Recipe Courtesy of All Recipes
4 salmon steaks (about 1/2 lb. each) 1/4 cup lemon juice 2 Tbsp. olive oil 3 tablespoons fresh chopped dill, or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Place salmon in glass 9x13" baking dish. In small bowl, mix lemon juice, oil, dill, salt, and pepper. Pour over salmon and turn steaks to coat. Cover and chill for 2-4 hours. When ready to cook, heat grill and oil rack. Place steaks on grill and cook 4-6" from medium coals for 10-20 minutes, turning once, until salmon flakes easily with fork. OR, place steaks on broiler pan and broil, 4-6" from the heat, for 10-15 minutes, turning once, until salmon flakes easily with fork.
Eating two to three servings of fish per week, especially salmon, could reduce the risk of a heart attack by one-third. According to Mayo Clinic, "Research links consumption of omega-3 fatty acids to a decreased risk of abnormal heart rhythms that may lead to sudden cardiac death. Evidence also suggests that omega-3s may help lower triglycerides levels and decrease plaques growing in blood vessels."
Ingredients 3 tablespoons cider vinegar 3 tablespoons rice vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard 1 tablespoon canola oil 1/2 teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper, to taste 1/3 cup diced red onion 1 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, or chickpeas, rinsed 1 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans, or shelled edamame 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Put a large saucepan of water on to boil. Fill a large bowl half full with cold water. Whisk cider vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar, mustard, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until blended. Add onion and black-eyed peas (or chickpeas); toss to coat. Cook lima beans (or edamame) in the boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and refresh in the cold water. Pat dry and add to the bowl. Cook green beans in the boiling water until just tender, 3 to 6 minutes. Drain and refresh in the cold water. Pat dry and add to the salad along with parsley. Toss well.
Beans are a perfect and heart-healthy substitute for many meat dishes. Lima beans are high in fiber, which helps to aid in digestion. Chickpeas are high in fiber as well, but also in polyunsaturated fatty acids. They can also help to reduce cholesterol and increase glycemic control.
Recipe Courtesy of Eating Well